Saturday, July 24, 2010

Yellow Peasant Blouse

There was just enough yellow broadcloth left from Simplicity 1954 to make a blouse from Advance 3790. I didn't want to go too crazy with the ruffles and I am not a fan of long sleeves so I made View 2 with the sleeves from View 1.

This pattern is only three pieces but it is a little labor intensive with all that gathering. They included a guide piece for the front gathers that you were supposed to stitch on to your fabric and then rip off. (Gasp!! RIP OFF the TISSUE?? I think not.) I photocopied the pattern piece first and then cut it out again on some leftover tissue wrapping paper. It was a really easy way to make sure the gathers came out just right. (Without destroying the original pattern piece.)
The instructions from the sleeve were worse than useless (basically: gather and attach sleeve) and I had a heck of a time figuring out how to center the gathers on the lower part of the sleeve. Eventually I used the same method as the neck gathers. I cut a piece of tissue the circumference of my arm and pinned the sleeve to it.
Then I stitched over it and ripped off the tissue. Perfect!

The sleeves and neck were trimmed with self-made bias tape. It seems like everyone makes bias binding themselves and its no big deal but to me its a great BIG deal! I am SO proud of this new-found skill and I have to say, my bias tape looks amazing. I use the "pull it through a pin" method which I think I talked about before but this time I discovered something that made it even easier: spray starch!

If you spray a bit of starch on the cut strip, it will begin to curl itself up before you even pull it through the pin. This one little step makes it so much easier to be sure that you are folding it in the center of the strip and your creases come out extra crisp. The only downside is that your ironing board gets a bit sticky. Next time I'll do it over a pressing cloth.

Applying the binding was easy although I struggled with the bows for a bit. After searching the interwebs for help, I found this article on how to tie a perfect bow. And that was it: Blouse complete!

I really like the way this blouse came out. I think if I was to make it again I'd do the sleeve a bit differently. The lower part of the sleeve fits around my arm just fine, unless I try to do something crazy like reach forward or lift my arm up. The sleeve hole would gape if it was any larger so next time I would consider gathering and finishing the sleeve end with lingerie elastic or elastic lace, instead of bias tape. It would still be cute, and much more comfortable.

Playing with different ways to style the finished blouse was fun. I discovered that it didn't really want to be tucked in. Despite tucking it into my slip and adding a belt, it kept trying to climb out of the top of my skirt, especially in back.It looks cute just belted, instead of tucked.
Its at its absolute best with jeans, though, as a casual top.


  1. Love it! Thx for the spray starch tip, too.

  2. Ooo looks ace!! Very nice :)
    Lottie x

  3. Great job!! that color looks great on you! I like the result, mixing both views!
    I didn't know about the spray! taking photocopies of the pattern is a good tip also, what I do is to copie them my self in another paper better take photocopies =)

  4. Wow! That does look difficult, but it came out great. I have recently been having a very hard time with a scalloped-front vintage dress. I thought I'd never get it together. This is rocket-scientist stuff!

  5. I love this---it looks fantastic! I am definitely going to try the spray starch tip next time I make some bias binding---thanks!

  6. You are so lucky you can wear yellow. Really adorable. I'll have to try the pin and starch tricks.

  7. Great job Gabby! I can't wait to see you out in it.

  8. Love it. I actually thought the tucked in version was most flattering. It allows the puffed sleeves to work their magic making your waistline very petite in contrast to the shoulders.

  9. Love the yellow looks wonderful on you!

  10. super cute Gaby! so jealous you get to sew so much!!!

  11. oh wow a lovely skirted outfit!!! I think it is adorable!