Dispatches From Whitcomb Street

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colette violet blouse

Ohhh, Colette’s Violet blouse. I’ve been wanting to make this one for a long time. 

I *love* this pattern. Peter Pan collar, blousy fit, super-girly gathers, buffet-friendly shape, I’m down.

Things I did: I used a lightweight cotton with a woven gray and black stripe for the body. It said Moda on it, so I guess it was a quilting cotton? Anyway, it had soft, swishy drape and I liked the striping a lot, so I went for it, piecing the yoke so I could get a little chevron going with the shoulder slopes. I used some black cotton batiste for a contrast collar and sleeve bands.

I used self-fabric for interfacing throughout. I cut a straight 4 for this top, and saw no changes I needed to make with a tissue-fitting, though now I’m sort of feeling like I need to pull the bust darts back a little bit to help them lie smoother.

The biggest change I made was gathering sleeves into a band instead of threading elastic through them or simply hemming them. To do this, I cut the wider mid-length sleeve and cut it shorter, to approximately 1” above where I wanted the sleeve to fall. I measured my bicep, added a bit for ease and seam allowances, and cut 3 1/4” x 13 1/4” bands (two for each sleeve) from the batiste. I prepped the two bands for each sleeve as one, pressed each in half lengthwise, and turned down a 3/8” hem on one side. I stitched the unpressed side RST with the bottom of the sleeve, pressed it down, and topstitched to catch the back of the sleeve band. Then I sewed the side sleeve seam in one go.

Confusing enough? It sounds really confusing written out, but it was easy, just like putting on a front band or a cuff. I love how clean it looks, and how those two little echoing pops of contrast color add a little visual structure. 

Things I wish I’d done: Next time, I’ll construct this like a men’s shirt, flat-felling the armscye and sleeve seams, for simplicity. OH and I’ll actually put the buttons on the correct side—I’m so used to making shirts for Terry that I just automatically went for it without paying attention.

Anyway. This is the first garment I’ve finished in way too long, so I’m feeling pretty good. Yay Colette, yay square buttons, yay puffy sleeves! 

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