I finally did some (blog-worthy) sewing of clothes for myself! I made Rae’s Josephine blouse and tunic. Actually, I made the first one quite a while back when I took a sewing class at Stonemountain in Berkeley, but had trouble with the taking-photos-of-myself part of blogging. So I am just getting around to posting it now. My first one was a ‘view b’ blouse made with a lightweight cotton print (lawn I think). It’s soft and comfortable and breathable so that it’s even nice to wear in the summer (at least in San Francisco, where it’s never really hot).
I was originally inspired by Rae’s release pintuck version, which just looked so nice and flowy, but when I made up my muslin (yes, I made a muslin!), I completely forgot and just sewed the pleats all the way. Then I decided to take in the sides from the waist to hem a bit (basically graded down a size) because it was a bit too wide for my taste there anyway…and I figured that the release tucks would make it even wider (duh!), so I stuck with the fully-sewn-pintucks. It still has a bit more of a bell shape than I’d like – mostly noticeable when I stick my arms out or up like this:
Here I am holding down the sides to see what it would look like even more slimmed at the waist and hips:
Here’s the back with elastic (hard to see, I know, the print really masks it).
I love the pleats on this blouse – definitely adds some visual interest – and I love the sleeves! The little pouf at the shoulder is nice and the sleeves are roomy and comfortable. This blouse has been in regular wardrobe rotation since I made it a few months back – always a good sign!
I also tried out the tunic length with a belt in chambray.
The chambray I used was a bit on the heavy side, so the tunic is a little stiffer than I’d like. I like the length of this tunic and the waist definition provided by the belt.
I used elastic at the wrists instead of cuffs, but kept the narrower sleeves. I think I might like the cuffs better, especially since this fabric is a bit stiff – may change that at some point.
I also found that the neckline doesn’t lie perfectly flat on this version. Perhaps because the chambray has a tiny bit of stretch in it – I may have stretched the neckline a bit while attaching the bias binding. But it’s not too bad…
This top is a bit of a style-stretch for me – I hardly ever wear tunics or dresses (only at weddings!), but I think it works well when paired with skinny jeans/leggings.
Even better with a pair of boots and a leather belt for Fall.
All in all I’m pretty happy with my Josephines! I bought some really nice black rayon lawn recently that I’m considering for a third Josephine. I think the drapey nature of rayon would work well for this pattern. I’d definitely go back to the ‘view b’, but maybe with a few alterations. I may lengthen the whole thing about an inch or two so that it hits more at my mid hip, then lower the elastic a bit so that it’s closer to my natural waist instead of just below the bust…and maybe take in the sides a bit more below the waist. Seems like I may need to make another muslin with so many adjustments! I’d really like to improve my pattern adjustments/fitting skills – so maybe I need another class too:) Although this version has me thinking about trying again for the more flowy loose look…and adding that little front slit from the sleeveless version – so pretty!
Happy Labor Day Weekend! Enjoy the last bit of summer everyone!
Pattern: Made by Rae Josephine blouse and tunic
Size: XXL (C/D) on top, graded to XL on bottom
Fabric: print cotton lawn and medium-weight chambray (with a tiny bit of stretch), both from Fabric Outlet in SF.