The Define Basic Blouse

Friends, I have an issue I simply must discuss. You see, I realized recently that I have an anti-basics problem. And how did I come to this conclusion? This being me-made June and all I thought I would look through my small pile of self-stitched goods to put together some outfits that I would be able to just toss on, unthinking, and still stay within the me-made guidelines. But when I examined all my many (few) garments that have passed through my sewing machine, I came to a dreadful realization. I haven’t seen anything plain.

And I don’t mean plain like amish here, people, I mean plain like basic, solid color, versatile, etc. You see, I am so attracted to bring colors and prints (sort of like a magpie, that way, really) that I just hop on the crazy print train and ride it to unwearable station. I don’t mean to, honestly, but in my defense, prints are FUN. And I guess it’s better to sew something bright and wild that excites you then something plain and sad that doesn’t, right? But maybe you don’t always have to make that choice. So as part of me-made June I’m challenging myself to make some more basic items that go with more of my wardrobe, both self made and purchased, but that are also things I actually want to make and get excited about. It’s….a tall order, folks. But I am nothing if not determined!

So, without further ado, my first installment in my not so basic basics self challenge, The Define Basic Blouse!

I look a little angry. But it was quite warm the day my glorious friend Kate generously snapped these photos on the way to after work cocktails, so maybe that’s it?

Excuses excuses. But I love my new blouse! And Kate even liked it, and she is hard to please. It’s based on BurdaStyle’s FREE PATTERN the JJ Blouse, which I adore, and I have made three other copies of this thing in various incarnations. You may recall my Fecund but Thrifty blouse, another take on this so popular pattern. I like the fit a lot, it’s loose but form-skimming and it fits nicely with my many high waisted skirts. I only added one row of ruffles this time because A. My mother said I have too many ruffles and B. Ruffles sort of draw attention to what is not a particularly flat chest and C. It’s supposed to be basic, people, it’s right there in the name!

But I like ruffles! No, too many ruffles in my life. It’s true. These are probably my best ever buttonholes (I really need a buttonhole foot. And a new machine. And a PONY), and this was my first time ever doing fabric covered buttons. I love them. New addiction.

Here is a little back view for you. The fabric comes from the huge attic find my grandfather unloaded on me, but that’s a good thing, because there was a lot of white shirting in the pile, perfect for basic blouses to pair with loud skirts. Can a skirt be loud? I think so, yes.

This guy had NO idea I would make him wildly famous with my sewing blog. It reminds me of college when large groups of Japanese tourists would wander our campus and take our photos in front of buildings. My friend Becca lived in Branford, the showcase college, and practically every morning she would confront huge tour groups photographing every inch of ivy adorning the walls. How is that for a wake up call?

And the prospect of drinks with Kate revives me. Onward, to the bar!

So what do you think? Do you sew basics or leave that to the good people of H and M?


Filed under Burda Style, Fabric, Sewing, Uncategorized

13 responses to “The Define Basic Blouse

  1. Ann

    Looking good – cute shirt – basic in colour yes – and yet not so basic in style. Perfect! Love it!
    What college did you attent?

  2. I’m noticing this issue myself. I have some really cute skirts, but I’m in desperate need of more tops in basic black and white and gray. While I tend to leave this type of sewing to Old Navy right now, I plan to fix that hole in my wardrobe after I’ve made some more fun dresses to wear to work this summer. Unless I get distracted by something else fun to sew, which is a definite possibility!

  3. Hi, may I ask you what size did you sew this time and what size is your bust? (sorry to ask that, you don’t need to reply if you don’t want to!). I saw in your burdastyle profile you made the JJ blouse at size 40 and it was too big for you. I have a 94 cm bust and my size would be 40 or 42. But I’m making a Liz blouse and the correct size for me is 38. Sooo, do you mind telling me your measures to help a beginner sewer? 🙂

    • Oh, no, that’s okay, I don’t mind. My bust size is 36 inches and my waist is 28 inches, but I sewed a 38 of this and it was fine, still a touch big, in fact, because there is a ton of ease in this pattern. It all comes down to the pattern, I think, sometimes I have to sew up four sizes and sometimes down two depending on how much ease is included in the final project. It’s so helpful when they include the final measurements, but most don’t….sad.

      • Thanks for your reply. I think the JJ patterns have the final bust circumference measurements somewhere. I guess I’ll guide myself by that. 🙂

  4. I love this! You did such a wonderful job on the JJ. I’ve seem so many of them in prints that its refreshing to see it in something solid!

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  6. Oh wow gorgeous blouse! You definitely have style Leah, I would overlook so many of these patterns and you really bring them to life. That skirt goes beautifully.

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  8. Pingback: The Adventurez Skirt (Me Made May Day 20) | Struggle Sews a Straight Seam

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