Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer in the U.S., so I thought I should blog about my last two summer blouses then, just to sort of tidy up and end the season neatly. But of course these things aren’t neat. It was hot on Labor Day weekend and felt very much like summer was still underway. It’s been cooler in the mornings lately, but afternoon temps have still been near 90F.
But fall arrived this week. Sunday’s high temp was 96, I think, but Monday’s was 71 and accompanied by a gray sky. It’s been cool all week, and I’m starting to see people in fall clothing.
So time to wrap up summer and blog about the other two hot-weather blouses I made (and enjoyed) this summer.
First, Butterick 5610, which I chose because it was the only pattern I had that would enable me to use my single yard of this embroidered cotton.
(I’m kind of wishing I wasn’t doing the headless, anonymous thing on these pictures, because my facial expressions in these are really funny for some reason. I look either super-grumpy (TAKE THE PICTURE ALREADY CAMERA) or super-skeptical (WHAT EVEN IS THIS NEWFANGLED CONTRAPTION).)
I love this fabric, but it was pricey ($14 a yard, I think) and the end of the bolt said it was 50+ inches wide, so I just got a yard of it and figured that should be enough. Problem is, it has a super-wide unembroidered edge, so the actual usable part of the fabric is only about 45″–not much fabric to cover a plus-size bod.
So I combined it with a plain white cotton from the stash and bound the sleeves with scraps of the embroidered fabric to help tie it together.
Couple of warnings about this pattern, if you should decide to make it. First, the pleating in the front is weird and confusing and the instructions aren’t much help. You make some pleats like normal–okay, I’m with you so far–but then you’re supposed to make an “inner pleat”–what? I never did figure that out–then a big pleat essentially pleating the pleats. I had no idea which markings to match up for the last one, so I puzzled over it and turned it over and over, and suddenly I saw it. No idea how I did it, but it looks like the pleating on the envelope, so I’m calling it a win.
Second, if you hate hand sewing, this is not your pattern. The whole front and back facing–which extends into the sleeves–AND the sleeve hems are slip-stitched down, which takes some time.
Third, you need fabric with a lot of drape for this pattern. As you can see from all the creases in my pictures, my fabrics really weren’t right for it. Besides all the creasing, the lack of drape also makes me look a little bit pregnant, since I carry my weight in the abdomen. Something like challis would’ve looked much better in this style.
You know what, though? I really like this blouse and I wear it a lot. It’s cool and comfy and I still love that embroidered cotton.
Okay, on to Butterick 6057, another pattern meant for chiffon or some other light, drapey fabric. What I had in mind, though, was a simple woven cotton tee shirt, since I’ve been enjoying wearing my other cotton tops so much.
I evened up the high-low hem on this and included all the cute details from the different views on the pattern envelope.
You can barely see the pocket in this ladybug print, so I sewed a button on it to make it a little more visible. And I was determined not to have to iron this, so I sewed down the sleeve cuffs to make them stay put.
There are buttons down the back, another fun detail I liked. I used BIG buttons to emphasize them.
Please note, buttonhole haters: this thing took something like 11 buttons and I didn’t have to sew a single buttonhole. The “band” on the back is actually just a pleat that’s sewn down. This would actually be a great pattern for a sewing n00b, as long as you use an easy-to-handle fabric like cotton.
The neckline on this blouse is a little bit wide for my taste, but–let’s be honest here–I was just too damn lazy to check it beforehand, even though this is a problem I often have. I was going for quick and easy on this, DAMMIT.
I’ve been going back and forth on whether I should take the sides in . . . I suspect it would look a little better with some ease taken out, but it feels really nice on hot days to wear something loose-fitting like this. And frankly, I’m more concerned with how I feel than how I look. 😉
Both of these have been really useful (and fun!) additions to my summer wardrobe, the kind of tops you look forward to putting on and enjoy wearing all day.
Now on to fall sewing and that Laurel dress that’s all cut out and ready to go.
ETA: I have linked this to Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.