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!
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....
Very loose-fitting top has front keyhole opening with knot, back yoke, back band extended sleeves tied into knots and back button opening.
4-10; I made the size 10
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
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.
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.