stashbusting: beach blouse

Summery, breezy shirt? Check. Sunshine? Check. Beach-day? Check.

This beach-friendly blouse is my latest effort in busting my fabric stash. I decided, in trying to utilize an oddly shaped yard of this cream-colored poly/linen blend, that a simple shirt would be my best bet. Originally this fabric was bought nine years ago (goodness! Am I a hoarder, or what?) intended for a peasant-style blouse. It was not a success.

So the fabric lay around, waiting for something to turn into. It’s a polyester/linen blend, unfortunately with the linen making up only 5% of the fabric. It’s an oddity for me to have a nearly 100% synthetic fabric in my stash, but it does have some redeeming qualities. It has a really nice crinkled texture, and feels nice and breezy. The fabric is too sheer to use on its own, so I doubled the layers. I think it made the blouse drape a little more stiffly, but I’ve decided that it came out quite nicely regardless. And best of all? There were hardly any fabric-scraps left over!

I based my shirt on this one, which I think is from Urban Outfitters. I cut the image out for a school project a while back, and studying the shirt, I decided I could pattern it fairly easily. This is what I discovered:

• There is a front piece, a back piece, and a yoke.
• There are gathers at the neckline, the shoulders in the front, and the back, beneath the yoke.
• The shoulder-seam is dropped a couple of inches to the front
• The neckline and sleeves look to be made up of completely rectangular pieces

The envelope sketch: Dotted line is the original block, green lines are alterations for ease and gathers, and squiggly lines indicate gathers.

And for those who are curious about the patternmaking part, this is how I did it:

• I dropped the armholes about 2″ and scooped out the neckline for both front and back pieces.
• Dropped the front shoulder piece by about 2″ – which was added to the yoke.
• Added 1 1/2″ to the center front for a looser fit and gathers at neckline
• Drew a straight line from armhole to hem
• Cut a yoke from the top back piece
• Slashed and spread the top of the new (shortened) back piece for gathers
• Turned the shoulder dart into gathers instead

Sewing the blouse together was quite easy – maybe because of the few pieces, and particularly because the sleeves and neckline were rectangles I folded in half, turned under the seam allowance, and stitched on. It’s a similar technique I’d use to sew on binding, say, on a quilt, a shirt collar, or a cuff, and it makes both sides look really nice and neat. I’m planning a ‘how-to’, so stay tuned!

Successful stashbusting!

4 thoughts on “stashbusting: beach blouse”

  1. Ooooh, I’ve been dribbling over Ink’s Ode to Satomi-blouse (at Burdastyle) today, I love the gatering underneath a yoke that essentially is it. However, I don’t think I would get much use of it.
    This, on the other hand! I might have to copy you… ;-)

    1. Haha, I was hoping! I don’t think it will make much sense if you don’t know your patternmaking abc, but I figured there were enough fellow seamstresses/pattern-making lovers to warrant a little sketch!

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