Silk and Lace – SOI Anderson Blouse

Silk and Lace – SOI Anderson Blouse

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After working in a hospital where business casual was mandatory, and then switching to scrubs 5 days a week, I have a business casual sized hole in my heart. I absolutely miss the high-waist skirts, slacks, and button down shirts. Sew Over It’s Anderson Blouse would have fit beautifully into my business casual wardrobe, with its delicate gathers at the shoulders and conservative, yet sexy, fit. This pattern was actually the first pattern of Sew Over It’s that I had ever seen, and I was in love! I nabbed it during a Black Friday sale a year ago, and it sat collecting dust until I found a reason to whip it together.

When I found this fantastic lace at S.R. Harris, I knew I had to have it. It has embroidery at both the edge, as well as the center of the piece. I didn’t buy much of it because of my fabric budget, but I couldn’t walk away either. When I got home, I dismayed that I found that it didn’t fit into any pattern’s fabric requirements that would’ve done it justice. After some creative layouts however, I barely managed to make the pieces for the Anderson Blouse fit! That is, after some help and encouraging words from my husband.

The overall effect of the lace and the placement of it makes me so happy. I particularly love the sleeves, and how the black embroidery is at the sleeve head and the cuff. That’s not to say the back isn’t beautiful too, I mean how can anyone resist this lace!

What makes this blouse so special to me, is that it’s underlined in the silk charmeuse left over from my wedding dress. It was a struggle to underline the lace with the silk, as they’re both wiggly and slippery, but I love the final product. The feeling of slippery silk on your skin is like nothing else.

One part of the construction that confused me was how to finish the shoulder seam with the folded over neckline. I took some pictures of how I finished it, in case anyone else is also confused!

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Overall, I like the fit of the blouse straight from the pattern. It’s beautiful, flattering, and surprisingly sexy. In the future, I’ll likely put elastic at the bottom of the blouse rather than a tie, because I struggled to tuck in not only the massive amounts of fabric, but also the tie strings.

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I had this tucked into tights, and it’s still making me look like I have quite the stomach! That’s the fabric bulk.

Speaking of the tucking in… that’s one thing I struggle with in wearing this garment. The bottom of the blouse has a large amount of fabric, and which makes it difficult to tuck in without looking like you have a bulbous stomach. Leaving it untucked doesn’t look nearly as nice to me. Since this one has two layers from the underlining, this problem is made even worse. The best solution I could think of was to wear this with an a-line skirt where the bulk could be concealed, or to simply use a lighter weight fabric. If I find a nice, light challis I could see myself making this up again!

Black Sleeveless Pussy Bow Blouse – Sew Over It

Black Sleeveless Pussy Bow Blouse – Sew Over It

In the past few months, I did some soul searching for what I need in my closet. It turns out, my current wardrobe doesn’t convey what I want to reflect about myself. While I had been attempting to find my style, there was still a lot of “fashion” in my closet, which went with trends rather than the core of why I am. Following some of the directions from Colette’s Wardrobe Architect series, I identified my main words for my style: Classic, effortless, sleek, and vintage. Naturally, I started pinning to see what clothing reflected this style.

Something that kept coming up for me was a sleeveless pussy bow blouse. Being sleeveless, it transitions well between all seasons with the addition of a cardigan and looks great tucked into both skirts and pants. I love the vintage style of a pussy bow, as it adds visual interest and challenge to constructing the garment while not being overwhelming.

To fulfill my pussy bow blouse dreams, I started with Sew Over It’s Pussy Bow Blouse pattern. I purchased the printed version, but with how few pattern pieces this requires it would be a nice one to nab as a PDF. It offers two neckline variations, a keyhole openingĀ and a v-neck version. I sewed up the v-neck version, as this was the style reflected in the photos I was drawn to.

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This was made out of a black polyester chiffon from Fabric.com. It has quite a bit of drape, as the pattern requires, so I stabilized the entire piece of fabric with spray starch prior to cutting. This was incredibly helpful in ensuring accurate cutting on the grain, and allowing for sharp ironing.

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To finish the armholes without the sleeves, I bound the inside of the armholes with 1 in bias tape made from a Joann’s Halloween quilting cotton with dancing skeletons on it. Frankly, I was originally going to use the same chiffon as the body of the shirt for the bias tape, but the bias strips were stretching horribly and would have made too narrow of a binding for my taste. The change to the dancing skeletons is actually one of my favorite parts of this shirt, it’s a secret surprise inside!

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Ban-roll hem!

I added 3/4 in of width to the sides of the front and back bodice pieces based on my measurements so that it would be more loose when it is tucked in. I did not hem it according to the Sew Over It directions, because I personally despise ironing chiffon over and over. Instead, I used the Ban-roll method to have a nice, narrow hem. This technique requires a ban-roll to have the even hem, which is not a material found in most sewing shops, but I sourced mine from The Sewing Place. I have it on hand because it was the same method I used to hem my wedding dress!

Overall, this shirt was a fast make, and was finished in about 3 hours from cutting to hemming. I’m not entirely sure how to make the center of the V look nice and neat, so I may experiment with the keyhole design in the future. However, this is certainly not the last pussy bow blouse for me! I love the versatility and ease. It’s continuously in my rotation now!

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Bonus picture of Freyja, thoroughly concerned about the clicking of the shutter.