Work in Progress: Floral Wool Blouse


I am working with a beautiful floral wool that reminds me of Ukrainian and Russian floral head scarves, or Frida Kahlo, my style crush. It will become a 7/8 sleeve blouse with pleated neckline and a slightly drop-off shoulder.

Source: Burdastyle

Source: Burdastyle

The original pattern is from Burdastyle magazine 05-2015, #116. I made a few changes to it by eliminating the hemband (not sure the term is correct) and the pleats at the hem, as well as the center back seam, which, I think, may have been added to make finishing of the neckline easier. This center back seam would be an eye sore on this floral print - so away with it! Finally, the original blouse has a zipper in the side seam and I don't see the need of adding any closure for this wide style.

Progress so far

The muslin is done: it is a relatively simple blouse and hardly any changes were needed. The drop-off shoulder was unexpected - you can hardly see it on the image or the technical drawing - but I liked the easy and relaxed look and so I leave it as is. Generally, I often have to shorten the shoulder length on Burdastyle patterns because of my narrow shoulders, but with this style I'd like to believe that it was intentional.

I am now thread-tracing the fabric and hope to finish shoulder seams and the neckline this week. With only a few hours available for sewing I have to use the time efficiently.

Couture techniques

As usual I cannot resist using couture sewing techniques - I am not in a rush after all. There are a few decisions to be made, and I still haven’t made up my mind on some of those.

Seam finish:
The wool I am working with is quite lightweight and somewhat transparent. French seams are an option, but I actually prefer more drapey and less bulky hand overcasting.

Neckline treatment:
My choice of the bias bound neckline makes things more complicated because of the V-neck in the back. In addition, I could not find any perfect tutorials in my couture resources. Facing is an option because I could cross over the bias strips at the V-point and then conceal the ends on the wrong side under the facing. However, adding facing would also add two more layers of wool at the neckline – more bulk... There is a Banded V-Neck on Woven Fabric tutorial in Lynda Maynard's Couture Sewing Techniques; with some adjustments I could use it to finish the neckline.

Armhole treatment:
This one is straightforward, and I will use a technique described in Claire Shaeffer’s Couture Sewing Techniques. I will try to write a quick tutorial on this if I am happy with the result.  

The hem:
Plain hem is my preferred choice. It is made by folding and stitching the hem allowance to the wrong side of the garment.  I think it will work best with this garment style, since it has hardly any flare, producing a flatter and drapier hem finish than a narrow hem.

Any suggestions or ideas?

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  1. Absolutely stunning fabric and looking forward to seeing this, especially the hand overcast seams.

  2. What a beautiful fabric! And the pattern is gorgeous. I'm looking forward seeing your blouse. Also, if you could post about the neckline treatment, that would be so lovely.
    Nice to see you back blogging. I have always enjoyed your posts.

  3. This is amazing fabric and I love that you have the time to use couture techniques. I will watch with interest as the blouse evolves. You have inspired me to go back to Claire's book and pick a new technique to explore

  4. Love the fabric! I would probably do a facing, so I'm looking forward to se an option to that.

  5. I and all my co-workers at love this gorgeous pattern! We cannot wait to see this blouse finished! I bet it will be stunning.

  6. The fabric is gorgeous! May I ask you where did you find it? I am looking forward to see and learn from you how you will treat the armholes. I am very happy that you return to the blogosphere! Thank you for sharing your sewing experience with the world. Greetings from Germany!

  7. Beautiful fabric. I vote for a bias bound neckline. Having the center back seam makes bias binding easier but it's not too difficult to do a mitered inside corner. I agree with you about slow sewing and doing it right. Please post a pic of the finished blouse.

  8. The pattern is interesting, but the fabric is absolutely gorgeous. I am looking forward to seeing the garment when finished.

  9. I've been so obsessed with this fabric and now I have an excuse to buy it and use it!

  10. thanks for the post. can help us. We have a good collection of African fabrics. Visit us hope you guys love them. We will pleasure to have you guys
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