Summer's not over yet . . .

. . . 'cuz I only just finished my sleeveless blouse!

I started thinking about this blouse, Simplicity 7086, in July. I bought the pattern, made a muslin, realized the pattern was too big, bought the pattern in a smaller size, made a second muslin, then moved on to other projects for August. Last week, I finally cut out the pieces and posted some in-progress photos.

I spent a good portion of last Friday putting the blouse together. It wasn't too difficult, considering this was actually the 3rd time I've made it (if you count the two muslins!). I really just wanted to make a model out of something other than muslin to see if I could actually do it and make it wearable. And if I goofed, this fabric was really inexpensive -- I found it in the clearance section and used a 40% coupon -- so there wasn't a lot of money on the line.

I had everything finished and was ready to get started on the buttonholes when I realized I only had 3 matching blue buttons . . . I was sure there were 4 in the package the last time I looked . . . but now only 3 were there. I went through my entire collection of buttons, which only took about 10 minutes, and could not find 4 matching buttons that would work on this blouse. It was past 9pm, too late to run to JoAnn Fabrics for a last minute purchase, so unfortunately, my poor blouse had to sit unfinished until Sunday. Finally, Sunday afternoon I found some inexpensive buttons (on sale for Labor Day!) and finished up the blouse.

I used the sensor buttonhole foot to make the buttonholes, and the button foot w/placement tool for sewing on the buttons! Gotta love those feet! I've never liked making buttonholes or stitching on buttons, because they always ended up different sizes or crooked and 'gappy'. These look pretty close to perfect, and the machine did it all. Very cool.

Side view (above); back view (below)

I think it turned out rather well. I didn't center the collar perfectly with the front facings, but since I don't have much experience with collars, it's not that bad, and I think I know where I went wrong. I also tried very carefully to line up the plaid so that it matches across the front of the blouse and along the side seams. After all the time I spent on the sleeves of the first two muslins, I forgot to transfer the shoulder adjustments from my pattern to the cut out pieces. Since I decided this seersucker version was going to be sleeveless, I don't think that's too bad a problem. And now I'll definitely remember to make the transfer on the next blouse.

Oh yeah, and here's me wearing it (a little fuzzy -- I'm not very good at taking my own photo):

I'm really happy with the fit and it feels comfortable to wear. The seersucker is very cool and summery. Don't you think it needs some sort of embroidery around the hem? Maybe a scroll or something . . .

I'm already thinking about making this again with short sleeves using this cotton fabric (another clearance bargain):

I know, I should be thinking about making something for autumn or winter; but since I'm kind of on a roll, I think I should make this pattern again while it's still fresh in my mind, so I can work on the areas that need improvement and reinforce the skills I did learn from this project. Besides, I already bought the buttons. And maybe if I spend the winter making summer blouses and tops, by next spring I'll finally have something to wear!


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