I decided to take advantage of a day to myself over the Bank Holiday to indulge in a bit of Selfish Sewing - in this case a lightweight summer blouse. I get sunburnt very easily (many years of medications have left my skin photosensitive, plus I'm allergic to every type of sunscreen that I've ever tried), so I need something with long sleeves that I can pop on when the sun comes out which isn't going to leave me boiling hot!
Enter this blouse, which I have to say is made from the most frustrating fabric that I've worked with in a very long time! It's been lurking in the stash since before I made the decision to use only organic and recycled fabrics. It's a white spotted cotton lawn, with a cream floral print over the top. What I didn't realise when I bought it was that the floral print is actually some kind of plastic. So the cotton lawn needs a fine needle and a nice hot iron... but the plasticky print needs a heavier needle and a cool iron. Nightmare. Usually I'm an advocate of ironing your clothes to keep them looking lovely. Sadly I'm just going to have to wear this one crinkly, because even inside out and with a pressing cloth, the fabric has left gunk all over my iron. Grrrr.
Anyway! On a cheerier note, I've been wearing it for a few hours now, and it's really soft and comfortable. I particularly like the details - the back fastens with an elastic loop and a vintage flower button, and the sleeves are trimmed with vintage Austrian lace.
Speaking of the sleeves... I can see some of you cringing at them from here, but I have to confess that I absolutely love a massive puffy sleeve. The pattern for the top is New Look 6471, view D, with the front lengthened to match the back. The sleeves I copied from Simplicity 5645, a pattern from 1982, as I didn't think the original ones were enormous enough! The lace trim and the elastic cuffs were made up as I went along. The elastic is designed to be loose at the wrists, but just tight enough to stay put when the sleeves are pushed up to the elbows.
Apparently the weather's going to stay warm and sunny for the next few days, so I should have plenty of opportunity to give this top a good wear and see whether it does its job!