The red leaves blouse

This fabric I bought when I went to Goldhawk Road back in September 2011, so it’s definitely from my stash! I remember only asking for a metre, but because it was the end of the roll, I ended up buying more than that! Looking through my post at the time, I intended to make a peasant blouse, well that didn’t happen! Funny how we get ideas when we buy the fabric and how they change when we finally decide to make them up. I’m sure I’m not the only one anyway!


Having seen a few incarnations of this blouse, I thought I’d give it a go. The pattern is BurdaStyle 09/2011. Karen from Did you make that? made two versions of this, one from elephant fabric, so I just had to give the pattern a go! (Could it have anything to do with my obsession love of elephants?)

I am really happy with the finished blouse, but making it certainly hasn’t be plain sailing. As with most patterns from the BurdaStyle magazine, the instructions were almost worse than useless. I’d lost the plot after sewing up the seams! The first lot of pleats I stitched were completely uneven and so when I tried to attach the shoulder seam it was a complete mess. From then on, I kind of went my own way, guessing at what came next. I did follow the instructions for the armhole binding, and fortunately they worked out OK, although it’s possibly bulky under the arm, but not noticeably so. (If you’re wondering what’s different, the binding is attached before stitching the side seams.) The tiny collar at the back is a bit strange and takes a bit of understanding to attach.

This blouse is very long and the bottom is too tight for my hips, so I have to undo two buttons and it gapes. I’m not really one for putting a belt around an untucked blouse, but I guess I could try it. At the moment I think it’s best tucked in, but over trousers, the length will hopefully come into it’s own. I’m also debating whether to add shaping to the back, since it seems quite big and square! I wish I’d faced the back collar, since it seems quite flimsy compared to the front facings and pleats.

Too long or not? I’ve left two buttons undone!
Please excuse the bad hair, it’s in desperate need of a cut and I’m still deciding where to go!

The other problem I had was with the buttonholes. My fabric was so fine that it kept catching on the needle, I’ve two buttonholes that I am NOT happy with. But I can’t unpick them!
Anyone know why this happened? Was my needle too big or the tension wrong?
I’m not happy with my button choice either. I chose 4-holed buttons, which mean the button holes don’t lay as flat as they really should. I’m on the lookout for new buttons.
Saying all this, I am honestly happy with my result. I’m hoping it’s going to be a really good addition to my wardrobe and for once, it’s not a dress and it’s an everyday item of clothing! Hooray, I’ve succeeded in my January stashbusting pledge. An everyday item of clothing made from a piece from my stash which was less than a metre (well I used less than a metre!).

The nitty-gritty
Fabric: A fine cotton with a red and cream leaf pattern, bought from Goldhawk Road, September 2011. I think there was about two metres in total.
Trims: Cream 4-holed buttons, possibly from Spotlight.
Pattern: BurdaStyle 09/2011 with no changes (as yet!)
First worn: For a photo shoot in our garden today, but will probably be worn to work tomorrow!
Worn with: A RTW skirt made by Kew bought in a John Lewis sale about three years ago and my red pumps bought in Rome when we were on holiday there about five years ago. Being Italian leather, they are so comfy and still look as good as new.


15 thoughts on “The red leaves blouse

  1. Ooo this is pretty – the colours and style are really lovely. I do like it tucked in …. too long? Yes I think so, a little.

    Oh no about the button holes – no idea why that happened so I'll be checking back to see what comments on wisdom come in.

  2. Gosh that is a pretty fabrics. I love the idea of this blouse but I too think it doesn't need to be so long – if you whapped the bottom off it, it won't catch on your hips so much. It is a lovely garment otherwise! Actually it is till lovely anyway!
    Sounds like your needle is either old and or too heavy for the fabric. It only needs a 70.
    i have the dearest little red flower buttons I can imagine on this – if you do decide to 'trade up. 🙂

  3. I too love this fabric and your top. Love it tucked (with a t autocorrect!) in and think maybe a bit long untucked. But with that black skirt, bloused a little the way you have, very pretty.

  4. Tucked in looks great! Also.. the number of holes your buttons have matter?? Do tell me more :O

    This is such a great print 🙂 Well done on stash busting!

  5. I LOVE that fabric, such a pretty red and I love how the flowers change to the negative and back again, very M C Esher! and I think you placed the bands very well, it makes it super flattering.

    I agree with Maryanne too, I think you could just chop off the bottom, I think squared off blouses look great worn out over pants.

    I would suggest for the button holes next time you work with a fabric like this is to put a small rectangle of stabiliser in between the layers, like a light-weight sew-in interfacing. I did that with my silk blouse, worked a treat!

  6. Gorgeous! Definitely a tucked in kind of blouse I think, it is a bit too long. What a pity about the button holes and buttons, I have a similar problem, I blame my machine!

  7. Needle has been replaced – it broke yesterday!! Methinks it was too old.
    As for the buttons, I reckon I'll be down to the shop as soon as my little legs will carry me!

  8. Ah, well, the problem with 4-hole buttons means that the space the button holes take up means that the buttonholes stretch kind of. I find it hard to explain without pictures!

  9. I think because it was Escher-ish that the fabric tickled my fancy. Escher satisfies my mathematical tendencies! The fabric placing was not easy, I have to say. I'll have a look at the stabiliser thing on the buttonholes. Might be a good idea!

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