11 Mar 2013 • • by Heather Lou

The Almost Equipment Blouse


Hi pals! I thought I would share this project I finished back in December with you  (a junkie stole my camera the day I shot it, so here we are, 3 months later).

Maybe you remember this little lady?

Go go gadget x-ray blouse. This was back in December before I had added the buttons and buttonholes.

This project was a lot of firsts for me. First time sewing with light as a feather crepe de chine. First time making a blouse. First time using silk organza. The first time is always special. And I didn't even wait till my wedding day.

I have lusted after Equipment blouses for years. They are so classic and chic and can look polished or casual with ease. In desperate need of work separates, I thought this McCall’s pattern was a mighty fine substitute, but Jen at Grainline has released the Archer blouse and I think it’s probably a better choice, especially given the drafting woes I encountered with the McCall’s (the Archer also has an option for a cute ruffle in the back).

I think most of the painful memories associated with how much I slaved over this fickle beast have faded somewhat but I still have a general sense of pride mixed with despair whenever I wear it. Hours and hours and hours of fiddly hand sewing and silk pin pinning and OCD hand washing (sweaty paws and silk ≠ mix)…. Don’t even get me started on trying to sew those pockets on evenly (where was Sallie and her glue stick tip then I tell you!?)

We all know that silk is a bitch to cut. Even with my pattern weights and rotary cutter I had issues with the smaller parts, namely the collar facing. I didn’t dare zoom in and show you but shit is a little wonky there. Trying to stretch fabric where fabric does not want to be stretched. That in and of itself would not have been the end of the world, but then I got to the sleeves.

What SHOULD have been a pretty simple set-in sleeve was a catastrophe. Somehow the sleeve I cut was SUBSTANTIALLY larger than the opening. I double checked all my pattern pieces and I have to chalk it up to a drafting error on McCall’s part. Hey guys? Maybe do a little test jobby before you send these guys to be printed. Because my sleek, minimalist Equipment wannabe blouse now has a gathered sleeve. Shudder.

I also found the collar a little dinky, but other than that, I am really happy with the shape of this blouse. It’s the perfect length to wear with leggings and looks great tucked into pencil skirts. (I didn’t bother sewing buttons at the cuffs because I’m a roll-em-up kind of lady. Sshh, don’t squeal). The kind of basic I should and will have in a half dozen fabrics. But next time I’m going Archer. Thinking about the McCall’s sleeve snafu is giving me anxiety.

And now, some hipster styling. When did girls start wearing their shirts buttoned all the way up and why do I kind of like it? See what I mean about the dinky collar? I like a slightly more pronounced point.

P.S. Peep those pumps! Apparently I have the kind of housewarming parties where people get so drunk they forget their Christian Laboutins (I was not aware I had the kind of friends who OWNED Laboutins, but that is another issue entirely). Too bad they’re a size too big. I guess I’ll have to give them back.

P.P.S. I apologize for the photo blurriness. I'm using a loaner camera with fancy lenses and I'm still getting the hang of it.

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