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? :)

Silk Twill Laurel

I pinned the hemline of my Laurel dress, preparing to sew a blind hem, and then peaked out the window.  The sun was dipping below the apartments to the West, so I put on lipstick and ran outside with my camera.

So here she is, Laurel, with a pinned hem.

I used this silk twill from Harts Fabric, with silk chiffon sleeves.

I think I’m in love with silk.  At least this silk.  It wasn’t as scary to work with as I had feared, and it has just the right amount of drape and body.  I love how it feels on.

I’m not in love with the sleeves, but I kinda ran out of time to experiment with different styles, seeing as I wanted to enter the Collette Laurel contest which closes at midnight.  They are gathered at the bottom with elastic, and pleated at the shoulder.

Although this is a simple pattern to sew up, my schedule has been very full, and it’s taken over a week to get the dress together.

I’m preparing for a trip to Europe in a couple weeks, and I’m using every spare moment to sew, which leaves me no time for blogging.  To make life even more busy and exciting, we are moving to Texas days after we return from our trip.

So… I’m a little stressed right now, and I don’t think I’ll be blogging much between now and June/July.

But when I return, I hope to have some photos and me-made outfits to share from my Mediterranean Greek Isles cruise–maybe even a swimsuit or two.

I’ll be reading blogs when I can, so we’ll talk soon!