Sunday, October 8, 2017

Something different, Butterick 5861 top in poly chiffon

Every once in a while I try to step out of my style rut. It could be trying a new silhouette, sometimes it means sewing up a different color than I would normally wear, or even a different fabric than I typically use. This blouse seems to fit into all 3 of those categories, as it is definitely a new shape, in a new-to-me shade, and a fabric I haven't sewn with in quite a while.

bow blouse 1a

I made this pattern a few months ago for someone else, and after I finished it I gave it a quick try-on just to see how it looked. Kind of interesting, was my initial reaction so I make some copies of the pattern, gave the original back to the owner and set it aside with the intention of finding some nice silk. However one day I was at Stone Mountain and found this polyester fabric in their upstairs bargain section, so for about $ 7 I figured it was worth a try. Since I wasn't entirely sold on the actual pattern. While I suppose it is a blue, it is an awfully tepid shade, I see it as grey. Although friend came over and saw it on the dress form, and said "I love that shade of teal blue". So I guess it is in the eye of the beholder what color things appear.

A better look at it on the dress form. This fabric is on the sheer side, not see-through but more like chiffon than not. You can see where the layer is doubled, at the shoulder yoke and down the front button bands where it's more opaque.

bow blouse front on form

And this pattern has a lot of details. A surprising lot of details but that's what made it interesting to sew, and I think makes it look appealing when worn. It has raglan sleeves that attach into shoulder yokes, a button band which has a slight angle right at the top to create that V opening. And then there is the pleating. All those tiny pleats. Which are also on a slight angle, not straight lines. QUITE a task to sew and don't look to closely. Not exactly precisely even but I don't think anyone will ever notice.

And then the back has some gathers at the neckline, and then a section at the center back where you stitch with elastic thread to create the ruching, plus it has vertical darts. Like I said, a lot of details. Which perhaps would show better in a solid color fabric but I think a print makes it easier to sew the little pleats in the front.

bow blouse back view on form

Butterick 5861 envelope

Here's the pattern envelope. I think it is a few years old - maybe even 4 or 5 but fits into that boho style that is trending now.  I didn't copy the other version, it looks a bit shapeless for my taste and has that elastic stitching on the sleeves instead of the flat yoke pieces.

Speaking of shapeless, I sewed this a few months ago, and have worn it once but it felt so loose and too blousey on me. The other day I tried it on again and decided to take it in all along the side seams up to part of the sleeve. So I took out a seam about 1 inch wide on each side, tapering away to the middle of the seam under the sleeve. Much better, that raised the armhole considerable, and took out a total of about 4 inches in circumference.

bow blouse back

bow blouse 5

So now it's still loose and flowy but I don't feel like I'm swimming in it. And I made a size 12 with no adjustments, my usual size so it really is a loose style to start with.

bow blouse front close up on form

There's a look at all those little pleats down the front. They came out a bit wobbly on each version I have sewn, one in polyester and one in silk chiffon which I forgot to photograph. But that silk one was a challenge, although it came out nicely in the end.

bow blouse6

This is my go-to outfit when the weather cools off. A t-shirt or a top, some ankle length pants or jeans and loafers. Not quite dressing for autumn but in the evenings it is getting cooler. Ok we're still wearing shorts and sandals in the day so I can't complain. Ooo I don't like it when it starts getting dark early.

So that's I have to say about this blouse, still not wild about it but perhaps now that I took it in I will like it more. To me the color is a bit drab, and the print/color/fabric combo are kind of geriatric to me.
Also the neckline is just suited for this time of year, in about 3 weeks I will be wearing sweaters and lots of layers. Perhaps it is my short haircut but my neck is always cold once summer fades.

Onward to the next thing. I am sewing up the Waffle Patterns Bamboo coat that I started for my Jacket class at a very leisurely pace, which is rather pleasant. We have another session of that class scheduled for Sat/Sun Dec 16-17. Maybe for that one I will make the one of the other patterns for one of the owners of the studio. Because I don't need any more coats! Although I will have another gorgeous coat in the works before this year ends - a little hint - my favorite European Indie designer has created another gorgeous one so I plan to sew that up for a friend.

I saw on IG that Stone Mountain just got in a shipment of interesting printed silks so I think I will pop over there this week and check it out.  Other than that I plan to make some new long sleeve tees and maybe a new dress before the holidays.

This is the time of year to stay out of the chain fabric stores - the once a year Halloween costume sewers are in full force and while I have some pity for them I don't want to be in line behind them at the cutting table :)

Happy October Sewing, Beth

The garden is looking very crispy and uninteresting this time of year, however it was a great year for all my annuals, lots of blooms and this white petunia is still pushing out all kind of flowers. It's visible next to my feet in the pictures above. Some years the petunias are better than others and this year was a good one. Unlike the tomatoes - everyone had trouble with those but that is a story for another time.



  1. So many lovely details! I like the look, I hope it grows on you. Perhaps in spring, paired with something white?

  2. Really pretty on. I do love the pleats in the front.

  3. The narrower version is way better but the print and tint of the blue is not vibrant/clear enough for you. I imagine wearing it feels like you have nothing on and very floaty. Love the pintucks even though they were fiddly! I agree with Marianne, wearing it with white might perk it up.

  4. It actually looks so cute on you. I love the pintucks, but I avoid them like the plague. I am too much a perfectionist to ever tackle them. I might try with a print such as this.

  5. I have that pattern, but haven't had the patience (or courage) to tackle those pleats yet! I like your version very much.

  6. I like this blouse on you, and think that the adjustments you made suit you well!

  7. It is beautiful. I love how it looks on you.

  8. What a pretty blouse! I can see how you felt overwhelmed by the amount of fabric before you slimmed it but now it looks very nice. Have you tried to tuck it in skirts like the Pauline & Alice one you made this summer? I think it would look interesting.

  9. It's a pretty blouse, and I love the style on you. 4" more and it certainly would have been swimming on you! It's still got that nice flowing look but it doesn't overwhelm

  10. What a pretty patterned fabric! The silk chiffon is really good for the end of summer.It's a beautiful work.

  11. that is gorgeous Beth! but I had to smile that you described a shade of blue as a new-to-you shade! Your eye for discerning the differences is razor sharp!! :D


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