When I was thinking about projects for this round of the Literary Sewing Circle, I kept coming back to the Pivoine Blouse by Delphine & Morrissette.
I have owned this blouse pattern for quite a while and always intended to make one, so now is the time. As I said in an inspiration post, Pivoine is French for Peony, so we are nodding both to Peony the cat and to Miss Judson's French background with this pattern. The fabric I chose is an alphabetical novelty print (actually a sheet originally), so it is also reflective of the entire writing world, I'd say.
There are many versions of this blouse in many fabrics, but I thought that this crisp polycotton would give a boxier look to the blouse - which I wanted. I had just enough left from a previous project using this sheet to fit all the pieces of this blouse pattern onto. I wanted to be sure that the letters ran across the top evenly, on the same plane, and that the cuffs were also vertical (which necessitated cutting them on the cross grain).
This pattern is all in French, and while my French is basic, I only had to search a few words and instructions on Google Translate to be sure I was doing things correctly. There is a good photo laden blog post about the construction of this blouse on Delphine & Morrissette's site, which was also helpful, mostly to be sure I was getting the seam allowances right and doing things in a good order.
Otherwise I just depended on my sewing experience to help me along. This was actually quite an easy sew, not many tricky bits at all. I used my trusty 1/4" quilting foot to help me get even edgestitching on the button placket and collar band. Then I searched through all 5 of my button tins to try to find a good match for this fabric. I had a basic white shirt button in mind, but when I saw all of my random one-off buttons that just seemed to match the colours in the fabric so well, I made a decision to use multicolour buttons. They are all nearly the same size, so I just made all the buttonholes based on the mid-sized one (the largest was infinitesimally bigger, and the smallest just a hair smaller) and that worked out okay. I worked out my own button placement so I ended up using 8 buttons rather than the 7 called for in the pattern.
I am really pleased with the cute summer feel of this blouse, and I do love a good alphabet print. This is light and floaty and goes with a lot in my wardrobe. I think I'd make this blouse again, maybe in a drapier fabric for a really different look. I enjoyed sewing this while thinking about Myrtle's adventures in Premeditated Myrtle and all the following titles in the series. I hope everyone else participating in this round of the Literary Sewing Circle also enjoyed both the reading and the sewing!