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April 2

Double Collar Blouse

Last week on Sew Weekly was the Spring Pantone Challenge, where we picked a color from the Spring Pantone series and make up something.

Since aqua/Tiffany blue is my favorite color, you would think that I’d have a lot of clothing in the hue, but I don’t.  So right off the bat, I wanted to make something in “Cockatoo” aka aqua, and I only had one fabric in my closet that was close to the Pantone color.

I may have said it before, and will most likely repeat myself again, but I generally buy fabrics with a specific project in mind.  The pattern I intended for this fabric is Butterick 7592:

The blouse is itty bitty, on the upper left-hand corner.  I picked out this pattern from last year’s Colette Spring Palette Challenge and never got around to making it.  I did make up a muslin and could never get the fit quite right, and as a result the muslin has been sitting on my chair ever since.  Yes…. it’s been sitting on my dining room chair for a year.

Being a bit better at fitting now than I was a year ago, I decided to re-muslin this blouse and use the aqua to make up this little blouse.

As you may see…the fit is still a bit off.  When my arms are down the shoulder seams are tight, but when my arm is bent it’s all good.  Additionally, I need to take in the side seams above my waist and also take deeper tucks in the back bodice.

The back is a  bit billowy:

But I still love this blouse.  :)  I’m intending on making another for the summer, I just need to make a few tweaks.

The pattern’s original collar is the little aqua one, but I thought the blouse needed something “extra” and I added the white collar below it for some depth.  The white collar is exactly 1″ wider than the aqua one.  I actually got the idea from this image I have in my pinterest favs.

One thing I hate is having thick seams on light blouses, or on anything for that matter.  My blouse is a very light weight, drapey cotton and with having 2 collars it would result in having 6 seam allowances, not including interfacing (blouse, collars, plus facing).  My home-grown solution to this is to use silk organza as the undercollar.

I cut a piece of organza the same as my collar piece and stitched them together as if it was the undercollar.  The organza acts as both the undercollar to finish the seams neat and tidy at the edges as well as providing some structure to the collar.  Needless to say my collar is nice and lightweight and no one is the wiser.

One thing that proved difficult on my blouse were the buttonholes.  I spent at least 3 hours sewing buttonholes on my blouse, and they weren’t done by hand either.  heh

I was determined to try out my automatic buttonholer and the first one went ooookay, and all of the rest were disasters.  I gave up on my one buttonholer and tried out my second one and it also was a disaster.  I think they need to be taken into a shop for some repair or greasing.

Check out these beauties!!

What’s that?  You want a detail shot of the horrendous buttonholes!?

That top one is soo bad!  hehe

I gave up and just sewed them using my 4 step machine setting which much better results:

The awesome thing about this blouse is that it’s the first time I’ve sewed on my buttons using my sewing machine.  After taking soo long doing the buttonholes, I was squealing with delight at sewing on buttons via the sewing machine.  The time it took me to sew all 8 buttons probably equaled the time it would have taken me to sew two on by hand.  Sewing buttons on via machine is the best thing ever!

Look!  I’m in pants!  :)

At the moment I only have 1 white skirt which you just wore last week with my blue floral blouse and I didn’t want to wear it yet again.  So I threw on my navy/jean-ish trousers with some navy polka-dot shoes instead.  I’m very mixed-generations here in my 50’s blouse & scarf with my modern pants.

To read more about this blouse and see some different images this is my post on Sew Weekly.

  1. Sue / Apr 2 2012

    Ooh, I’m in love with this adorable blouse. The double peter pan collar idea works really well and I love that it buttons up the back. SO cute! Plus, the color is amazing.

    I’m horrible at making buttonholes (even though it’s “one step”) on my machine, but love the look of button-back blouses. :-/

    • Liz / Apr 2 2012

      Thanks Sue. I don’t like doing buttonholes either. This is actually only the second time I’ve made them on my machine, ever!

  2. gail / Apr 2 2012

    It’s really cute! I love it with the navy pants!

  3. Rochelle New / Apr 2 2012

    Oh my! What a cute shirt!!! It looks great! Thank goodness for the auto button hole-er on my machine or I swear I’d never make anything with buttons haha :)

  4. K-Line / Apr 2 2012

    Alas, I am familiar with buttonholes that turn out like that :-) Which is my Sencha is done in snaps! (Happily, I’ve had a bit of luck with my vintage Singer buttonholer since then.)

    • Liz / Apr 2 2012

      Did you ever have that problem with your automatic buttonholer? My first one was ‘just okay’ and as I was making more, they kept getting worse and worse.

      Snaps sound like a brilliant idea!

  5. Ginger / Apr 2 2012

    This is so cute! Love the Peter Pan collar, and the sort of reverse pleat at the front. You look so great in this color!

  6. Meli / Apr 2 2012

    This is so cute! I love the color and the collar! Also, I’m really embarrassed at the amount of effort it just took to type those two similar words back to back! Oh, spelling..

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Lol. It happens to the best of us. :)

  7. Sam / Apr 2 2012

    I love your blouse! Great job! Sam xox

  8. Kat / Apr 2 2012

    I think this blouse is super cute! The collar and the colour make it just perfect.

  9. Salma / Apr 2 2012

    Those are gorgeous 4-step buttonholes! I’m still working on mine but now I know what I should aim for!

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      You’re too kind Salma! But thanks. Luckily I have two sewing machines where one does sad 4-step buttonholes and the other does them much better. I actually had to go over half of the long bottom side of the buttonhole twice since it had some skimpy stitching.

  10. Marie / Apr 2 2012

    Eeep, I love this blouse!!! The pleats/tucks in the front are a great feature, I love your double collar and back-buttons are always so appealing to me! An all-around winner ;o)

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Thanks Marie! The design of the front and back bodice is surprisingly similar to Colette’s Sencha blouse. I bet you could make one for youself using that as a base and adding on a peterpan collar.

  11. Jo / Apr 2 2012

    A creative solution with the organza undercollar, I think it worked really well! That aqua is about my favourite colour :)

    • Liz / Apr 3 2012

      Thanks Jo. In real life, the organza isn’t as sheer as it looks in my images (due to camera flash) so the seam allowances are truthfully more hidden than what you see. This is my new, favorite trick for collars since I’m working with more light weight fabrics for spring/summer.

  12. Meg / Apr 3 2012

    I adore this blouse and the color is just fabulous on you! The organza is brilliant – the collar makes the whole piece *pop* – love it all!

  13. Christina / Apr 5 2012

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE sewing buttons on with the machine! I too, recently discovered this. It’s amazing!

    • Liz / Apr 5 2012

      YES! When I did it I was soo excited. I’m never going back to the old way by hand (unless I have to with shanked-buttons).

  14. Sassy T / Apr 8 2012

    Love the blouse it is so pretty with a capital P.

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