So, wow, it’s been another long while since my last post, and I feel like a very lazy, bad blogger. It seems like every time I post, I say some version of this.
It’s not like I haven’t been sewing–I really have! I’ve sewn A LOT since my last post, and some of it has even been for ‘real life’ rather than my historical dress-up activities, so there’s plenty to post here.
Still, I think I want to start with something slightly older than a year, since they have become staples of my wardrobe and a Tried-and-True (TNT) pattern for me: the True Bias Sutton Blouse.
I really love this style, how easy, comfortable and chic the top looks. I like the kimono-style sleeves and the shoulder yoke, which makes mixing fabrics easy. The back inverted pleat ensures plenty of movement. I love that the yoke is French seamed to give a clean finish, and the seam finish on the side seams gives a great finish, too. I really love how the instructions are written and the fact that the neckline finish–usually the toughest part–is done almost immediately to get it out of the way, and it works really well. Although, I needed a longer bias strip than the pattern provided. The only fitting change I made was to lengthen below the bust apex area to accommodate my longer bust curve. That’s it. It’s so roomy I didn’t bother with anything else.
These blouses are fantastic to wear under a blazer with skinny jeans. I love the layered, relaxed look they give to this kind of outfit, with their loose silhouette, luxurious fabrics, and the hems that peek from under the back of a blazer.
For my first version, I used a silk broadcloth in a really cool shattered plaid/marbled print that I got as a 1 1/8 yard remnant; this was for the main body. Since there wasn’t enough for the body and yoke pieces, the yoke is a cotton/acrylic lace with very little stretch. And yes, blue and black are mixed together in this top. I used a bias-cut hand-dyed silk ribbon for the bias facing.
This one is in a lightweight silk jacquard, deep black. I shortened the length from my first version slightly. Otherwise, none, not even for my normal fitting issues because it’s such a loose fit they don’t really show up. I used a bias strip of the fabric to finish the neckline.
Version 3 and 4:
Both in hand-dyed/painted silk charmeuses. Version 3 has a solid-color contrast silk charmeuse yoke. Bias strips of the blouse fabrics finish the necklines. But I lost the photos I took of version 4 in a hard drive crash a while ago, so I’ll have to take new ones.
Version 5 is currently a UFO, and has been for nearly 2 years now! I got really distracted by other projects. It’s a lovely hammered silk charmeuse in ivory. My goal is to finish it before this winter ends, as these tops are ideal for the winter/spring transition (and for fall!).
Variation: a shift dress
A couple years ago, I made the Sutton Blouse into a shift dress that … well, basically looks like a brown paper bag. I call it my paper bag dress, in fact. But it’s very comfortable and breezy and great for hot, sticky summers, as it’s made from a beige linen/rayon blend (with a gold Lurex thread). It has the same shape/silhouette as the blouse, the same high-low hem, it’s just longer–about knee length. However, I don’t like exposing my knees (hello, work-pony physique), so for any future versions–and I do want to make some–the front hem will be lengthened to match the back. The wrinkles from sitting all day in this dress pull the front hem up even more so it looks way too short. But really, the hem falls to just above the knee.
Well, that’s catch-up post #1.