June 14, 2010

Boysenberry Pastry Blouse with a Secret Ingredient

This is a blouse I made from a McCall's 1980's pattern. I really do love vintage patterns. Truly I do. But I've been having trouble finding vintage patterns for prices that aren't, well....ridiculous. And to be brutally honest, I spent $47 for this pattern (I'm very very very upset with myself too) and it has been lost in the mail. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? Yeah, that is definitely not happening again. In fact, I've banned myself from buying patterns online for awhile because of this. (Peter brought up a very good point and so as not to give this seller a bad wrap, Sandra from the Selvedge Shop completely reimbursed me! She's been excellent to work with. I feel terrible that we both missed out on this gorgeous dress pattern) So, I'm content to buy patterns that I can actually get my hands on. That would be patterns bought from my local thrift store. And those can be quite wonderful as they are usually only $0.50 - $1.00, however usually they are from the 70's or 80's eras. I bought this one for $0.50. I'm a real sucker for this kimono sleeve look. I just LOVE it. I've bought a few other patterns with this kimono style thing going on. Love them too.

I also had a thing for this dobby dot stuff when it came out. I love the colors these came in. And the voile fabric is just perfect for summery weather. I mean really, this pattern and this fabric = a match made in heaven.

This blouse is also special as its donning some handmade buttonholes (aka, the secret ingredient). There are six of these babies. And though they may not look like too much, they are. These were a major feat for me. I've done one handmade buttonhole on various garments, but never actually done a whole shirt front with them. These were....involved. They are very beautiful, albeit not perfect, but I am still an amateur. I read about and saw the photos of these. I can't compete with those, and that's fine because I'm not a professional tailor. I will say that getting all the materials together for these buttonholes was interesting. There is nowhere around my neck of the woods that sells buttonhole twist or buttonhole gimp. I found some buttonhole twist here, however you can't pick and choose the weight. For gimp I ended up using the buttonhole thread from Coats and Clarks. I'll give you more details on how I made these and how it went in another post. For now, I'm rather proud of myself for even trying. Thank you very much.

Since I wanted these buttonholes to have bit of pop and zing, because they were handmade, I made them in a contrasting buttonhole twist. Adding the mustard colored buttons was just a bit of Penelope-esque fun, you know. I got the idea of sewing the buttons with the "crow's feet" threading from The Sewing Bible. I seriously can't recommend this book enough. There are great handmade details like this scattered all over in it. Buy it, you won't regret it.

And there you have it. Ta Da! Hip hip hooray! It's a Boysenberry Pastry Day! Say that with a smile - and give your beau a wink from me. He he he.
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