Monday, October 05, 2009
A Hint of the Past
Since my stashbusting mood didn't wane after my last project, I selected the next "victim" from my fabric stash. This time it was a gorgeous striped floral cotton from JoAnn's Premium Quilter's Collection -- I had sighed over this particular print (and its $9 per yard price tag...) several times -- and then it ended up in the Red Tag clearance section, with an extra 50% off, to boot! And since there was only a little over a yard left, I even got the remnant price on the last bit. Does it get any better?
My first mistake with this blouse was using a princess-seamed pattern (McCalls 3571, much modified). With stripes? Sometimes I wonder what I'm thinking -- or rather, if I'm thinking! Fortunately, the stripes are subtle enough that no real harm was done. I have my own copied "interfacing" version of this pattern, which allows me to change the design fairly easily (the original has a deep V in the back neckline, and also buttons up the back).
I opted for a V-neckline with this blouse, and remembered some gathered ecru Cluny lace in my stash. I simply topstitched it to the raw neckline edge, then bound the neck edge in self-bias binding. The buttons are salvaged from an old (and very inaccurate!) Civil War gown that I made years ago.
But the sleeves are my favorite part! I used the sleeve pattern from M3571, but I modified it to eliminate the extra seam. The gathered section at the bottom was inspired by an April Cornell design -- I've seen this type of thing before, but usually the puffed section is huge and frankly overwhelming! I cut a rectangle 1.5 times the length of the bottom sleeve width, then gathered it and applied it to the sleeve. The bottom is gathered into a band that's two inches shorter than the bottom sleeve width, to give the whole sleeve a more tapered look. The upper band of the gathered section is actually fake -- it's just bias binding hand-stiched to the sleeve so that the gathering is "framed" on both sides.
A pair of ties in the back wrap up the whole thing! I had *just* enough fabric for this project, and now I have the satisfaction of both a new blouse and a shrinking stash. I just love happy endings!