Earlier this year, Ty and I had the opportunity to go to Amsterdam. It was actually a work trip for Ty, and I was lucky enough to get to tag along. We spent a week in Amsterdam, and then I went to London for a few days while Ty was in Tel Aviv. It was absolutely magnificent. Like any other good designer worth her salt, I always look for the fabric stores. I found a great market in Amsterdam with an entire block of fabric stores which was a highlight of the trip, for sure. In London, I stayed in a cute little hotel in Kensington, and there was a fabric store just a few blocks away. On my last day there, I spent about two hours at this shop, slowly making my way around the racks of thousands and thousands of fabrics. This particular shop was known for their inventory of Liberty prints (pretty sure they had every single print ever made, it was crazy), and the entire first floor was packed to the ceiling with Liberty prints. While lovely, I find Liberty prints a little small in scale, so they’re not always the thing that really grabs my attention. This place also had a huge selection of wool and other apparel fabrics. I walked out of there with a couple bags of truly unique fabrics, giddy with excitement and anxious to get home and get sewing.
One of the fabrics I got that day was this gorgeous red plaid linen. I loved it for a number of reasons, including the fact that it was linen and it had all my favorite colors in it. I didn’t want to rush into just any old garment with this fabric, and I only had 3 yards to work with so I had to be careful. Well, I wasn’t. Over the summer, I cut a dress out of this fabric. One of those easy to to pull on, loose fitting dresses with a sash belt. After I cut it out, it sat in the “ready to be sewn” pile for months until, one day, I woke up and asked myself what on earth I was thinking. This fabric had to be a blouse. With a bow.
I spent most of the afternoon one day re-cutting this blouse out of that dress. Luckily, I had enough to cut out all the pieces, but I did have to narrow the neck tie by about 2″. Take it from me, people. Think long and hard about your projects before rushing to cut something out that you’re less than enthused about!
Other than narrowing the neck ties a tad, I didn’t make a single adjustment to this pattern. I cut a size 16, and it has the perfect amount of ease. There are front and back bodice darts as well as back shoulder darts which seems like a lot, but they make for one seriously flattering blouse. I’ve made this in chambray too (which I’ll show you in January), and I’m going to cut it out in a navy swallow print poplin soon. Love this one, big time.
Easily one of my favorite looks of 2016, but it’s hard not to love anything that involves a big tulle skirt and a pussy bow blouse:
A match made in heaven if ever there was one:
All tied up:
For the continuous lap on the sleeve I cut the strips on the bias, which I think is a nice little detail. I did not topstitch the cuff, because topstitching on plaid can look messy and distracting, so I slipstitched the inside. I used red thread for the buttonholes and the buttons. The buttons are 5/8″ instead of 1/2″, because I used my 1/2″ navy buttons on the chambray blouse, and I was in no mood to fight the holiday shopping crowds for two cards of buttons. If this ever happens to you, know that you can go with a bigger or smaller button and you’ll be just fine. Now, 3/4″ or bigger buttons would have been ridiculous, and teeny tiny buttons would have been equally as silly. These 5/8″ buttons were fine. Or, you can plan better than I did and be prepared with the right size buttons!
If you haven’t sewn a long sleeve with a button cuff yet, don’t be intimidated! I promise, it’s much easier than you think. And it looks so lovely!
It’s been a while since I’ve worked with plaid so this was a fun project, and it was so much fun to wear this season. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing this one year round.
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