Hot! Pretty Things Blouse

Fabric: Rayon challis, $2.50, silk chiffon, $0.50 – both from stash
Pattern: McCall’s M6286, ˜ $3.50 – from stash, first time used
Year: 2011
Notions: buttons, $1; interfacing, thread from stash
Time to complete: 12.5 hours, 4+ involved the first hand worked buttonholes, that I subsequently remade
Wear again: yes

Total price: $7.50

This came together quite easily, though I admit probably a lot more slowly than one would think. I’m a pretty poky seamstress. The collar and facings were hand stitched, and those eight curved darts took up a fair share. This was my first time with rayon, and it does tend to drift a bit. Especially with cutting, which I found out later in More Fabric Savvy is to be expected. Good thing I referenced that trusty bible before I got down to  brass tacks, as I’d forgotten about the shine that can occur from over-zealous pressing. Don’t want get the shine, now do we? The last thing I need is to see creepy girls in a hallway of blood, or Jack Nicholson’s head through a hole hacked in the bathroom door.

I do hope the pinked SA on the raglan sleeves holds up. These were constructed oddly, and in retrospect I should have serged them like the side seams. I plan on using this pattern again, and want to figure out my own method for installing the sleeves and doing the narrow hem on them. I picked up the rayon last year on the cheap. It had a small stain, which I managed to hide just under the collar in the CB. Discount, please?! Once in the thick of cutting out pattern pieces, I realized there wasn’t enough fabric. Ha! Not to be outdone, I cracked open some bins and started pawing around. Placed a few options next to the challis, and slept on it. The crazy loud wheel gets the grease, apparently. How could I pass up a chance to match this silk chiffon?! So what if the blouse would then be limited in the outfit matching department. And might conjure up images of Hawaiian holidays, bowling alleys or even Flo the waitress. I eyed this silk scrap in a thrift store in Texas, and just couldn’t say no. It was with the scarves, but this was no scarf. It was two rectangles and a square stitched together in random places. A tunic for a three-year-old? A veil for the happy? I never knew what to do with it, save for cutting out a few flowers and decoupaging them into a birthday card for my then boss. That’s what you get when you put me in charge of such things. Anyway, it had been years since I’d even caught sight of this pretty wonder. Yes, I pick you. Because of the aforementioned craftacular card, I had to do a bit of piecing at the lower edge of each facing. I simply took advantage of the existing serged hem, then basted the facings and collar to that humblest of fabrics, muslin. I liked the way it looked better than a habotai backing. I only had four matching vintage buttons, so ended up having to run out for a new set.

Since this week’s challenge was all about buttonholes, let’s discuss. Machine worked buttonholes are pretty much a cinch, right? Even though I dislike most things about my everyday machine, the single-step buttonhole feature is great. So, I figured I’d challenge myself by using my new acquisition, the vintage Dritz bound buttonhole tool. Ultimately, I realized this lightweight blouse wouldn’t be the best application of bound buttonholes. So back to the machine, easy as pie. Always test a scrap, with all the layers in the final garment. First time was a disaster, but the second practice buttonhole was a charm after I did the old trick of using a piece of paper as the bottom layer. Onto the garment. DISASTER multiplied. Guess I’ll be trying a new skill, the hand worked buttonhole. Now, these are easy enough. If you have buttonhole twist thread. I don’t. Keep meaning to obtain some. I thought a single strand of embroidery floss would suffice. #$^@%$!!! Four hours later, I had three buttonholes that looked fine, and two that were slightly janky. Do not attempt hand buttonholes with floss. Ever. (Maybe you already knew that.) No amount of beeswax makes it glide nicely. And it works up so slowly. My husband thought they looked fine. What does he know. I was going to leave well enough alone, hopped online to order some twist for next time, and then rummaged around in the closet. What’s this? A spool of crochet cotton from a yard sale? In red?! I knew I spent that dime for a reason. Insanity got the better of me. Next morning, I ripped out all of my hard work, even the three that looked nice. And you know what? The crochet cotton was a dream. The stitches worked up so quickly, no tangling, nice purls. And I can be proud of my blouse, instead of shamefully trying to hide the buttonholes from other seamsters’ sharp eyes.

What better way to enjoy a new blouse than with a tasty local brew from Pretty Things? All work and no play makes Lavi a dull girl.



Lavender has sewing in her blood. Raised by a working seamstress, she was always surrounded by the craft, but defiant when it came to learning the proper way to do anything. After years of hacking up t-shirts, jeans, vintage finds and selling tie satchels (gasp!) in a local shop, she packed up her machine. A few years ago, she dusted it off, determined to learn the right way 'round a machine & pattern.


Comments are closed.

  1. crochet thread? I have to try it! It is not that easy to find good buttonhole twist and I do have a pack of french crochet thread in many colors! Yay!

  2. Really pretty, love the floral with the pink,

  3. i love the contrast collar, it really makes the blouse into something unexpected and cool.

  4. Love your print revers idea.

  5. Aw, I knew this blouse was going to be cute! Love the shape of the collar- very flattering!

  6. Great blouse, I love how you pulled this together from your stash.

  7. I’m very impressed with your button holes – well worth the extra time spent. What a great shirt. I love the vibrancy of the challis (my favourite) and the gorgeous contrasting collar.

  8. Oh, Lavender, I love this blouse! It’s a great color and in one of my favorite fabrics to work with. Amazing job on the handworked buttonholes – I love that you used crochet cotton!

  9. Absolutely adore this! The shape is super flattering (win with the darts!) and the collar makes it all pop. Love!

  10. Fabulous top, and I do love that book, well done, looks GREAT!!

  11. Very nice! I love the surprise pop of pattern that in the facing and the collar.

  12. The collar and the color are so very lovely!