Grey Silk Blouse by Sewing Tidbits

A grey silk blouse

Dear readers,

Greetings from France! Today’s post is my definition of an achievement. I’m showing you the blouse I made for round 2 of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee Contest. I’m calling this an achievement because not only am I terrible at sewing on a deadline, I’m even worse at taking pictures and posting them in a timely manner. And with this blouse I managed to make both happen! (smug face).

It’s not the first time that I pass round 1 in the Pattern Review Sewing Bee, but it’s the first time that I managed to complete the project on time for round 2. When I saw that the theme was sleeves I wasn’t terribly inspired. I’m not one to add frills or follow #sleevefest. But I did had a picture of this Chloe Blouse hanging in my sewing space and I figured I could make something wearable/I had exactly 2 days to buy fabric, prepare a pattern and finish my garment before flying out to France but it all worked out.

Grey Silk Blouse by Sewing TidbitsGrey Silk Blouse by Sewing Tidbits


Pattern – self-drafted

I drafted the pattern using my TNT shirt as a starting point. You may remember that my TNT pattern started initially as a Grainline Studio Archer shirt but I’m not sure that any pattern piece would be recognizable by now. To create this pattern I joined the shoulder yoke to the back and omitted all waist darts. I created a simple front by removing all pockets, plackets, etc. and lowered the neckline by 2″ at Center Front, widening 1″ at the shoulder tapering to nothing at Center Back.

The sleeves are cut to reach the middle of my forearm. The flounce detail is very simple. I created it by using this technique, but it ends up being a half circle, so with a little bit of math you could draft it directly.


Fabric – Grey Silk Crepe de Chine from Mood NY, contrast ivory crepe de chine from stash.
Notions – Lingerie hook from stash

The construction is very straightfoward, but because the fabric is silk crepe de chine it takes a bit of time to complete each step with care. The fabric is cut on the open (I just learned that this was the proper wording, as opposing to “on the fold”), between 2 layers of paper. All seams are french, the neckline is bound using a strip of bias self fabric. The hem and the back opening are finished with a baby hem using ban-rol. I cannot repeat enough how much i love ban rol for those hems. It produces perfect tiny hems without any wrinkle or stretching.

Grey Silk Blouse by Sewing Tidbits

To follow the Chloe blouse, I used a remnant from this slip dress to bind the inside of the sleeve flounce, but omitted the tying bow. To bind the inner corner neatly, I used something similar to this technique, doing a little bit of origami. When it comes to binding, quilters are the best! Cutting, sewing, folding, they have all the tricks!

Grey Silk Blouse by Sewing Tidbits

I like my finished blouse and I have no doubt that I will wear it because I love the color and the comfortable fit. After checking out the other entries on Pattern Review, I realize that my little sleeves are WAY too understated for the challenge… But even with the sleeve detail being so small, it still somewhat feels outside of my comfort zone. What do you think readers? Are you pro or anti #sleevefest?

21 thoughts on “A grey silk blouse

  1. cat

    I just LUV this blouse Daphine. It makes me ask myself where I always follow the pattern when there are so many tweaks one can make. By the way, might you know where I can sewing lessons/draping/pattern making etc in Paris, either classes or workshops where they teach in English? Probably wishful thinking? Thank you!

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Thank you Cat! I haven’t lived in Paris since 2009 so my information tends to be dated but if I remember correctly the Paris American Academy had a nice offering, let me know if you take a class with them. It looks interesting!

  2. Anne B.

    What a great looking top! Generally, I am not one for frills and I have yet to work on anything with statement sleeves (although I do admire the way some can rock the look) – I LOVE what you did with the sleeves! The binding is fabulous (IMO the sleeves are perfect without the ties!). The colour of your blouse, the fit, the finish…it is just superb. Very nicely done!

  3. Becky

    This is incredibly elegant, but just what I would have expected from you. Your style is so singular and recognizable. Hang in there, you will get to wherever you want to be. I want this blouse! But then again, I want everything you make. I think this will be a classic that you can wear no matter what the trends. The details are exquisite and surprising.

  4. Beth (SunnyGal Studio)

    so pretty, totally your style and very sophisticated. And the ban-roll technique, why have it not tried this before, thanks for mentioning it. Now I have to order some of that.

  5. Chloe

    Really lovely blouse, and your statement sleeves are just enough! I’ve observed the year of the sleeve from the sidelines, and although many of the things you can do with a sleeve flounce are cool looking, and fun to sew, lots of them would get in the way of my life! Good on you for making the trend work for you. Lovely finishing as usual!

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