Hot! The “Playful Blouson” Top

The Facts
Fabric: about 1 5/8 yards cotton gingham, white muslin for facings
Pattern: Advance 8281, View 3 (but with View 1 length)
Year: 1950s
Notions: 3 buttons from stash
Time to complete: about 6 hours
First worn: 4/15
Wear again: oh yes
Total cost:  about $14?

Olive Juice catalog. Don't the shorts look like the new Colette pattern?

Once again, I had a more ambitious plan for this challenge involving a photo of me in a dark green sailor dress and this pattern from glamorous, generous Debi Fry.  That dress WILL be made.  I’m quite pleased with how I adjusted to reality this week and finished a garment I know will get a lot of wear.  I was inspired by a recent Olive Juice catalog that features loads of gingham for girls.  I love Olive Juice. If I were a rich little kid who could buy my own wardrobe, I would wear everything they make.

Last week I made View 1 of this pattern. The collar and short sleeves of View 3, and the gingham stripe placement to consider, took a bit more time. The short sleeves are super cute, but I would simplify the construction next time by cutting them in one piece and using bias tape instead of a facing.  I used white muslin for the facings, forgetting that the left front facing forms the placket.  By the time I realized my mistake, I couldn’t turn back, so let’s call that white placket a design element. The buttons, from my grandmother’s collection, are probably from the same era as the pattern.  For once, I really made an effort with the stripe-matching.  The sleeve front and backs match well.  One side seam is a perfect match and the other is perfectly one stripe off.  Hmm.










Clipping of View 3 I found in the pattern envelope.




Lee is a highly educated stay at home mom with a lot of projects. She lives in New York City.


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  1. It’s so cute and neat and suits you so well!

  2. I like the Debi Fry dress as well but this is darling, too. Your muslin design element works well to break up the checks so serendipity strikes again! Very nice.

  3. Hi Lee, love the front detail photo, what a great job on the construction. Looking good!!

  4. Wow, Lee, we’re like sisters this week! Not only did I use the same black/white gingham for one of my pieces but I used the SAME STYLE buttons on my shirt!! I love your shirt, it is adorable : ) And red Tom’s? Love those too!

    • Uh oh, you probably made two other pieces and an accessory to boot! I’m flattered, though. Aren’t the buttons cool? I’m so glad I got to use them.

  5. So cute! It’s a piece that you can really wear a lot this summer. It looks great on you.

  6. Very cute! I like your whole outfit. Great job!

  7. I love love love what you did with the black gingham… Who am I kidding, I love everything that comes out of your sewing room! So cute!

  8. Love that gingham! Super cute outfit!

  9. That looks so comfy, and stylish at the same time. Thanks for the link to Olive Juice, I think I’m going to waste some happy time searching that website (and using the inspiration ;)) I love that you seem to know your style so well and fit it perfectly (even loving the imperfections in life).

  10. I love that you used black gingham for this – it looks like such a fantastic top for the summer! I am a big fan of the neckline and I like the contrasting placket :) Well done!