Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Ainrmistice blouse, wedding dress muslin.

I did post about my wedding dress here back in February, but never got around to writing much about design or construction. After two months away, I just wanted to share pictures, and a lot of the details had slipped my mind. However, I will be sharing a bit today, as last night I finally finished the wearable muslin of the top half of my wedding dress. 
My inspiration for my wedding dress was the Armistice blouse pattern. I cannot remember if I found the pattern first, or the Downton Abbey picture; I just loved the style, and quickly order the Folkwear pattern. My main tweaks to the pattern had to do with the back. The pattern is very blousey, and is nipped in with ties. I don't really like the excess fabric, and it didn't work with turning it into a dress, so I modified the back piece to incorporate back darts from Simplicity 2444, and this gave me a really good fit. After playing around with muslins, I decided to make a blouse up to practice the technqiues, especially the collar, lace and pintucking. I got the blouse mostly finished half way through last year, and it lay in the sewing pile, only with a hem to go, until last night. With the warmer weather creeping up in Sydney, and my desire to shrink my UFO pile, I quickly finished it lat night. 

It's a really comfortable blouse, and I like the style. My two issues are the front panel sits a tiny bit too low (something I can pull up; I do remember now raising the panel for my wedding dress). Also, the back is much too short. I most likely added no length, so it's the same length as a dress bodice. It makes it hard to tuck in; I am very short waisted, and am wearing it with a pencil skirt that hits my natural waist, and it only just sits in. These issues are certainly not going to stop me wearing it though. 

My favourite things about this blouse are the details. 
Firstly, the fabric. Most versions of this style I've seen as done in white/cream/ivory, but as I was already doing that for the wedding dress, I decided to go floral. The fabric is from my grandma's stash, and I used cream for the collar and front panel. 

My main construction change was to use bias tape instead of facings. I rally do not like facings, and had already found lovely satin bias for my wedding dress, so used a red bias tape for the facings. I also hemmed the blouse using bias tape, again much neater, and didn't lose much length. I did the button holes in blue, with blue buttons to match. I actually did not end up using buttons on my wedding dress, as the satin facings would not take them. I used false buttons with hooks and eyes underneath. For the blouse, I also inserted an invisible zipper up the side; I don't need it, because of the buttons, but it was good practice for the dress.

 This is a close up of the sleeve hem, finished with lace, which is machined on. Although I hand sew whenever I can, machining the lace actually gave it a very neat finish. All the lace was from my grandma's stash. I cut the sleeves short, not wantingto do cuffs, as per the pattern. I was actually planning on having short sleeves on the wedding dress, but ended up going thee quarters after getting carried away with insertion.

 This is a close up of the middle panel. The hardest part was getting the pintucks centred. I know I had a method, but my brain is very murky on the details now. The whole panel is handsewn into the blouse, and finished with a row of lace up top.

This is just a collar close up, he lace here is sandwiched between the two collar layers. 

Pattern Summary:
Pattern: Folkwear 210, Armistice blouse
Fabric: Floral for main body, cream for accents, both stash
  • back turned into darts
  • bias tape facings
  • side zip
Notions: invisible zipper, blue buttons, red bias tape, a lot of lace

Wear with: a very high waisted, tight skirt. 

Make again? : I technically have for my wedding dress. I'm not sure if I would. I love the pattern, but its a blouse style that's very striking, and would look quite similar if made again, it's more of a statement piece, than a wardrobe basic. If I did make it again, I'd raise the front panel, add length to the back bodice, and grade out slightly at the hips. I do love the lace and pin tucking details though, so I will certainly be working out ways to incorporate them into future projects. 

I have two more projects to still show that were part of my wedding dress making process. One is a skirt, that was part of my self-drafting adventures, and the other is a blouse, that is still unfinished a year later where I set to work practicing insertion. 

It feels good to finally have another project finished, and shared. 
Thanks to my best friend Mim for the photos.


  1. Nice, I can see why you chose this pattern as the base for your wedding dress. It is so pretty and feminine. I really like the colourful florar and it makes it different from your proper dress.

    1. Thanks Louise. It was a really different design to anything I'd seen, an it drew me straight in

  2. Such a beautiful blouse!! It is just gorgeous, and I love the fabric. Great job!!

  3. Cute blouse and lovely print!

  4. Immensely lovely blouse! The pintucked detailing is so exquisitely pretty and add an even greater depth of timelessness to this gorgeous creation. Awesome work here, sweet dear!

    ♥ Jessica