top-halfs wardrobe

Sewaholic – Cropped Pendrell Blouse

Pattern: Pendrell Blouse by Sewaholic
Fabric: Yarn-dyed cotton from Villány Import Méteráru in Budapest, Hungary for the body, Various Japanese stretch cotton blend from Fabric Depot in Portland for the ruffles
Size: 2
Alterations: cropped at waistline, with a 2” rolled hem
Worn with: Self-drafted Dirndl skirt

I’ve already made this blouse once before and constructed this almost entirely the same way, so for more details, see my previous post.

I got the fabric for the ruffles from Fabric Depot almost two years ago. For a short time (likely one bolt’s worth), they carried a lightweight Japanese stretch cotton-blend drill in a variety of these beautifully muted colors. Since it ran nearly $20/yard and I’m generally a cheapskate when it comes to fabric (even quality ones like these), I bought myself a half yard each and convinced myself I would one day make a patch-work quilt or throw pillows out of it.

aaaand that never happened.

Instead, two years on, I found myself wanting to make another Pendrell blouse (because I just love the ruffle detail), and at the same time, I came across these four fabrics in my stash. Most often, it takes me several days or weeks of passive consideration to fully develop a garment idea, but this idea hit me pretty immediately, especially since I had already linked these fabrics in my head as going into the same project.

The yarn-dyed indigo cotton that I used for the main bodice pieces were picked up in Hungary last fall at my favorite little wholesale fabric shop, Villány Import Méteráru. Unfortunately, they don’t have an online presence, but you can read more about them on my Budapest Fabric Store Round-up post. I still have 1.5 meters of this fabric leftover that I’m hoping to someday work into high waisted summer pants.

I sized up one in this version of the Pendrell blouse because I have some difficulty getting my brown linen (size 0) version on and off. It’s one of those situations where I have to take my bra off before I can manage to take my shirt off, which is (obviously) a strange order of operations.

Unfortunately, sizing up did nothing to help that issue and instead created another one: it’s just plain too large for me now, causing the neckline to gape at the center and the shoulders to shift left or right. I don’t even think that sticking with my original size and grading to a larger size at the bust would solve this problem. I do have enough fabric all around to make another one, but, while I really love this blouse and can see myself getting a lot of wear from it, I’m not quite sure I love it enough to make a whole new one. Do you ever feel that way about Me-Made garments? I think I’m more excited to see new ideas come to life than to rehash old ones that didn’t work out as expected.

My last Pendrell blouse’s torso was incredible long, which is something I’ve heard from other makers as well. As a short torso-ed human (and with this being a semi-fitted blouse), I have problems with the fabric pooling around my mid-section as it gets too tight around my hips too quickly.

Fortunately, cropping this top meant that the pooling wouldn’t be a problem for me here. I cut it straight at the waistline (which, again, was low for me anyway) and folded it up with a 1” double-fold hem (in effect, shortening the blouse by 2”). I think this is the perfect length for this style of crop-top; I can lift my arms with no danger of exposing my bra.

Despite my fit issues, I still really love this top, and it’s even caused me to break the Cardinal Rule of Dressmaker Blogging: Don’t wear your makes before you take blog photos of them. I’ve actually worn this top quite a few times since making it and only managed to take blog photos last weekend.

Speaking of blog photos, John and I discovered this beautiful green ivy wall in the next village over, with an awful cigarette machine in the middle, but fortunately, we were able to frame our shots to keep this eyesore out of it. It wasn’t until the very end of our photoshoot that I realized my top had been inside out the entire time. Since I flat-felled all of my seams and cleanly bound the armholes, I didn’t even notice that I had turned it inside out:

Although it was definitely a set-back in our day, I’m coming away with three positives:

  • I can proudly say I finish the inside of my garments so well that the insides look as good as the outsides.
  • I now have a good enough reason to invest in garment tags with my name on them, so I can tell the inside from the outside.
  • I’m marrying the most patient and generous man who didn’t complain about taking the same blog photos, not once, not twice, but THREE times. Ladies and gents, I have a keeper on my hands.

Thanks to everyone who’s stopped by to read through. The next time you hear from me (on this blog at least), I’ll be in Sicily! I hope you all have a lovely week ahead.

5 Comment

    1. Please don’t cry, Colleen. Only ugly thugs in the future, I promise.

      On a serious note though, thanks for the love!

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