Purple silk Patrones blouse

What better to round out my current purple and grey kick than by using up the silk charmeuse leftover from Pip’s purple pyjamas! I used the Toypes top pattern, #76,
from Patrones 261 (borrowed and traced from my Patrones benefactor, Zoe), which I’ve had languishing in my pattern catalogue for nearly a year now.

I had just enough fabric to make this top and a full lining, though I opted to leave out the tie waistband and instead just lengthen the bottom by two inches to compensate…

The front pleated section gave me a bit of trouble, as I’d never done pleating like that before, and the pattern only provided the finished panel size. So I took a strip of scrap fabric and experimented a little with my ruler and different pleat widths until I got one where the folds overlapped and covered the earlier pleat’s stitching. Still, it was a lot of work but I’m pretty pleased at how even they turned out, even though it’s not perfect.

I also really love the neckline and wide-set sleeves here (it was really windy during this photoshoot so the sleeve doesn’t usually fall off my shoulder like that!). It’s so wide that anything but a strapless bra will show, but the triangular shape of the sleeves is just lovely, and was very easy to sew. I’m not so certain about the gathering across the back, though – it tends to bubble out into a strange shape unless I’m standing straight, so if I make this again, I’ll probably change the upper back piece to omit the gathers.

As I mentioned above, this is completely self lined, so the lining is almost identical to the exterior, with the exception of the pleated panel, which is plain here.

In the middle photo you can see how the lining meets the zipper. Normally I’d just stitch this by hand, but I’m beta-testing a pattern for a new pattern company, and in their instructions they have you machine stitch the lining to the zipper tape from the wrong side, which seems so obvious now! So I tried out this technique and I’ll honestly never go back to hand stitching here again! Though I couldn’t escape handstitching the inside hem, so thank god I’ve got long holiday days to sit about with a needle and thread…

Oh, and if you spotted my new shoes above, you get extra points! They’re United Nude, and James picked them out for me. I love them!!

I made this top to coordinate with my grey high waisted wool trousers (as seen in the photos above!), my grey skinny jeans and also my purple wool sweater as part of Pattern Review’s Endless Combinations contest. And now I’m finished with the wardrobe so you can see the finished garments in my competition entry below!

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