A Common Thread:
The Daring Secretary Blouse by Sarai M.
When we met Sarai a couple weeks ago during the Spring Palette Challenge/Colette Patterns theme, we couldn’t say enough great things about her pattern line. Colette Patterns are truly fantastic and a mirror of a remarkably talented gal. Here, Sarai takes the lace in a crazy creative way and the results are just fabulous! Thanks for participating, Sarai!
Fabric: Swiss-made cotton (sort of a silky, more textured batiste?), ~$11. Silk gazar, $4
Pattern: Simplicity 1905, from my stash
Notions: 6 buttons (from my stash), some extra lace (from my stash)
TIme to complete: 12 hours, maybe more.
Wear again?: Yes
Total cost: About $15
I wanted to do something a little different with the lace Mena sent. While lovely, the lace is delicate, narrow, and scalloped on one side. In other words, it’s clearly meant to be an edge trim. I wanted to figure out a way to make it the center of attention instead. I decided to lay the lace on an illustion neckline, interspersed with piping, surface cording, and some additional lace in the same ivory color. My inspiration came from one of my favorite mid-century Ready To Wear designers, Peggy Hunt, the master of the illustion neckline.
Here’s the lace! As you can see, it’s meant to be sewn along a hem or in a seam. But I didn’t let that stop me. I just placed it side by side on the yoke to give it a different look.
I used a vintage pattern that I’ve made before, since it already had the chevron yoke I wanted, but I raised the yoke up a couple of inches so it wouldn’t be quite so daring.
The fabric is a swiss-made cotton that has a bit of a silky sheen to it, and the backing for the illusion yoke is a light tan silk gazar. If you’re not familiar with silk gazar, it’s similar to organza but stiffer and has a more open weave, like crinoline or a stiffer tulle. I sewed the lace in strips to the gazar, then hand sewed cording between the rows.
I made some bias tape and used it three ways in this blouse: as a binding on the neckline, as piping between the yoke and blouse front, and as surface cording between the rows of lace. If you’re interested in learning how to do surface cording, Rachel wrote a fantastic tutorial on the Colette Patterns blog. It’s a really fun and versatile vintage-style embellishment.