Summer Sewing No. 2 – Emerald Blouse

Here is number 2 on my list of summer sewing – a sheer, emerald colored blouse made from McCall's M6512. I love this top but making it was so tedious. I don't want to tell you how many late nights I spent sewing this thing. We kind of have a love-hate relationship now. But I'm hoping it will grow into a love-love relationship and I feel like it was all worth it in the end. This is a classic blouse with some beautiful details and I'm sure I'm going to love it for years to come.

For the pattern, I used McCall's 6512, View B. I really like the design of the blouse. It has a unique saddle shoulder/yoke design and nice details like the gathered cuffs, curved hem and button placket. I almost didn't have enough fabric for this because of the one piece that comprises the upper sleeve and yoke. I had to shorten the sleeve about 1/4 to 1/2 inch to fit that piece horizontally on the fold of the fabric. The sleeves are still a 3/4 length, as pictured on the front of the pattern.

I used a sheer fabric for the blouse and as the pattern recommends, I made french seams to protect the raw edges. I haven't done french seams in a while and, goodness me, they are so slow. First you sew, then iron, then trim, then sew again and iron again. It takes about three times as long as normal. Hence, all my late nights with this thing. I did find it helpful to use my 1/4 inch sewing foot while doing the french seams. And don't forget to iron carefully!

The pattern is a Melissa Watson for Palmer Pletsch design and is fairly detailed. There's a whole page on fitting and alteration. (Make sure you measure above the bust for this pattern!) The blouse is a pretty loose fit by design so fitting is not really a challenge. My one gripe about the pattern is that the instructions didn't show the french seams and there were some parts where I would have appreciated more guidance, particularly for the corner where the sleeve attaches to the bodice. I figured it out on my own and it worked at fine though. See above on the left I stopped stitching before I reached the corner then started again on the other side. On the right is the finished seam. There is a little pouch of excess fabric on the other side of the corner that I tacked down by hand.

My biggest struggle with the pattern was fitting the collar. It just seemed like there was way too much fabric on the collar to fit on the neck. I don't know if it was just me or something wrong with the pattern. I eventually squeezed it in and it's covered up by the neck tie though so I'm not too worried. The instructions could have been a little clearer for the collar and button band attachment. Otherwise they were great, it was just once I got to the end that I started to feel a little lost.

The blousy style of this top looks best with smaller, slimmer bottoms. I think it would probably work tucked into a high waisted skirt or over a pair of shorts. Overall I do really like the blouse and I think I'll get a lot of use out of it.

As shown above:
Dangly Earrings (similar to these and these)
Grey Jeans (mine are from Land's End Canvas, similar to these and these)
Peach nail polish (What do you think of this shade? I got it on sale at Sephora. I'm not sure yet if it just makes my hands look like a weird color in comparison.)
Black heels (similar to these and these)

I've realized that I've made all the easy pieces from my Summer Sewing plans. What was I thinking?  I should have saved something easy for the end. But no. That would have been sensible. So hear I am with only a rather complicated dress and a pair of shorts that are going to take a lot of fitting left to do. On the bright side, I've already cut out the dress and started a muslin for the shorts. It could be worse. I'm planning to serge the raw edges of the dress rather than french seams and I think that will help keep it from being horribly tedious. Wish me luck! I hope to have another piece done soon!

Check out the earlier posts in this series here:

Follow along with me here: