love letters blouse

02.08.10 {love letters blouse}

[ click for a larger view. ]

Perhaps I’m in a sappy mood, but when I pulled this fabric out of my stash, the motif reminded me of love letters! I made this over the weekend (along with half-finishing another project, and fitting some 30s slacks), using the Sencha blouse from Colette Patterns that Sarai sent me (thank you, Sarai!). Not to sound like a broken record, but have I ever mentioned how much I love the pattern line? lol.

02.08.10 {love letters blouse}

[ click for a larger view. ]

The fabric has a bit of a fun back story… It originally began life as a rather shapeless early 1990s dress I spotted at a rummage sale on the $0.25 table. It was big, boxy and generally too 90s “romantic grunge” for my taste. But the fabric was pretty fantastic–it reminded me of those lovely novelty prints from the 40s! I figured there was enough in the skirt to make a blouse, so for a quarter, it came home with me. Fast forward about two years, and I “rediscovered” it in the back of my closet. (Goes to show you just how organized I am… lol!) Blouses were on my list of things to make for spring, so the fabric plus the super-simple style of the Sencha pattern seemed like a good fit.

02.08.10 {love letters blouse}

[ click for a larger view. ]

I love the buttons down the back–don’t you?! I decided to be crazy again and do bound buttonholes. I am seriously the world’s slowest seamstress when it comes to making them, but I love the end result. One thing I wanted to point out about this blouse (more of a technical ramble here…) is the interfacing I used along the neckline. Interfacing, I have noticed, seems to strike fear into many home sewist’s hearts; I think because it hasn’t been until recently that books and magazines (like Threads) have started to demystify it a bit. I think a lot of times too it’s just easier to use the stuff you can find at your local sewing chain and just “make do”. The trick with interfacing is that it shouldn’t change the drape or grossly effect the weight of the material it’s supporting. Besides the woven and non-woven iron-on interfacing found at most stores, you can use a variety of “garment” fabrics like voile, organdy, muslin, flannel, etc. For this particular project, I interfaced everything with a bit of lightweight cotton. It took a bit more time to prepare (basting the cotton to the blouse fabric, finishing the edges, etc.), but was worth it because the end result is a layer that supports the blouse neckline (and buttonholes) without being detectable.

02.08.10 {love letters blouse}

[ click for a larger view. ]

Anyway, enough sewing rambling! I’m off to make myself another cup of morning tea–it’s downright cold here this morning! hehe!

February 8, 2010 · 36 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing · tags: , ,

Marjorie February 8, 2010 at 09:41

OH!! Sweet as a Valentine macaron!! I love it to bits! :) You always choose the prettiest fabrics for your beautifully sewn projects! Enjoy your morning tea, and the cool spell….My mom told me it was in the 50′s at her house yesterday! Cold, indeed, for Florida!

♥ Happy New Week to You!

Brandi February 8, 2010 at 09:42

Oh man, I think that has to be my favorite blouse in the history of blouses! That pattern is fantastic. I can never find 40s blouses in that shape (I wonder if because the silky fabrics never held up to the test of time?) but they’re the best. I’m so jealous of you right now!

Erika February 8, 2010 at 10:34

I love it! I’m waiting for this pattern in the mail, now I’m even more excited.

Mugsy February 8, 2010 at 10:55

Wow! Such a lovely fabric – I really MUST go thrifting more often… :)

Peter February 8, 2010 at 11:08

Charming! I love that print.

Quincy February 8, 2010 at 11:27

that blouse is wonderful Casey!!!

Meghan February 8, 2010 at 11:29

Wow, I am fairly certain I owned that 90s dress! I must have been about 13, and maybe even remember buying it in the Junior’s section of Nordstrom? How funny! Your blouse is certainly an improvement. If I find a picture of me wearing it I’ll post it and let you know!

Lauren February 8, 2010 at 11:34

Oh my gosh, I’m in love with that fabric!!
I’m totally like that, too… scrounge for things to be made into other things and them loose them for a year or three in a cupboard or closet. Glad I’m not alone! hehe!

Sally February 8, 2010 at 11:37

What a darling print! And I love how the dress is now reborn as a chic blouse.

Jill February 8, 2010 at 11:38

gorgeous fabric. I honestly thought it WAS 40s novelty. Just dreamy!

Gertie February 8, 2010 at 11:43

Love it! Such a sweet fabric. Now I want to see it on you! (I know, I’m demanding).

Funny – I’m working on the Sencha blouse now too! It’s been coming together so nicely and quickly. Count me in the Sarai fan club!

Paige February 8, 2010 at 11:44

That’s adorable! And the skirt is perfect with it.

jen February 8, 2010 at 12:33

MY GOODNESS CASEY!!! what an adorable blouse and the fabric is too much – what a find! i really thought it was vintage.

you may think you are a slow seamstress but you finished a whole blouse in a weekend!! wow, i’m in awe.

Laura February 8, 2010 at 13:15

That’s fabulous. I love the fabric, and the price is even better! How perfect for a Valentine’s Day weekend. :-)
I recently ordered the Ceylon dress pattern and am almost finished making it up in a lightweight gray wool. I should get to work on that instead of checking my Google Reader… LOL.

Ann February 8, 2010 at 13:26

Jeepers! How do you get so much done in a weekend? The blouse is lovely – and so inspiring. I’ll be keeping my eye out for “fabric” at thrift stores.

Marmielu February 8, 2010 at 13:35

I just love that blouse and the fabric. You are so clever about know fabrics to stash away when you see them. Glad you got it made.

Rhiannon February 8, 2010 at 13:39

I love that you took a 25 cent ’90s dress and made a beautiful blouse out of it!

nancy February 8, 2010 at 14:00


That fabric is to die for! I always go to the Salvation Army as though it’s a fabric store, but my re-fashionings have been simpler.

I keep telling myself, “Someday I’ll sew as well as Casey and Gertie…”

Tilly February 8, 2010 at 14:24

What perfect fabric! Are you going to wear this on Valentine’s Day? I’m making Sencha this weekend – can’t wait!

ashley February 8, 2010 at 14:43

I do love the buttons down the back! I do I do!!

Amy February 8, 2010 at 15:13

How clever! The pattern is so sweet and I love the style. I was just reading about bound button holes yesterday. They look so nice. Love the buttons down the back.

Jennifer February 8, 2010 at 15:44

Wow, that’s such a great blouse! I’m in love with that fabric!!

reilly February 8, 2010 at 16:34

So pretty! Will this blouse be involved in any V-day plans you have? ;)

Sarah February 8, 2010 at 18:08

Oh, that is cute as a button! I love the quirky fabric, and the story that went along with it. I love to see old pieces recycled into something wonderful. I too am guilty of hoarding scrap fabric – I will buy an old piece of clothing for the fabric and forget about it for a couple (or a few…) of years before I finally rediscover it and do something with it!

Rosie February 8, 2010 at 18:15

That is so so so so amazing! I can’t wait to see how you style it!

Danielle February 8, 2010 at 18:27

so cute!

sarahblank February 8, 2010 at 18:41

oh my goodness I can’t believe it 90s fabric…so lovely and vintagey! I love this blouse. I suppose the pattern is vintage??

mary catherine February 8, 2010 at 21:24

oh casey this blouse is just darling! i’m so happy to see you using older skirts for projects like this. i have probably 10 thrifted skirts taking up valuable real estate in my sewing room as i type this that i just haven’t gotten around to using yet. it’s such a crazily economical fabric source, though. it’s a fun challenge, too :) also–such a cute pattern! i may have to break down and buy a collette pattern now.

ps–you won my giveaway :) send me your mailing address when you get a chance and i’ll pop your valentines in the mail to you! thanks for playing–i loved your story :) xoxooxxo mary catherine

Ally February 9, 2010 at 01:27

I can’t believe that fabric is from an old 90s dress! It’s adorable. I have a few thrifted skirts and dresses I bought for the fabric, but the process of taking apart before I sew always makes me feel it’s not worth it. :)

The pattern is adorable as well. As soon as I find the time to make something (and, er… learn to sew beyond little alterations!) I’ve promised myself I’ll buy a few Colette patterns.

Rachel February 9, 2010 at 02:34

That is one of the loveliest blouses I have seen in so long. It is gorgeous. Thank you also for taking the time to comment on my blog about the Ceylon Colette Pattern – a most useful tip. I bought more fabric today to re-do the sleeves. xx

Mary Van Notes February 9, 2010 at 15:26

Absolutely gorgeous print. You did an amazing job!

Peldyn February 10, 2010 at 02:59

So cute and your buttonholes have inspired me to make bound buttonholes on my new vest I am making from a vintage pattern and a vintage wool herringbone tweed. Let me tell you, it was a pain placing the pattern pieces around the moth holes!

Stephanie February 10, 2010 at 07:38

Really cute!

chantele February 10, 2010 at 10:02

That fabric is so sweet, it really does look like love letters!

Alyssa February 11, 2010 at 22:26

Oh I love your version of it!
I really think you should make their samples…theirs never look like the fit the models properly, which is why I haven’t bought any. Now I want to buy them all!

Brook Owens February 11, 2010 at 23:07

i love thos blouse. it was fun to make. next time I am making this version. and making the bodice longer. mine was too short for my liking. but with a high waisted skirt like this looks great.

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