Eyelet is one of those fabrics which can conjure up memories from one’s life. So often associated with pinafores, eyelet is lovely for little girls’ dresses – and petticoats. It is often used for lingerie or sleepwear for all ages, as well as dresses and blouses. It is a summer fabric, with its “built-in” air conditioning – ie. all those little holes surrounded by embroidery. Often eyelet trim – and sometimes eyelet yard goods – have one or two finished borders. Such was the case with the eyelet I found earlier this year for the ruffled collars for sundresses for my granddaughters.
It was working on those collars which convinced me I needed to make an eyelet bouse for myself. I went back to Farmhouse Fabrics, from which I had purchased the double-sided eyelet panel for those collars, to find a suitable eyelet for a blouse. Farmhouse Fabrics has quite an inventory of lovely eyelets, so it was difficult to decide. But decide I did, and purchased this all-cotton eyelet made in Spain.
For a pattern I used this vintage Vogue pattern from 1957.
I liked the convertible collar of this pattern, as shown in View B. A convertible collar is one which can be worn open or closed. The collar is sewn directly to the neckline. I did, however, shorten the sleeves to below elbow-length. I also chose to make plain, buttoned cuffs without the extra turn-back detail.
Although the blouse is described on the pattern envelope as “tuck-in,” I liked the gently curved and split hem which would also allow me to wear the blouse as an over-blouse. The thumbnail detail from the pattern envelope shows the curved hem.
I lined the main body of the blouse with white cotton batiste, leaving the sleeves unlined. To reduce bulk, I made the undercollar and the cuff facings from the white batiste.
Buttons are always a favorite component of a blouse for me. I had a card of vintage Lady Washington Pearls which seemed a lovely complement to the scale of the fabric embroidery.
I first wore this blouse on a very warm evening to attend an outdoor concert. I was amazed at how cool the blouse was. The little breeze there was, did indeed feel like air-conditioning as it wafted through all those embroidered holes!
Finding beautiful eyelet fabric is now on my sewing radar. I would like to make more with this timeless, feminine and versatile type of lace.
A Three Piece Outfit for the Holidays, Part 3: The Sash
The sash started it all. After finishing this silk taffeta coat last year, I was left with about 1 and ½ yards of that luscious coral fabric.
I just could not stand the thought of having that yardage sitting in my fabric closet, unused, as I found it so delightful to sew and to wear. That is when I got the idea to combine this fabric with the Guipure lace, also sharing space in that closet of wonders. However, my first thought was to make a blouse from the fabric and also use it as the fashion fabric for a lace skirt, knowing I would need at least one more yard to accomplish this plan. I contacted Britex Fabrics, from whence the fabric came, and to my dismay, they were sold out, with no more available to special order. Undeterred, I then came up with the idea of coordinating fabrics for the blouse and skirt, and using the coral silk to tie it all together. After receiving swatches of several silks from Britex, I settled on the bronzy brown and the apricot colored fabrics for the skirt and blouse, respectively.
A sash should really be straightforward, right? Well, yes; however, I thought it would be good if the sash had a slight curve to it to follow the curvature over the upper hip. That’s when I went to my closet and pulled out a silk sash that I purchased from J. Crew years ago. I had remembered correctly that it had a slight curve to it:
I often think of the tip in the book 101 Things I Learned in Fashion School, page 86: “When in doubt, look in your closet.” Looking at something that is “Ready to Wear” will often help you with construction methods or design ideas.
The J. Crew sash is 72 inches long. A trial tying of the bow proved to me that I needed to add more length to the sash if I wanted to tie a full bow at the waist, which was my intent. I determined that adding 12 inches would do the trick. Then I used that sash as a template to make a pattern, not quite knowing how sewing that long, slow curve was going to work (the sash has one long seam on the concave side of the curve, meaning that some give would need to be worked into that seam.) As it turned out, ironing was the trick to get it to behave correctly, as is so often the case!
84″ proved to be the perfect length to tie a complete bow.
I had to piece the sash in the center back, but I knew that ahead of time and it really does not bother me.
After trying on this completed outfit for the photos, I know that I need to somehow tighten up the interior waist of the skirt (you many recall from my last post, that I added what turned out to be unnecessary width to the circumference of the waist.) My blouse is not going to stay tucked in if I don’t, and the skirt feels like it is drooping on me. I am going to try adding interior waist elastic to straddle the side seams and see if that might do the trick. I am not about to take the skirt apart and remake it! And the sash should help conceal any bobbles in the waistline.
The “concealed zipper.”
It was cold and blustery when I took these photos! I could not wait to get back inside for a cup of hot tea!
Sewing for the holidays is such an anticipatory activity, and one that I love to do. There is already a festive feeling in the air here in late November, and so much more to sew…
Filed under Blouses, Bows as design feature, Fashion commentary, Lace, Silk taffeta, Uncategorized
Tagged as Blouses, Britex Fabrics, fashion sewing, Sashes and bows, silk