Step 1: Select a piece of remnant fabric, leftover from Mother's sewing project, that is somewhat T-shaped. It's a synthetic crêpe-like fabric with a silky feel and a leaf pattern woven in. It is obviously a leftover piece, since one could see something had been cut out from it, although I don't recall what. Don't remember Mother having a garment sewn from this fabric. I loved the design of the fabric, however, which is why I kept it, even though I wasn't sure if there was enough to make a blouse from it.
|Close Up of the Fabric (it looks grey in the picture, but it is actually black)|
Step 2: Adapt a paper pattern (Simplicity 7905), meant for a dress and several sizes too big. I don't remember when I bought this dress pattern, but there is a 1997 date printed on the package.
|Pattern Used and Adapted|
Step 3. Cut out the front from the widest area of the fabric, even though it is a bit too short!
Step 4. Use the pair of scissors generally kept for cutting paper, instead of the pair used for cutting fabric (they both look the same, with orange handles) and wonder why it is not cutting the fabric too well.
Step 5. Cut out a strip to attach to the bottom of the front piece to give it added length. Realize that the strip isn't long enough for the full width of the front piece. Cut another, rectangular piece and sew to the first strip and piece out the pieces! Then, sew this patched piece of fabric to the bottom of the front piece. Tell yourself that it won't be seen if you tuck in the blouse to the waistband. Hope it won't be noticed even if you wear it untucked.
|Piecing it Out!|
Step 6. Realize that the balance piece of fabric is at least 2 inches narrower than the piece used for the front. Cut the back piece 2 or so inches smaller than the front because that is what the fabric will allow. This requires some moving around of the pattern piece to make sure the neck line is wide enough, the shoulders are the same width, and the armholes are within the width of the fabric.
Step 7. Baste the shoulders and sides together and try it on over the stretched out bra you wear for the house because the better fitting ones were laundered earlier in the morning and are hanging up to dry. Not that it matters much anyway (what with the lumpectomy and swelling, etc., things are a bit lopsided to say the least). By some miracle, the blouse actually fits! There might have to be a dart near the armhole to take up some extra fabric, but that might be due to the bra being worn at the time of trying on the blouse. Decide to try it on again with one of the other bras after they've dried.
Step 8. Take another piece of remnant fabric from the stash to cut the bias bindings for the neckline and the armholes, as there isn't enough fabric leftover after cutting the blouse to make the bias bindings. Start cutting the strips.
Step 9. Realize, finally, that you've been using the paper cutting scissors to cut your fabric and that's why it's not cutting the fabric properly! The fabric cutting scissors is with your quilting stuff! Go to the other room and get it from the bag with the quilting project. Be happy that you actually knew where it was and was able to locate it on the mess that is your desk! Finish cutting the bias bindings. Marvel at how easily the fabric cutting scissors actually cuts the fabric! Fondly remember the sewing teacher who taught you to cut and sew bias bindings in 4th or 5th grade and who despaired over your lack of sewing skills!
Step 10. Forget that you meant to do another fit on with the proper bra to see if darts were needed and sew the bias bindings to the neckline and arm holes!
Step 11. Next morning, try on the blouse with the proper bra and heave a big sigh of relief that it fits and darts are not necessary.
Step 12. Fold and sew down the bias bindings. Trim the lower edge to more or less one level and sew the hem. Iron the resulting blouse.
And there you have it! A sleeveless blouse (there wasn't enough fabric for sleeves) in 12 easy steps (sort of)!
|Worn Over the Skirt|
|Worn Tucked In|
Were the 12 easy steps helpful? Do you think you might want to sew a blouse, too?