The wheatgrass blouse. With topstitching. Another Simplicity 2601.

Welcome back flood repellant manatees. It’s about two degrees above zero here in the frozen land of Minneapolis. Spring is not likely to ever show up. And yet, I’ve been soldiering on with my spring palette challenge items. I took another stab at Simplicity 2601, my so-far favorite shirt pattern. I even used the exact same sleeve and collar options as my red gingham version. I’m that un-creative. I love the finished version, though!

The fabric is a pretty unruly rayon with a little checked texture. I went nuts topstitching to up the ante. Not only did I topstitch to death, I double topstitched and not with a twin needle! I wanted to get the detail in the midriff band perfect and couldn’t figure out how to do that unless I stitched everything separately. I also ended all the corners (rather than pivoting) and left super-long tails so I could finish and match all the points with a hand needle. Tedious, but effective.

I finished the hems the same as I did on the gingham version – a rolled hem on the serger. I can’t say enough how much of a bear this fabric was to work with. With which to work, I guess I should say. Grammar is hard. Say – for all you serger experts out there, I keep having trouble with super slippery fabrics – they sort of roll after they are cut and the needles don’t catch the fabric. Moving the blade is the answer, right? But which way? Grrrrrr…

Back to the pictures – here’s the view from the back.

I felt like the top of the bodice was just a tad too short on the gingham version, so I added a bit of length to the front and back upper bodice pieces for this shirt by just slashing horizontally and adding in one inch of tissue. This was fine in the back, but the front bodice was a bit too long midway between the center front and the side seam – probably because the bottom of the front midriff piece is curved, and I cut straight across and added tissue, so I was adding more to that area than the center front and the side seams. Unfortunately, the midriff piece is self lined and the front bodice is sandwiched between the two midriff pieces. AND I had serged the seams – I unpicked everything where it was too long, tucked in the front bodice until I liked the look and slipstitched the midriff pieces back to the bodice piece – I had to slipstitch twice; once on the outside and once on the inside. I circled the area that I had to restitch in the photo below.

There were a few other problems that I created by adding length. I had to add an additional button and resize the button underlap (which I didn’t quite get long enough!) I also cut about 3 inches off the peplum because I wanted it to work under cardigans.

Side view!

And a full length shot!

This blouse is finished at the neckline and arms with a single fold bias tape. On my red gingham blouse, I used store bought red bias tape and loved it. This time around there wasn’t any store bought tape that matched in the least bit and since the fabric was so difficult, I was hesitant to make my own. I went with store-bought white, thinking it would coordinate with the topstitching. I’m not 100% happy with the result. The inside is more sloppy than I’d like, what with the super-contrasting bias tape and the numerous lines of staystitching and other things showing up. I probably should have used the white thread in the bobbin while topstitching (I used a darker green – the same stuff I used in the serger and at the rolled hem), but I didn’t want to deal with tension issues and the white thread is that Coats and Clark heavy duty stuff.

One of the things I love about this shirt is that it makes my legs look freakishly long when I’m wearing trousers!

With the shortened hem, the blouse works under a suit coat. It’s not my favorite look in the world, but if I were back in cube-land, I’d totally make 10 of these for a full two weeks of suit wearing.

And finally, since this is a spring palette challenge item, here I am wearing it with my Marrakesh Drawstring Pants and my refashioned cardi – both made for the spring palette challenge.

And there you have it. Yet another fitted midriff band, peplum-including, article of clothing. I shouldn’t even bother trying new patterns, since I am so fixated on a few designs! That being said, I have been busy at work! I’ve finished the Sew Serendipity classic tailored jacket and am slaving away on the final buttons (covered, with rings) and the buttonholes (appear to be stitched by a drunk monkey, more work needed.) And then yesterday I whipped up Vogue 1027, the best knit dress pattern in the history of knit dress patterns… so I’ll be getting to those soon enough! Until then, stay dry and/or warm. And if neither of those are of a concern to you, well then, I am filled with envy.


  1. Dr. Z says:

    Very nice!

  2. Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood says:

    oh baby you are my top-stitching QUEEN/ICON!

  3. Amanda says:

    I have recently discovered, and subscribed to your wonderful blog! I am in awe of your productivity! And your skill level – you have such a good eye for what suits you and you are so good at the custom alterations of the patterns and styles so that you get a perfect fit. Your workmanship is also wonderful! Well done! and thanks for sharing all this, it's very inspiring.

  4. Andrea says:

    This pattern looks so great on you! I have to bite the bullet and start to muslin it.

  5. Heather says:

    I'm not touching this grammar conversation with a 10 foot pole, but I will say that I love the top! Looks really cute in the last outfit combination. I hadn't realized how ruffly the back of the shirt was! As if I wasn't in love with the top enough before. :)

  6. K.Line says:

    Wow – you look great in this versatile top which you've styled so many terrific ways. The top stitching bit scares the shit out of me. You've really embraced that technique!

  7. Karen in VA says:

    Great blouse – love all the different stylings!!! Cute t-straps also…..

  8. [patty the snug bug] says:

    Oh – good idea, stabilizer – I'll have to try that – I've 'fixed' the problem by adding another layer to the edge and then trimming away, but that's sort of sloppy.

    That's very interesting on the preposition – I'm from northern MN where a lot of us are only 2nd or 3rd generation Scandinavians. One of my college professors told me that us northern Minnesotans did the preposition thing as a holdover from the Scandinavian languages where the word order is different.

    Also, speaking of word order, now I'm even more curious – the video mentioned that the guy who lectured Shakespeare may have been basing that on the word order in Latin. But Latin was my college language (hello catholic college!) and I seem to remember that there WAS no word order in Latin, that the order was just a matter of expression and you could put the words in any older order you wanted to… any expert linguists out there in Latin and Norwegian??

  9. Laurwyn says:

    I agree, this pattern is gorgeous, and it works perfectly with your fabric color. I have been looking for nice pale yellow or mosterd yellows, but I got nothing so far!

  10. Gaidig says:

    Your shirt turned out really well. I lurve the top stitching.

    Would the spray-on stabilizer stuff help with the rolling?

    Finally, you don't have to worry about ending a sentence with a preposition. Apparently, it's all based on a commentary by some not very famous poet. Shakespeare ended sentences with prepositions, and I'd rather go with him as a role model. Here's the awesome video from Mirriam-Webster's editor telling why it is not an important rule:

  11. [patty the snug bug] says:

    Thanks all – you will likely see lots more of these – I think it's a great alternative for the 'basic white men's shirt' style – at least for me.

    And thanks for noticing the shoes! I recently became OBSESSED with getting some spectators and was super excited about finding a T strap version. Alas – as much as I love T straps, I think they're not great with skirts – they make my ankles more stumpy! But I love them anyway!

    And Angie (I think?) the white circle shows the shirt after I fixed it – before, there was an extra big 'poof' of fabric in that area – I probably tucked about an inch of fabric into the midriff band.

  12. LAP says:

    It's on its way to TNT for sure! I like the midriff and peplum length, and the topstitching is simply the icing on the cake!

  13. lizajane says:

    I love this. The color is fabulous. And your gingham version, too. I have this pattern and you've made me want to start on one right now.

  14. Mary Danielson says:

    Oh, this blouse is so cute, Patty! Both versions of this pattern look amazing on you. If I were you, I'd be tempted to make a dozen versions, even without the need for suit tops.

    Here's hoping spring hurries its way to MN, so you can show it off more!

  15. angie.a says:

    I can't even tell where your goof is, even when you circled it! It looks perfect to me. :) I definitely don't have the patience to leave thread tails and handstitch the points though. My aunt Helen always told me "You can't count the spots on a running horse". Which is now my personal motto when I get too obsessive about perfection!

    Beautiful, beautiful blouse.

  16. flyskim says:

    Just as cute as the first version, and your finishing is so much neater than anything I usually do. And totally off topic, but how cut are all of your shoes?

  17. Tanit-Isis says:

    Super-cute! And good work on the topstitching! (of course now every time I see you do topstitching I will have to fight the urge to say "I told you so!")

    We are still struggling with winter here, too, although not on the order of 0F (closer to 0C fortunately). I keep expecting it to stop snowing but instead we keep getting more!

  18. Elle says:

    Looks fabulous! And the color is fantastic on you! Plus, I LOVE your t-strap pumps you're wearing with the pencil skirt look.

  19. Andrea says:

    Gorgeous color, and I love the fitted-midriff shape too. It looks especially amazing with the black pants. I really like the top-stitching, too, and admire the patience it must have taken to do it all!

    I also have like a million patterns, but keep sewing multiples of the same ones — it's nice to know it will fit rather than wondering the whole time you're sewing …

  20. lazystitching says:

    Cutie patootie! Love it with the pencil skirt :)

  21. elise says:

    What a beautiful style and color !
    It looks wonderful on you. So many lovely details as well. You've great style.


  22. Nicola1968 says:

    I like this blouse with the cream skirt but with the black trouser is absolutely wonderful. Great job!
    We have Spring here but I'm still slaving away on my Sencha blouse so I'm filled with envy at your masses of sewing time (and skill!)

  23. Miss P says:

    How super versatile and really flattering. Definitely the best length for the peplum.Nice job!

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