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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Yankee Doodle Dandy Blouse

Staying cool and looking cute is a bit of an oxy moron during the long hot Phoenician summer. Yesterday it was 117 degrees. Blah.

Over the past few years I have noticed that it is getting harder and harder to find pretty blouses in cool cotton. The racks are full of heat trapping polyester and rayon but the thought of wearing such a garment makes me break out in a (even heavier) sweat.

So what’s a girl to do but make her own cotton tops and blouses.


Cute summer top 003-001


I have to confess that I have several bins of fabric, notions and patterns. I thought it was high time I used some of it. The blue polka dotted fabric and red & white bias tape are both vintage finds.

This particular vintage Simplicity pattern (4656) belongs to my friend Jenny. As with all sewing patterns it is best to take your measurements and follow the sizing chart located on the back of the pattern to find your best size.

yankee doodle dandy blouse 005

I always wash my fabric and trim first to insure against fabric shrinkage later.

yankee doodle dandy blouse 006-001

The pattern went together fairly easily but one area had me stumped.

Long before the days of sergers edges were neatly finished with seam binding or bias tape. I had never sewn a blouse with bias tape. Jenny came to my rescue and showed me how to “stitch in the ditch”. Meaning that you pair up the edge of the bias to the edge of the fabric and sew it together using the creased area of the binding as your guide.

yankee doodle dandy blouse 002

You then flip the bias tape over the edge and sew it down again. This results in ultra neat and tidy edges.  I am a total convert now! Plus I love the fun detail the red and white striped fabric adds.

yankee doodle dandy blouse 003

The scoop back is my favorite feature.

Cute summer top 006

I wore the blouse to the Phoenix Art Museum Pixel Picture event celebrating The Art of Video Games. This was an art exhibit I knew Sweet Boy would love.

Cute summer top 008-001

Several women told me I looked dandy and asked me where I got my top. :)


Linking to:

The Pleated Poppy


Dumbwit Tellher said...

Laura you are as always very clever. I love your blouse and could not be more perfect for the 4th celebration. I think you and sweet boy had a great day together at the museum!! Those moments are the best in life. Happy Fourth to you and your family.

x Deb

April Dunlap said...

Ohhhh! So THAT'S how it's done!(lightbulbs on and bells ringing!)
Now I'm itchin' to try that apron pattern.
LOVE the top! Clever girl!
Happy Independence Day!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Loveeeeeeee your blouse! It is beautiful!!!!

Carolyn@Sweet Chaos said...

I wish I could sew!! Your blouse is so pretty. My boys would be in heaven at that exhibit :)

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Great job Laura!
You look so cute!
And what I love is that you used vintage pattern and vintage fabric too.
Just so darn cute my friend.
Happy 4th of July!!!
I will see you in October I hope.
I think I can skip the summer in Phoenix.

Rita C. said...

Super cute - love that ballet neckline, one of my faves! Stitch in the ditch - have to remember that one!

Debbie said...

I agree about it being hard to find clothes, especially tops, that aren't polyester. Poly ones look terrible on me, and I don't like them.

This and YOU look wonderful!

Denise said...

Laura, this is a darling top, and I just LOVE it!! It looks so cute on you -- you're a great clothes model. :) I love that you used vintage fabrics and a vintage pattern. I don't know about you, but I wish some of those styles would come back into fashion; you know, cute dresses and blouses like Lucille Ball used to wear on "I Love Lucy." I've ALWAYS loved polka dots, and your red and white trim makes this blouse perfect for the Fourth of July.

Happy Fourth to you, Laura!!


Denise at Forest Manor

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

Love the vintage pattern and the blouse turned out sooo cute!

Karen Albert said...

Laura it is a darling top. It may not be 117 here in Kansas City but it sure feels like it! How much do you love to sew? I see a perfect Etsy shop item!!

2013 Design Series

khess136 said...

You are so right,, cotton tops/blouses are as scarce as hens teeth unless you pay BIG dollars for a boutique line.

You look not only cool, but adorable too. Too bad our desert temps keep us from enjoying daytime July 4th activities (unless water is involved!)

Happy July 4th to you and your family

Vel Criste said...

So cute Laura! Perfect! I have the same fabric in red, unfortunately, can't sew even if my life depended on it!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Cute top and I love the polka dots and the bias tape is just the perfect accent. You look so cute. Hugs, Marty

Auntie Em said...

Love your top! Cute design and great material for it.
Sadly I am old enough to remember where these were in style originally! (hahaha! How's that for dating ones self? )
Enjoy your holiday weekend! :)

Redhead Sadie said...

It turned out so nice, you did such a great job! Proud of you! I'm glad the fit is so nice on you-you should definitely trace it off and keep a copy of it.

Another bias tape convert...only a few more million to go..hehehehehe!


K Quinn said...

Very nice! Love that pattern! It's really cute. You did a beautiful job. I've never "stitched in the ditch", either. Those old patterns had the best stuff. I've been wanting to make a dress with about the same bodice as your top. Thank you for the inspiration.

Creations By Cindy said...

How adorable! But when you have a model as pretty as you then it has to be adorable! Happy 4th of July! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Certainly, true for Phoenix. Classy and cool.

ImagiMeri said...

How, when am I meeting up with you pretty lady.......I have something I made just for you recently. No it's not the doggies, but I'm sure you'll like it just as well. Call me when you're available.

Hugs N' Love,

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Although I haven't sewn clothes in years, I can appreciate the effort & skill to make this lovely blouse! Looks Great on you, too!

Louise said...

You look dandy and dapper and when they found out you made it they then knew you are also incredibly talented and clever.

Lisa said...

So pretty! How fun that everything is vintage and still so current! Have a fab 4th!

French said...

The blouse looks fantastic, and you are yards ahead of me as I am not clever enough to sew this!!

Mardell Grayhek said...

Laura, your new blouse is a real stunner. Good work.

Lorrie said...

You did a great job on your blouse, Laura. So patriotic. Happy 4th!

I don't know why manufacturers don't consider the heat trapping qualities of synthetic fibres - especially for women of a certain age. There's a store in town catering to that demographic with lovely styles, but even trying something on makes me break out into a sweat. Hooray for cotton and linen!

My name is Rita said...

cute top! I can't believe that you made it. If you get a chance, please link up to my What We Wore link Party:

Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

You look fantastic. Good for you for actually making your own top when you couldn't find one. I love the vintage fabrics you found.

Patty said...

This is just adorable. Love your new blouse!