Silk Blouse With Dogs

When I participated in the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge, I knew I needed a dog sewing challenge too!  I was so excited when Tanya announced just that.  Finally, the perfect excuse and deadline to use my silk dog fabric that I bought at Mood Fabrics LA over two years ago.  I was putting off using it until I had improved my shirt sewing skills and had the right pattern for it.  Well, I’ve made probably a dozen button up shirts by now, and although I did not have the perfect pattern, I hunted one down for the occasion.

I searched high and low, looking at every kind of top and blouse pattern.  I checked all the big pattern companies, every indie pattern company I could find, and I scoured Etsy for vintage patterns.  And of course I fell in love with a vintage pattern that wasn’t available in my size:

Simplicity 4610–a darling blouse perfect for my light weight silk.  Bust size 30.  And I’m a 38.  So I finally decided to suck it up, buy the pattern, and grade up approximately 4 sizes.  The design was simple enough, grading it couldn’t be too hard.

And as it turns out, grading really wasn’t all that bad.  I did it.  I drew the pattern with some alterations on Wednesday, finished a muslin on Thursday, and cut into the silk Friday.

My fabric has a dog pattern woven into it, and the doggies are neatly lined up, so I eliminated the center front and back seams to keep from breaking up the pattern.  I knew I wouldn’t be wearing the blouse tucked in, so I also left out the front and back darts at the waist.  Loose and comfy through the waist is my ideal.

Between the yoke and pleats, I had plenty of work to do despite the simplifications I made.

The fabric features dachshunds, which I don’t have, but I did name my Australian Cattle Dog “Lucy” after my grandparents’ dachshund.  My aunt is an “I Love Lucy” fan, and she named my grandparents’ dachshund after Lucille Ball.  As children, my siblings and I fought over who’s sleeping bag Lucy would sleep in when we visited my grandparents.  So, when I picked out my little redhead in early 2007, my sister and I spent hours running through possible names until we landed on “Lucy.”  In fond memory of Lucy the dachshund and in the spirit of Lucille Ball, the name seemed to fit the little spitfire.




She’s over 8 now, and 2015 started out rough for her with some medical issues.




But all that’s behind us now.



Now that we’ve done the cat and dog sewing challenges, who’s hosting the horse themed challenge? :)


  1. Absolutely gorgeous. I love that the dogs are so subtle. They provide a delight at closer inspection.

    And the neckline is perfect. Hope you make this top again. It’d look perfect in a jewel tone fabric.

  2. Oh this is so awesome! I love the fabric, but my favorite part has got to be that sweet little lapped collar with the buttons. What a lovely detail! And Lucy is such a sweetheart!

  3. LOVE that pattern! The neck details are so chic, and now I’m going to have to hunt for this pattern. Lucy is so beautiful and I’m glad she’s on the mend. (And why did no one ever tell me how stinkin’ cute Cattle Dog puppies are?!?)

  4. Awww your red girl is lovely. We had a red cattle dog, Rex lived until he was 16 and was our baby before we had babies. We also had a blue cattle dog Jessica and they did have a litter of very gorgeous puppies. When our human babies came along Rex adored them, Jess couldn’t quite see what the fuss was about. So I have a huge soft spot for cattle dogs.

    Oh and your blouse is very stylish too. Grading up isn’t nearly as scary as you think it is going to be as your result shows.

  5. Awww, Lucy! She is SO cute! My brother-in-law just adopted a five-month-old ACD. She is ridiculously adorable- I wish I could fit a big dog in my apartment! Or better yet, move to a farm! :)

    Your shirt turned out so cute! I really, really love it.

  6. What a beautiful blouse! I’m so happy that Lucy can just dream and snoggle the grass and not have to be annoyed by horrid collars and embarrassing diapers. Yay for Lucy!

    And Yay for you.

    1. Thanks Linda! If I had more time for blogging I might initiate a horse challenge. But there is a good chance a dress with horses on it will be made by summer’s end–I’ve got the fabric picked out! :)

  7. For a fabric with dogs on it, it’s so deceptively elegant. I’m not really one for cutesy prints or really vintagey style pieces, but this is such a modern garment. Your blouse really is gorgeous and you made some great design decisions.

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