Hello friends. One thing that gives me a lot of comfort at the moment is following along with other people’s sewing and seeing what other projects we’re all working through. It’s inspired me to continue working through my own growing pile of secondhand patterns, seeing what I can create with the fabric I have on hand and how creative I can be with the scraps. It’s a chance to flex my creative muscles. I do have a few bits and pieces in mind, and have already begun investigating the possibility of making my own bias binding from odd pieces – leaving the fabric from some old sheets as pocket lining and things like that. But first on my list was this gorgeous blouse pattern, Simplicity 2151, in combination with this secondhand fabric I’d had for about two months or so.
I’ve already had a good experience with the Amazing Fit patterns, so when I stumbled over this one at a local op-shop a while ago I knew it would be worth investigating. I was thrilled to bits when I saw it had a View (View A), which had a Pussybow blouse collar, buttons down the front, and side vents to allow better fit over the hips. That combined with the princess seams and ability to choose between cup sizes simply made it perfect for me. I am a huge fan of princess seams as they sit really well on my figure, and the last pattern I tried with a dedicated cup size gave an excellent fit! So of course I thought – let’s do this one first.
It was a very straightforward construction process, made easier by the fact that I have a tailor’s ham to help press the princess seams. I did cheat on the facing, however, in that I top-stitched inside and long the shoulder seam on the outside of the garment so that the facing would be secure and that the stitches wouldn’t be noticeable. I also used the same hemming technique I’d learned from the sleeves of my last project in order to neatly hem the side-vents. The only difficult part was that I couldn’t make up my mind about the seam allowance of the sleeves, so ended up inserting those after doing the side seams which is never as fun as doing it all in one, and attempting to stitch the cuff to the gathered sleeves is also a little bit painful. But the results are a beautiful bishop sleeve that I can’t argue with!
I did end up having to get the buttons from a shop, as there seems to be a run on secondhand buttons at the moment. But my friend was able to find a set that matched the blouse colours perfectly! And for once I thought I would try and use the buttonhole guide that came with the pattern. I’m not sure if I simply misunderstood, but the buttonholes seemed to be horizontal which does make getting the buttons in and out a bit tricky. But I am happy with their placement and it was interesting to try a different style! All that was left then was to take the seams in a little around the chest, as that gaped a little bit, but other than that it was perfect!
Pattern: Simplicity 2151
Views Made: View A, size 14
Pros: Very straightforward to construct, instructions are detailed and clear, there are multiple cup options, there are several different styles of sleeve and collar to make.
Cons: Not a huge fan of the horizontal buttonholes.
Would I recommend it for beginners: I would recommend this pattern for beginners who have some experience with making blouses, and want to try something with interesting features.
Would I make it again: I am seriously considering it!