Thursday, July 23, 2009

This bizarre monster that is slowly turning into an Edwardian Blouse

Well, I started this about three days ago, but as you all know I am HORRIBLE about keeping up with pictures because I'm so busy you know..working.

So be prepared for a very long update as I took pictures of what I had done until last night, then during all the crazy shenanigans (read: frantic sewing) I was actually taking pictures of LITTLE THINGS!

Let's start from square one: The pattern. I ordered a pattern from Ageless Patterns. I had never heard of them before, but it looked like a nice blouse. I probably should have read a review or..eight. Now, the shirt itself is not really all that complicated to me, a tight fitting lining, a loose flowing outer shirt gathered in strategic places to fit to the lining.

Well, thats all well and good but I need SOME direction. Instead; this is what I got for instructions


Yeah, that Was my reaction when I opened the envelope, frantically looking for directions. Just so you know, that is on the BACK of the drawing. A paragraph of partially misspelled 'directions.' Oh well.

So I lobbed those out the window (frantically scrambling to find them actually a bit later.) and continued on how best I saw fit. So I started with the lining. One very odd bit about this pattern is there are NO SIDE BACKS. I understand that modern dress shirts, and all shirts also dont have side backs, but being so used to making older things (early victorian, elizabethan etc.) this caught me off guard and I actually did hunt for a side back piece..but nothing. So onward I went.

Sewed it all up, darted it all up, and I had a tight fitting lining, not so tight around the bust. Its not supposed to be, pigeon breast and all and the shirt is floppy so I suspect that since the outer shirt is sewn to the lining on the front edges, it should mimic that looseness.

Now the lining is NOT loose around the waist, therefore the shirt will be tight there, but that area is not of much consequence considering there is the belt that goes around the waist. The shirt will puff out around that accordingly.

So I mentioned that there was a great need of gathering. No really, there is. it seems almost EVERY SEAM needs to be gathered to meet the lining at the places required: shoulder, neck, back, elbow to the cuff. That will come later though so lets start with whole thing laid out flat.

I wish I had laid out my lining to compare the size but just take my word for it. It's pretty friggin big. I had taken this unfortunately after I gathered up the shoulder seams but thats ok, still plenty is left un gathered, as shown by blue dots where it all will eventually need to be gathered. Don't worry those are drawn on by the computer.

That is a lot of gathering. But soldier on I did andm as I mentioned before started with the shoulder seams to gather it to fit the front peice.

So with this successfully gathered I was able to sew the shoulder seams together, and move onto gathering the back to fit the lining back (which yes, I made sure fit me.)


Aaaaaand Finish. That was the beginning of my sewing the outer fabric to the lining.

Next was the gathering of the neckline so that it would fit nicely into the standing collar.


Finish! As you can see at this point I've completely mounted the outer fabric to the lining around the neck and down the front. The armscye and the bottom has been left untouched.

At this point, since the majority of the BODY was done, it was time to take on the sleeves. Which..might I add, were terrifying to look at. Now, the sleeves themselves, ONE SLEEVE was bigger than the enitre blouse body sewn together and laid out. I'm not even stretching the truth there.

As you can see by my enthusiastic blue scribles, this also requires a shit ton of gathering, and a box pleat at the top there running down the sleeve. It gives a nice effect.

This took me a couple of tries to figure out how to attach it to the lining sleeve that has the cuff already attached to it. So I decided lets start from the bottom up, and I gathered all around the bottom of the sleeve from dot to dot and pinned it like there was no tomorrow to the cuff and under sleeve.

I AM A SQUIIIID ok no not really, its just the outer fabric pinned right side to right side on the lining sleeve which is tight.

I then pulled it up, pins in not sewn just to get an idea of the look

So I noticed once I accomplished this step, that the outer fabric was not only must wider, as it should be since the sleeve is baggy, but it is also much longer. I couldnt figure this out and by this point it was eleven at night and I needed to go to bed. So I folded it all up prepared to do the other sleeve tomorrow. It dawned on me this morning that the sleeve is supposed to not only be puffy but baggy too, hanging over the cuff a bit. That explains the longer. Sometimes showers cause bouts of smartness.

Anyhow, I have a long way to go, including the front placket that makes a false front to hide the buttons, making button holes for down the front to close the thing, and making the belt.

More to come tomorrow as I will be working tirelessly tonight.

And this is what the final product should end up looking like.

Lets see how close I can get. Keep your fingers crossed, this has gone together way too easy and its making me nervous.


  1. I love what the blouse is supposed to look like! Fingers crossed that the pattern adds up to that! The fabric you chose is darling too!

  2. That's going to be beautiful when it's done!

    I made a similar blouse a few years ago for a costume for a theme wedding. I'm pleased by the way it came out, but I wish I had thought of having a lining in the sleeve! Would have made it much easier. Oh well, that's what I get for working from pictures instead of patterns, haha.

    I'm going to be doing another one soon though, I think (in a different fabric, perhaps buttoning down the back and with a front yoke). How did this one end up? Is it all done? Do you have any pics? I'd love to see them if you do! :-)