Hot! The “Starting with the Fabric” Blouse | Debi Fry


The Facts

Fabric: barely over 1/2 yard of mystery fabric (some sort of synthetic) £0.25,
Pattern: Moi!
Year: Current
Notions: blue seam binding, £0.25

Time to complete: 3 hours

Wear again? yes!

Total Cost: ~£0.50 (YAY! My cheapest garment so far)

I am a bona fide pattern lover.  I seek out patterns.  I could seriously look at them for ages.  I always start with the pattern.  So you can imagine that I faced this week with a certain amount of trepidation! No pattern! eep!  It’s like throwing me into the kitchen and saying ‘making up a new fun dish with only ingredients that you have in the fridge that you didn’t coordinate beforehand’.  I am SO not that person.

This week I decided the fabric needed to guide me.  What better inspiration could I have for this week than the very Ms. Mena herself?  Or more specifically a small piece of fabric that I picked up with Mena when I was in San Fransisco.  In fact, I passed over the fabric originally.  Mena has eagle eyes when it comes to spotting good deals and AMAZING fabric.  She brought this lovely flowered blue fabric over to me and said ‘I bet there’s enough to make a blouse’ out of this!  BINGO.  And so I have.

I knew I would have barely enough for a basic blouse–but that’s what I wanted.  I measured the width of my shoulders and how wide I wanted the neckline and went from there.  I cut out the fabric (without any self created pattern pieces) and then adjusted it on me.  I held it up to me and did what I am sure is the least scientific way of measuring out and sizing up a pattern piece in the actual fashion fabric.  I cut a little off at the shoulders, I created bust darts and measured the armholes.  The back is simply a copy of the front just a little narrower and with no darts.  I was able to get it on without any closures and I must say that it’s the best fitting shell blouse I have.

I luckily had a huge stash of blue bias binding (I bought a big role ages ago on ebay) and applied that to the arms and neckhole.  I had to go really slow around the curves and my stitching is still a bit wobbly in parts but I really like how perfectly it matches the blue flowers!

Close-up front
Mission accomplished!  Though I think I will be sticking to my pretty patterns for the forseeable future.  It was fun to try this out and the amount of respect I have for folks that make their own patterns grew tremendously this week!

What about you?  Are you a pattern first or fabric first type of sewist?


Debi from My Happy Sewing Place

Debi Fry LOVES vintage patterns. She started sewing in 2009 and has been going since. In 2011, she participated in the Sew Weekly challenge and looks forward to the new challenges that lie in store!


Comments are closed.

  1. margueritedesigns

    Well done! Love that fabric and what you did with it.

  2. It looks fabulous, my dear! And your bias trim is perfect with your fabric :)

  3. Thanks doll! AND thank you SO MUCH for the holiday cheer you sent my way!! BIG HUGS! xoxoxxoxoxoxox

  4. She’s perfect Debi. Perfect, Well done.

  5. So simple, and so elegant!