A luxury silk Lagerfeld blouse

1861 3/4 view

Well, I’ve added another ivory silk blouse to my closet.  This pattern is from the 1980’s – a lovely Karl Lagerfeld gem that I have looked at longingly in my pattern stash over the years.  I’m on a roll for ivory blouses this month, mostly due to the HepburnHepburn project, otherwise these projects would still be languishing in my stashes.

Anyways, I love this blouse.  I love the silk crepe.  It was an excellent choice for this pattern.

the design drawing

I did not do any alterations for this.  It’s an ’80’s design and not as fitted as most blouse designs these days.  It’s funny.   I did most of my learning during the 1980’s, and never had to do any pattern alterations.  In retrospect, this probably contributed to my disillusionment with sewing during the last 15 years of my life.  I think I most likely should have done FBA’s from the get go, but never needed to due to the designs of that era.  Hence my increasing frustration as designs became more fitted over the decades.  It’s only recently that I’ve mastered the adjustments that I need to make things fit my figure.

Anyways, I was really stressed for the first bit working with this silk crepe.  It handles very differently from tweed!!!!!! 🙂  And this blouse has a lot of detail… silk crepe does not easily forgive stitching errors… and this fabric just felt so fragile.  So I went very slowly and meticulously.  I have to say, once this was complete, I was overwhelmed by the sheer luxury of a beautiful silk blouse with incredible design details.

~ Vogue 1861 blouse front ~

The big collar is what really attracted me to this blouse.  (I love big collars – I think they frame my face nicely and draw attention away from the rest me!)  Then the dickie was very interesting, and the button detailing on the front intrigued me.  I wasn’t sure I’d actually put the buttons on the front, but I’m glad I did – they just add that little something!  But then the back….

~ vogue 1861 blouse back ~

What attention to detail!  The two buttons on the collar hide two snaps on the bottom half of the collar that hold it in place securely.  Doesn’t it look so nice?  And the facings on the back were done the way I remembered doing endless blouses in my teens:  turn facing in along first foldline and stitch in place invisibly; turn in facing along foldline again and baste along top and bottom.  That’s it!  No interfacing – just three layers of fabric.

I did make one critical error in the construction of this blouse.  When putting the stitching the collar pieces together, I inadvertently turned and trimmed the seam allowance on the top collar – with no interfacing.  The interfaced piece should have been the side that shows.  So I decided to use a trick I learned from a Montana shirt I put together a few years ago.  I put the collar on upside down. I stitched the top piece to the inside of the neckline so the seamline would be clean should it show around the neckline.

~ inside collar stitched cleanly ~

Then I slipstitched the under collar on the right side of the garment so that you can’t see it along the neckline.  The collar folds down over the handstitching and hides it from view.

~ under collar on the right side of blouse ~

I was actually glad that I did the collar backwards.  I think it finishes the inside edge against my face in a uniform way (which doesn’t always happen with handstitches, unless you work for a haute couture aetelier in France somewhere.

I must say, every garment of mine has mistakes in it.  I guess that’s what makes them unique!  Have you ever salvaged some error that made you sick when you realized what you’d done?  I’d love to hear about your mistakes-turned-good!

8 thoughts on “A luxury silk Lagerfeld blouse

  1. I often turn my mistakes into design details but truly that is one lovely blouse. I love working with silk crepe because of the sheer luxuriousness of the fabric! This must be one awesome piece to wear because it is simply beautiful!

  2. This is the first 80s vintage stuff that I have seen that I like! What a pretty blouse! So much better than oversized shoulders and stirrup pants, lol! The selfish seamstress has had a go at Burda for publishing a December issue full of 80s monstrosities. But, if this is the 80s revival, I say bring it on!

    Sadly, my mistakes tend to remain mistakes. I keep learning. I am pretty much undaunted.

  3. Hello Tiadia,

    I have been admiring your beautifully made clothes for some time, however your current silk blouse looks fabulous. It is classic and as you said yourself frames your face. I am sure that you will be wearing this blouse for many years to come and enjoying many compliments.


  4. I love this blouse as much as possible without being able to reach through and touch it. You did a beautiful job, and the results are stunning. The buttons appear to be a necklace at first glance-they are such an interesting design feature.


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