Or, is it? Fashion terminology tends to be very precise and descriptive, so I was not surprised when I discovered all the various stripes that can be described in specific terms. What prompted my interest in stripes was my most recent addition to my casual blouse wardrobe.
There is something just so classic about navy blue and white, and a navy and white striped shirt is almost a necessity. When I saw this Italian cotton shirt fabric on the website of Farmhouse Fabrics, I wasted no time in ordering it.
I place stripes in the same category as checks and polka dots – timeless, varied and versatile. When I did a little exploring into the nomenclature of stripes, to confirm my thought that this was a “pencil stripe” on which I was working, I not only found this to be correct, I also was introduced to a whole descriptive world of stripes. There are awning stripes, bayadere stripes, candy stripes, chalk stripes, hickory (or Liberty) stripes, ombre stripes, pinstripes, regimental stripes, ticking stripes, and the list goes on and on. What designates a pencil stripe is that the background color (for example, white) between the stripes is wider than the stripes in the foreground color (navy blue), which can be as narrow as a pencil line, or bolder.
This is the fifth blouse I have made in the last year, using this simple pattern from 1972, and I would not be surprised to find myself making five more of this style.
The many alterations and refinements I have made to this pattern include 1) a shoulder adjustment to give more ease at the top of the sleeve, 2) an inverted pleat in the center back, mimicking a detail on a RTW which I particularly like, 3) fisheye darts in the back of the bodice to tame some of its fullness, 4) lengthening of the sleeve placket, making it easier to roll up the sleeves, and 5) re-cutting of the collar from pointed ends to a spread collar.
Every one of these blouses needs buttons, of course, and as long as I keep finding vintage buttons like these, I will keep using them.
There is not much more which can be said about this blouse. I expect to wear it casually all summer long, which is a lovely thought indeed.