I’m sure you all are familiar with Tasia’s new pattern line Sewaholic after she did a guest post over the holidays here. I have been a fan of her blog for awhile now and when she released her first pattern I eagerly scooped up a copy of her Pendrell blouse for myself. It looked like a great basic style and was drafted for pear-shaped gals in mind (being a bit on the pear-shaped side, this is great!). Problem was that I didn’t have time over Christmas and most of January to really focus on sewing it up, as much as I wanted to.
Over the previous weekend I had been flipping through one of my favorite fashion books Everyday Clothes of the 1930s (I love the whole series–so pocket-book friendly!), and saw a little detail on a blouse that caught my eye. I had already been toying with the idea of whipping up a quick blouse for the early spring, and between the languishing Pendrell pattern and the collar detail that caught my eye I knew I needed to harness the burst of inspiration to get it done! I spent a couple of evenings cutting out the pattern (I chose the sleeveless view), tracing the center front piece, modifying the neckline and drafting the collar pieces. I unfortunately didn’t document how I did this (rather I was so excited to get started I didn’t want to stop for notes and pictures), but in a nutshell: I modified the neckline into a gentle v-shape, drafted a basic Peter Pan collar and divided it into the inner (cream) and outer(scalloped) section.
I also realized I had a perfect “happy accident” situation with the fabric: I had a short length of a fine cotton lawn I picked up last year on my shelves. The orange and pink floral seemed to scream “early 30s!” to me and reminds me a lot of those beautiful, gauzy prints that were so popular then. There was also a scrap of a soft cream-colored cotton lawn from some long-ago project, which just happened to be enough to cut out the double layers of the inner collar. Coincidence or the Sewing Fates? lol.
As for actual construction, I followed Tasia’s directions almost faithfully for the sleeveless view, just modifying it to attach the collar before binding the neckline and using French seams to finish each seam. The collar itself took a bit of time to construct correctly, since scallops can be one of those things that if rushed will turn out uneven and pointy–rather than gently curving. I followed Susha Khalje’s tutorial on Threads for construction steps and made sure that I made my iron my best friend.
It seems to be a bit repetitive to say this–since I do about almost every sewing project–but I really adore how this turned out. It’s light and airy (great for the Florida heat that will arrive in a couple short months!), but still delicate and romantic with the collar. Plus I love the fact that the Pendrell pattern was so easy to modify based on my design vision. The proportions were fantastic too (although I should note here that I did shorten the blouse by about 5″ because I felt that the original length was going to be a bit too long for my liking. Since I primarily wear skirts and slacks that sit at my waist, I don’t need really long tops to easily tuck things in!). Otherwise I think this was the first blouse I have ever made that I have been really satisfied with the fit through the bust and hips–it was amazing the first time I tried it on! Great pattern, Tasia!