Sewing Projects {Summer Blouses}

05 July 2011 | by Jen in Sewing

Happy Tuesday!  How was your weekend?  I spent the better part of mine sewing…I haven’t felt this productive sewing-wise in a long, long time.  I’m pleased as punch with my new summer clothes; for many years (and even now) I’ll sew something that I never end up wearing either because of fit, comfort or that my homemade creation really looks “home sewn”–and not in a good way.

Most of the blouses I have I think of as work clothes and I rarely wear them on other occasions besides going to the office.  So I thought it was high time I made some casual blouses that I could wear to work but would also want to throw one on with jeans or a skirt in lieu of a t-shirt.  I used voile for all three which is perfect for warm weather.

Two of the tops use the above pattern, McCall’s M5977.  I chose this pattern because it has no closure and I liked the ruffles around the neck (reminded me of 1920s and ’30s styles).  I made the first view minus the armhole ruffles (which I think look weird dropping down like that).

I made this one as fitted as I could and still get it over my head.  I reduced the ruffle by almost 40% and edged it with black to mimic the design in the fabric.

The other one I made has a slightly looser fit and fuller ruff.  I also added a ribbon belt and gather under the bust just a little to give it shape.  (Because of the eyelet border this blouse would be worn untucked unlike the one above).

The last top is from New Look pattern 6022:

I really liked the top part of the dress (particularly View B) and while I had my misgivings about the boxiness of it I went ahead and started to make it, thinking it would look better with some adjustments.  Nope.  Once I sewed up the side seams and tried it on it became clear this it was going to hang off of my like an insubstantial rectangle and even a belt around the waist wouldn’t be enough to make this wearable in public.

So I cut my losses and chopped off the bottom and kept going with the neckline and sleeves.  Thankfully I really love it as a blouse (and wore it yesterday!).

I may try to make this again as a dress but would combine the top with a different dress pattern that I’ve had success with like BBW’s 3835.

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Comments! What are your thoughts, dears? | 10 Comments


  • At 2011.07.05 12:14, Laura said:

    I love them all! I believe I have the McCall pattern too. I have a piece of Liberty cotton I purchased over a year ago, and I think the McCall pattern may be perfect. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • At 2011.07.06 08:39, Artifax said:

      Those are cute! It’s always nice to have some pretty casual clothes to wear.

      Just stopped by to thank you. A month of two ago you had posted about the new Enola Holmes book you were reading. I’d never heard of those and they sounded fun so I went and got the audiobook version of the first one from the library … and my whole family ended up raptly listened to it with me. Fun story, great time! We now have book #2 on reserve. Thanks so much for sharing that :)

      • At 2011.07.06 09:35, Amy said:

        I love all of these! The fabrics are great! I will have to look into the top pattern.

        • At 2011.07.06 11:40, Casey said:

          How darling!!!! I have to admit, when I first saw that first pattern I wasn’t too keen on it, but this just goes to show you that fabric choices can make a *huge* difference. I adore your blouses to death! So, so cute! You really have the best taste in fabric, Jen. :)

          • At 2011.07.06 11:58, Elizabeth said:

            I LOVE all of them!! I like what you did with the top one, with the edging on the ruffle.
            I have a similar pattern, by Cynthia Rowley simplicity 2593, that fits real well with a slight curve, so it doesn’t look boxy.

            • At 2011.07.06 16:59, lsaspacey said:

              Of course they are all so lovely and in incredible fabrics. Maybe I should add some ruffle-age to my Swiss dot Sorbetto?

              • At 2011.07.07 06:35, wool free and lovin knit said:

                Oh gosh, those tops are all adorable the first one is my favourite. You personalized them so much I don’t think anyone would recognize them from the pattern you used. Sigh, makes me wish I could learn to sew!

                • At 2011.07.07 07:17, Nancy said:

                  These are really sweet blouses. I love them. I made the McCalls’s pattern last year and now you have inspired me to pull it out and make it again. I might have a Liberty or swiss dot to try it on.

                  • At 2011.07.07 13:05, sarah said:

                    so lovely, the second one with the ruffle and tie is my favorite :)

                    • At 2011.07.11 06:40, Tasha said:

                      I absolutely love these! What vision you have, too. I would never have looked at that McCall’s pattern and thought it could turn out to be anything I’d like, but your blouses are fantastic. Really inspiring! Love the fabric choices, too. I’m working with lawn for the first time now that I got over my fear of French seams, so I’m hoping to stock up on lawn and voile for summery project soon.

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