Friday, May 02, 2008

Baker's Dozen

While I find it difficult to believe, I have now completed my thirteenth blouse from Simplicity 4499. Some of the first blouses I made from this pattern are showing their age, and have now taken their ranks among my "work" shirts.

For this blouse, I combined several elements to make it look different from my other blouses. I used the Peter Pan collar that I drafted for the blouse this winter.

The only outside inspiration I had came during a browse through the Laura Ashley website; I love the narrow band on the puffed sleeve of their Anchor Print Shirt.

I decided to skip the back darts and use side ties to cinch the waist. I think ties are my new favorite detail!

I used metal buttons, salvaged from a discarded garment. But by far my favorite detail is the ruffle on each side of the buttons. I had seen this technique used on blouses before, but wondered how on earth they prevent raveling. It took me a while to realize that cutting the ruffle on the bias would eliminate raveling! I put in two rows of gathering stitches, gathered each ruffle to the correct length, and sewed right down the middle of the ruffle. It was so simple!

Hmm, since 13 is an "unlucky" number, perhaps I should make another blouse. I don't believe in luck, of course -- but any excuse for another blouse is a good excuse!


  1. Shannon,

    You are so clever! Your shirt looks beautiful - I am in awe! :)

    I have just completed my FIRST EVER sewing project... and am keen to sew more. Do you have any tips for easy projects I could try?


  2. Beautiful as usual, Shannon!


  3. Shannon, Your welcome! My mom found it and she pulled me to the computer to hear it and ever since I've listened to it probably over 50 times! I even went looking for it to download.

    I LOVE those shirts! I can't sew a straight line. But I'm currently making a purse for my momma. I did the first part good then got mixed up but was able to somehow fix it so it looked half decent! All I need now it to finish the top seams and then the handles. Unfortunatly it won't have pockets.

    How long have you been sewing?


  4. That is another very lovely blouse! I so desire to find time to do all the sewing I want to(esp. some for me)but find it so hard to pin some time down. Ah well, I am inpired by all you create and hopefully I will come to do so well as you!

    Lots of love,

  5. Hi Shannon! Thankyou for commenting on my blog...I thought I would have a peek at yours too : ) I love your blouse, the print of the material is lovely, and the buttons, and well...the whole thing is lovely!

    Rachel xxxx

  6. Very nice! I love seeing all your new projects, and this one doesn't fail to please the eye. :-) What kind of dressform is that that's modeling your shirt?

  7. Thank you so much! All of your kind comments are greatly appreciated!

    Natasha, congratulations on your first project! One easy project that I like is an online tutorial for a half-circle wrap skirt. I think it would be fairly simple even for a beginner, and you get a skirt when you're done :-) Here's the address to one of my blog posts with pictures of it and links to the instructions:

    Jami, my mom has taught us basic hand sewing skills from the time we were little, but I started sewing on my own around the age of 13. My first "on-my-own" project was the Sensibility Regency Gown! :-)

    Sommer, I hope you find some time for sewing soon -- While I was in college I couldn't stand not being able to go into the sewing room! I think I'm making up for it now ;-)

    Rachel, welcome! I'm afraid you'll simply have to imagine the cyber welcome mat and cup of hot, steaming tea.

    Laura, The dressform is a paper-tape form. It's like the duct-tape double, but instead you have someone wrap you in layers of wet paper (that's how you activate the adhesive). The first time we tried it I had my sister apply a strip too tightly around my ribcage and ended up with a panic attack! I had never experienced such a thing before. But the second time was better, and I made sure I was relaxed. It works well as a display form, but I don't think it's accurate as a dress form (mainly because I had to breathe while it was being made ;-).

    Yours in Christ,

  8. I think you've convinced me... I'm getting ahold of that pattern somehow. I think I saw it on ebay. :)


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