Is this outfit too much? No, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know the answer. I am overcompensating with this outfit. You see, yesterday was not a good day. It poured down rain on my ride into work and the crotch of my rain pants split half way through the ride. So all the water that was puddling in my lap leaked into my crotch. And when I got into work and took off the failed rain pants, it looked like I had peed my pants. Not a good look and certainly not very comfortable. Fortunately, a co-worker had a pair of sweatpants I could borrow (thanks again Alex!). Unfortunately, they were the exact same color as the sweatshirt I was already wearing. So I ended up in a navy sweatsuit. (Oh, and I was wearing an oversize beanie because my hair was due for a wash and I was cold. That didn’t help things.) I went from hipster to hoodrat with one change of pants. I was told that I looked like I was going to beat someone up and that I looked a little homeless. So, I had to overcompensate today!
This blouse is Simplicity 2154, a 1960’s reproduction. (The red pencil skirt is from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing). I sewed it out of a lovely, nubby silk that was a gift from my Aunt. It is my penultimate (I’ve always loved that word!) blouse for the Bow Neck Blouse Sewalong. I spent about 5 hrs sewing it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have quite enough of the silk to cut the facings, so I had to purchase a separate fabric and I don’t think I made the right decision. I opted for the closest color match I could find, worried that it would peep out somewhere, but the fabric was a bit too heavy so it doesn’t stretch on the bias as nicely as one might hope. I learn something from every piece I sew and the facing was my (biggest) mistake on this blouse. The selvedge of this silk was very neat, so I used it for the center back seam.
I made many small fitting changes. In the end, I’m not entirely satisfied with the changes, but I think most of the wrinkles can be attributed to the pulling caused by using the wrong facing at neck and sleeve. Someday I might go back and redo them. We’ll see how the blouse wears.
I did sew the facings and hem in by hand. Because of the nub in the silk, the hand stitches are invisible on the right side, which I love. Totally worth the extra time. I inserted an invisible zipper instead of a lapped zipper and oriented it with the end of the zipper in the underarm. So the side seam doesn’t zip all the way open (as intended by the pattern), but with only 1/2″ at the bottom closed, it’s just fine to get on and off.
Bow construction on this blouse is simple but high impact. The bow itself is a rectangle (with slanted ends, which I guess makes it a trapezoid). The very center of the rectangle is gathered and is the center of the bow. The tails of the bow are tacked together about six inches in from the ends and that tack is brought to the center as well. Then a rectangle of fabric is wrapped around the center and through the front blouse eyelet to secure the bow in place. (Since I did the bow construction at night, my photo was too horrendous to actually help illustrate. Sorry).
I adore this finished blouse. I know I say that a lot, but there’s so many things to love about it. For starters, the bow. It’s big but not overwhelming. And it’s silk. Nice fabric really does make such a difference. And it’s retro but easy to blend into a modern wardrobe. And it’s pink. And I look darn cute in it! I see more Simplicity 2154 blouses in my future!