The “Blue Collar” Blouse
Fabric: cotton/silk Radiance Oolong dress and cotton voile scraps from another project
Pattern: Victory Roxanne and Colette Sorbetto
Year: 2012 and 2011
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.