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Sep 292015

I just realized that it’s technically no longer summer, so I should probably post this dress before it gets too ridiculous.  A few months ago, I saw a woman on the train with a shoulder-tie blouse and all of a sudden a desperate need for a shoulder-tie garment hit me.  I mostly wear dresses, though, so I cooked up a scheme to make a dress with shoulder ties.  I recalled that I’d seen a shoulder-tie top on Handmade by Heather B‘s blog, so I scrolled madly through her archive until I found what I was looking for, which turned out to be the Maison Fleur Summer Blouse.  I decided to pair it with my trusty Belladone skirt, and this is the result.

I have this problem sometimes where I think I’m smiling but I’m actually grimacing horrifically.  I’m guessing that’s why people on the street don’t always smile back at me.  Anyway, I was having one of those days when I was trying to take these pictures, and it was really irritating me.  The more irritated I got, the less I was able to fake a smile.  So I just turned my head instead of trying to fight it.

Back to business:  Maison Fleur Summer Blouse.  Instead of actually sewing the blouse and attaching the Belladone skirt to it, I decided I’d just trace a version of the Belladone bodice with the neckline and tie extensions of the Summer Blouse.  I wanted this dress quick because summer was already waning, and I didn’t want to waste time fitting a whole new pattern.  I do believe it worked out well.


The fabric is from Miss Matatabi’s Etsy store, which I don’t recommend you visit.  It’s a very dangerous place.  I ordered some of the gorgeous Nani Iro Mountains fabric that was popping up everywhere this summer and decided to follow Miss Matatabi on Instagram.  A few days after my fabric arrived, she posted that some fabrics were on sale, and wouldn’t you know that one of them was a fabric I had agonized over adding to my order.  So I placed another order for that fabric, and while floating around the Etsy store I spied this Ellen Baker cranes fabric and couldn’t resist it.  Nor could I resist another fabric from the same Ellen Baker line.  So you can see how I would sternly warn you against perusing Miss Matatabi’s shop.


LOOK AT THAT PATTERN MATCHING.  I’m not a pattern matcher, folks.  I’m the sort who buys the absolute minimum amount of fabric necessary because I hate waste, and that sort of philosophy doesn’t really lend itself to pattern matching.  But I somehow managed to buy more than I needed with this fabric, and how many metallic paper crane print items does one girl need?  So I pattern matched those suckers, and I’m proud to say that when I put my mind to it, I am capable of matching a pattern.  Note that I did not put my mind to matching the waistband, therefore it does not match.  And I’m not just saying that; I really didn’t want the waistband to match.  I wanted it to be a little obvious that there was a waistband there to add some semblance of waist definition.  I find that a regular, all-over print is a great way to camouflage a body’s curves.  If that’s what you want, perfect.  That is not what I want at my waist.  My search for a coordinating solid was a failure, so I had to work with what was available, thus the not-matching waistband.

This fabric is a linen/cotton blend and it’s pretty heavy.  This made the ties quite difficult to manage; I had to get Ben to help me tie them.  I thought of trying to do a single knot and sewing it in place, but I’d like to wear this dress in the winter with a cardigan, and I don’t want strange lumps at my shoulders.  I’m hoping I can devise a plan to untie the knots and make some surreptitious fasteners of some kind so I can wear a cardigan without looking like I have a lumpy mutation at my shoulders.


I bought a crane necklace this summer, but as I told everyone who complimented me on this dress, I don’t want to wear them together lest I look like I have a crane fetish.  And of course, telling everyone, including the internet, this information makes me seem like I do indeed have a crane fetish but am anxious about it.

OMG, you guys.  I wanted to post this earlier, but I’ve just finished an intensive week of commenting on 88 papers because I planned poorly and had students from my composition classes at both schools turn in papers on the same day.  I never want to comment on another paper again.  Except I just got a batch of papers to grade last night.  *sob*

  4 Responses to “Maison Fleur Summer Blouse + Belladone Mashup”

  1. Hi Sweetheart..what a cute dress and I love the ties on the shoulder…you told me about the ties not long ago. Love to you!

  2. Lovely! It looks great. I am so intimidated by pattern matching, so I’m in awe of yours. I did click over to Miss Matabi but quickly clicked away again, heeding your warning. I’ve avoided its pitfalls so far but it’s only a matter of time….

    I wonder if you could do a press stud thingy for the ties, for winter? Haven’t thought that one through but it was the first thing that came to mind.

    Hope the grading and commenting is easing off…

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