After all the fun and excitement that was Kids Clothes Week, where I managed to sew an outfit for each of the children (Veronica, Jonathan Pt 1 and Pt 2, and Mathilda) in just one week, I decided to slow it down a little, and to make something for myself.

So, I made myself a peasant blouse, with some hand-smocking!

The Fabric

The fabric is a printed georgette. Its very light to wear for summer, and it drapes really well. I used a similar weight fabric for a dress for Mathilda earlier in the year, and it worked really well with the smocking. I had just enough of this fabric to make the blouse, but only by changing the full-length sleeves to 3/4 length. I was okay with that though, because we are heading into summer, I won’t be needing long sleeves again for a while.

I used a small cluny lace to trim the sleeves instead of smocking them.

The lace that I used for the hem is wider, but has the same motif and coordinates quite well.

The Pattern

I used a pattern from Handmade Magazine Vol 12, No 4. I’ve had this magazine since 1996, I originally bought it because it had a picture of an edwardian style gown on the front, but I’d never made anything from it until now. Apart from the gown, it also has two other ladies blouse patterns in it that I might need to make for myself too.

The blouse ended up being tunic length, which is actually just what I wanted.

The Smocking

The pattern came with a smocking plate, but that design is a little more intricate and fancy than what I was looking for. So I used the smocking plate from the Grace L. Knott Ladies Peasant Blouse pattern. I used that blouse pattern to make a present for my Mum last year, but I used a different smocking design (one that I made up myself).

I used a fine crochet cotton to do the smocking. This matches really well with the cluny lace trim, and gives the blouse a more casual look, which is what I was going for.

I have to say that doing the smocking for an adult sized garment takes a lot longer than for a child’s garment, as there is just so much more space to smock! But I did really enjoy the peaceful activity of smocking this blouse. I found it to be very restful.

Finishing

I attached the neck binding to the wrong side of the neckline by machine, and then stitched it over to the front by hand.

All the internal seams are simply overlocked.

I omitted the button placket, and instead went with an invisible zipper at the centre back. I got to use my invisible zipper foot again – which is definitely my new favourite sewing accessory – I only just acquired this particular zipper foot, and this is only the third zipper that I’ve sewn with it (the first two were on the Tinny dresses that I made for my daughters – Mathilda and Veronica – as part of Kids Clothes Week).

The only thing that I would change about this pattern is that I would add hidden pockets to the side seams. That would have been really handy – one each side, just big enough to hold my car keys and iPhone, because for some reason, I seem to rarely have pockets in my pants or skirts, and I really appreciate them when I do have them.

And Here I am

And here are some pictures of me wearing it, accompanied by my furry four-footed helper of course!

Thanks for reading.

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