Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane



Thanks for all the encouraging positive feedback on “For Your erudition” post. I enjoyed reading and researching Balenciaga and will definitely be writing more about the other greats.

I put up a photo of a garment and then asked you to guess what it was going to be. Many of you guessed correctly – knowledgeable sewists that you are – but I may have given you one too many clues. I also published a pic of the pattern piece, that, when enlarged, had the garment actually printed on it! Silly me!
This has now been removed to keep future readers guessing and by special request of the Centre for Pattern Design, as it is a copyrighted item and some unscrupulous individual may try to replicate the pattern from my crappy photos! Shame on you!

 Thanks to you all who notified me of this silly mistake by commenting or e-mailing. It was too late to remove the pic and I’ve been really busy away from the computer for the better part of a week so never got the time to rectify the problem. Please also regard this post as a ‘catch-all’ reply to your lovely comments.
All the images (apart from my 2 photos) are Balenciaga designs. All vintage – nothing new.

Anyway – I shall honour the giveaway promise regardless – for all of you who commented with the correct answer, I put all the names in a hat and pulled out TWOTOAST, who happens to have this quote as her mission statement –  “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Coco Chanel.lI shall be contacting you soon to see what pattern I have and which one you would like.
For those of you who missed the post or couldn’t figure out the garment – I shall now put you out of your misery.
But a blouse with no side seams, no sleeve insertion, one pattern piece and your choice of neck finishes.
This full scale pattern is fashioned after one demonstrated by Salvador who managed Monsieur Balenciaga’s tailoring atelier during the Golden Age of Couture in the mid-20th Century.  It is a single bias-cut pattern piece which comprises the front, back and spiral sleeve of an easy fitting top.  The back hangs in a cowl at the hip and there are no side or shoulder seams.  It may be worn open or closed in front.  Fits 8 – 16 with adjustments.  

The pattern is from the Centre for Pattern DesignOur mission here is to recognize the skill of pattern designing, to educate and provide research for professional development and to explore contemporary applications. 

They take iconic designs, refine, manipulate, adapt them and produce purchasable patterns that have as few pieces as possible but with impeccable fit and cut: in other words, a brilliant design aesthetic.

This blouse is inspired by Christobel Balenciaga – remember the simplicity of cut and innovative sleeves are his trademark.

The back of the blouse gently folds into a cowl just above the waist – so this is ideal for anyone, like me, with a sway back – the folds disguise all hint of a sticky-out bum.

The blouse is cut on the bias, so generally there is no need to finish the seams as they won’t fray. The two seams that hold the blouse together spiral down from the centre back neckline, around the sleeves to finish at the wrist.

My first attempt was in a chiffon, so these seams were frenched – look, there’s only two seams and a hem!

 The pattern comes with a simple round neckline and I kept this. I sewed poppers along the centre fronts as closures and generally leave the neck to flop open.

 Second one was made in a slightly fancier fabric, patterned poly satin, but this time I added a short tie as a collar; made 6 button holes and used pearl buttons as closures.

 Finally, a printed cotton with a collar. I took the collar pattern from another shirt pattern and just slightly changed the size to fit the neckline of the CB blouse.

If you’re wondering where the finished silver satin version is – it’s in the bin! It had a run-in with a too-hot iron. That’s the problem with single piece sewing, mess up one area and the whole lot is ruined.

Please check out the CPD website – they have beautiful patterns for sale, books, classes and lots of information and nice things to look at – another procrastination site!

24 thoughts on “Silly

  1. clever idea, and the end results are really great – shame about the silver one, but we have all been there

  2. So lovely and effortless a good design can look- I hope you edify us some more in the future!

  3. Well done, it's an awesome piece of engineering!

  4. Oh my, I think I must order this pattern. I love it!

  5. They all look great. I can't get over your productivity while you still work! Amazing.

  6. Gorgeous – and yet again informative ! Guess what pattern I'm just about to buy ? I'm sitting here at my laptop with my credit card by my side – always dangerous situation !Janice.

  7. ….. and even more dangerous if you have a glass of wine in the equation !Janice.

  8. Lovely…I was admiring that pattern and you have inspired me!

  9. It's me, it's me! How fabulous, I am a winner! Thank-you so much!Your blouses are gorgeous – it is hard to imagine how the finished garment would look from the pattern piece. Great engineering!

  10. That's what I love about this community – good company!

  11. The patterns are a bit expensive but as I've already got three blouses made, cost per item is relatively low.

  12. Thanks Carmen – simple pattern but a clever blouse

  13. Ah Lynda, they weren't all made this week! I finished the cotton one yesterday. I've been using the 15 min-a-day rule, although sometimes it turns into 2 hours!

  14. You will make it time and time again – it's versatile.

  15. Yes well done! Although I notice you have recently received a bucket load of patterns so I hope my little contribution will make you happy too.

  16. These blouses are so lovely Ruth. I'm a fan of bias cut patterns too and this one is so stylish.

  17. Your blouses are very lovely and I love the changes you added.

  18. I'm so glad you made this blouse! I have been oogling the CPD's patterns for a while, but I kept worrying that they were too "academic" for real-life wearing. Your blouses look fantastic, so all my fears are gone.

  19. Pingback: May 2 | corecouture

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  21. This amazing post, “Silly | corecouture” shows the fact
    that you truly fully understand everything that you’re writing about!
    I really completely agree with your blog. Thanks -Maxine

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