8. The New Year Blouse

Pattern: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook – Our Blouse

Fabric: Silk Cotton Lawn from Harts Fabric

Notions: about a yard of 1/4″ elastic


Something that I enjoyed most in 2011, was sewing with one pattern multiple times. It gave me a chance to work on my construction skills, knowing already the pitfalls from the previous attempts. Since the pattern was already fitted, I felt secure to be creative with the details. Best of all, it was possible to see how fibers and weaves behave differently under the same style lines. This blouse exemplifies this and I was amazed at how it moves and falls in a different fabric. Sewing with a trusted pattern is the best education out there and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s see a challenge this year featuring multiple garments from one pattern.

Although I’m posting this after the challenge deadline, I did complete the blouse on Saturday – well within my original timeline. As my last garment in my winter wardrobe challenge, I couldn’t be happier. Originally, I purchased this fabric for the Pussy Bow Blouse but I decided to pull away from it after finishing my first one. Now that I’ve worked with it, it would have made a fantastic Pussy Bow Blouse. This fabric is heavenly and if I could find it in other colors and patterns I would buy nothing but it! It’s soft as butter and has the most beautiful drape. It reminds me of rayon challis but it doesn’t wrinkle! The cotton made it a dream to sew with, too. It comes in white, also, and now I can’t stop thinking about using it for Truffle from the Colette Handbook.

For this version, I changed things up by eliminating the princess seams from the front. This left me with a “dart” at the shoulder seams which I chose to sew as a soft gather. Hopefully you can see it in the bottom picture, although the polka dots do have a way of hiding the details. In addition, I eliminated the neckline slit, drafted a corresponding facing, and chose to use elastic through the entire waist. If I weren’t trying to make more long-sleeved garments, I would have left this sleeveless as I liked the shape better. Once the drafting was complete, the blouse went together very quickly. For those thinking of making this up, I would recommend making notches on the shoulder pieces because it can be a little hard to distinguish the orientation of the front piece. I had to rip out the shoulders to flip the pieces on this blouse as well as my last. Overall, I’m thrilled with the changes and I’m excited to experiment more with this pattern in the future.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my closing thoughts on this challenge. I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year and here’s to a spectacular 2012!


22 Responses to “8. The New Year Blouse”

  1. That looks fantastic! I’m so surprised at how different it looks from the first one, given that the changes you made were relatively small. Well done on your 2011 challenge! I really love your necklace too. Looking forward to your thoughts on this challenge and seeing what’s next for you!

    • Thanks, Gail! I was amazed at the difference, too! I think the drape of this fabric is the main “culprit”, especially at the arm holes – it doesn’t poof the same way as the stiff fabric from the last blouse. Also, using a dark fabric throughout makes a difference as well – the contrast in the last one really broke up the lines. I’m really fascinated by this!

    • I meant to add, the necklace is from White Owl. If you like it, check out their shop. They have some lovely lace pieces and statement jewelry. I’ve had it for ages now but I still love it!

  2. I have this pattern all traced out and you have sold me- off to the stash closet to find a willing victim!

  3. I like it! The polka dots are pretty, and the necklace looks good with it. I agree, working with patterns that you’ve used before simplifies things. Nice job!

    • Thanks, Meli. I’ve gone a little crazy with polka dots lately, but they’re just so easy to wear! I don’t get a chance to wear this necklace often but it screamed at me when I finished this blouse. I was pleased with the pairing!

  4. I love this! I adore a good polka dot – might just have to splurge on this fabric! The blouse is fabulous on you. I just received my copy of this book in the mail and flipped right on through this pattern, but will definitely be giving it a second look. I love your version! Beautiful job!
    xoxo, Sunni

    • You’re too kind, Sunni – thank you! You won’t regret it the purchase! I should probably note that the polka dots are a soft grey, which I hadn’t noticed on the website when I purchased it. I’m not sure if it shows in these photos. There is also a version with a white background and I think those are black polka dots.

  5. Great shirt! It looks beautiful the way you’ve styled it, too. I agree with how much you can learn doing one pattern multiple times. Love love love! 🙂

  6. That looks gorgeous on you! Now I want a blouse in the same style, maybe starting with a less expensive fabric until I can really get the fit right. I’m guessing you have to dry clean the Silk Cotton Lawn Fabric?

    • Hi, Chris. You know, except for coats, I don’t dry clean. I just don’t have the motivation or the money to take things to the cleaner. I’m sure the bolt would recommend against it but I prewashed this fabric in our complex’s coin-op on cold. I’ll treat the garment in a similar manner. In our old place we had a beautiful, front loader that I even threw silk velvet in but with the agitator I’m a bit more cautious. Sometimes, if a swatch doesn’t behave well in the machine, I’ll handwash the fabric and the garment.
      Definitely test on a swatch though – I’d hate for you to ruin a garment or fabric because I’m cheap and stubborn!

  7. Oh, I love this! Flowy and soft and romantic.

  8. I love the blouse, but that necklace! Did you make? Etsy?

  9. So cute! The blouse was one of my favorite projects from that book. Good make!

  10. I love your blouse! I think I commented on it already on sewweekly or on burda (?), but I wanted to leave you a note on your blog as well…. It’s lovely! 🙂

    It’s since been added onto my pinterest account as inspiration.

  11. Can I ask how you eliminated the Princess seams ? I am guessing you pinned the pattern together and left the curve un pinned (leaving a space of paper ) which was closed as a dart ? I would love to make a similar version 🙂


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