Monday, 1 August 2011

Can it be saved?

This is one of my all-time-favourite blouse patterns. It is an Anne Klein design from Vogue patterns, Vogue 2789.

I made View A a few years back.  It is a semi-fitted blouse with pin tucks on the bodice front below the bust line which continue on the bodice back.

The fitted sleeve has pleats from the ties.

I even made fabric covered buttons to match.

I made this blouse in a 100% white cotton with a black print. The print has shoes which I think are cute.

Sadly, I haven't worn it in years and I can't bring myself to give it away.

I would like to blame it on the shrinking the 100% cotton but that would be a lie. And if anyone knows me knows that one of my golden rules is to always pre-shrink your fabric.

So the truth is I've gained more than a few pounds. And now the blouse, in the fabric that I think is too cute, doesn't fit.  

Yeah, that horizontal pulling should not be there. Not pretty, is it?

So here is the plan, I'm going to try to rescue the blouse from a pile of neglected clothes that no longer fit.

Okay, maybe I'm in denial about how much weight I gained over the years but I've gotta try something short of exercising. I jest about the exercise.  Maybe later.

I think I going to remove all 26 of those pin tucks.

I hope it will eliminate the horizontal pulling that occurs around my explosive mid-section.

No, I don't think that will be enough.  But I think letting out the two side seams and the centre back seam might help?

Am I delusional? I hope not. I'm going to spend some quality time outdoors with my blouse and seam ripper and see if I can make it work.  

Have I mentioned I love Tim Gunn's catch phrase?  

Several hours later... 

The verdict is in. Apparently, I was delusional.

But I refuse to give up and this means that I will have to take drastic measures.

And I did.

With my seam ripper still hot in hands I get to work on the side seams and open them up to the underarm seam.

I'm thinking insert. If I still have some of this fabric left over I am unsure where it would be found. My second choice is to use black or white fabric.

Black won the coin toss!

I have a lightweight 100% cotton with diagonal pin tucking that I think will work out fine.

I measured out a triangular shape that will fit into the opening, trim off the excess, and try it on. It works!

And that is the story of how I saved my favourite blouse.


  1. As I was reading your post I was already to suggest this very same idea of inserting a different fabric panel on the sides...until I scrolled down a little further and saw that you already did! (lol)....It's a great solution isn't it?

    I like your choice of fabric because it echoes the pin tucks in the front of the blouse.

    I can't remember on whose blog page I read about it but someone was having a contest regarding a clothing make-over, that is, re-doing an old or out-dated garment. Do you remember reading this anywhere in your blog travels?

    After you finished your apron the other day you mentioned that you were going to work on Butterick 5561...which view are you sewing? Can we get a sneak preview of the fabric you're going to use?

  2. Great save! I really do think that this beautiful shirt is worth all the trouble you took over it. It was such a great idea to add the fabric inserts - now you can get many more years of happy wearing out of it.

  3. I'm quite pleased that I was able to save it. I probably wouldn't have gone through all the trouble if I found the print again. I'm glad I didn't because it was quite a rewarding feeling that I was able to save it.

    Yes, I did mention Butterick 5561, it has been in my cut and ready-to-go pile of projects for some time already. I didn't get a chance to sew it yesterday, but I did finish (finally) this afternoon. I just took picture of it on the dress form and about to write a blog post with the photos.

    There is a photo of the fabric in July 3rd's entry at

    And clothing make-over contest? No, I didn't come across it in my blog travels.


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