Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Granny-smith Blouse

I'm pleased to introduce... the Granny-Smith blouse. I could not resist the temptation of adding little apples as buttons. (^-^)

In my last post, I forgot to tell you that my Beignet skirt was made from cotton piqué. My green blouse here, on the other hand, is definitely not as breathable as cotton piqué. It's made of American crêpe purchased on Goldhawk Road, London, for £3.5 per yard. In my excitement over the colour and price, I forgot to ask about the actual composition. Turns out it's polyester. Womp, womp, womp... don't light a match near me!

I'd like to point out that the first five photos bellow were taken by Alessandra Mondin. I promised in my last post to tell you the story of the photo-shoot. I've been wanting to collaborate with Alessandra for a while now, ever since I realised what a talented photographer she was. So, I was very happy when she accepted to shoot the Beignet Skirt.

When she inquired about what I was going to wear, I said something like "A new blouse I made! It's bright green!"
Only problem was, this "bright green blouse" did not exist yet. And the shoot was in two days. And postponing was not an option since I was leaving Hull the next day.

Let me tell you, dear Readers, that I've never been so fast in my life. I can now imagine what it is like to work in a sweatshop now -- or be contestant on Project Runway. It took three hours to draft the pattern, and about nine hours for the actual blouse. That's twelve hours from start to finish. When you go this fast, you can't pay attention to details, so I won't include close-ups here! Anyways, five minutes before I was supposed to meet Alessandra, I was still sewing. The hem, the seams and the buttonholes aren't finished in the pictures she took. The opening is held together with pins!
***Warning -- The picture below is unsuitable for young children.***

In spite of that, I'm very pleased with how it turned out. It was a big hit with my aunts, who were visiting this weekend. My sister wants me to make her one. I was surprised to find out that the pattern actually fits her. Actually, I think it looks better on her than on me!

This is me having fun with my new labels. Maybe this is a bit cheesy, but it adds colour! Plus, this is a great way to reuse your fabric scraps.

I drafted the pattern from my bodice block. It wasn't too difficult. I used the same sleeve pattern as for the Lobster Dress and the other modifications were fairly simple. The ruffles are simply rectangles of 3.5" x 11", which I gathered. Lucky for me, my first muslin worked.
What did I learn?
- Putting together this blouse is fairly labour-intensive because of the ruffles, the buttonholes and the collar. Next time, I will definitely pick a higher-quality fabric to get more bang for my time. I'm picturing sand-washed silk, which is very trendy right now.
- Don't start planning your photo-shoot until after the actual garment is completed (!).
- Needles matter. They didn't invent different needle sizes just for the fun of it. It's not a marketing gimmick. The right needle really does make a difference. In my case here, my American crêpe was very thin and delicate, but at the same time pretty resistant (if that makes sense), so my machine had a hard time piercing the fabric, especially at lower speed. So I ended up with the irregular, awful stitch bellow. At first I thought my machine was broken, but then I realised the problem was actually my needle. The moment I installed an extra-fine needle, it made a world of a difference.

And look, I found my match! Farewell, Hull!


  1. The blouse looks amazing, imperfections are hardly noticeable in the photos. Good job on hiding them. I love the apple buttons. I can't believe you drafted the shirt. So impressive. Can't wait to see your silk version of this.

  2. Gorgeous! Colour and style look lovely on you :-)

  3. This is a wonderful style and colour on you Adrienne and you are brilliant at drafting your own patterns. It's very impressive! It made laugh that your blouse was unfinished during your photoshoot, but it was worth it to get those professional-looking photos ;o)

  4. Excellent top! I really like the collar.

  5. Oh. My. God. Best blog post I've read in ages. I love your blouse, it's beautiful. The photos are fabulous and you look divine, but best part of all - realizing that your blouse was held together with pins! Hilarious. Is the polyester really so bad? I thought polys had got better over the years. I totally agree re changing needles - that can make a massive difference. If your needle's too big with fine fabrics, the fabric seems to 'stick' to the needle.

  6. Gorgeous blouse - I especially love the stunning colour and the lovely frills!

  7. What a fabulous blouse! Well done for pulling it off in such a short space of time - and that included drafting the pattern..wow! Loved the photos too - the lighting is gorgeous.

  8. this is such a great outfit, your beignet looks great, I love the details, and the blouse is fantastic, great color !

  9. Thanks everyone. :-) Alessandra really did a great job with the pictures, I agree!

  10. That is a really amazing blouse!!!

    And you`re back in TOronto! Call me when you`re free!!! <3

  11. I love your blouse and the pictures. I have recently finished a blouse but you are giving me some more ideas for the next one!

  12. This is so fabulous! Love it! :D

  13. This is a beautiful blouse.
    Sadly, the fabulous fabric shops of Goldhawk road are at threat of demolition.
    You can read the full details on Melissa’s blog:


    Please spread the word,join the facebook group, write to the council and lend your support in any way you can. Otherwise fabric shopping trips to Goldhawk road may sadly become a thing of the past.

  14. Oooo, so great! I want to make myself one just like that this instant!

  15. I love this blouse, Adrienne. What a great job you did. So happy you wore it to the meet-up!


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! Comments are moderated on posts older than 20 days, so they won't appear immediately. :-)

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