Hot! The “City of Roses” Blouse

The neighbors got some entertainment this afternoon if they were watching.

The Facts:
Fabric – Polyester/Rayon blend found on the clearance table at Hancock

Pattern: McCall 6510

Year: current

Notions: bias tape for neckline

Time to complete: about 4 hours

First worn: today to frolic in the backyard

Wear again?  Absozoobalutely!

Total price: $10 including pattern


I couldn’t resist this flowing floral print among the bolts and bolts of not-so-pretty prints on the Hancock clearance table.  It goes right along with my Spring color palette, which you can find in my blog post – Bright and Bold for Spring.  Once I had the fabric, I knew exactly what pattern I needed.  McCall’s was on sale for $1.99 and I picked up 5610 with high hopes.

I have to admit that I researched for cities to fit my blouse instead of looking for a project to fit a city.
I came up with Portland, Oregon whose official nickname is “The City of Roses.”  The International Rose Test Garden is located in Portland and consists of several gardens with over 7,000 rose plants.  New varieties are sent from all over the world to be tested for color, fragrance, disease resistance, etc. according to Wikipedia.

Wikipedia elaborates: “In 1917 a group of Portland nurserymen came up with the idea for an American rose test garden. Portland had an enthusiastic group of volunteers and 20 miles (32 km) of rose bordered streets, largely from the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition. Portland was already dubbed “The City of Roses” so this was leveraged to enhance the reputation.”

Apparently, the roses bloom beginning in April (how appropriate!) lasting through October.  If I ever plan a trip to Portland, I might want to take that into consideration because it sounds pretty amazing.  For now, I’ll just dance in my back yard in my blouse and enjoy the few roses my own scraggly bushes provide.
As far as the pattern itself:  The fit is generous, but I’m sure it’s meant to be.  I cut the smallest size, and I feel like that was the right fit for me. This is a fabric hog!  I did put a seam in the middle of the sleeve pieces and that worked just fine.  If I were to do it again, I would probably shorten the “wings” a little so they wouldn’t be quite so ruffled at the shoulders, but that’s just nitpicky.


The neck was supposed to be finished with bias tape, but there was no way that this fabric was going to hold enough of a crease to make bias tape.  I didn’t want it to stand out too much, so I bought grey.  After applying it, the neckline stuck out, where as before, it was laying flat. Erg! I turned the bias tape to the inside and used a 1/4 inch seam allowance to secure it.  Thanks to the Colette Patterns Sorbeto and to Anna Maria Horner’s Socialite Dress pattern for teaching me I had this option.  The neckline is laying nicely again and I don’t have to see the bias trim at all.  Yay!


I will be wearing this over and over again in the warm months and am looking forward to packing it in my suitcase in a week or so to take on vacation…. not to Portland, but I can still represent.  :D




Sara is a dance teacher by degree and at heart, but has currently set that aside while her husband completes his radiology residency and she raise their two little girls. Her interest in sewing began when she had her first little girl four years ago and she began sewing for herself just last year. Sewing is her creative outlet and is also becoming an academic endeavor as she attempt to educate herself further in this new pursuit.


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  1. Portland is lovely (I’m biased, it’s my home town); if you ever go, I’d recommend some time after the 5th of July–otherwise, you’ll be looking at the roses in the rain!

  2. Hey Sara, great shirt and the fabric is beautiful. I didn’t know the nickname of Portland. Sounds like it could be cool trip to see so many beautiful Roses. Thanks for sharing the tip on the neckline, I’ll use that in the future.

  3. The beautiful flowing sleeves made me think of Isadora Duncan. Beautiful pairing with your purple pants and just right for frolicking.

    • I actually had it in my head to work a tribute to Isadora Duncan somehow into some challenge this year. So, maybe I did without realizing it! Thanks. :)

  4. This is gorgeous! I actually really like the “wing” sleeves. And your picture caption–love it.
    I was excited to see a Portland garment, too. The roses aren’t quite blooming here yet, but they’re close. You should visit–it’s nice when it’s not raining.

  5. Such a pretty blouse. Goes really well with your purple pants!

  6. These pictures are awesomesauce. I love the shirt paired with these pants, and the shirt alone is flowy and gorgeous. I can see why you love it so much!

  7. You have done us Portlanders proud. We have almost as many Birkenstocks as we do roses, though.

    • aw, well I’m glad to bring Portland to light. I enjoyed learning about the rose gardens. My mom would fit right in with the Birkenstocks.

  8. I love Portland! Your blouse is so pretty! I can see why you would want to dance and move in it. I would too!

  9. Very pretty blouse and thanks for the City of Roses Random facts, I like learning things like that.

  10. I love that first picture! The floaty blouse is gorgeous

  11. i love your photos. cute outfit!

  12. So pretty! That’s actually my fav way to apply bias tape along a neckline or armscye… it’s quick and dirty, and if in a contrast fabric, a little secret for me to see :)