Thursday, April 21, 2011

Miss Josie at the Market: Simplicity 2211

In news from the sewing table, I've finished my first Lisette Market Blouse (Simplicity 2211). Like the Lisette Passport Dress, this is another fantastic pattern. It's the perfect pattern for cute, but airy, summer blouses - basic necessities in Texas. I even already have a few different cotton lawns (One of them Liberty! Holy moly!) that are ideal.

Making up this pattern was a total breeze. Start to finish, it took me about four hours - including cutting on my fancy new rotary mat! There are two horizontal darts, one on each side of the bodice front, as well as gathering on both edges of the sleeves. Honestly, the most laborious part was spacing out and sewing on the buttons, as there aren't pattern markings for them. It's up to you to decide how many buttons you want and where to place them. Being my slightly OCD-self, I spent a ridiculous amount of time with my ruler, making sure they lined up perfectly. It turned out well, though! I love how the buttons look, even if they are only a faux-closure.

I also added a bit of my own difficulty to the pattern. I've recently come to the realization that I hate fusible interfacing. It's bulky and itchy, tends to come off in the wash, and is too heavy for a light blouse like this. To that end, I replaced the interfaced pieces (all the black trim) with linings. The finish was neater, plus there's no pesky steaming! Being a rogue sewist paid off!

As far as fit alterations go, I didn't make any this time around. I tissue fitted the blouse to myself and decided that any adjustments would be small enough to make on the fly. I was right - kind of. The blouse fits, but not quite how I imagined it. It's a bit on the short and boxy side for my tastes. Because there aren't any closures, it does need to be a bit boxy, so you can pull it over your head. However, when it's not tucked in, it completely loses my waist, while not being long enough to belt. Since I plan on changing the faux-button placket to a real closure next time, I'm also going to nip in the waist and add a bit of length to the bodice pieces. That should fix the major fit issues, while also addressing my compulsive desire for proper closures!

Overall, this is a fantastic pattern. There aren't many blouse patterns that I love among the Big Four pattern companies - they tend to skew toward an older audience, in my opinion. Simplicity 2215, like the other Lisette patterns, is a very ready-to-wear design. My sister mentioned that this is a top she could easily imagine inside of J. Crew or Ann Taylor Loft - cute and classic, but still youthful. I completely agree with her...which is why those cotton lawns are going to be put to work soon!

Things I Changed:
  • Opted out of interfacing. Instead, I cut an extra pattern piece (for the neckbands, arm bands, and neck placket) and used it like a lining. I stitched an outside seam with the two wrong sides together, then turned it to the inside, pressed, and treated them as one piece. It gives the fabric more structure, but has none of the discomfort of interfacing.
  • Didn't 1/4 turn under the trim pieces, due to the new lining pieces I added. This made for a much cleaner finish than the shirt would as instructed.
Things I Will Change Next Time:
  • Add 3 inches of length to the bodice.
  • Add 1 inch to the armband length, they're just a hair too snug for my liking.
  • Turn the placket from decorative to usable. Now that I've sewn this shirt up once, I have a good idea of how to make the buttons usable, instead of just for show. It shouldn't be that difficult, just a few pattern alterations to the neckline and placket. If I'm successful, I'll detail how it's done!
Tricky Steps & Suggestions:
  • This really is an easy pattern - quick and painless to both cut out and sew! The only thing I found truly tricky was the fit itself. The armbands seem to run a bit small for both me and other sewists, so give yourself a little wiggle room, if you don't plan to make a muslin.
Fabric Used:
Outfit Details:
Additional Pictures:


  1. Super cute, hun! Very Chanel chic...

  2. A beautiful blouse, and I just love the names you give your projects. It is always such a pleasure to come to your blog and see another one of those pretty garments finished :-) Although I am a huge fan of Burda (I live in Germany, so their patterns are just the first choice here), I really feel tempted to try out those Simplicity patterns you use!

  3. I like your top and thanks for the tip about the armbands. I'm making that one soon and will likely go ahead and add the length to the bands and top. Hope adding a usable placket goes well.

  4. Have only recently discovered your blog and today's post just confirmed why I am HOOKED! Amazingly stylish and such a helpful to buy the pattern :)

  5. You beat me! Hehe I have finished my Market blouse today too. I made it out of some mystery knit from Barcelona and it is a great pattern. I love the monochrome effect you went for!
    I didn't follow instructions but the front pointed neckline piece is wonky now! I didn't put it on at the start. So that needs sorting but this is a quick make again and again top!
    Well done! x

  6. I am in awe. Teach me your ways sensei.

  7. I keep seeing swiss dot being used all over the place but I've never worked with it before. The top looks lovely! I love the black and white contrast.

  8. Your top turned out so nicely! I need to get this pattern next time I am at Joanns. I am totally with you on hating fusible interfacing, that stuff is yucky. :]

  9. Thanks, Alana! You know, I hadn't even thought of the Chanel collection until you said something, but now I can totally see it. I love how Chanel has always used black & white in their lines - so very chic, indeed. The comparison made my day! :D

    Laura, thank you so much! Not going to lie, sometimes I feel a bit silly with my project names, but every piece should have a story, don't you think? Maybe that's just the writer in me though! Also, not going to lie, I'm a bit in awe of Burda and sewists who regularly use their patterns. The designs are so gorgeous, but I still haven't mustered up the courage to download patterns or add in my own seam allowances. I just ooh and ahh over other people's wonderful Burda creations! If you end up trying a Simplicity pattern, I may have to try my own hand at Burda.

    Stephanie, thank you so much for stopping by! I'm so glad that my tips were helpful. My mother, who is four inches shorter than I am, tried on the blouse and felt that it was even a bit too short for her. Knowing that going in and adding a bit of length is a brilliant way to address this pattern.

  10. Bettina, thank you so, so much! I'm absolutely thrilled that you like the blog! I really hope that you end up liking this pattern as much as I did - it really is such a versatile little blouse.

    Stevie, ha! Great minds and all that, I suppose. Can I just say again how lovely your Market Blouse turned out? I think it's even more flattering in a knit fabric. You were a genius for trying it out that way!

    Lo, I could totally teach you the ways. But then we'd have to make more trips to JoAnn's. I'm not sure it's worth it...;)

  11. Dixie, thank you! You know, I've seen Swiss dot all over the place lately, as well. It's a trend I'm 100% behind, as this fabric was a dream to work with. Even the Swiss dot from Hancocks was light and drapey, but didn't ravel.

    Thanks so much, Carolyn! :D

    Thank you, Sara! Also, thanks for stopping by the blog!

  12. Rebecca, I'm so glad you feel the same way about interfacing! Sometimes I feel like such a heretic, considering how every pattern seems to include it. There are much nicer ways to get structure, don't you think? Also, you should definitely pick up this pattern! I would love to see how you interpret it!

  13. This looks great! I love the black and white contrast! I give you major credit for making a lining and avoiding the interfacing - I may have to follow in your footsteps someday!

  14. Thanks, Meg! The lining was seriously the easiest thing ever, I swear! Plus, it really did make the blouse so much more wearable. Follow in my footsteps all you want. :D

  15. This is lovely! Hope you are having a great weekend.

  16. You might try German interfacing. It is light enough to use on Liberty. It is pricey and hard to find, but worth it!