Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Silk Charmeuse blouse - Hidden Buttonhole Placket, plus enter the Holiday Giveaway

So back in October I was searching for the perfect blouse pattern, or at least one I liked a lot.  Once again I turned to a Simplicity Amazing Fit pattern, S2339.  Thus far I have had total success with these patterns, they do fit well, have lots of options and the multi-size pattern lets me fool around with fit very quickly.  Of course I can't just make something right out of the pattern envelope as it is designed, so I decided to create a hidden buttonhole placket.  

I have a burgundy color silk charmeuse blouse (purchased at Ann Taylor two holiday seasons ago) and I love it, wear it all the time in the winter.  I found some blue silk charmeuse on sale at FashionFabricsClub.com and when it arrived it wasn't quite the color I expected, but very nice, classic deep sapphire blue, with a touch of Lycra.  Yeah! for the Lycra - when wearing.  Yuck - for the Lycra when sewing.  I have decided that woven fabrics with more than 2% lycra are annoying to sew,  they don't behave like wovens and want to stretch out just enough to create ripples.  But they don't sew like knits.  Really the worst qualities of both.  However if the lycra is 2% or so, that seems to be just about right and not give the problems.  Also for silk, part of the fun in sewing silk is the crisp press you can get, but that doesn't quite work with the silk that has stretch, as you will see.  Ok that is my fabric rant for today. 

Here is how I modified this pattern to include the hidden buttonhole placket.  This pattern has a sewn on placket, kind of a more casual look that is perfectly suitable for cotton shirts, but I wanted as few seams or stitching on the front.  To achieve that I added the placket to the shirt front, matching/overlaping seam allowances so that the front of the shirt had the same dimensions as if the finished blouse included the placket.  Not sure I am explaining that very well, but hopefully you can see what I did.  I also created a front facing, you can see that on the left.  Very important at this point to include the seam allowance where the facing will be sewn to the center front, you can see it marked with chalk below. 

Blue silk blouse front and facing

A look at the pattern envelope.  I do like the ruffle version, might have to try that in a cotton lawn in the spring.
Blue silk blouse pattern S2339

Here is a closer look at the placket modification, the piece they have you sew on is just incorporated into the front, plus seam allowance.

Blue silk blouse front
I created my own pattern piece for the hidden placket.  It will only have 5 buttons and the buttons start around the bustline, so it is about 12" long.  I cut two of these and interfaced completely, and then marked the buttonholes.  I used the selvedge of the fabric as the inner edge to reduce bulk and eliminate need for edge finishing.

Blue silk blouse buttonhole placket

So that is the tantalizing start to the case of my mysterious disappearing buttonholes!
Next post finishing the blouse front.

And what about that holiday giveaway?  A random drawing from those who comment between now and Dec. 20. As I mentioned in my previous post, a box of See's Candy for a commenter in the US, and for international commenters, a choice of 2 sewing books (Palmer & Pletch Tailoring, or Singer Creative Sewing)

How to enter?  I put out a challenge to ask what Vogue pattern you would like to see me make and post about from start to finish (fabric, fitting and sewing).  The suggestions so far have been fantastic and it is fun to see what others might want to make.  You don't have to suggest a pattern if Vogues are not on your radar, just say hello and say where you are located. 

So comment away !    Happy Holiday Sewing,  Beth


  1. What a fun idea! OK, I just went shopping for you on the Vogue site. I stuck to Vogue, though I assume McCalls or Butterick would have been ok.

    Your aesthetic is quite different to mine, as is your body type, and climate, so it was fun to "shop" for you and your gamine figure. I would love to see an ensemble, not just one piece. First up, I think this dress would be lovely on you!

    But I'd also love to see a companion jacket. I think this jacket would complement the dress, made in the right fabric. It's unusual, fitted, lovely and it seems like "you" to me. :)

    And if I win the See's, I favor Milk Chocolate Nuts and Chews. ;)

  2. This blouse is going to be so pretty!

  3. I hear you on the lycra. It drives me nuts and personally I can pass on 2% comfort for ease in sewing and a crisp look. But it is unavoidable. Many is the fabric I have purchased that I love but have lycra. Oh, well.

    Your blouse should be yummy. That's a great color.

  4. i would really like to see a detailed tutorial on the concealed button placket. I have made one from a Burda pattern, but there was no facing. it took me hours to work out how to do it, and I know there are other methods (like yours) but as someone whi is not great at 3-D thinking, I bust my brains trying to pre-think my way through them. and I didn't find a single tute on the whole internet about concealed plackets. Not one!