Monday, May 31, 2010

summer beach blouse

I thrilled to say that I finally made this summer beach blouse that I've been planning to make for over a year now. It's for throwing on with shorts or over a swimsuit all summer long, or for wearing in the evenings to ward off summer chill. I think it would look cute with a skirt as well (this one comes to mind).
I finished this this morning and had an immediate opportunity to try it out at the beach! I love it when that happens. I have to say it was exactly what I had in mind--nice protection from cool breezes and warm summery sun (my favorite beach weather--cool and warm layered on top of each other).

Unplanned but fun: Dieter and I are color coordinated.
I love the bell sleeves on this blouse. The pattern is New Look 6179, which I have made before. I made some changes this time: the fabric is a much lighter weight cotton lawn (purchased from Superbuzzy last year), which makes a huge difference in the look and feel of the finished garment (compared to a quilting cotton). I'm beginning to think that seeking out these lighter cottons is key to making blouses that will really get worn. I also lengthened the sleeves by 2" and the body by about 4"--I wanted this to be tunic length. I had to add side vents to accommodate the new longer length (so it would fit over my hips). I did some thinking about "why sew clothes?" while I was making this. It certainly is not a money saver. For me it is just fun and for some reason I am compelled to do so. I guess I like wearing something I made myself--it makes me feel more "original" somehow. How about you? If you sew clothes, what is your motivation?

By the way, I loved all your comments on the last post about quality and alternative birthday presents. You guys are awesome! Scroll through there for some nice ideas. I also loved the idea of having a "no gifts" party but suggesting the family consider making a donation children's leukemia research (instead of buying a gift). That goes over very well with me, as you can imagine.

17 comments:

erin said...

i make my own clothes for a few reasons. for one, nothing in the stores ever seems quite right and i don't like to waste time shopping for clothes, which is hardly ever enjoyable for me.
i like the idea that i get to make exactly what i want, knowing that no one else will have it. i like being able to fit myself - without having to conform to a 'size'.
it doesn't seem to matter to me that i'm not saving money - since i don't feel good about buying cheap clothing anyway. i mean, we all know where and how these clothes are getting made.

good on you mary beth, isn't it the greatest feeling, making something that's all your own?

Nancy said...

That blouse is absolutely darling--I love, love, love it! perfect beachwear!

I would sew more clothes, but while I find it easy to find lovely quilting-weight fabric, apparel-weight cloth (in prints that I like) I find a bit more elusive.

Mary Beth said...

Erin--yes that is such a good point about where all that cheap clothing comes from! Even expensive clothing is usually made in China, I have found. Thanks for pointing that out.

Nancy--thank you! I have found the lightweight fabrics almost impossible to find at Joanne. I had good luck last year with typing "cotton lawn" into the search engine on the Superbuzzy site (and I'm lucky because they are local, so I can pick it up in person and save on shipping). Otherwise, I think more local (non-chain) fabric stores tend to carry some lighter weight cottons for garment sewing as well. Good luck!

Natalie said...

Great top for the beach, and it's in the color of the ocean! I agree the weight of the fabric makes a big different in the finished project. Unfortunately it's not always easy to find light weight fabric with great prints.

BellaBree said...

ooo I love it - good on you!! such a yummy print and looks great on x

Jodz said...

Gorgeous top and you look so great in it.

Kelly and Kelly said...

I sew because I like to see something being made out of fabric with my hands and a sewing machine. And then I especially like to see it being worn.

I love (!) your beach top. It's so airy and pretty.

Redbeet Mama said...

You look like the beautiful Goddess that you are!

Namaste, Nicole

a view from a brown dog said...

OoHh love, love, love this "beach blouse". It is so cute and perfect for summer. I am fairly new to sewing and am really enjoying creating things with my machine. I am definitely looking forward to the day where I can sew something awesome like this. Enjoy and happy summer to you!

Once Upon A Parent said...

That is a great top. Perhaps it will motivate me to start the blouse project here. If I can successfully make one then maybe I'll get on a role.

3 M's said...

that is adorable :)
I would expect to see that in sundance catalog for $68-$88.00, where I would drool over it but never cough up the money for it!
Nice work. I would make a few of these for my summer wardrobe :)

(I'm 7 mos pregnant and wish I were in the arena for making one for myself right now, hard to size w/this belly)

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

So nice, I love seeing your sewing projects, very inspiring!
It means a lot to me that I am able to sew most of our own clothes, (poor neglected husband excluded, for now), especially for my girls, they want only homemade clothing. Lucky me!

kristen said...

You look so pretty! What great photos of you and your sweet little one.

Lina said...

This is gorgeous and, most importantly looks fabulous on you. I have been looking at tunic patterns too and I think your point about using lightweight fabric is spot on. I'm inspired!

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

it is beautiful and so are you!
nicola

lisarenata said...

What a cute top! I so need to sew something for ME!

Regina said...

love the blouse - the fabric is perfect for it!