Monthly Archives: October 2021

Floral Phoenix Blouse by Hey June

Flower power! This top reminds me of what I might have worn in the 70s.

This was the second year the Phoenix Blouse was on my Make Nine list, and I had the perfect fabric, so I sewed up this spring version out of season.

The description states: the Phoenix Blouse is a cute and casual boho style top in two views. View A features 3/4 length bell sleeves while View B is a flattering sleeveless style. Both view have a yoke with slit opening, front and back gathers, and a shaped back yoke. The pattern was designed for very lightweight fabrics that drape well. I chose to sew view A from a beautiful floral cotton lawn I bought at an estate sale in my neighborhood several years ago. There were about five plastic bins of fabric for $5 each that were duct taped closed. What a steal! I regret only buying one bin. Cotton lawns are hard to come by as a second hand fabric so I was very excited to sew with it. The piece of fabric was 40 inches selvedge to selvedge and 84 inches long. It’s a lovely vintage fabric, and now that I have the sewing chops to do it justice, the time has come for it to shine.

I cut a size 12 according to my high bust and hip measurements which gives me 4 inches of ease in the bust and 7 inches of ease in the hip. I could have easily sized down but decided not to as I’m embracing ease as I get older. The finished garment measurements are given to help you pick the size for the desired fit. I did a half inch full bust adjustment on the yoke and shortened the sleeves by 2 inches to keep them from being full length on me.

The instructions are excellent, and the finishing is beautiful with double yokes and the burrito method providing a clean finish. Instead of the french seams suggested by the pattern, I elected to finish the side seams with flat fell seams. Gathering is a sewing technique featured in this pattern. Besides the gathering under the yokes, the sleeve caps are also gently gathered. Two rows of basting stitches are sewn, the threads are pulled to gather, and then the seam is sewn between the two rows of gathers. I used to make the mistake of sewing the seam below the two lines of stitching, but my technique and understanding has improved. Below is the curvy shape of the bell sleeve.

The fullness of the sleeve makes it very dramatic to wear.

I had fun showing the sleeves off with my poses, but they also look good when my arms are by my sides.

I love the back gathers and the shape of the yoke.

I hemmed by machine, but think a hand sewn hem, and even a hand rolled hem on the sleeves, would be nice in this light fabric. I intend to sew new pants to wear with the blouse by next spring. I would also make this blouse again with short sleeves, even though they’re not provided.

The phoenix blouse is a lovely pattern, is very enjoyable to sew, and I look forward to wearing this light, floaty top for years to come.