Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Variations on a Theme


Well, time is moving closer to December 25th and I haven’t a mince pie baked yet. I like cooking and baking but I’d rather sew.

I love tie/scarf necked blouses – reminiscent of Chanel, I guess – but all my existing patterns were laborious and consisted of loads of pieces – I wanted something quick and easy but still looked the part. Kwik Sew 3782. This is my first Kwik Sew pattern and quick and easy it certainly is. Are they all like that? The photo on the envelope is dreadful and was nearly enough to put me off but I desisted the urge of putting it back, thinking I could do some tweaks to make it better. I don’t do sleeveless and the 3/4 length sleeves weren’t doing it for me either – but the neckline is great, front and back are both cut on the fold and there are no darts!

The following are images of 5 (yes, 5) that I’ve made so far. Each one has full length sleeves but with a different sleeve finish.

1. Abstract patterned poly-satin in mauve/grey/cerise.
The bell shaped sleeve was cut to the original pattern length, pleated and sewn into a simple cuff band at the wrists. Dressy, for work or dining out.

2. Traditional shirting cotton in pale blue and white stripes.
Sleeve was lengthened, gathered into a broader cuff to more resemble a shirt and was inserted in the same method as if you were making a shirt. Casual, jeans navy trousers(pants) but can be dressed up when tucked in to a navy skirt.

3. Burgundy chiffon – need a camisole under this one.
Sleeve was lengthened to wrist and gathered into elastic. This creates a ‘puffed’ sleeve effect just right for the fabric. Definitely dressy.

4. This is a bright pink chiffon ordered from Fashion Fabrics club (Fashion by the Yard). Yes, that’s what I thought when I opened the parcel! Obviously a mistake with the barcode. It really is the most boring fabric with horrible colours, but it is silk and lay at the bottom of the box until I found this pattern. The sleeves on this version are folded over and inserted into a cuff band. The cuff was then folded over and a button and button hole added. It’s not a real cuff just made to look like one. The blouse looks alright with jeans and under a coat buttoned up the neck!

5. Finally, black and white chiffon. This used to be a sarong that a friend of my mother’s gave me – thinking I could make something from it – so I did. I used the already finished edges as guides for the hem of the blouse and the edges of the sleeves – saved me from hemming them and gave me the straight of grain without a measuring tape! Here I lengthened the blouse and of course the sleeves. I zig-zagged black knicker elastic about 5cm (2″) from the sleeve hem that sits at the wrist and the flounce hangs over the back of my hand. Both the blouse body and sleeves were lengthened.

Also, check out Loves2Sew’s version. She made the same blouse in the most beautifully spring-like fabric with 3/4 sleeves. Great job! Inspiring each other.

I realise that my hanging versions of this blouse are not very inspiring – so here’s a picture of it tucked in to a skirt and what a difference a little bit of styling makes.

Here’s me wearing the same skirt but with the burgundy chiffon version and Vogue 8333 made last year.

Thanks for reading. Ruth

4 thoughts on “Variations on a Theme

  1. Using a same pattern for clothes doesn't make same look. You look really cool in purple!

  2. Ruth, wow what a lot of sewing you have done – love the blouse x 5 and great that you have just varied each one a little. I actually like these types of blouses that don't have buttons down the front – easy to wear but still look great.Have a nice Christmas

  3. Pingback: SWAP ’14 | corecouture

  4. Pingback: Remember Clover? | corecouture

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