The Breezy Blouse

I realized only one of my Fresh Makes has been a top, and I think we often overlook the idea of sewing our own tops. Also I’m still staying true to the idea of not always grabbing a plain t-shirt to throw on over jeans. For these reasons I chose to make a cute, warm weather blouse for Fresh Make #10.DSC_0250 DSC_0260
The pattern I used is Butterick 6024. Like always, I purchased this pattern on sale at JoAnn’s for $1.40 (5 patterns for $7. But you really don’t have to buy 5.). I named this top the Breezy Blouse because it seems like an easy, fun, comfortable top to wear to a picnic or other causal outdoor event that doesn’t require athletic wear.

I made view D.

I made view D.

The fabric I used is a Robert Kaufman cotton voile. It’s finely woven, lightweight and soft, like Liberty of London, but for a third of the price. I purchased it at my favorite DTLA fabric store, Michael Levine. I bought 2 yards for $11.25 per yard. DSC_0262 DSC_0268DSC_0272 The neckline is finished with a self-made bias tape. The slit is created with a facing. DSC_0265 Here’s a peek at inside. To sew the bias tape at the neckline, first I sewed one edge to the inside of the neckline. Then I folded it over the raw edges and top stitched it very close to the folded edge of the bias tape on the front side of the neckline. DSC_0275

LET’S BE HONEST:

1. This pattern once again has the very common label of “EASY.” It’s actually not a bad pattern for a beginner, except, doing bias tape on a neckline requires careful sewing for it not to look “homemade.” The front slit also requires some accurate marking to make sure it gets stitched and cut straight down the center. I would say the sleeves, however, are fairly easy for a set-in sleeve as the cap is quite straight and there is not a lot of ease that needs distributed to fit the armhole.

2. About size – I decide to make a Small (8-10) even though my bust is not 31 1/2″ – 32 1/2″ and by no stretch of my imagination is my waist 24″ – 25.” I took the “finished measurement” of the bust area that was printed on pattern piece, and wrapped a tape measurement around my bust at that same measurement. I decided I liked that amount of “wearing ease.” I was afraid I would feel like I was swimming in the next size up. If the fabric had been more drapey like a rayon, I might have preferred more wearing ease.

3. Time to contemplate hem length and body type again. I choose to cut off 5″ from the hem of the blouse to transform it from a tunic length. Don’t get me wrong, I love the tunic style and would even wear it in some cases. If the fabric was soft and drapey, I might be OK with it longer. But with this cotton and the A-line cut, it flairs out from the body and looks kind of tent-like. I definitely do not need a wide hem hitting me at the thighs. Those of you ladies with long, thin legs, go ahead a keep the tunic length! Lucky you.

Overall I love my Breezy Blouse in this cotton voile. It’s lightweight and very comfortable to wear on a hot day when you don’t feel like bearing a lot of skin.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. And, as always, I welcome your comments.

Best, Lori

Advertisements

The Strolling Shorts

Currently all of my new clothing choices are influenced by the impending summer heat. I’m still standing firm to wear less jean shorts and capris. So to add variety to the warm weather skirts and dresses I’m sewing, I decided to make a fun pair of walking shorts for Fresh Make #9.
DSC_0229
The pattern I used is Burda 8087. I bought this pattern on sale at JoAnn’s for $2.49. I choose this pattern because nowadays I only only wear long shorts, and I thought the wider leg cut would be flattering on my heavier thighs figure. I named them the Strolling Shorts because I imagine that these would be perfect for a day at Disneyland, a walk down Palm Canyon Boulevard in Palm Springs or Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica.
8087-front-envelope I purchased the fabric from Michael Levine’s online store. It is from the Japanese Echino collection. I have drooled over Echino fabrics many times at Michael Levine’s downtown L.A. store. They range from $16 to $20 for their cotton/linen blends. I was alerted to a one day 20% off online sale, so I bought 2 yards of this fabric (amongst others!).
DSC_0235

I like the flap pocket detail and also how nicely the rounded waistband lays in the small of my back.

I like the flap pocket detail and also how nicely the rounded waistband lays in the small of my back.

DSC_0236 DSC_0240 I had probably not done a front fly zipper since high school when I used to make a lot of my own pants. But it came back, just like riding a bike – you never forget. I purchased the 5″ metal zipper at my favorite online zipper store, Zipit Zippers.

To secure the waistband, I used the "stitch-in-the-ditch" technique.

To complete the waistband, I used the “stitch-in-the-ditch” technique.

For the hem, I did a machine blind hem.

I did a machine blind hem.

LET’S BE HONEST:
1. Once again, this pattern is labeled “easy.” I would warn a beginner sewist not to attempt this pattern without access to help from an “in person,” experienced sewist, especially with techniques such as a front fly and waistband. I find the instructions to be a bit assumptive about a person’s knowledge and also found a few small discrepancies in the text and or illustrations that might be confusing without previous experience.

2. I’m not as big as I think. Erroring on the side of caution, I cut an 18! I did end up taking it in on the sides and back middle seam after my first fitting. I realize now that I was a little rusty at estimating my “wearing ease” for close fitting garments. 1″ at the waist and 2″ at the hips beyond your actual measurements should be fine.

3. I wanted the shorts to hit somewhere along my upper knee cap. I ended up cutting off 2″ of fabric before doing my 1 1/4″ hem.

4. Side note – I broke my boycott to not buy any “fast fashion” to have a shirt to wear in my photos. I bought the shirt on sale at Old Navy, and hemmed it up 3″. Hopefully I will find some time to make the perfect shirt to wear with my shorts.

Overall I am happy with my Strolling Shorts. I wore them to make puppets with third graders this morning! Thank you for reading my post and I welcome your comments. Lori