Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Sewjo Returns

Steph's Laurel
This week my sewing mojo (Sewjo) returned. I completed the Laurel blouse I'd been slowly sewing for a friend (it looks exactly like my Rayon Laurel), and even managed to make another Laurel for myself.

The Laurel I made for myself had also been a long time coming. The fabric and pattern were sitting on my sewing table for at least the past month. It all started when I found a cute top at Anthropologie, tried it on and loved it, but looked at the price tag & fabric content and about fainted. Then I decided to make my own version.

A slightly more accurate representation of the fabric coloring can be seen here.

Lumine Dot Blouse from Anthropologie

The inspiration blouse costs over a hundred dollars, is imported, and is made of soft cream colored rayon embroidered with neon orange and pink polka dots. It has a 1/3 zip down the back, which seems a little trendy and unnecessary to me. The sleeves have a slight puff at the cap, which I was excited about because I'm horrible at easing/setting in regular sleeves and the puff/gathering gives you a little wiggle room.

For my version, I chose a Marc Jacobs cotton silk from Mood that I'd spied when Tom and I visited the LA store and I was too overwhelmed to buy anything. Thank goodness I was able to find it online.  It's very lightweight and has a bit of a sheen to it. The spotted pattern is a dark dot with a brighter outline around it, which makes for a pinky/red look. Gertie has some in the orange color scheme in her Etsy shop.

I ended up making about 17 miles of bias binding, which sounds tedious but always ends up being something I rather enjoy making. I used the binding to finish the neckline, sleeve openings, and as a facing on the shirt hem. I also decided to add a little bias tape bow at the back of the neckline, for what I thought added a '60s vibe.

My favorite part of this project, though, is how the sleeves turned out. I'd planned to give them a little poof at the top, so I wouldn't have to struggle with setting in the sleeves, but I didn't end up needing to! For once in my life I was actually, for some reason, able to insert the sleeves normally with minimal strain or effort on my part. Well, apart from the fluke when I put the first sleeve in inside-out.

Ahh, what a glorious sleeve! I'll be sure to post more photos, including some of me wearing the finished top, soon. Thanks for sticking around while I experienced my mental vacation/sewing rut this month. I'm glad to be back now!

Oh, and if you ever find yourself in a similar rut, may I recommend the Laurel from Colette Patterns? It's not complicated, but just involved enough to make ya feel accomplished upon completing it. :)


  1. Love this!!! The fabric is perfect, and the inspiration is great :) Can't wait to see it on you! You make the best Laurels :)

  2. Oooh, it's really lovely...the homemade bias binding and bow are adorable!

  3. Congrats on getting your sewjo back. This is lovely. Laurel may be what I need to jumpstart my creativity. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Really, really cute! It's so smart to use a nice, easy pattern if you're struggling to motivate! I love this!

  5. It's lovely. Don't you just feel so thrilled and a little smug to make your own version of something gorgeous you've seen in a shop, at a fraction of the price!

  6. I love that fabric and it suits the Laurel Pattern. I love that you made your own bias tape. I have done that once and it can be very time consuming. And while your inspirational piece was ridiculous expensive I say I would rather have your version.

  7. I love this shape- such a classic- I want a tiny bow on mine now!

  8. This looks SO cute!! Can't wait to see more photos!

  9. I have experienced the magically-setting sleeve phenomenon too. I am a beginning sewer, and have made a similar shift to Laurel in 4 or 5 fabrics. With a couple (including my first) the sleeve set no problem. In others, no matter how I gathered, I got puff. I decided that it was largely fabric choice and not technique. Sometimes the sleeve cap has too much ease for a particular fabric, so it just won't ease in even though the same pattern worked on other fabrics. I've started just shortening the sleeve cap if it doesn't go in nicely at first. It was pretty liberating to decide it wasn't my fault!


Thanks for leaving a comment!