Lace Blouse for Fall

It’s that time of year when the air cools and trees become spotted with yellow…It’s when summer drifts away and VOGUE hits the newsstands boasting it’s biggest Fall issue ever.  For me,  Fall signals a season to get back into the sewing room.

With lace having made a huge comeback in fashion over the last several years, I was inspired to make something delicate.  Something versatile.  Something easy.

Pages torn and kept from last Fall’s Vogue: (Stella McCartney blouse on left)

Stella McCartney

And then there was inspiration from this year’s collections:

Stella McCartney lace top 2013I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the financial means to purchase lovely, expensive clothing like Stella’s.  I DO however have a sewing machine and enough fashion sense to come up with my own version.

Check this out:

McCalls pattern 6604

I found it interesting that the designers at McCall’s also thought their lace blouse would go well with the color red, just like McCartney’s from last year. (I will let you know that I started this project last fall, but just completed it a few months ago!)

I searched for fabric at Jo-Ann’s, and came up with this:

McCalls pattern 6604 tutorial 1

No, I am not going to say that these fabrics are of the same quality as high fashion designs.  I worked in a fabric store for 12 years, many of those years as a buyer.  I know better.  BUT, I can say this:  Sewing your own clothing using mediocre fabric is better than buying same trends at really cheap stores in the mall and having them fall apart after one washing.  At least you can determine how well something is made!

I followed the directions on the pattern for the most part.

McCalls pattern 6604 tutorial 1A

3.  Cut bias strip ( mine was 2″) for neck binding:

IMG_4302

My neck binding was a strip folded in half like bias tape, rather than using a 1/4″ folded seam allowance (that seemed completely obnoxious with flimsy polyester!)

McCalls pattern 6604 tutorial 2

Make sure to stitch the binding to the right side of the blouse, then flip inside to slip stitch.

McCalls pattern 6604 tutorial 3

When I cut out the sleeves, I trimmed them to be a little less full than the original pattern, and I trimmed the length of the sleeves to be 3/4 sleeves.   I also did not make the wide cuffs that the pattern uses. Instead, I stitched down the sleeve from the underarm to about 1.5 ” above the bottom edge of the sleeve. (8)  I folded them with a tiny seam allowance toward the inside of blouse (9).

*note:  if your fabric is super-slinky, consider pulling threads to get a straight cut.  My sleeves kept getting shorter and shorter because I insist on “eye-balling” everything!

McCalls pattern 6604 tutorial 4

I stitched them like this:

McCalls pattern 6604 tutorial 5

I am sorry I don’t have photos of the rest of the steps, but this is how I finished the sleeves:

11.  I gathered the sleeves slightly at the cuff edge and stay-stitched.

12.  I pinned a loop of fabric (or ribbon or whatever you want to use) about 1/2 ” below the raw gathered edge of the cuff, along the inside finished edge of the “V” (see 10).

13.  I cut more bias strips and bound the cuffs much like the neck, leaving the loop exposed along that edge.

14.  I stitched a button opposite the loop on the other side of the “V” to make a wrist closure.  After the shirt is on, lasso the loop around the button to close.

McCalls pattern 6604 lace blouse 2

McCalls pattern 6604 lace blouse 1

Overall, I like how it turned out.  If I use this pattern again, I will do 2 things:  make the neckline smaller (personal preference) and I will adjust the pattern to make sleeves fit better at shoulders.

Here are details you may be interested in:

I made this pattern in a size 6 (the smallest available); the perfect tank top underneath with a lace edge was found at Target (Mossimo I believe); the fabric purchase was in the ballpark of 16$ (Jo-Ann’s always has coupons on-line or in the store, and always has dressmaking fabrics on sale); the pattern I purchased was no more than 4$ (again, in-store and online you can always find sales! As I write this post, they are on sale for 2.99$!  McCall’s Patterns)

Now that I’ve shared what inspired me, what does Fall inspire in you?

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3 thoughts on “Lace Blouse for Fall

  1. Amber! This blouse is absolutely beautiful on you! I just love it! Once again you amaze me with your talents! 🙂 We are really looking forward to seeing you guys- can’t believe it’s been SO long since we’ve connected. I’m so bad about keeping in touch and for various health reasons I’m afraid I haven’t really kept much in contact with anyone. Everyday seems to be a challenge for me just to get around and take care of the essentials. Hope you and Matt are well, look forward to seeing your faces so so soon! xoxoTara

    Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2013 23:07:48 +0000 To: jasonlovestara@hotmail.com

    1. Can’t wait to see you guys either! I wear so many of the clothes you gave me (jacket in this post look familiar?) I wear an old navy fleece sweatshirt of Jason’s every day to work too!

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