I can’t believe it’s time for another Wardrobe Architect Challenge post! Mind you, my February project was a wee bit late, but it does seem like yesterday that I shared it! If you go back to my original Wardrobe Architect Challenge post in January, you’ll see that in March I was planning to construct an accessory. But if you recall back to February, you’ll see that I had to make some adjustments to my original plan. In February (or I should really say early March) I focused on making a tote bag and now later in March, I took on the challenge of the Violet Blouse. My original plans changed but that’s okay, I allowed myself some flexibility in the challenge and I’m glad I saved the blouse for a month where I had a bit more time. I’m very excited to share how everything turned out this month!
The Violet is a pattern by Colette that I picked up a couple of months ago when I first decided I was going to participate in the Wardrobe Architect Challenge. I choose the pattern for the pretty peter pan collar but also because it looked like a piece that I would actually wear. In addition to that, when I took inventory of my current wardrobe, the major gap was tops, so it seemed like a good plan to tackle the Violet.
This time I went with a lightweight cotton voile fabric. I took a bit of a gamble when I ordered this because I’d never touched a voile before and wasn’t sure how I would like it. I knew it was an apparel specific fabric (one of the mistakes I’d make with my first blouse was using a quilting weight cotton), and I knew it was supposed to have a nice drape to it, making it shape easily. I couldn’t have been happier when my fabric arrived because it was so soft and lovely and I knew it was going to be perfect for my blouse (it actually feels exactly like those Liberty of London lawn fabrics I love so much). About 5 minutes in to sewing with the fabric, I was very pleased with how easy it was to work with. I didn’t take a gamble at all on the fabric print because I had previously used this print in quilting weight for making aprons and I knew I loved it.
Anyway, on to the project. I was a bit nervous about measurements for this pattern because I thought I was between two sizes (read more on that later), so I decided to go with the larger size and make adjustments later if needed. I made sure to wash my fabric before I started cutting just in case any shrinkage were to occur after the first wash – the last thing I wanted was to spend all that time on making something that would shrink after being washed.
This was definitely a whole day project (although I spread it out over a couple of evenings and then about 1/2 day on the weekend). The pattern was fairly simple but just time consuming. I had to look a few things up which made the whole process a little longer than it needed to be (like how to use the automatic button hole function on my sewing machine – I’ve avoided it until now but it was painless once I figured it out). This was my first time using a Colette pattern and I would highly recommend them to others – they are well put together and easy to follow. Altogether, the blouse wasn’t an overly complicated project I think it is a good project for the beginner apparel sewer (like me! I have lots of experience sewing, but just not apparel).
Isn’t that collar adorable?!
I’ll touch on cost again as well as I think it is important to know this when going in to a project (although I’m pretty guilty of not looking at a project cost until after I’ve completed it). The voile fabric was a bit more expensive than the fabric I normally buy but I think it was worth it – it was $13.50USD/yard, plus shipping costs (about $2.00USD/yard), so translated in to Canadian prices, it was about $39 for the fabric, including shipping. Plus the cost of fusible interfacing, thread, and buttons came to about $10. So not a cheap project by any means – altogether costing about $49. Oh and lets not forget the cost of the pattern, which was another $20 (it can be used multiple times so this cost will spread out over time).
I’m fairly pleased with the end result of my Violet but the only thing I would change for next time is actually making the smaller size. I went with the larger size because I wasn’t confident on sizing but when all was said and done, I should have gone with the smaller size. The blouse does fit and I can wear it for sure, but it is slightly loose. This style does work best on me tucked in to a skirt with a cardigan over top (I just don’t really look good in loose button-ups over jeans, I wish that style would work for me). But as I said, I am pleased with how this blouse turned out and I would use the pattern again.
So what’s next in the challenge? Luckily the next challenge combines the months of April and May, so I have a bit more time to complete the dress project. I have two dress patterns to choose from and I’d love to hear your feedback on whether I should sew the Dahlia or the Crepe – and also your suggestions for fabric. Leave your feedback in the comments!
If you’d like to follow along with the Coletterie Wardrobe Architect Challenge, check out their blog (it’s also a great resource for any level of sewer).