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The Blouse From Hell and Other Sewing Events

I had some fabric that Jim had bought and I wasn’t sure what to make with it. I also had a Vogue pattern I hadn’t used before. It’s a good that I know how to sew because the directions given in the pattern are… awful. If there’s a hard way to do something, that’s the construction technique given in the instructions. Button placement, as directed by the pattern, aren’t the best idea. Then there’s supposed to be a snap holding up one side of the blouse. After more than 50 years of sewing, I still haven’t found a snap that will hold that well.

I made up my own directions for construction techniques that I thought made more sense and I put the buttons where they made sense to me. Rather than a snap, I added another button.

Finding buttons was challenging. There are way too many colors in this fabric and way too few buttons at JoAnn’s. Some floral buttons would have worked, but there weren’t enough buttons. I  thought about dragonfly buttons, but I’m glad now that I rejected that idea. The blue in the dragonfly was off just enough to look not right when near the blue on the fabric.

I settled on buttons that look like iridescent shell but are probably plastic. They are cutout in a pattern that has an Asian feel.


In with all the white in the background, this is a busy pattern. Both front pieces are identical why is why there’s such a large overlap in the front. The pattern called for an incredibly long tail in the back and a slightly less long tail in the front. I thought that would be a tad much, so I made the hem even and the blouse a good 11″ shorter than the pattern.


The button. That’s some of my silk thread for the fancy stitching and the buttonholes.


If you look carefully, there’s a button on the left. That’s where the snap was supposed to be.

It’s a comfortable blouse and I like that the buttons are subtle. This fabric has enough WOW in it without WOW buttons.

I’m working on a maquette of the quilt I want to make. I’m playing with assorted techniques and I want to work all the bugs out on a smaller quilt before I make the real thing.


This was the second drawing and you can see there were revisions.

I made a pattern of the tree and tested out how it would look on the background fabric.


You can see the drawing peeking through the fabric.


I made a pattern of the tree, flipped the pattern over, and traced around it on Wonder Under.


Originally, I was going to use the fabric in this photo for the tree. I liked how it popped on the background fabric. Then I realized it would be too busy considering all the leaves I’m putting on this quilt.


The final choice for the tree.

At the moment, I’ve fused the tree to the yellow fabric and I’m sewing down the edges with silk thread. I don’t trust Wonder Under to keep sticking the tree to the background.

Once I get the tree sewn down, I’ll start working with watercolor pencils and paint sticks.



I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 21+ years as a criminal defense attorney. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer starting on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at:

2 thoughts on “The Blouse From Hell and Other Sewing Events

  1. Deb,
    I love the buttons. They seem to match the round Asian pattern and blends right in. You are so great to working out patterns. Years of sewing have given you the confidence to do your own thing and adapt a pattern. Have you tried designing your own blouse patterns? It sounds like you could do better than the companies:)


  2. I like the way your blouse turned out. The decorative stitching is a nice touch and I think the buttons are just right. My sister and I worked on a jacket for her several years ago that we called The Jacket From Hell. It was a very complicated pattern wth confusing directions, so I feel your pain.


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