In the nick of time, I made a blouse for the Laurel Sewing Contest. Actually, I made it for me – the contest was just a kick in the arse so I’d get it done.
Isn’t the back cute?
The Laurel is a basic shift dress/blouse pattern by Colette Patterns. Although you can get the pattern electronically, I opted for the hardcopy, and I’m so glad I did. What beautiful packaging and crystal clear instructions. Well done, Sarai!
The fabric is a silky polyester I got at Jo-Ann Fabrics called Neutral Feather Peachskin. I like the drape, silkiness, and that it’s a light summery color without being see-through. The peach bias tape is from my grandma’s sewing supply stash 🙂
I tweaked the blouse pattern a bit by adding 3 inches to the length and a couple ties to the back darts. I made it in a size 14 for the bust, but rather than taking in the other measurements to fit right, I just added ties to the back. That way, it’s adjustable to the kind of fit I want: flowy or more fitted.
To make the ties: cut a rectangle 2″ x 18″, fold in half lengthwise, stitch all sides, cut in half crosswise, turn right side out, press, inset into the back dart at the corner before pinning, then stitch as normal.
I started making this blouse on 4/29 and finished it the next day, amidst all the normal day-to-day happenings of being a wife and mom. With just 4 pattern pieces and minimal seams, it comes together pretty fast. I stitched the bias tape to the sleeves via sewing machine, rather than by hand as the pattern indicates. If you don’t mind seeing stitching on the bias tape, it’s a good way to go if you’re in a hurry. But for the neckline, I opted to slipstitch it on by hand. Of course it took a little bit more time, but it’s just such a nice touch. And a good way to slow down and enjoy the process.
What a comfortable blouse this is! And I like the added length – it makes me feel more comfortable wearing leggings or skinny jeans.
And, per my sewing journal entry on this project, if I make this blouse again, I’d go with a more casual cotton lawn or voile. And maybe shorten the sleeves just a tiny bit.