The “Cockatoo” Blouse
Fabric: Silk charmeuse
Pattern: The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook – Our Blouse
Time to complete: A little over 8 hours. The charmeuse requires more attention.
First worn: March 2012
Wear again? Most certainly!
Total cost: $10
Honestly, I didn’t expect to participate in this week’s Pantone Spring Color Challenge. I had already selected my spring palette and none of the main colors were perfect matches. However, while I was at the fabric shop I stumbled upon this gorgeous silk charmeuse in the remnants bin. It was the same shade as the teal that I was after but in a lighter hue (do I have my terminology correct?) and I knew it would pair well with my other garments. It just so happened that it was Pantone’s Cockatoo! This color is so dreamy – a soft blue green that seems to go with everything.
I’ve only worked with silk charmeuse once before. Last fall, I had self drafted a shell with a cowl neck that I thought would be really beautiful in the fabric. I read up on how to handle charmeuse and took my time cutting out the pattern. I even basted all of my seams; I was so proud of myself! But… at the last minute I was feeling ansy and over confident and rushed through finishing the armholes. I tried serging, turning, and topstitching like you would for the hem of a garment. It was such an amateur maneuver and the whole blouse was ruined. Sometimes, the key to a successful project is knowing when to put it away for the day.
Armed with a littler more knowledge, this time I decided to go with a tried and true pattern. I wanted something feminine and easy to wear that would go with mini skirts and skinnies. The blouse from the BurdaStyle book has served me well in the past and I had been looking forward to making a sleeveless version. I was a little worried that with all the seaming that I’d eventually run into some puckering. There’s a little around the armholes but it’s probably not anything others would notice. Instead of my hack-job of yore, I applied a baby french binding (a la Lynda Maynard) to finish the armholes. Although I love the feel and drape of charmeuse, I’m not crazy about the characteristic sheen. I chose to use the matte side as the “right” side for this project. This has the added bonus of the silky slick against your skin (so soft)!
I’m really pleased with how this project came together. It’s always a great feeling when you come from one of these weekly challenges with a garment you know will get a lot of wear. I can’t wait to start pairing it with my other spring garments (like this teal skirt).