I’ve been knitting Christmas presents for quite some time, but this year marked the advent of gift sewing. There had been earnest plans to be sewing away busily last semester, but for various reasons, it never happened. I wrapped up the semester in DC and headed to the family home without having sewn a stitch since August. There was a back log of projects I had cut out in the summer and never gotten to as well as a number of garments that needed tweaking in order to be wearable. But none of these were quite so urgent as the blouse I had cut out but never made for my mother. Christmas was coming, the goose was getting fat, time to sew things, really, really fast?
The pattern is Simplicity 2339, a blouse pattern with very classic details, which is a good thing as both my mother and I can be awfully particular about our blouses. It is not the quickest or the simplest blouse pattern, but it certainly gives good results. We decided to go with the collarless, ruffle-less option, which I think was a good choice. After some research, I’ve decided to call the fabric “shot cotton,” a term I’ve not heard used before but apparently designates cotton fabric woven of two different colors, in this case red and black, to produce a somewhat iridescent effect. I picked up this lovely piece of burgundy fabric at the Exquisite Fabrics moving sale last year.
While it was nice to find yardage at discounted prices, I am beyond annoyed at the lack of fabric store options in the DC area. Exquisite Fabrics moved from Georgetown in DC to Culpepper, VA which google maps tells me is 1 hour and 40 minutes away in good traffic. Not happening. The closest remaining option is G Street Fabrics in Rockville, MD, which is fine for what it is, but not the kind of variety I had hoped for in a city the size of DC. Rant over.
Do you see that cuff? That is a proper cuff that does the whole cut-out and overlap thing like store bought dress shirts. I am ridiculously proud of that cuff… and the other one too, naturally. I think it is the cuff details that lend this shirt its air of credibility. I am also completely charmed by the construction of the back yoke. I am partial to yokes on blouses because they just fit better, but this yoke is lined. the finish is so nice and neat, inside and out, and the extra layer of fabric gives the shirt more structure and stability. Also, little gray flower buttons.
As I mentioned earlier, the pattern was cut out before going home, and I managed to put the blouse together in odd hours during the week before Christmas. The project went together smoothly, but there were enough unfamiliar details that it was not a particularly quick project. The cuffs, while clever and sharp, were fussy the first time through. I imagine the next time I make one of these, the cuff directions will seem less befuddling.
While the blouse was together on Christmas Eve, I am ashamed to admit that it was informally gifted with some sewing assembly required in the buttonholes. I’ve not made buttonholes with my current sewing machine before, and had left manual in DC. Rather than experiment on a rather nice blouse, Mom got a project for Christmas.
Sorry Mom. But the buttonholes you made with your trusty sewing machine look terrific.
Mom seems very happy with the blouse, and I’m fairly certain she is not simply humoring her daughter as she is currently making up another one for herself in a pretty cotton lawn. Sewing Success!
Many thanks to my mother for letting me snap a few pictures even though it was cold and dreary!
Up next – a dress for Spring or the foibles of my bridesmaid dress reinventions, either way, it’s going to be very green around here.