I’ve made button front blouses with collars and placketed sleeves before but never this well. This blouse is perfection. Seriously. I set myself the goal of sewing perfect things in 2013 and this makes it high on the list. I’m in love. (My new blouse is shown here with my curtain panel skirt.)
The pattern is Archer by Grainline Studio. While not typically a fan of oversized blouses for myself, I just had this feeling in my gut that this blouse needed to be made, and I was right. I like it both tucked in as well as draping open. As I was sewing it, I had fears that it would look a little too 90’s (flashback to Fresh Prince of Bel Air), but I think it errs on the side of elegant-hippy-chic and that’s fine by me.
I cut the blouse out of a lightweight woven cotton that my cousin brought to me from Bangladesh 10 years ago. It’s been sitting in my stash since then waiting for the perfect project, and this was it. I didn’t really have enough fabric to make this blouse, but I was utterly determined, and in the end, with some creative cutting, I did it, with the tiniest bit of scrap remaining. I had to cut the yoke perpendicular to the grainline (which I actually like) and add a seam down the center of the sleeves (which I sewed as french seam and it disappears quite nicely).
I was a bit concerned about sewing the cuff placket because the main red fabric is such a loose weave that any pulling left visibly warped fabric. I thought that the pivot point on the placket might get messy, but it turned out lovely.
For the buttons I used little wood buttons of which I happened to have a set of 7 in my stash. I used a similar large wood button on each cuff (again, from my stash) and I think they make a fun yet subtle contrast.
I recommend this pattern. It’s well made. It is loose fitting, so if you want a more fitted blouse, go down a size or two. The instructions are probably a bit confusing for someone who has never attempted something similar, but Grainline Studio has a walkthrough on her website with detailed instructions and tons of illustrative photos making it accessible for all. My only complaint is that it is digital-only as I despise cutting and pasting paper sheets together (it took me an hour, and yet somehow I’m okay with spending just as long tracing a full-size pattern onto new paper. I never said my likes and dislikes were logical). I spent 8.4 hours making this blouse and I’ve already worn it a couple of times this week.