Earlier this week, when I went digging in the bag of castoffs to find the sundress I used for the baby gift, I came up with an old favorite - this sleeveless denim blouse from Gap. This is another piece that I wore until it was seriously no longer wearable. There are spots on the front, a stain on the back and some serious discoloration around the collar. But it was always a comfortable top, and I think I threw it in the bag because I had thoughts of duplicating it someday.
I tried it on and - wonder of wonders - it still fits (even though parts of me have migrated slightly southward since its last wearing). Better yet, I still like how it fits. And I can't believe I wore it as long as I did - you can get an idea of its age by the color the dart is once I dismantled the blouse and ironed it flat to make pattern pieces from it.
This was a nice simple piece to try to duplicate - only three pieces, front, back and collar. The original, being a fairly substantial denim, had no interfacing whatsoever. I think that also explained why the button placket had to be ironed flat every single time I wore it because it never survived the dryer without wrinkling twice as much as the rest of the top.
I cut the top apart along the seams, opened the dart and pressed it, and laid it out on top of tracing paper. I traced around the garment edges, leaving a big red note to myself on each pattern piece to add seam allowances when I cut. (I have to do that with BWOF traces, too, because I've been known to forget to add the SA and then the garment goes to a smaller friend, who's always happy to take my mistakes!)
Even though I was supposed to be working on another project, this was the one that held my attention. I finished tracing, and turned to the stash to see what I had that would work as this top. I came up with a wine-themed novelty print that was supposed to be a shirt for a friend, but he has since changed his entire style and would no longer wear it (though it might do for an apron for his outdoor cooking efforts). Though this fabric was purchased with someone else in mind, the light sagey green background makes me think that I unconsciously hedged my bets and got something that would also work on me if I changed direction.
Since this is such a basic pattern, it went together in no time at all. The thing that probably took the longest was trying to find the right buttons - but isn't that almost always the hardest part of any project, finding the right notions?
I'm going to make a few more of these for summer. Maybe next time I'll lessen the curve at the bottom, or even leave it off entirely. This will be a good base for future pieces because it's basic enough that I can change it, or add or subtract collar, sleeves, etc., without the body of the blouse being too recognizable.