The new spring patterns from Liesl + Co. came out a few weeks ago and they are a lovely modern, streamlined lot. My own spring/summer wardrobe could certainly do with some coordinating pieces and the Breezy Blouse has an easy shape with some nice creative possibilities.
I ended up making two: this double-pink affair, which I guess you could say is a wearable muslin, and then a second rayon challis Les Fleurs version, which I first slightly modified the shape of and then added waist ties to. You can read about both of them over at the Oliver + S blog, where I’ve posted as part of Liesl Gibson’s Advisor’s Circle, including the simple steps I took to make the variation blouse.
I’ve included a few extra pics here and construction notes/measurements that aren’t on the other post in case they’re helpful and you haven’t seen the blouse before.
First things first, this is the perfect sophisticated summer tank, with side panels as well as the front and back pieces, which provides lots of opportunity for contrast work as well as stashbusting your small pieces. It has a gently curved hem and a lovely little keyhole detail in the back, which really adds a touch of elegance.
With the Breezy Blouse, Liesl has included a range of cup sizes, from A to D. For me, I hummed and hawed about which size to pick. In the end, I decided to go for the size that corresponds with my high bust, which was the 14 (full bust 40.5 inches; my high bust is 40″) and then use the D cup front bodice piece as my full bust is 44 inches.
My conclusion worked out beautifully as the 14 D cup fits very well. Unfortunately, I had something of a fitting gaffe by not grading out the rest of the top. It’s rather embarrassing to admit, but I think the name “breezy blouse” got into my brain as it being a top with plenty of ease to play with, which it actually isn’t really, and I cut out a 14 bodice. This fact is very clear by simply looking at the line drawing or even the pattern picture, which shows a top that falls straight from the armhole and blatantly isn’t floating around the model on the packet. Oh dear.
Needless to say, it was somewhat tight! A lot tight! I released the seam allowance until it was laughing at the integrity of my seams and finally gave in. Luckily, I had more of my fabric, so I went back, graded the pattern out to the 16 from the armhole down, and cut out a second pink blouse. Ah – much better! I could breathe! I could bend! It became somewhat breezy in the sewing room!
For the other floral version I graded the waist and hips out to the largest size 20 to give me some extra fabric to cinch in with the waist ties. This worked pretty well, but you could certainly go more extreme if you wanted to. The rayon challis (Les Fleurs by Cotton + Steel) naturally had a bit more drape than the first fabric, which also helped attain the effect I was after.
One small tip: This is mentioned in the instructions, but remember to staystitch at a scant 1/4″ not at 3/8″ as the armholes/neckline are finished with 1/4″ bias tape and the stitching will show. Ask me how I know – urgh.
As always, Liesl’s instructions are superb and I can’t really think of anything else useful to add to the process detail. I really enjoyed making the little thread chain – so cute, so fast! – and choosing the keyhole back button. All in all this is a fast sew: even with the bias facing it only takes a few hours from start to finish.
I’m making the Gelato dress from the same collection next with some lovely Liberty lawn – what a treat to work with. I’m excited to see how it ends up! Bye for now!