My sewing career has been a strange and uneven one. I spent a lot of time on the Craftster forums in high school, posting pictures of my hilarious, lopsided halter tops; then I made a few things in my college dorm room that were reasonably wearable, if you don't mind mismatched plaids and unfinished seams. (I know I made an A-line skirt in some kind of wool blend fabric with tiny dogs embroidered on it--I hope I didn't get rid of that thing. It was kind of awesome.) Essentially, I sewed at about the same (beginner) level for five years or so, before I finally sucked it up and learned how to draft patterns by a method other than "eyeballing it."
This is all to say that I am finally, finally skilled enough to make a stupid back-button blouse.
Secret Christmas blouse: back-button blouse in wool jersey. That's about it really.
I've been wanting to make this thing for a while. This time last year, I flailed around trying to draft a back-button blouse pattern with kimono sleeves, inspired by this classic Gertie post. It didn't go well. I bought some slippery polyester junk, and then I tried to cut it out with pinking shears (to save time finishing the seams!) and all in all it was just a major disaster. I did not know what I was doing.
Now I do!
I cut this in a pretty boxy silhouette; I might redraft next time, but I sort of like the squareness in this drapey wool jersey. The shoulders would probably look good with pads in--when I put my hands on my hips, they do that recognizably 40s-shoulder pokey-outty thing (like the lady at center here) .
I finished the neckline with cotton lawn bias tape, to keep it from stretching out, and stitched the shoulder seam with a bit of woven selvedge for the same reason. The sleeves, however, I hemmed with the same stretch stitch I used for the sides of the blouse--that way they roll all the way up my arms and stay there. I roll my sleeves up a lot--otherwise I get chalk all over them,and that's gross--and this blouse looks perfect that way:
(I did machine buttonholes--don't tell the sewing police. Actually, I did try making bound buttonholes, but then I tried not making bound buttonholes, which was much easier.)