I have two blouses to share with you today: they’re fraternal twins! Both sewn from the same pattern but in entirely different fabrics. I thought it would be a fun experiment to see how a fancy and a plain version of the same pattern would look.
The pattern is from the 1950s and is actually one I’ve sewn several times before, but with a collar and 3/4 kimono sleeves. This was the first time I made it with a scoop neck and short kimono sleeves.
I started with the red one. It’s a double faced cotton and lurex blend. I wish you could really get a sense for the sheen, it’s so metallic and lovely! And the reverse is black. The color on Mood is quite accurate, although I have no idea why I was drawn to it as this is not my preferred shade of red. I think I was enchanted by the lurex!
So I have to be honest, it’s taken me awhile to come around to this blouse. One of those things where it’s a gorgeous color but doesn’t really feel “me”.
For this fancier version, I opted to hand stitch both the hem and sleeves, and I understitched the neckline vs. topstitching. The fabric doesn’t press all that well but fortunately well enough to hold the neckline shape relatively crisply.
Instead of vintage buttons which I’d usually go for, I made covered buttons, which add such a nice touch, I think! The fabric was very prone to fraying and snags, so I interfaced with lightweight fusible before covering the buttons, so the metal button wouldn’t tear the fabric. I love the way they look.
I love the overall neckline, but I ran into a snafu because I didn’t think I needed to bother doing a muslin for simply a neckline and sleeve change for a blouse that was already a tried and true pattern. The kimono sleeves were totally a bizarre length, way too long and looked very unflattering. When I finished the blouse I was a bit deflated about it combined with the color, but in the end I sliced a bunch of the sleeve off the blouse, re-hemmed them and I’m way happier with the result.
Now for the fraternal twin. This is the slightly more utilitarian version! This one is in black Egyptian cotton which was an absolute delight to sew with. There are a few other colors… I wish there were more!!
Everything was finished with topstitching on this version to make it feel more casual and easier to press after laundering. Although… it’s black. I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to take my word for it. 😉
The only thing different between these two versions construction-wise was that since I sewed the red one first, I was able to alter the sleeve length for the black version (so I didn’t have to change it after the fact unlike the red one).
Everything else is just in the material and finishing details!
I admit, it might be a bit of a struggle figuring out how I’ll wear the lurex blouse as I don’t have many occasions for a dressy blouse, especially one in a color that’s not quite in line with much of my wardrobe. But I think the way I styled it is like Dressy Lite, and that I can do. The black cotton one I foresee wearing a ton.
Now, the weather just needs to hurry up and get warm!