crafts · fashion · Sewing

Celebrating the return of the blouse

As fashion waxes and wanes, certain words become hopelessly outmoded.  Can you honestly say you would buy “a nice pair of slacks?”  But we used to!  The word slacks still makes me think of days spent flipping through the JC Penney catalog in the 80s.  So I will say trousers, or pants, or describe the type of garment, but never “slacks.”

I was worried that the word “Blouse” was becoming tainted as well.  It seems that for ages we have been given tees, camis, and tunics… but a nice blouse?  It seemed to disappear along with the 80s.  And I will admit… there were some blouse monstrosities in the 80s… but there are also nice styles like this:

(available from Ikonic on Etsy)

A blouse is flattering – I would so much rather wear something that skims over my shape than something skintight.  So I am pleased to see pretty feminine blouses in many of my favorite stores this season!

I have, of course, been thinking of blouses I could make for myself, as my closet is pretty bare after yesterday’s clean out!  I’m planning to make a black skirt, based on Vogue 8425, and I would like a nice blouse to go with it.

The skirt on the right is my inspiration.  I may add boning to the waistband of the skirt, as it’s pretty high, and reviews on patternreview indicate it helps (almost no one has made this view though… perhaps I am just going through a high waisted phase – I have discovered that a high waist looks good on me, something I would not have suspected!)  I have a black gabardine wool that should look great, and I’m planning to make a blouse out of some green synthetic shantung:

This photo is pretty awful, as my camera once again refuses the task of photographing green.  This is better:

I’m considering Sencha, by Colette patterns (I can’t help it, I just love her patterns!)  I want to make the view with the tiny bow and the buttons up the back.

The fabric has a nice drape – it only looks vaguely like shantung, it doesn’t feel anything like it.  It was inexpensive, but I like the color, and I won’t be sad if it doesn’t turn out.   I’m really curious about this blouse shape – I’m never worn one similar.

I’m also in love with this new pattern from Burdastyle:

The Alexander Blouse, in honor of Alexander McQueen.  This combines my love of a blouse with my love of polka dots.  Oh yes… I cannot resist anything dotted.  And I do love a peplum.

I’m looking forward to using my serger to finish the edges of my blouse fabric, as it frays like mad.  I hope to get the pieces for the blouse cut tonight, since due to the snow I don’t have any rehearsal.  I want to muslin the skirt, so I may try to find a suitable fabric for that as well.

Happy snow day to anyone else having one – we’ve made up a crockpot full of red beans and rice, which goes great with the cold!

Life · Sewing

Still winter? Just checking…

More snow… ugh.  I am so over winter now.  But soon it will be March – and at some point the weather will have to warm up!

For Valentine’s day Marc and I went to our local Skyline Chili, where they were having a 3 course V-day dinner.   I’m not a huge fan of the holiday, so we like to do something silly!  If you’ve never had Cincinnati chili, you really should try it.  The key is to think of it more like spaghetti and less like chili, as I don’t really consider it chili if it’s served on a plate of spaghetti, contains cinnamon  and chocolate, and is topped with american cheese.  Marc, being from Cincinnati, is of course obsessed with the stuff, and I have cultivated a certain fondness for it as well!

And this afternoon we drove north into Indiana to pick up my new serger!

It’s the Brother 1034d, a pretty basic model, but it gets great reviews from beginning serger users on Patternreview.  It’s used, but looks in good shape.  I figure it’s a good place to start, and if I wind up using one all the time I can upgrade to a fancier model later.  I’m going to sit down with my copy of SEW U: Home Stretch this week and see if I can figure it out… and I figure that I will have time to work on things, what with the coming snow, and my city’s general lack of preparedness for bad weather.

I’ve spent this weekend cleaning out my closet, which is always fun… I think sewing is making me pickier about the fit of my clothes, and I was finally able to let go of some things I just don’t feel good in.  I also found plenty of items I had forgotten I owned.  For instance… I was gifted this vintage faux fur coat this winter by my Mom.  I think it’s from the 40s.   It isn’t exactly convincing fur from up close, which is fine by me.  It has a nice lining and a label from a defunct local department store.   I feel a little silly in it, but it’s staying in the wardrobe – you never know when you will be invited to a formal event in a blizzard!

And finally… I finished my skirt!

No FO post yet… I have yet to decide how I’m going to wear it.  It may require some shopping, so it will have to wait until after the snow – thank you for all the suggestions, they really helped me decide how to style a maxi skirt – a style I haven’t worn in years, since they have been out of style so long (but they are back this year!)   I highly recommend the pattern – it went together with no problem, and the instructions were really excellent.  I did wear it out to play piano for a mass this morning, and it was nice and warm in the cold weather!

And that reminds me of one more thing I’m excited about… fish fry season!  Don’t ask me why, but there’s nothing I love more than a catholic fish fry… and living in a heavily Catholic area, we usually hit a different one every week during lent.  I hope you have all had a fabulous weekend!