After being inspired by the lush florals of spring, I paired a two yard cut of a nicely draping floral cotton lawn fabric with a pattern I won, Simplicity 2554. I didn’t realize until I looked it up that it’s been two years already! I set out to make view F, the pink top with the flounce, except that I was substituting the flounce from view E (the one on the top left of the pattern envelope) which is shorter in the front.
First I did a mock-up to see how the pattern fit. I made a size 14 which fit well except for being tight and pulling across the bust. The old fabric I used for the mock-up was only 36 inches, so I didn’t have enough fabric to try out the flounce. This was just as well because the fabric is stiffer than the lawn so would lack the drape for the flounce.
The arm and neck facings are cut on the bias, but are a little different than bias strips. The armhole facing is folded in half, and turned to the inside. The neck strip has one edge folded in, then it’s turned to the inside and stitched on the outside catching the other side at the same time. Unlike other bias strips I’ve put on, the pattern states to cut these to a particular size, seam, and fit to the openings. I struggled to get them to match, first making the neckline too loose, and then so tight that it pulled the armholes in. I decided to scrap that method for the second version to save myself the aggravation.
For the blue floral lawn version I added 1/2 inch to each front side piece just in the bust area between the two notches, and a little more length.
There are 3 panels on both back and front with the seam lines forming a slight A shape, and gathering of the front center panel. This is a type of princess seam, but doesn’t go directly over the bust. The flounce doesn’t go all the way around; it’s sewn into the princess seams.
How is this going to turn out? The flounce pieces are like having a little circle skirt on each shoulder! To magnify the romantic look even more, I added a narrow lace to accentuate the flounce. I had the lace, and it seemed a perfect use for it. I hand sewed the lace, covering the hem stitching.
I sewed the front two seams with a narrow seam allowance and the back center seams with a wide 5/8 inch allowance as I have a small back.
I basted the seams and then waited a few days to consider if I wanted to try to take out some of the flounciness of the flounce. I was afraid it might be clown-like or just “too much”. However, I decided that with the floral, the flounce, and the lace this was a dramatic, romantic look, and to not water it down, and to just go all in.
Back to my mock-up: I almost called this post “a tale of two florals”. Pictured below is the old fabric from TG&Y that my mother bought either in the 1960’s or early 1970’s.
Yes, I made a first blouse, and this version is growing on me. I’ll wear it with shorts this summer.
Two floral blouses: one from very old, inherited fabric in a warm color, the other in a cool color from one of the newest fabrics in my stash. One basic, one embellished. Both adding some prettiness to my spring and summer wardrobe.