Number 125, Come on down.....
The Everyday Tote

The Summer Blouse

OK - it's settled.  I am going to dish more about the projects I made from Weekend Sewing.  I figure a good place to start is the beginning.  And the beginning for me was the Summer Blouse.

Feb 17 012_1_1

As I mentioned to Heather, this was the project that got me itching to sew.  I looked around the sewing room for some suitable fabric and really didn't have much to choose from.  I tend to buy small amounts of quilting fabrics - a yard or less generally.  The ones I did have more yardage of were busy, colorful prints that I didn't think I would wear as a shirt.  Then, peeking out of a pile of wool, I saw a corner of this pink and white check shirting that I had bought at Mood in New York over two years ago.  I pulled it out and was happy to see I had 2.5 yards.  The choice was made.  For the facing, I used the only Liberty lawn I had in my stash.  I had cut into it for my string x quilt and had a little less than a half a yard, but it too was enough.

I chose to sew a size Medium as I know from knitting sweaters that my bust measurement is 38".  I was a bit hesitant, but cut into the good stuff anyhow.  I really hate making muslins.  I know you are supposed to, but I just don't bother.  No worries, though.  This fits great in the bust.  Perfect, actually.  I am a C cup and there was no bust adjustment needed.  Bonus.

Sewing the facing for the placket is pretty easy.  Heather's directions are really clear and I found it simple enough.  The little band on the inside of the neck is bias strips and pretty easy to do, also.  I just made sure with both of these steps to take my time and really read the directions all the way through.  It worked.  The only thing I did differently here was that my little button loop is just folded in on itself, not a turned tube like Heather describes.  Easier for me without the proper tube-turning tool.

Mar 11 022_1_1

Setting the sleeves was easy.  Heather explains it well and I had done that before so I was pretty confident that it would work out.  Once I got the sleeves in, I tried the blouse on and found that it was a bit billowy for me.  I am narrowest in the ribcage with curves (read:  big on top and on bottom) and the bell shape didn't flatter me much.  I set my machine on the basting stitch and took in the sides.  I sewed straight down from the dart to the bottom - the seam ended up being about an inch at bottom end.  I tried it on and it was good so I re-did it with a normal stitch length and then cut the seams accordingly.

Summer blouse 002a_1_1

The length was a bit on the short side for me.  I am long in the torso and I normally add length, but kind of spaced on that part.  So, necessity being the mother of invention and all, I cut some bias strips out of the facing fabric and sewed them to the bottom of the blouse to make up some of that length.  It worked well, but next time I would just add length to the actual pattern pieces.

Summer blouse 006_1_1

After having the blouse on and off a bunch of times while fitting it, the slip stitch I did to close up the deep v of the placket started coming loose.  I knew this was going to drive me crazy so I took the blouse back to the machine and used a smallish zig zag stitch and sewed right over the seam line.  It looks good and hasn't budged a bit.  I then sewed on the small, green vintage button.  I don't ever button the blouse though - next time I would probably skip the button loop and button.

Summer blouse 009_1_1

Questions?  Fire away.  I will answer any questions in the comments so everyone can benefit.  Back tomorrow with the everyday tote.



Erin, it looks so cute. I've loved reading about your process of sewing the clothes in the book, I was thinking about trying some but, like you, don't naturally think about sewing clothes for myself. After having the benefit of your posts, I may just have to try one of the projects, I'm actually thinking the wraparound skirt (thank goodness I read that you need an extra panel). xo


My book should be in today and I am itching to start. How long did the shirt take to make? I have a date night with my man this weekend and would like something he hasn't seen to wear.

Sarah Jackson

I'm tackling that one this weekend, along with the wrap skirt. Do you think you could do this in a quilting cotton weight, or do I need to go shopping for something lighter weight? I too, have curves, so I want something that'll drape properly. I should probably make a muslin. Hmm....

I adore yours - especially that sweet facing fabric. So great.


ok, i could maybe give this shirt a try. thanks for the length tip. i am longer in the torso as well, and love a longer top anyway.

Mama Urchin

Such a cute top. I find this happens on plackets too, the zig zag was a great idea.


I think your top looks great! I ended needing to add more length too. I made a large and I actually thought I would need to add a little more because Ihave a large chest and usually were an Xl. well the pattern is genrously sized so next time I will just make a Lg and add some length. I love the zig zag you added in the front I am going to have to try that too!


Thanks for the details, erin. These will totally be handy when I finally get around to sewing for myself again...


This pattern looks to be pretty generous in the sizing. I have a 34" bust, but don't like things to fit tightly, would you recommend a small or medium?


Cute, Cute, Cute!


White swiss dot...that is the fabric I am going to use! I may come over and try it on before I make it! Yours turned out beautiful!


I love it, and now I want to make one too. And I love your Orla tablecloth in the background.


I really love the way it turned out. I think this means it's time for me to buy the book and give it a whirl myself...


I love the details on your process and what you liked/didn't like. I must get this book...


very lovely very springy -love the fabric combo.


that fabric is so perfect. great that you already had it in your stash. i never make muslins either. too anxious. it came out great.


Erin, thanks for putting in all the details of your process! That's so helpful. I'd be thrilled to read this kind of thing about the other projects you've done.

I really want this book now!

The 6 O'Clock Stitch

Beautiful! I'm itching to buy the book too. I've thumbed through it but I think I'm going to have to go back and get it.


Erin, thanks for the details. I would have HATED to cut the nani iro I bought for this too short! I'm going to make cap sleeves, though. This is darling!


Dani - I didn't keep track of how many hours it took me to make it, but I would guess in the 3 to 4 hour range, which includes tracing the pattern and cutting.

Sarah J - I think you definitely use quilting cotton. Nothing much heavier than that, though.

Liz - The small is for up to a 36" bust, the medium for 39". I am 38" and the medium fits great. I'd go for the small if I were you.


Thank you thank you thank you for introducing me to this book! There are so many new sewing and crafting books out there it's sometimes tough to know which ones are worth the 2nd look. I just bought me a copy based on what I've seen here and I love it!!


Erin you are a superstar! Can't wait for my book to come, and I'll be along to the fabric shop to get myself going! Thanks for the inspiration.


You are just my sewing muse, the kind I need right now to get motivated. All the projects are fantastic Erin.


I love the blouse. I think you did a great job, it looks perfect, and it's so cute. I also like the fabrics - gorgeous!


I'm glad that you posted about it being pretty true in terms of the bust size. I have the book on the way to me, and I bought it mainly for this shirt :D


I am so surprised by the short length!

In the lovely photo it seems like it would be long in the torso, where I am really short-waisted, so this was most helpful to read.

The bust business was helpful, too, as I also hate making muslins.

Thanks so much for sharing: I can't wait for more juicy tidbits!!!




such a cute top! i love the checks with the floral combo! i'm dying to get the book and this shirt definitely adds to the reasons why!!


Your top looks so cute and comfortable! I'll have to gat a copy of that book.


thank you so much for sharing these details! your top is so the way you mixed the fabrics!! what kind of sewing machine do you have? and you do quilting, too...does the machine work well for that and clothes?


Mary - I have a Bernina that I love. I use it for everything - quilting, too.

katie pedersen

Love the fabric combo. I own the book, but haven't gotten beyond bedtime dreaming.

heather at brown robin

Wow! Thanks for all that detail. It looks great! You are always so wonderful about sharing so that others can learn. Have a great weekend!


That is such a cute blouse! I must get that book.


I agree about the loop - IMO the strap is much too narrow to turn - I chose to use an elastic cording. Did the placket placement lines on the bodice line up with the placket once you had ironed in 3/8' on the M size pattern? They didn't on the L size pattern. I just used a crease down the middle of the bodice to guide me.
Great looking blouse! Good work!
Jennifer in KS

suzie sews

super cute...


i am making this now! i decided to use an old sheet in a cream color, so if it doesn't work out, no big deal, but if it does work i could dye it or maybe even a bit of embroidery. thank you for the encouragement and inspiration! xo


Just wanted to say thanks for such a helpful post. I made this shirt this afternoon - the first garment I've tried sewing in more than 5 years – and having your notes to look at made the process a *lot* easier. I can't believe I just made something that I'll be able to wear to work tomorrow!

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