I mentioned that I don’t have much experience with sheer fabrics so before I start designing something clever I plan to grips with the techniques. I really appreciate the feedback I have in the way of designing – how to use sheers and how elegant they can look – especially in terms of obscuring certain body parts rather than revealing everything.
I looked at my pattern collection and found two late 1950s patterns shown in translucent patterns. I really like these delicate blouses, worn here with plain, straight pencil skirts. I find a good blouse can work almost as well as a jacket in terms of creating the right balance between authority and approachability. But how might that work with sheers?
Both patterns suggest suitable fabrics including a range of translucent ones
- dotted swiss
- silk organdie
Now I have wanted to make a blouse with a puffed short sleeve for ages.
Unlike lace and sheers they are not really in fashion at the moment, but I love them. Here are a few vintage ones. There seems to be a marked preference to matching them with a low cut scooped neck. I don’t know if you have ever worn a top like this, but they are not easy to keep in the right place. I think a proper blouse with translucent yoke and sleeves will create a more wearable look for me.
So V 9783, view C it is. Also V 9783 features a lace insert between yoke and body. And it is mitred. And whip stitched. So, OMG, that will challenge me.
I found some nice (cheap) brown silk chiffon. I know it is lemon on the pattern envelope, and it is pretty, but I quite like a dark coloured blouse and thought this was a nice colour to work with. The fabric, being pure silk, is a little bit textured and crepey, but at least it is not polyester which I am sure would be much worse. I made lots of tailors’ tacks while I pondered some of the decisions I have to make.
- Shall I do pin tucks or gathers? I want to do pintucks as they are much more difficult (see markings top right) but I think this view will work better with gathers.
- Shall I use interfacing? I am inclined to use black silk organza, but only where the piece is fully enclosed – collar, cuffs and front band – to avoid the hair shirt problem.
- In the picture the bodice below the yoke is not translucent, but the pattern is silent on this being two layers, or a different fabric. What shall I do? Line it? Double it up? Make it in one layer and wear a camisole?
- It needs some lace – what colour, what fabric?
- it will need quite a few buttons, and buttonholes, including on the sleeves
- Seam finishes are assumed to be pinked and/or overstitched by hand. I don’t think this is the best finish for silk chiffon. My instinct is French seams at the side and maybe hand finished at the armhole.
I feel like I am sinking before I even start with this one. I really appreciate when you give me construction advice – but don’t feel you have to – I have books and the internet too. I will let you know how I get on.