Hot! Gallery Violet, We need to talk – Blouse

The Facts

Fabric: Printed Cotton – thrifted
Pattern: Colette Violet Blouse
Year: Contemporary
Notions: 7 Buttons, thread & interfacing from inherited stash
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: 22ndth January 2012
Wear again? maybe
Total price: $2  (not including the pattern)

Dear Violet,

I’m not sure we can be friends just yet. I thought you might be the first ‘shirt’ in my wardrobe that I’d actually wear… but hmmm… I think I pinned everything on that cute peter pan collar and overlooked the rest of you. Perhaps I can give you a second chance, but I’m afraid there would have to be some changes. No hard feelings ok. Casey. x

I normally make toiles of just about anything I make. Given that Violet is a loose fit blouse, I decided to just make it up as is. I really didn’t expect there to be any fitting problems ( and though I like this fabric, it cost me less than calico anyway). But alas, those bust darts are a good 2 inches south of my actual bust point! This is giving me some lovely ‘points’ below my entire bust. nice. (for reference this is the size 4) Now, I’m aware that I’m a B cup and I may also be a bit short from shoulder to bust point. But 2 inches?! You can see my Problem in this picture. I’m thinking nothing short of  a D cup could pull these up to an acceptable level. (I guess there’s always my next round of breast feeding to look forward to. sigh.)

Other than the darts, I suppose there’s nothing really wrong with the blouse…but it’s a bit school uniform-ish for me. (My husband was a harsher critic and said PJ’s)  Maybe different sleeves would make it more interesting.

As it’s a bit on the the boxy side, I do think it’d look better tucked into something. I just don’t know what that something is. Hence my ‘everything goes with jeans’ decision here. Feel free to offer me some styling advice! This is exactly why I normally make dresses!

As for buttons – My machine has a 4 step button hole, and I sew  buttons on by hand. I think I made a bit of a mistake with the buttons. I usually make a shank by wrapping the thread around underneath the button a few times. I’m normally fine with 2 hole buttons, but it seems with the 4 hole, I’d already stitched them on a bit tight, so the shank didn’t really work.  – of course I proceeded to do the same thing 7 times before thinking that maybe they’re not quite right. oops. note for next time…and maybe I should double check my method. At least I was able to use some of my white, but not really white because they’re so old buttons. I have heaps of white buttons that are too discoloured to go on true white fabric. I know you can dye buttons. But has anyone ever tried bleaching them?

If I decide to try this again, I’m not going to do the full separate facing that’s included in the pattern. I think it makes everything a bit too stiff for my liking (even with my super light woven interfacing). I’ll likely do a ‘grow on’ facing just for the buttons and then finish the rest of the neck with bias binding on the inside.

I’m starting to think that maybe I’m just not a shirt person. I really feel wierd in buttons and collars. Ruffles and bows on the other hand I’m completely fine with. lol.


Casey Sew

Casey Sew joined the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle in 2011 and completed 38 challenges. Casey learned to sew first from her mother, and then during an Advanced Diploma of Fashion course she completed 10 years ago. Her sewing supplies are generally thrifted or vintage passed on by family.


Comments are closed.

  1. Beautifully made as always Casey and the fabric is lovely, but from what you (and a few other say) I’m thinking that maybe really drape-y fabric is the way to go. Those darts do sit a little low on you. But when all’s said and done, your shirt still looks beautiful.

    • Thanks Jen, I think you’re right.. drapey fabric must be the way to go. It’s good to be back into sewing this year. Finally! Onwards and upwards!

  2. So I think you did a great job on the top and it doesn’t look bad on you but girl I feel ya. I’ve made two Violets and I’ve donated them both. I just can’t get behind the boxy-ness and my husband said they looked ridic. Plus without tucking in they made me look so large!

  3. Wow. I have a ton of Violets and wonder why I don’t wear them. I think I’ve made six. Actually, I do wear one and it’s in a really mod voile and doesn’t look as sweet. But, I’m not willing to call it a day.

    The one sort of Violet that I wear is one where I’ve modified the collar and made it smaller and not rounded at the button opening. Also, I used the back as the front….it doesn’t have buttons but I slit the back top and edged it. It looks really cool.

    I wonder if the Violet would look better if the body’s shape was more like the Jasmine; if it went in at the waist and sort of swung out at the hips.

    Go to Colette Patterns flickr group and search for Violet. You’ll see lots of different styling ideas…..

    Husbands are bad judges, I think. I love that color on you and as I never wear PJ’s that look like that, pajamas were the furthest thing from my mind when I saw it.

  4. I don’t know if you can bleach buttons, but I’ve definitely used bleach wipes on white buttons and that seems to help! I love this color on you, but I can definitely see your issues with the bust darts. (I definitely don’t think it looks like pjs!) Your craftsmanship is fabulous, so I would try taking it in on the sides before you give it up forever, maybe??

    • bleach wipes? I have never heard of them! Great tip Meg. Thanks. I’m kinda likin the colour too. Purple is never my first choice, but I think I should start looking at purples more.

  5. I too made the Violet and was a bit disappointed- I agree it is awfully boxy. Having said that, if you hadn’t pointed out the bust dart issue, I would never have noticed! Nice job, as always.

  6. Thanks Amber! I think I’ll try some different versions before I give up completely. So many other people seem to look cute in it!

  7. Casey, I have some of the same problems with my Violet, but I wasn’t able to articulate them, so reading your post was like a series of lightbulbs. I’ve been wondering why I just don’t feel good in it. I hope you’ll like yours eventually!