Saturday, February 25, 2012

A pretty silk blouse

I've made a blouse!  And it turned out raaather lovely, if I say so myself...  I used Vogue 1170, one of the patterns given to me by my children for a Christmas present.  I am super pleased with it! 
It is of very luxurious and quite expensive ivory silk charmeuse, with the exact same colour and the same classy, softly subtle sheen of a beautiful and perfect pearl.  It feels so luxe, and like the story of the magic cloak I immediately feel extra ladylike and elegant simply by the act of slipping it on!  
I felt uncharacteristically hesitant and nervous about cutting this out.  Mostly because, although I was excited about the idea of this blouse, and out of this completely divine fabric, I was still a weeny bit unsure that it would work out, and/or even suit me!  It is just such a very very feminine, pretty and super-sweet style, and I was worried that I could not carry this look off.  Trying it on during the making of it didn't even assuage my fears.  I continued to be doubtful right up until the time I tried the finished thing on, finally.  And was relieved that I did actually still love it, even on me!  It is quite formal, I think; so I will be keeping it for smart and dressy occasions.  Although it does feel sooo nice against the skin, perhaps I should allow myself to wear it just whenever??  Hmmmm.   We shall just have to see about that one  ;)  anyway, tonight I wore it out for a special dinner at a swisho restaurant; and I felt perfectly chic.
This pattern stipulates a button band in the centre back, which I didn't think is a particularly classy finish, especially for the quite formal blouse I envisioned.  So I sewed up most of the centre back seam, and inserted a short invisible zip at the top for closure, instead.  This does look quite good, but now I wish I had made a little faced slit instead and sewed on a few pearl buttons with skinny loops for closure.  I think now that would have looked much nicer!


Details:
Blouse; Vogue 1170, ivory silk charmeuse
Skirt; Vogue 8363 with modifications, of burnt orange raw silk, details here, my review of this pattern here, and see this skirt styled in 6 different ways here
Shoes; Sandler, I've had these for donkey’s years and they match the blouse perfectly....

Pattern Description:
Very loose-fitting top has front keyhole opening with knot, back yoke, back band extended sleeves tied into knots and back button opening.
Pattern Sizing:
4-10; I made the size 10
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I thought it looked fantastic on the pattern cover, and I love the little knot and how the fabric falls in these beautifully draped folds across the front.  The little ties on the sleeves are really lovely.  The blouse is just so elegant and feminine.  A tad on the formal side for my everyday tastes, but a girl needs a few pretty dressed up tops too!
What don’t I like about this pattern… The instruction to hand gather the underarm seam seems like an uninspired finish, especially considering one has gone to the trouble to apply French seams throughout otherwise.  After hand-gathering mine I thought it looked shoddy.  I tried going over it with the machine but my fabric is very densely woven as well as slippery and the gathers are quite tight and I was terrified of ruining the (almost finished) top.  So I let it be, as partly a hand-gathered seam and partly machine-finished.  But I’m not completely happy with this bit.
I thought the back button band too casual a feature on what is quite a dressy little number, so I did something different on my version.
Fabric Used:
Silk charmeuse
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Instead of the button band down the centre back I substituted an invisible zip and sewed up the back seam.  But I wish now though I had left a short opening and used a couple of pearly buttons and skinny button loops for closure, I think that would have looked a lot nicer and neater.
I considered doing those narrow hems on the neckline and the sleeve ties as per the instructions.  Briefly.  But my fabric is exceedingly slippery dippery stuff; and so decided instead to use the rolled hem attachment on my overlocker for these edges.  This gives a much neater and more consistent finish for this fabric.  Trust me, I’m speaking from experience here…!
I finished the lower hem by hand.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Probably not, but one should never say never!  Maybe I will want another one of these one day, but will first have to think of some better way to finish off that underarm seam! 
I highly recommend this pattern for a very pretty and very feminine evening top.  It gets muchos compliments!
 Conclusion:
I'm very happy with my blouse now, but my fabric was very difficult to sew.  It didn’t want to be French seamed, and even less did it want to be narrow hemmed and then gathered and oversewn, as in the underarm bit.  Silk charmeuse is tricky at the best of times and in the simplest garments, and forcing it into curved French seams is not an easy ask.  But I am glad I persevered with this fabric, since I absolutely adore the pearlescent sheen of this luscious and luxurious fabric and it feels simply divine against the skin!!  And the end result is a very pretty and chic blouse, one that I will be very pleased to pluck out of the wardrobe for semi-formal events.

45 comments:

  1. How perfectly lovely! I adore the soft gathers, the centre twist and the sleeve ties! And the shot of the sunset looks just gorgeous with your skirt echoing the colours. Well done!!

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  2. Very cute! I can see why you might be worried about the style, but I agree, it works! And it must feel so luscious to have on!

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  3. Sheesh, I can't tell you how many times I passed on that pattern, but seeing your version IWANTIT!

    Gorgeous.

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  4. Oh, I love this blouse! Very feminine, and elegant, and luxurious. Great work!

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  5. Mine did NOT turn out as well as yours. I abandoned mine. I think it had something to do with the fabric I chose–not quite enough drape. Plus I couldn't get my head wrapped around all the fabric around my A-cup bustline. You look fantastic in yours! Maybe I'll give it another try with a more suitable fabric.
    Thanks for the review!

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  6. Beautiful blouse! Absolutely stunning and so elegant!

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  7. Very gorgeous, it looks lovely on you and I hope you get to wear it often! The draping shows the lustre of the silk so well!

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  8. Wonderful, it makes me want to buy this pattern and sew me such a lovely top right now!!

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  9. Wow! You can definitely carry off this blouse. It is *stunning* and makes the most of your lovely figure. I can imagine that sewing this blouse, to be beautifully finished on the inside out of silk charmuse was are real bear. I'm so impressed. You look just gorgeous in it.

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  10. The lustre and the drape of that blouse are so beautiful. It makes it really special and the fact that the fabric is so hard to work with only ensures it stays as exclusive as it should be - only to be treated with the upmost respect and care while sewing.

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  11. Sweet. An off-topic question - how far do you live from the beach? I am envying your the ability to go there for walks so frequently.

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  12. That fabric is stunning! I have sewn with it before and I used the simplest pattern possible, I can't imagine how difficult it was to get the fabric to cooperate for a more difficult pattern. I believe this is a perfect combination of fabric and pattern. Lovely.

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  13. Oh this is divine and it looks so beautiful with your Orange skirt.

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  14. Stunning! Really, really beautiful, and looks surprisingly versatile, too.

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  15. It is a very pretty blouse and you carry it off perfectly well. I am guessing that the fabric would probably always need to be something a bit slippery / shiny to pull off knots and to drape well and it is that sheen that makes the top seem formal, in my opinion. Do you think it would work in some very drapey knit or a very fine cotton? If so, then it could be dressed down a bit more perhaps.

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  16. I love what you´ve done with this one and it looks adorable on you. It really shows when a fabric is pricey, doesn´t it?
    Lovely!

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  17. Your blouse is gorgeous, as is your skirt. Great job on a beautiful outfit.

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  18. so pretty.....the silk charmeuse was a perfect fabric choice.

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  19. so pretty.....the silk charmeuse was a perfect fabric choice.

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  20. Just beautiful and very elegant on you. I have this pattern - now I'm inspired! The top will have to join my To Sew list!

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  21. What a beautiful, elegant blouse! I love your photos too with the sunset. Perfect background for your outfit.

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  22. It is a beautiful blouse. I don't sew at all, but I do have fabrics like this in my wardrobe...and I can only imagine your trepidation. It turned out so well.

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  23. Beautiful! And that first photo is so gorgeous, too.

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  24. That's a gorgeous blouse. It's making me rethink my pattern choice for the black floral silk charmeuse I have put aside to make the Colette Taffy blouse.

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  25. I love everything about this blouse. The ties, knotting, fabric, color, texture...it is so elegant on you.

    Inspiring.

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  26. I think you could pull off any look with your slim figure but it is a matter of getting used to something different. Your blouse is very pretty and special. Cream silk blouses are the epitome of elegance I think.

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  27. This is my all time favourite of yours. It is gorgeous. Love the silk.

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  28. It's just beautiful and looks perfectly lovely on you.

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  29. The blouse is gorgeous! I love it.

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  30. I saw this blouse BurdaStyle and wanted to come over and say how beautiful it is. I'm really enjoying looking through your blog and your stunning project!

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  31. ooh, love it! The fabric is stunning and I bet it just wouldn't work as well in some other fabric. So expensive silk it is! I'm sure it can be easily dressed down if you want to! :-)

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  32. This blouse is just divine and lovely on you. I agree that it also would be cute dressed down with jeans! It is elegant but modern.

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  33. As always so gorgeous! I love the way you style your photos.

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  34. Well done! I agree silk can be tricky. I have just finished a silk blouse myself. But the result is gorgeous

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  35. Such a pretty blouse! And the colors of the sky are just as lovely, beautiful photography!

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  36. Wow. What a beautiful blouse. It looks better than the one on the pattern!

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  37. Oh Carolyn, that is divine! I love the knot detail and the way it shapes the front. I hope you will have many occasions to wear it.

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  38. this is absolutely lovely. Reminds me of a purse I made. I love the way the sleeves. Very, very well done!

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