Not my grandma’s shirt

I have a not-so-secret obsession with rayon challis. Any time I see it, even if I’m unsure of the print, there’s a good chance that some of it is going home with me. (The exception to this rule is whatever that fugly stuff is on a certain pair of discount fabric websites. Not even I’m that desperate.) So when I was in Jo-Ann’s, I found this challis that was a super pretty combination of purples, but it was a floral. There wouldn’t have been a single moment of waffling if it would have been some sort of splodgy abstract, but florals always make me feel like I’m raiding my grandma’s closet. So there was at least 5 minutes of hesitation, but ultimately, I bought it anyway. And then I decided to make it up into a Burda JJ blouse, minus the ruffles. (One of these days I may have to make it with the ruffles, but today is still not that day.) A long time ago, I did some extensive work on it to make it hug my figure, and while I used those same pieces this time, I used much smaller seam allowances from the apex to the hips on the front pieces. I wanted it to be a bit less fitted, since it’s such a drapey fabric. I think I nailed the fit I was going for.

The other thing you’ll notice is that it has sleeves. This is a big deal for me. I’ve never been able to fit sleeves in this pattern–even the ones it came with–there was just too much ease. I think I’m the only one who had this problem, probably because I didn’t want super puffy sleeve heads and I have fat arms–a deadly combination in the world of the JJ. I stole these sleeves from a Burda magazine pattern that I had in my stash. They’re the kind you roll up and button with a tab. The challis seems a bit droopy for this to be the only thing keeping them up, so I did some handstitching on the underside to keep the rolls where they belong. I may regret this come laundry day, but we’ll just have to see I regret it. Maybe I need to do both sides?

Who knew mother of pearl buttons were so hard to photograph?!

Who knew mother of pearl buttons were so hard to photograph?!

Lastly, I made the buttonholes with my Singer 301A and her buttonhole attachment. This was mildly terrifying. Mostly because it’s a machine I’m not used to, it’s trickier than you might think to get the fabric under the attachment straight (I have a crooked buttonhole to prove it), and starting is a bit nervewracking too–they aren’t kidding when they say to have the needle DOWN to start!! Otherwise you will bust it trying to keep ahold of the threads.

Confession: I’m on the fence about this. I’m still feeling like this is a bit too mature for me, but I’m going to give it a wear or two and see how I feel about it then. If I don’t love it, my MIL seemed to like it, and I think it would be very pretty on her. 🙂

Pretty and nicely sewn, but is it *me*?

Pretty and nicely sewn, but is it *me*? See more pictures and whining on Instagram @SewSarcastic.


16 thoughts on “Not my grandma’s shirt

  1. I think it’s pretty, but I totally understand that feeling of it not being you. Maybe give it a try a few times and then if isn’t right, you have an Xmas present for the MIL? (Or whatever occasion or non-occasion would be appropriate. 😉 )

    That is such a gorgeous fabric!


    • Yeah, I guess my arms aren’t all fat–they’re also muscled from lugging around a very-large-for-his-age toddler and woodworking, but it’s all the same when it comes to finding a sleeve that doesn’t double as a tourniquet. 😉


  2. I hear you – I am routinely on the fence about recently made garments. I think the key is to wear this in a really modern, chic and youthful way – like with a miniskirt or minimal boots. If you’re still not feeling it, then give it away. It was good practice for the perfect fabric, when it makes its way to you. I’ve become SO relentless about getting rid of the things I’ve made that aren’t perfect IMO. I barely even care anymore (except for that evening after I’ve spent my entire day making something I’m going to put on the lawn).


    • I’m thinking about trying to wear it as an overshirt. I don’t tend to do layers because I’m so hot blooded, but this challis is light enough that it shouldn’t be too bad. This might be my opportunity to make a Nettie? Throw on some jeans and boots and it’s a bit less girly and a bit more…me? We’ll see.


  3. I hate it soooo much when I make something and am not sure about it. It always seems to be when I do an especially nice job. I agree with everyone else, wear a couple of times before you give it away.


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