Monday, December 29, 2014

Collar Confection blouse in dotted silk

For my last-of-the-year Britex blogger project, I chose the pattern first: the unusual and lovely design from Decades of Style, the Collar Confection blouse.  The blouse design is interesting and a bit more challenging than a basic top, but still very doable!  The blouse style dictates a fabric with drape, but it also must be fairly opaque because there are facings along the armholes.  This midweight dotted ivory silk fits the bill and, in my humble opinion, is the ideal fabric for this top!
As strongly suggested by the pattern designers, I made a muslin before cutting into my lovely silk.  It was not obvious how I would do a small bust adjustment for this top, so I opted instead to use the size the correlated with my bust, and instead of grading out to the larger waist and hip size that I needed, I reduced the dart intakes.  This reduced the bust-to-waist ratio, which more or less accomplishes the SBA that I needed.  The ease of the original design seemed unsuitable for wearing as an untucked blouse (though perfect for tucking into a high waisted pencil skirt!), so I increased the overall ease at the hips as well.

The main glorious feature of this blouse is the lovely, drapey collar.  It folds over from a faced back neckline into a graceful peter-pan style. The width of the neckline and spread of the collar make it perfect for wearing with a v-neck cardigan.  How sweet is that collar?  
The other distinctive feature of the blouse is the split cap sleeves.  They aren't exactly a tulip (the flaps don't overlap each other), but are created with a curved hem and facings.

I'm a bit self-conscious of my broad shoulders, so this sleeve style doesn't help that too much, but I love how unusual and pretty it is!

For the button placket, I went with these satin-covered tuxedo buttons (1/2" size), and they couldn't be any more perfect.  The semi-matte sheen of the fabric-covered buttons matches the silk and they suit the blouse style just right.
Finishing the inside of the blouse was (relatively) simple with the help of one of Laura Mae's favorite notions--rayon seam binding (her tutorial is here).  I finished the raw edges after sewing the blouse because of all the facings and curved sleeve hems.  I'm still working on perfecting that technique (read: my inside seam finishes don't look perfect!), but at least the easily fraying silk is contained!  This is the shoulder seam between the neckline and facing of the sleeve (below), but I also used rayon seam binding on the side seams.
Overall, I'm thrilled with this new blouse.  If you are tempted to make the Collar Confection blouse, I cannot recommend this fabric strongly enough, but a pretty rayon would also work well.
Thank you, as always, to Britex for providing the fabric, notions (including matching silk thread--the buttonholes look extra special!) and pattern.
Happy sewing to you all in the New Year!  

Resewlution 2014, December garment #3


  1. Oh, you look radiant Nicole! Yes, the blouse is very pretty, and very flattering. It's feminine without being too girly, yes? And it looks as nice with the yellow cardigan as on it's own. {Great styling.} And great photography too.

    Happy New Years to you!

  2. Oh it's very pretty and fun design! Love how it looks in the silk, I'm sure it feels amazing to wear too. Happy holidays!

  3. Awesome hair!!! Completely cute make! Well done!!!!!!!!

  4. You always introduce me to new sewing patterns. The blouse is lovely on you!

  5. that is SO pretty, love it. Happy New Year!

  6. I was eyeing those buttonholes, wondering "how does she even make buttonholes look shiny and beautiful?" And there you go, special buttonhole thread! You are the cleverest. I have some vintage silk and if I ever get brave enough to cut it, I'll come to you for seam finishing advice!
    Very sweet blouse. The fabric is perfect for the style and it's really hitting the retro mark.
    Best wishes for 2015. May you have tailwinds a plenty and always keep it rubber side down!

  7. Beautiful! The collar and sleeves are so lovely -- great details. And the fabric and buttons are perfect. Happy new year!

  8. This blouse is gorgeous on you! Well done!