Hot! The “Blue Collar” Blouse

The Facts
: cotton/silk Radiance Oolong dress and cotton voile scraps from another project
Pattern: Victory Roxanne and Colette Sorbetto
Year: 2012 and 2011
Notions: interfacing
First worn: 8/22
Wear again: yes
Time to complete: about 4 hours
Total cost: free-ish

As I was packing for an eight hour drive to my parents’ house on Sunday, I had to face the fact that I had nothing for this challenge.  I consoled myself that I had the book-inspired challenge done, and finishing two projects in one week– a hectic hot summer week with no child care– was a dream anyways.  My original overly ambitious plan was out the window, but I couldn’t let go of the idea that I could do, I don’t know, something.  I was lugging my machine to my parents’ anyways to work on some small tasks I never seem to get around to.  I threw in my failed dress from the UFO challenge and some leftover cotton voile with the idea that I might be able to make a Roxanne with its cool tiered collar.  Did you see Nettie’s Roxanne?  Well, I want to join that party!

Unfortunately, you need a lot of fabric for that party.  So I used the collar and yoke/armhole area from Roxanne together with trusty Sorbetto.  I printed both patterns on my parents’ printer, which I had to “fix” by jiggling some cables.  Still amazed that worked.  Ideally, I would have made the whole blouse in the teal Radiance.  Since that wasn’t possible, I used the aqua voile for the collar, the back yoke binding, and the armhole bindings.  I had a bit of trouble making it up, mostly due to sewing in unfamiliar, unoptimal surroundings.  At some point it occurred to me that I should have taken into account Oolong’s bias cut.  I did shorten the darts so that they end before the Oolong seams on the front, and it all worked out in the end.  I omitted the hook and eye since my mom, who’s always highly critical of my appearance (ahem), approved, and I was thus saved from making a special trip to JoAnn and then doing the hand-sewing.  I can always add one later.

The photos were taken in Pittsburgh right before I drank a liter of beer at a German-style Biergarten.  When I was growing up Pittsburgh was the arty, gritty metropolis, about an hour away from my hometown of Youngstown.  The title, “Blue Collar” Blouse, is both accurate and a nod to my steel town roots.



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


Comments are closed.

  1. Love the collar, have been drilling over it since Nettie posted that dress. Love your color mix choice, definitely something I would wear. Looks great in the photos.

    I think the back closure could be nice with a pearl button loop.

  2. I was born in Youngstown. I really like this redo and I agree with Krista on the button and loop suggestion. Great colors!

  3. I love the collar as a different color. It really makes it pop! Great job!!

  4. looks like we had the same idea for this week! I too wanted to use the Roxanne pattern but didn’t make it in time. I LOVE this pleated collar!

  5. Brilliant Lee, the pleated collar is fantastic! and the teal? Y to the um.

    Happy to hear your mum approves of your appearance. My mum gave up a long time ago. hehe

  6. Very stylish, Lee, I love that collar, it’s so unique! The color is so pretty too. I’m impressed that you could drive all that way, and still feel like sewing. Wow!

    PS. I’m not sure if you got my message. I’d love to borrow that pattern and trace it and then send it right back. My address is 427 Grove Street, Willits, CA 95490. Thanks for the offer, that’s very sweet of you.

  7. That collar is amazing! This is also one of my favorite, go-to, redhead colors.

    I briefly lived in Pittsburgh after college and loved the art scene there!