Italian Cotton

Pattern: Self drafted sleeveless blouse

Fabric: Italian Cotton Lawn from Britex

Notions: buttons from Once Around, a new-to-me craft store in Mill Valley.


I’ve been in a funk lately. I’m in need of a change and I’m struggling to make the next step in my career. Part of that struggle is that I don’t really know what it is that I want, I just know it isn’t this. The other struggle is that I don’t want to be ungrateful. I’m so appreciative of what work I do have… I have lovely coworkers, great hours, and an incredible boss. Unfortunately, there’s no room in the position to grow and I feel stagnant when I’m not learning. Being at work drains every little bit of life right out of me. That’s certainly no way to live but it’s hard to leave a job for the uncertainty of living without a paycheck.

Through all this, I’ve been using sewing as an outlet and so it’s no surprise that I’ve been gravitating towards designs with a lot of ease and maneuverability. The heat of summer is setting in and after many years of hating the season, I’m ready to embrace it. For me, summer has always been about freedom and I’d like my clothing to be a reflection of this. That means that I’m throwing out the challenges for this season. From the fabric to the sewing experience, it’s all about a carefree and easy going attitude!

Now, you may recognize this blouse pattern from my Spring Wardrobe Challenge although it was made in a knit last time. This time around, I added a button placket using the instructions from the Banksia Blouse (method 2 for those of you who have it). There are french seams throughout and self-made bias binding for the armholes and neckline. The hem was finished on my serger with a 2 thread rolled hem. This was my first time using this stitch and I love the delicate look. All of this makes for a very clean inside which I adore.

This is turning out to be a year of transitions for a lot of people. I’m trying to remind myself that the best thing I can do is keep moving forward and to leave time for the things that bring me joy. The rest will eventually fall into place.


32 Responses to “Italian Cotton”

  1. Gorgeous little top! It looks extra comfy, too =D

  2. I am also in transition and feeling a bit of ennui myself. Here’s to moving through it gracefully!

  3. I’m totally with you, summer is all about easy-going attitude and clothing. Your top does just this and it’s in a fabulous print.

    As for your recent attitude, I’ve was (I meant for that to be in the past tense) feeling the same. I am so appreciative that I have a job and that I work with awesome people but it just wasn’t not fulfilling anymore. I was so close to making a change (quitting and persuing my own endeavors) but then I was offered another position in a completely different department at work. The perfect opportunity came up at the perfect time and I’m so grateful I waited it out. I hope you have the same coincidence as me – I hope something unexpectedly but perfectly comes up and you get to take it 🙂

    • Congratulations, Maddie! That’s so wonderful for you. It’s encouraging to know that these happy coincidences do happen.
      My next step is to start putting myself out there and letting people know that I’m ready to move.

  4. Hang in there. I was in a rut but then fortuitously landed at Mood Fabrics. Hallelujah! Sewing makes everything better and can sometimes even land you a great job.

  5. That top- so breathtakingly simple and sweet. I really really love it and gosh I wish we were heading to summer but no, here in NZ we are heading for a harsh winter.
    Did I mention I love the top? 🙂

  6. cute top Liz, I love the colors. It looks wonderful and comfortable paired with the skirt.
    Good luck with planning the future–at 28 I still don’t know what I want to do either 😉 I just know my current job (where I’ve been for 11 years) isn’t where I want to be forever (it sounds much like your description of work). I just work to pay the bills and live to enjoy the hours outside of the office. Sewing and horses for me 🙂

    It is really wonderful to have the opportunity to continue learning. I hope you continue in sewing and share what you learn; I so enjoy your blog!

  7. What a gorgeous top! And, cute change to your blog header. Here’s to hoping that you’ll find peace with your situation just as quickly!

  8. 1. I’m jealous of people like you who live in places that have second-hand/thrifty craft stores. That just sounds like a treasure trove.

    2. That whole first paragraph could have been by me. I had been at a job related to my degree for almost three years. The people were nice but there wasn’t much opportunity to rise and it was a really small company. I got to the point where I could finish a week’s work in a day and then I’d be sitting around for hours on the internet reading sewing blogs and wondering why I was still in the office – oh yeah, basically a free paycheck. But I wasn’t challenged or feeling satisfied at all and I grew progressively more frustrated until one day last year I came into work and found out that the company made a big financial oops and had to cut half the staff! I got laid off but I was so excited because I knew that even though I wanted to quit I probably never would have because you think you’re so dependent on that paycheck. Well, now I’m broke but I’m so much happier, haha! I’m not saying you should up and quit but if you feel it in your bones that it is time to move on then you have to trust yourself.

    3. I ❤ that top! Print is awesome and I'm digging the button placket. I need to incorporate one of those into something soon. Inspiring as usual. 😉

    • If you’re talking about Once Around, you should know that the store’s name is misleading. It isn’t a second hand shop. Still, it’s pretty awesome. I’ve never had much luck thrifting so I’m always envious of those who have the “touch”.
      Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s funny how these things have a way of working themselves out.
      I had been wanting to know how to make a button placket like this since I started sewing but couldn’t find instructions. Can you believe that in all my sewing books there isn’t one that tells how? Thank goodness for Megan!

  9. Love this. I can see myself in something like this with white linen pants. Pity winter is coming on Down Under.

  10. I love the top, it is so sweet and looks amazingly comfy. Good luck with whole work things, things will eventually change (nothing stays the same forever) but I think it works out much better when we drive the change in a way that we want, good luck I hope it all works out for you.

  11. Such a pretty top for carefree summer days!
    Hope you will discover what it is you want to do, and may you pursue it with joy!

  12. The top is summer perfection. I’ve been meaning to make something from cotton lawn for awhile now because it just seems like such a wonderful breezy fabric.

    Your feelings of frustration are so very familiar to me. I will say – with just a little bit of hindsight since I am now in a place and job that I love and am excited to grow in – that in the strangest and most unexpected of ways you’ll end up where you’re meant to be. I hope that the next time that dissatisfaction sets in I’ll be able to handle it with more grace and won’t fret so much – so thats what I wish for you too! Things will turn around, probably sooner than you’d expect.

  13. The top looks great! As to the work frustration, I wish you luck. I’m sure everything will work itself out in time. Opportunities have a way of presenting themselves to those with eyes open to them.

  14. I can totally relate to the frustration and sadness that envelops you when you are not being challenged in your work. It’s a very difficult situation to be in – on the one hand, you need that paycheque to survive, and on the other, you feel like 40 hours a week of your life is a waste. I know. I believe it’s most important to take care of your personal life first, and all else will follow, which you are doing 🙂 Take heart in the knowledge that you are creative and talented so at least your “you” time is spent doing things you love, and I believe change will come when it’s meant to 🙂

    Totally agree with you about the season too!! I used to love summer as a kid, but once i reached my late 20’s suddenly the heat became unbearable for me and I simply ‘tolerated’ the summer, and looked forward to my beloved fall… this year is different for some reason; maybe because I am actually excited about being able to make my own summer clothing! 🙂

  15. We’re job twins! Comfortable, but not challenged and needing change. A velvet prison.

    Best of luck! love the blouse. 🙂

  16. Wow! Than Italian cotton looks really comfortable and cool for summer. Like the buttons too. Thanks for sharing the look.

  17. I really like the blouse, and you did the button placket!
    Hope you find your answer re: your job, soon 🙂

  18. Pretty, pretty Lizz! That cotton looks like heaven to work with and wear. I really like your top – that’s a piece that I would wear often. I was tempted to by the Banksia pattern just for placket instructions, but surely I can find something in my sewing book library, right?? That’s one of my favorite details on clothing.

  19. I like your blog heading, too! It’s so cute! I hope that a good change comes your way soon– it’s so frustrating to feel like you’re not in the right place. I’m in a similar place myself– I like what I do, but it’s so many hours and it leaves no time at all for me to pursue anything else or even to sleep enough, exercise, or maintain friendships. I can’t figure out what else I could/should do. I hope you have some clarity soon and that new opportunities present themselves!

  20. Oh, Lizz, I think you know I can relate. I up and quit my job last November (it was a job, not a career… it wasn’t in my field of education or related to anything I’d done in the past, and even if I had wanted to be there for a career change, there was absolutely no room for growth in the general design of the company). There were many drafted practice budgets, and I still struggle during this period of re-evaluation. From the frustrating feeling of not bringing home a paycheck for the first time since age 15, to guilt at being able to make this change in my life, to the sheer openness of trying to finally decide what it is I want to be (and not worrying about whether it’s a good enough title for everyone else). It’s definitely come out in my blog posts of late 🙂 But I do believe you’re heart will tell you when to take a leap, and with persistent seeking, new, unknown opportunities will open up to you. Maybe a free-flowing wardrobe is just what you need to invite them in 😀 We see your talent here, and I’m sure there’s more we don’t know of.

    And yes, lovely top! A 2-thread rolled hem, you say? I’m off to investigate this…

    (i sound all self-helpy, but i mean every word)

  21. This is so pretty, I love the shape and it looks very cool for the Summer! I am glad you have kept being creative even through your job slump.

  22. I love this breezy outfit and the attitude! It’s funny how our creative approaches start to reflect and mediate what we want out of our lives. In those in between periods, giving myself freedom and space to find what I actually desire is so important to me, so I don’t end up pressuring myself into change. Easier said than done, I know… I have changed jobs, goals, even education tracks so many times because I just love to learn and be challenged. So I totally understand these spaces–I’ve had several of them!


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