Thursday 24 October 2013

banksia blouse


At last, some crafting to report! Well in actual fact there has been crafting all along, but not so much reporting.

A couple of weekends ago I got round to making Megan Neilsen's Banksia blouse pattern which I have had for over a year. I love the vintage style of this top, and the cute collar. Even better I found this lovely old thrifted fabric in my stash and knew they'd be perfect for eachother. I think its a cotton blend because it has stayed wonderfully uncrumpled, yet has a nice cotton feel to it.

I bought the Banksia and Darling Ranges patterns last year when Megan ran sewalongs for both on her blog. And while I didn't get round to joining in at the time I used all the sewalong notes in her archive and found them really useful. Megan's pattern instructions are very detailled, but I loved having her step by step photos to refer to as well.

Also useful were the many blog posts around the interwebs about making the Banksia pattern.

Some people mentioned in reviewing this pattern that they ended up lowering the bust darts. I made a muslin with this in mind, reading up on the dart and full bust adjustments which Megan explains on her site.

I was pleasantly surprised to find both unnecessary. In fact the sizing and design were pretty spot on for me though I did end up taking the sides in about half an inch each on each side.

Commercial pattern sizing rarely seem to fit my shape, which always surprises me as I think I'm fairly unremarkable and can easily buy clothes that fit. I often find these patterns either small in the chest and armscyces or too loose on the body. If I choose a large or medium I swim in it, but if I go with small it feels tight on my shoulders and I can't raise my arms!

I'm working up to learning a full bust adjustment, or even making a custom sloper or block to fit me and basing future sewing on that. There are some good instructions out there and some youtube videos about other adjustments. Has anyone done this before, I find the idea a bit intimidating but the instructions seem doable.

No buttons or buttonholes yet, I'm a bit scared of ruining it at this late stage! I will get around to it though, in fact I searched out matching vintage buttons from the stash and have chosen those beautiful brown ones on the right.

p.s. note to self, brush hair before taking selfie and work on gormless smile ;-) at least you get an idea of it on though!

I'm joining in with Christina today, my first time in her Made by Hand linkup.


  1. Such a beautiful top, both the style and fabric choice.
    You look lovely. x

  2. You look gorgeous! I love the fabric you chose, and the buttons are perfect.It always feels nice to use something you love from the stash!
    Have a beautiful week.

  3. You look fabulous! No brushing required. Gorgeous top too and those buttons are just DIVINE! (I'm such a sucker for buttons). Don't be scared of buttonholes - I was for ages and then someone told me how to do it and I was amazed how easy they are. (Well, this is with a buttonhole feature on my machine of course - haha). Have fun :) Kx

  4. Fabulous fabric, buttons and you look lovely

  5. That has worked out wonderfully. Love it... off to check out the pattern now.


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