I love my red Pastille Dress, but as much as I might wish to, I can’t get away with wearing it every day. After mulling it over for a bit, I decided to make a more practical blouse by shortening the Pastille pattern. With the fit already sorted out and a working, if cobbled -together, set-in sleeve addition, it was simple to shorten the dress pattern into a blouse. I cut out the bodice pieces normally and shortened the skirt pieces to about six inches long. I made the hem by folding over a half inch twice and sewing it down. This kept the hem just below the end of the darts. Once sewn up, the blouse has a sweet peplum shape, which is apparently rather “in” at the moment.
As a blouse, this pattern is both flattering and comfortable. It makes for a nice balance between dressy and casual without being boring. It works underneath a sweater or jacket for air-conditioning and rainy days. The blouse also used less than a yard of 60″ wide fabric, so it is a great option for when you have just a bit of fabric to use up. There will be more of these, in many, many colors.
I ended up installing a 7″ side seam zipper, partly because I didn’t have a long enough zipper to use at the center back and partly because I thought it might make it easier to get the blouse on and off. It worked out quite nicely.
Using the side zipper also made me realize what should be obvious but really isn’t. Before moving to DC, I benefitted from my mother’s years of sewing experience and her mad pinning skills. Anyone who has sewn garments knows how helpful it is to have a second set of hands around to help with pinning projects to check fit. I am still adjusting to sewing without my mother around to help by pinning projects and coaching me through the small disasters that come with every project. Thanks for being terrific Mum!
With this project, I discovered that it is much easier to check fit by pinning a side seam than by flailing about with pins trying to do up a center back seam. Fewer strained muscles and less bleeding with the side seam approach. I see a lot of side seam zippers in my future.
Amazingly, this red fake-linen streched to one more project. Stay tuned!