Work It!

All Sleeves, But No Tricks

9th March 2017

We had some changes in dress code at work recently – it was relaxed to smart casual. Essentially, it means that wearing smart jeans is now not limited to just Fridays. What it means for me, is that I need to expand my collection of blouses to go with those jeans. As I have explained here, relying on shops is not really an option (for me), but lucky me – I can make as many as I want!

Out with The old In With The New

Occasionally, I use pattern bits from my previous projects as a point of reference for a new creation. This time I didn’t make any changes – just made a replica. Not for the lack of imagination, but having worn the old one a couple of times a few years ago, I was no longer in love with the colour, but still head over heels about the style. It waited in storage until I was ready to revamp it.

The difficulty I had was that I actually didn’t have a pattern. It was self drafted to begin with, yet for some reason I didn’t keep the paper pieces, so I had to take the old blouse apart. Therefore, the old blouse is no more.

Foolishly thinking that I already had photos of the original project in my archives, I didn’t take any pictures before disassembling the blouse, but I realised that I was wrong. But let me describe it: shiny two way stretch polyester satin with purple and grey abstract leaf print, exposed grey zip all across the back. It was made around the same time as this houndstooth box top (which I still love), so exposed zip was ‘a thing’.

The new blouse is made of satin faille. It is good weight and has a lovely drape. Not sure of the composition, but it doesn’t feel plasticky and it does crease a bit, like natural fibres do, however I doubt it has got any silk in it.

The Tricks

Sleeves are made of two parts (A-ha! The original had three, but I decided that horizontal seam just above the elbow wasn’t necessary): the top part, which is a compromise between a raglan and a tailored sleeve, which widens toward the middle seam; from there a lined semi-cirle is attached. The sleeves are wide when the arms are lifted, and quite narrow at the bottom when hands are down (check out the photos).

Two zips were needed. As the blouse is tailored, I needed to make sure I could get in and out of it without sewing myself in and being cut out of it every time – side seam on the left and centre back seams have invisible zips in them.

Also featured: my go-to navy cigarette pants, which I also made.

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