The Steampunk Blouse

Actually, taken out of the outfit, it’s just vintage-y, isn’t it?  I had a vision of a delicate blouse with lots of lace and ruffles.  Something edwardian.  When I ordered my fabric though, I had a hard time finding everything I had in mind.  I found ivory lace and clip dot voile but I had to settle for white lawn for the underlining (bib and bodice only).  No ivory, cream or even beige lace to use as trim. I guess it’s just as well.  It makes the blouse more wearable for everyday.

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So.  Blouse pattern.  At first, I lazily looked around for a pattern like I wanted, with that bib front and a gather at the sleeve.  I didn’t look very hard because I had this nagging feeling that I really should try drafting it myself.  So I got my books out and read.  I went with Pattern Making for Kids’ Clothes because it includes slopers and blocks. And the sleeve sloper is awesome! It allows for more range of movement in the back than the front, just like you need! I would have loved to start from measurements but access to my model was limited.  She’s in school all day and has homework to do…  The bodice slopers from the book come with 2″ of wearing ease.  It looked okay but I was afraid the sleeve might be a bit tight.  I added 1/4″ to each side on the front, back, and sleeves. So 1″ more ease in the body.  Not enough to truly change the look of the blouse but enough to make it a bit more comfortable.  And 1/2″ more ease on the sleeves.

For the bib front, I cut out my shape and then added 1″ width at the front for a 1/2″ button placket that extends 1/4″ either side of the center (1/4″ extra for the placket + 1/2″ for the placket facing + 1/4″ to turn under and have a clean finish inside).  I never messed with the neckline since I wanted it pretty high.

For the gathers in the sleeve, I made a slit down the center and added 1.5″ at the top only.  So a V shaped opening.  I adjusted the bottom to be a straight line.

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It’s blurry but it’s the only one I have that shows the sleeve gathers sort of well.

I never added seam or hem allowances to the pattern but I made notes next to the seams and hems telling me to add them.  I only added 1″ for the hem (and ended up using only 1/2″ of it) but I should have added 2″.  The blouse is a tiny bit short.  If I ever find ivory lace trim, I’ll add it there…

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Why must this child stand like a banana?

I finished the neckline with a bias tape facing and piping.  That ate up 1/4″ so E didn’t feel like she was choking (it doesn’t take much) but I still had the high neck look I was going for.

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The buttons here are actually decorative.  I meant to do buttonholes but the lace wasn’t cooperating at all.  I tried over and over on a some scraps but nope.  I didn’t want to but I had to.  Sew in snaps.  Pearl snaps might have been cute but I’m not sure the lace would have agreed to that either.  Besides, I don’t actually have any pearl snaps…  I hesitated between these metal buttons and something more romantic.  Ultimately, I’m happy I used these.  They add a tiny bit of “edge” and work better with the blazer.

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But guys!  I drafted a blouse!  And it was a success!

Creative mommy at home to two wonderful little girls, trying to juggle family, sewing, exercise, family, knitting, photography, and did I mention family?

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3 comments on “The Steampunk Blouse
  1. Charity says:

    Pattern design is really fun, isn’t it? You really nailed the vintage look with the gathered sleeves, bib, and feminine fabrics. Have you looked on Etsy for trim? That’s where I look when I need lace of any kind, and I usually find something pretty close to what I had in mind.

    • It is and thank you! I never even thought of Etsy. I visit over there a lot and then I completely forget about it when I need supplies. I’ll have to make more of an effort. I’m sure I would have found exactly the right thing. Though, if I remember correctly, I wasn’t quite sure of exactly what I was going to do beyond the lace bib.

  2. […] chose it because I wanted lots of drape.  For the sleeves, I used leftover stretch lace from that vintage-y blouse I made for a PRP challenge. I was hoping the combination of lace and drape would make the plain old baseball tee look a little […]

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