Celebrating the return of the blouse

As fashion waxes and wanes, certain words become hopelessly outmoded.  Can you honestly say you would buy “a nice pair of slacks?”  But we used to!  The word slacks still makes me think of days spent flipping through the JC Penney catalog in the 80s.  So I will say trousers, or pants, or describe the type of garment, but never “slacks.”

I was worried that the word “Blouse” was becoming tainted as well.  It seems that for ages we have been given tees, camis, and tunics… but a nice blouse?  It seemed to disappear along with the 80s.  And I will admit… there were some blouse monstrosities in the 80s… but there are also nice styles like this:

(available from Ikonic on Etsy)

A blouse is flattering – I would so much rather wear something that skims over my shape than something skintight.  So I am pleased to see pretty feminine blouses in many of my favorite stores this season!

I have, of course, been thinking of blouses I could make for myself, as my closet is pretty bare after yesterday’s clean out!  I’m planning to make a black skirt, based on Vogue 8425, and I would like a nice blouse to go with it.

The skirt on the right is my inspiration.  I may add boning to the waistband of the skirt, as it’s pretty high, and reviews on patternreview indicate it helps (almost no one has made this view though… perhaps I am just going through a high waisted phase – I have discovered that a high waist looks good on me, something I would not have suspected!)  I have a black gabardine wool that should look great, and I’m planning to make a blouse out of some green synthetic shantung:

This photo is pretty awful, as my camera once again refuses the task of photographing green.  This is better:

I’m considering Sencha, by Colette patterns (I can’t help it, I just love her patterns!)  I want to make the view with the tiny bow and the buttons up the back.

The fabric has a nice drape – it only looks vaguely like shantung, it doesn’t feel anything like it.  It was inexpensive, but I like the color, and I won’t be sad if it doesn’t turn out.   I’m really curious about this blouse shape – I’m never worn one similar.

I’m also in love with this new pattern from Burdastyle:

The Alexander Blouse, in honor of Alexander McQueen.  This combines my love of a blouse with my love of polka dots.  Oh yes… I cannot resist anything dotted.  And I do love a peplum.

I’m looking forward to using my serger to finish the edges of my blouse fabric, as it frays like mad.  I hope to get the pieces for the blouse cut tonight, since due to the snow I don’t have any rehearsal.  I want to muslin the skirt, so I may try to find a suitable fabric for that as well.

Happy snow day to anyone else having one – we’ve made up a crockpot full of red beans and rice, which goes great with the cold!

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10 thoughts on “Celebrating the return of the blouse

  1. Having a serger is really, really nice. Mine is a fairly cheap one from Joann’s that I bought as a grad student, oh, 8 years ago or so, but I still love it.

    And I really dig that Alexander blouse. I may have to try and make one for myself!

  2. Susan says:

    I made this same skirt pattern as a new sewer myself. It was time-consuming, but not difficult and it turned out great. I made it twice, one in a black wool, one in a plaid wool. Plaid not for the new sewer, aargh! But it’s a great pattern. Have at it. It’s very va-va-voom, one-ringy-dingy. :)

  3. Oh, Alexander McQueen… So sad.

    I, too, am contemplating the Colette blouse. I very much like the buttons up the back.

    Happy sewing! I can’t wait to see the end result.

  4. Elle says:

    Oh I have just bought a skirt that looks exaclty like that one but in grey, I would love to see what you pair it with.
    I love the alexander blouse

    • Melanie says:

      I love both of the blouses, but am afraid that with the high waist on the skirt neither will fit quite right with it. You probably need something super simple around the waist and with a detail at the neck to go with that skirt in my opinion. The blouse that buttons up the back would do it, but the buttons may be uncomfortable under that high waist. Love the color and really, really hope it turns out great for you!

  5. I ADORE the Alexander blouse, and am buying that pattern right now! I usually am sort of neutral about blouses but that one is great. And why, oh why, can’t all the Burda patterns be downloaded and printed like this one!! I love the BWOF magazines (and have a subscription) but I hate tracing.

  6. Loving that blouse at the end there! I too am a lover of polka dots! I admire you for wearing them. I bet you have some time on your hands with that snow storm, especially if you’re getting as much as we are in cincinnati. Take care, and keep warm.

  7. Red Sometimes says:

    “Blouses” with buttons up the back immediately remind me of the those I made and wore in the ’80’s. Most had little Peter Pan collars and lots of darts. It’s fantastic to see them coming back!

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