Thursday, December 12, 2013

Vogue 1323 - Ivory + black polka dotted silk blouse

I'm in love with silk blouses. Seriously. I wish I had a closet full. The only other one currently in my wardrobe is constantly on repeat. When I saw this beautiful ivory and black embroidered dotty crepe de chine at, I knew just what I'd make with it.

I picked Vogue 1323, a Rachel Comey design. I love this pattern so much for the interesting neckline and and front pockets. Any extra volume I can add to the front of my tops is a welcome addition for this small-busted gal. I also wanted to try my hand at a placket which I'd never done before. I chose to use a contrasting black for that part, picking another silk crepe de chine so that the fabric weights would match.

Sewing with crepe de chine isn't difficult, it just takes a little bit of finesse. You've got to go slow and treat it with loving kindness. I had to take lots of breaks while doing the miles of topstitching on the pockets and pocket flaps. The weight of this fabric was perfect for a blouse and isn't see-through with the proper skin-colored undergarments.

I cut a 10 through the shoulders and tapered out to a 12 through the hips - my normal Vogue sizing. Then I added 2.5 inches to the bottom to make it more of a tunic and 5/8" to each side to accommodate the longer length over my hips. I eliminated the hemline slits and curved the sides up a bit. To the back I added darts to give it a little shape and spaced out the gathers along the yoke.

The neckline of this blouse was a complete bear to sew. When I first began this blouse 3 months ago, I mistakenly used a heavier wool sateen for the placket. It looked AWFUL! The bottom of the placket was so bulky that the silk under it was pulling and puckering. Of course I did not notice this until it was completely sewn to the blouse including the slip-stitching on the inside. I considered trashing it in frustration and had to put it aside for awhile. After a week or two I decided to unpick the neckline and ordered another silk crepe de chine in black to remake that area. I interfaced the outer placket and collar and they behaved, but the inside placket facing gave me so much trouble. Silk cut on a curve does not like to behave and seems to grow. Anyway, I persevered, and I'm glad I did.

I haven't made vented cuffs in a really long time and these were kind of fun. For some reason I chose all four-holed buttons so I had to use thread shanks in order to prevent the silk from puckering.

For those areas that I didn't want an embroidered dot I used my seam ripper and carefully removed it. I had to do this whenever the dots were in a seamline, under the cuffs or on the yoke facing. There is a bit of interfacing sewn under each dot, which makes it a little raised off the fabric.

All the insides were sewn with french seams, including the armhole seam. I wouldn't have attempted french seams while setting in a sleeve except that the pattern instructions called for them. What a beautiful finish for a nice blouse! I'll definitely be doing that from now on.

Dressform pictures:

I'm so happy to have this project finally completed and could not be more pleased with the end result.