Sunday, May 25, 2014

FO: Strawberry Sundae Afternoon Blouse

Pattern:  Jennifer Lauren Vintage Afternoon Blouse, size 8
Fabric:  1.5m strawberry / dot print cotton from CroftMill at £5.95 per metre
Other:  Vintage red buttons from Handmade Jane, previously sewn onto my smart wool shorts... until they shrank in the wash (sob!); some black and white gingham bias binding to face the hem - totally unnecessary but I wanted to do it anyway :)

I bought this pattern the day it was released - it looked so wearably vintage and easy to make.  I imagined making a whole rail of summer blouses in different fabrics.
However, when I realised there were substantial facings which overlapped at the front, I was stopped in my tracks.  I was worried that once interfaced they would be too starchy in midweight cotton and would shine through voile.
And then I saw Karen's version (ha ha ha she just made another one - snap!) and Jane's, and ordered this fabric, in the hope that I could make it work.
And then I got distracted.

This weekend I wanted a quick win.  I wasn't feeling particularly energetic, but I knew I would feel better if I sewed something.  So I did.
I decided NOT to interface the fronts - gasp!
This cotton is substantial enough to get away with it.  There wouldn't have been interfacing in a genuine 1940's blouse after all.
The instructions are very clear and lead to a high standard of finish.
My only issue was with the front neck.  The instructions show the pointy-fronted version and I hesitated to translate the stitching diagram to the curved version.  In the end I did my own thing, and I got away with it, but its not completely perfect.  If I make it again, I will do more to ensure everything lines up at the top of the centre front seam - maybe a tailor's tack?
The button feature is entirely decorative, so I stitched my fronts together to hold everything in place, running the line of stitching right round the neck edges.
I used three buttons instead of just one, as one was looking very lonely.  I thought that placing them on the diagonal  was in-keeping with the kimono sleeve styling.
Much much better than expected!
It was looking pretty shapeless until I put it on.
Once there's a body inside, the subtle curves of the cut really come alive.
Unlike a lot of simple undarted tops, it has a gently curved hem and isn't completely "straight up and down".
The kimono sleeve looks tiny when laid flat, but just right when worn.
There is slightly more flare at the hip than I need but that is because I have a flat bottom.  It would be easily adjusted.
I was wary of straying into pastiche rockabilly territory with this fabric but I think it is cute without being "cutesy".
FL said he thought the fabric was something his granny would have used to make a housecoat... but that it looks lovely on me.
Ah, flattery will get you anywhere, my dear!
I definitely prefer it worn tucked into a swishy skirt (this is my mustard linen Chardon).
Will I make another?  It seems likely!  I rather fancy a Liberty lawn...


Jane said...

I love EVERYTHING about this blouse, it's really, really lovely. I'm so pleased to see those red buttons saved and re-used too! I also toyed with adding more than one button, so it's good to see how well three in a row work. x said...

Really love the diagonal three buttons - inspired! The bias tape is sweet too. I may have to copy both details. A lovely blouse, isn't it?

ravelledsleeve said...

Very pretty! I have been making an Afternoon Blouse today too, though I didn't quite get mine finished - I really like the pattern, though, as I think I may finally have made a wearable top :-)

Sarah said...

Roo, it's a lovely, lovely blouse!

christinelaennec said...

You're amazing, Roobeedoo! I love that blouse, especially the gingham tape and the three buttons.

kbenco said...

You've credited the pattern with how well this turned out, but I think its your eye for details that make it look so good. The buttons on the diagonal and the lovely sleeve hem finish are perfect with the print.

Lynne said...

Goregous! It looks fab on you, and I love the fabric and red buttons.

Nicki said...

I ended up leaving mine without buttons because I couldn't find one big enough to look right but light enough not to pull on the drapey viscose I chose. I really like your idea of using 3 buttons. The finished blouse looks fabulous. I am half pleased with mine. I think the viscose was a poor choice for a novice as it stretched out weirdly on the CF seam. I will definitely be making another version,

acharmofmagpies said...

Love love love want want want. This is perfection and I'd happily tuck that into my own wardrobe. The strawberries are divine and the red buttons are the perfect complement.

verykerryberry said...

It really suits you! Love the diagonal button placement

pootleandmake said...

Love that fabric, this looks great on you. I've been thinking of doing the same with bias binding to finish off a sleeve. This looks like a good stash buster pattern.

pootleandmake said...

Love that fabric, this looks great on you. I've been thinking of doing the same with bias binding to finish off a sleeve. This looks like a good stash buster pattern.

Ruth Wilson said...

I like the three button placement, and may borrow the idea thank you. It looks great with both trousers and skirt on you.

Joy said...

The blouse is gorgeous - I like your version better than the original!

Francesca said...

This is a lovely version of the pattern! Once you're planning to make it again, if you want, I can send you a scan of the instructions for the original vintage pattern (I own it, and it is withing ht public domain) to help with that neckline - I found them clearer, to be honest.