I was drawn to Simplicity 2601 by the shaped midriff and peplum, both elements that I find flattering for me. I also like the choice of collars and sleeve variations. I like it so much I've made it twice! These are both old projects that I never got around to reviewing. I made the polka dot one in July 2008 and the pink version last September in my sewing mania for my trip to Turkey.
POLKA DOT FLOUNCE VERSION
I made this cotton blouse from a small G Street Fabrics $2.97/yd table find (of course). I bought the fabric in March '09 and sewed it up in July '09, which is not too shabby in my world of stashing. I don't find a lot of plain woven cotton on the $2.97/yd table (and in fact they now have a separate table for woven cotton prints, I think it's $5.97/yd), so I wonder if this was a small remnant from a higher priced bolt. I know they occasionally toss those onto the $2.97/yd table.
For some reason in 2009 I got the idea in my head of wearing red, white, and blue the entire week of July 4th. The blouse went together pretty quickly the weekend before. I used the rolled hem foot on my machine to hem the flounce--a serger rolled hem is so much easier! When it was all done, the flounce barely showed up and the blouse just looked like undifferentiated polka dots. I was so annoyed! All the work to hem the flounce for nothing.
After some thought, I decided to take a cue from the pattern envelope, which shows random rickrack trim on View C. I didn't like they way they had placed the rickrack on that view, but rickrack seemed like the perfect choice. I love rickrack but it is hard to find a place for it in adult garments. I think it works here--it doesn't come off juvenile to me and it allows the midriff and the ruffle to pop on this blouse.
I have become a lot more picky in the past couple years about how things look on the inside. I used commercial bias tape to finish the neckline of this version because I happened to have some navy on hand, but it looks so ugly on the inside! At least I lined the midriff.
I styled it with my Burda 03-2009-104 white skirt for my 4th of July red, white, and blue extravangza. I still have this skirt in my closet but I never wear it because I'm afraid of getting it dirty! This blouse, although it had been pre-washed, bled dark blue onto the waistband. I was able to get it mostly out with oxyclean, but it made me paranoid. Plus, I can't bike in it.
HOT PINK SWISS DOT VERSION
After I made the polka dot blouse I was looking through the other reviews of the pattern. I love how Katie N turned this pattern into a dress. Her review inspired me to make the little collar, as it has such 40s retro appeal that was not apparent to me from the pattern envelope.
The hot pink dotted swiss is from Fabric Mart in September 2010. At only $1.99/yd, how could I pass it up? And how fortuitous that the rayon satin I purchased from fabric.com last year for linings ($2.79/yd) matched exactly for the bias tape? I sewed up the fabric within a few days of receiving it. I got three fabrics in that order, two of them specifically for my trip and I decided if I sewed this one too the entire order wouldn't count! (I still have quite a bit of the pink left, though.)
I cut the peplum a little longer on this version to play with it. At first I lined it with silk organza and folded it completely in half for a full balloon effect, but that was a little too much. So I ended up using the silk organza as as extension to make it a little longer. It still has a balloon hem, but the effect is fairly subtle.
I really didn't have any buttons that looked good with this blouse but because I was making this under a time crunch for my trip I didn't have time to make the long trek out to G Street and Joann. It's honestly not *that* much quicker for me to get to Georgetown, but at least I can go by bike rather than relying on the bus so I headed over to Exquisite Fabrics. I was pleased to find these sweet little buttons in clear with a pink tint (the pink tint is lost in the photo in competition with the pink of the fabric). They were perfect!
The inside of this blouse looks much neater! I made my own bias tape of rayon satin in perfectly matching hot pink. As I usually do for finishes, I just pressed the bias tape in half, rather than creating double folds, and stitched the raw edge to the blouse's raw edge. Then I turned it under and pressed. Because this blouse is underlined I was able to hand-stitch the binding to the underlining to keep it in place.
I used the tie sleeves on this version because I thought they were so cute, but I am not entirely sure they work. Even though my swiss dot is a very lightweight batiste, the ties seem rather bulky and the ends stick out rather than laying down.
I think this is a great pattern. The cut is flattering and it has interesting details with lots of them to choose from. The only thing I don't like about it is that there is a gap below the underlap that makes the blouse suitable for wearing only with high waisted skirts or pants, lest you show skin there. Unfortunately, it is an inherent problem with the style. You could extend the underlap, but then you'd lose the flow of the peplum there and it would look heavy.
I still haven't made my dress version of this, but I am sure I will get around to it someday!
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.