This pattern didn't look like much in the magazine, partly because they didn't show much of it, but when I looked at the line drawing I really liked the simplicity of it. It has enough interest with the gathered neck and dolman sleeves, but with the plain lines They had the right idea to use the pattern to showcase a beautiful print.
And I had just the print in my stash, the leftovers from Vogue 2858. I got this gorgeous silk print from Fabric Mart at least a year and half ago (reviewed the Vogue dress in May 2007). I didn't have a lot left after the dress--which I took with me to Vietnam and wore the night my hosts took me to dinner--but I had enough for a parsimonious project. Since I am perpetually in a quest for winter work tops the pattern and the fabric zinged together in my mind as the perfect match.
As I said, I had very limited fabric left. I mocked out the layout, but obviously I should have taken more care over it because after I had actually cut out the front I realized that there was no way, no how to fit the back onto the fabric. Dangit! I was pretty annoyed with myself for wasting the fabric and had to take a break from the project. The next morning I woke up and had my solution. I was always intending to wear the blouse with some sort of cinching belt; I just can't get the hang of wearing a sack. So I turned my miscalculation into a design feature. I cut the back as long as I could, which was to above the waist. Then I cut a strip of coordinating silk from the Carol Collection to make a tie casing, then I cut the lower back out of scraps. I also cut the inner band collar, sleeve bindings, and tie out of the same silk. To wear, I thread the tie through the casing and knot in front. Here's the back in action.
I have a bit of buyer's remorse about the contrast color I chose. I meant for this to be part of a 4 piece mini wardrobe with the Exquisite Fabrics wool skirt of Simplicity 5914, my BWOF velvet skirt disaster, and my Butterick 4985 off-white pinstripe silk blouse. However, (1) I didn't get around to photographing and reviewing all the pieces in time for the contest although I did finish them all with time to spare, (2) the velvet skirt was a disaster, and (3) the two different colors of teal/turquoise of the blouse accents and the wool skirt clash. The best laid plans.... I was also considering hot pink for the accents and I kind of wish I had gone with it; I was totally not thinking about the clash with the skirt. I suppose I could theoretically go in and re-do it with pink, but let's face it--that's highly unlikely.
Mini-wardrobe deficiencies notwithstanding, I really like this blouse and think I found the right use for that last bit of Fabric Mart Anna Sui silk. I ended up liking this pattern quite a bit, and as far as blouses go it's a quickie, what with the dolman sleeves, band collar, and self-front placket. If you have a precious silk print in your stash take a look at this pattern.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here. The booties I'm wearing are a new purchase; I've been wanting booties like that forever and I found these Clarks, which are *highly* comfortable, at Macy's on clearance and my friend had an additional 15% coupon. They were still too much (though a good chunk less than at Zappo's, I'm pleased to see), but I neeeeeded them. Cute, no? I felt validated when I was at the register and the woman in front of me said that she would never have considered this style but she saw me try them on and had to get some!
Gretchen the Household Deity