First up is my very first Colette Violet. The day after my wedding, I went fabric shopping. That's right, not even being freshly married can keep me from browsing for more stash! And I thought it was fate when I stumbled across this beautiful chiffon with an origami crane print, considering how many I had folded for the wedding decor. I dunno, maybe it's just me. Maybe you have to want to see the cranes. But to me, it looks like cranes, so I bought two metres at some ridiculously reasonable price, like £3 or £4 per metre. I remember it was under a fiver anyway.
Anywho, I had planned to make another Mathilde blouse, with sheer sleeves, but despite having the fabric, and the pattern, I just couldn't get started. I think the thought of putting tucks into the slippery fabric was just too daunting, and without the tucks, the Mathilde just isn't as special, in my opinion. After a few weeks, I decided I wanted to make something with short sleeves, and buttons down the front, and so the Violet blouse was the obvious choice.
|Another dark picture! I blame the gloomy summer we're having :)|
I was determined for this blouse to be as close to perfect as I could manage, as the fabric was pretty special to me. But boy, did it put up a fight! I lined the bodice with white cotton lawn, which I think brightened up the grey of the fabric quite a bit. I decided to baste the layers together, and treat them as if they were one, which was easier said than done, especially when it came to sewing the darts. I also decided to French all my seams, for maximum longevity, but forgot to do the very first one! In my defence, it was the back yoke seam, and I forgot because I put in a pretty lace strip there :)
I did however manage to keep my wits about me and French all the other seams, including the arm holes! The lace I used was the same lace I wore in my hair at the wedding. I had wanted something simple, and was being relatively frugal, so I had simply sewn two strips of lace to white ribbon at the ends to tie like a headband, and I was super pleased with it! I had some lace left over, which I used for the back, and cut the actual lace from the headband to trim the sleeves, which I had left sheer.
Speaking of sleeves, my bad sleeve karma is well and truly in full swing. The first sleeve went in fine but on the second, I got a little bit confused, and ended up putting it in at a weird angle. Don't ask me how. But only after I had finished the lovely neat french seams did I notice the problem. I was totally gutted about it, as I hate unpicking, and this seemed like a particularly tricky task. But after sleeping on it, I got it sorted in no time the next morning. It may not be perfect, but it's a huge improvement and I'm happy with it.
I also bought the buttons at the same time as the fabric. They seem to be some kind of metal, I think, as they're cold to the touch, and I think they work beautifully with the blouse. The lady I bought them from only had 7 left, and this scuppered my plan to make the blouse longer, as I wouldn't have had enough buttons. This was also one of the reasons I didn't turn this fabric into the Mathilde, as I definitely need to add length to my next one, and need more than 7 buttons for that too.
I think it ended up being long enough, and I plan to tuck it into high waisted skirts, so it wasn't a big deal. I cut a size 14 at the chest and graded from a 14 at the waist to an 18 at the hips, which is pretty usual for me, what with the difference between my waist and hips being so large. I also feel like the darts are too low in this blouse, but the loose fit means I can get away with it.
Overall, I'm really happy with it. Sure, it could be neater on the inside, but I love it all the same, and I'm hoping that I'll get plenty of wear out it. I had always intended for it to be a kind of wedding keepsake, and it'll definitely be a reminder every time I wear it.
So, to the math!
Fabric: I really can't remember, so let's say £10
Thread, lace and interfacing: stash
Total: £31.80 (or £19.30 without the pattern cost.)
Considering I've already cut another Violet, I think it's safe to say this was bargain! And being able to make myself such a special blouse? Well, you can't put a price on that, can you :D