We’d like to welcome back Asmita from the Advisors Circle, who always has a creative take on our patterns. Today she’s showing off her patchwork Breezy Blouse.
For us in India, summer is around the corner. I wanted to make a simple and comfortable cotton blouse that would become a summer staple, something that I could wear through our long hot months. Enter the Breezy Blouse.
Truth be told, I have eyed this pattern several times ever since it came out. I loved the fact that it had side panels and a curved hemline. But what always stopped me was the silhouette; it seemed too boxy, and I was afraid that it wouldn’t quite work for my “triangle” shaped body. In the meantime, I sewed other things, which meant that increasingly, I had a growing pile of smaller yardages of fabric.
As is not unusual, some of these are quite precious to me, and I have been unwilling to part with them. And yet, I don’t always want to embark on yet another quilt. I decided to revisit the idea of making the Breezy blouse again, this time with the possibility that I could use the smallest pieces from my stash.
Sizing: Based on my measurements (upper bust 33”, bust 35”, waist 30”, hips 40″ and height 5″4′) my final version was made in a size 4 C cup graded out to an 8 at the hips.
Fabric: Not surprisingly, my chief aim here was to use as many scraps from my stash as possible. To make the side panels I decided to cut scraps into long strips and sew them up together to make “fabric” for side panels.
Each strip is roughly 1 1/2” wide (unsewn), but I think any size can work here. Because the pieces are so narrow, I also was able to use fabric with different weights. There is some mashru silk and ikat also thrown in the bunch! I lined it with very thin handloom cotton to give the patchwork some stability, and that became a single piece of fabric out of which I cut my pattern piece.
The main two panels, in ikat, are cut from leftover yardage from my husband’s shirt. That makes this a blouse entirely from leftover fabric, which makes me truly very happy!
Modifications/ Making muslins: This is a one-scissor pattern because once you “get” it, it is truly a very simple pattern that can be put together quickly. But because I am “triangle” shaped, it took a few muslins to get the shape I wanted. Here is my list of modifications:
1. Forward shoulder adjustment: 1/2”
2. Overall length reduced by 1 1/2”
3. To give myself extra room around the hips, I used the slash-and-flare method for the side panels. I had already graded the pattern out to an 8 at the hips. The slash-and-flare added an extra 3/4” width at the bottom.
4. Despite having a 2” difference between my upper bust and bust measurement, the A/B cup size wasn’t quite working for me (drag lines suggest the tightness). I moved to a C-cup pattern in size 4 (again grading it out to an 8 at hips). I also shortened the dart by
5. I reduced the front arm curve (taking it in) by about 1/4”.
Making these changes took time and four (!) muslins, but I am glad I persisted. Most significantly I felt that I could change the shape of the pattern ever so slightly to work for my body shape, and I am very happy with the result. I can see myself making endless variations of this pattern, both because the possibilities are endless (different necklines, patchworked, color-blocked panels) and the summer is long!
Your persistence certainly did pay off. Wha a great idea to up scraps and also tremulously helpful, to me, that you showed all your alterations. Thank You.
Bravo for your patience! The top looks terrific on you! You now have a top for your hot weather that you can use for years! This why we sew!
Asmita, this is gorgeous! I am inspired now to try to get one to fit. Thanks for the inspiration!