This fitted blouse was a long time in the making (and even longer time in the blogging!) and is named after my sewing buddy Lesley.
The pattern is a self drafted pattern based on my fitted bodice block from my very first pattern making class at Studio Faro. But it took me a while to get my head around collars and cuffs and all the bits and pieces that go into making a button down shirt. This is where Lesley came into her own, sending me online tutorials for various parts of the shirt and tricks of the trade. We had a pattern making session together where we went through some of the more tricky bits. I don’t think I would’ve endeavoured to the end without the encouragment from a fellow sewist.
I made this first version out of an Italian cotton with a little stretch from Remnant Warehouse and a contrast quilting cotton under the collar, the inner collar stand and in the cuffs. I went with a fairly standard collar, a simple button stand (just folded over section of the two front pieces rather than a separate button stand) and kept all of the waist darts as per the pattern block – that’s 4 in the front and 4 in the back!
I decided on long cuffs for a more retro look but somehow miscalculated the cuff width and ended up with VERY tight cuffs. Luckily I can still do up the buttons but I can’t slip my hands through without undoing the buttons. Oops! I was considering doing sleeve plackets (Lesley had a good block for that too) but decided that I needed to keep it simple for version 1 otherwise it would never get made. Next time I’ll have to tackle the placket.
I made the shirt extra long to accommodate my long body and so that it doesn’t get untucked when I raise my arms. I like that alteration although I may need to make it wider at the bottom to get over my hips.
All in all, not a bad little attempt at my first blouse pattern. I’d love to make it in a fun Liberty fabric or something. But I’ll have to stay skinny to fit into it with all those unforgiving waist darts!
Pattern: My own Lesley Blouse pattern
Fabric: Italian cotton from Remnant Warehouse and quilting cotton for the contrasts
Alterations: Specific design decisions this time was the long cuff and extra length. Next time I’ll stick with the extra length (wider over the hips), have short and WIDER cuffs and I might have a go at the sleeve placket.
Do it again: Yup… but maybe not for summer