A homemade birthday blouse

mccalls m6951 view A front floralWhile I add the finishing touches to my latest sewing project, I admit, I do ponder about the best place to photograph it. Take the latest blouse I’ve made for Eldest. It’s floral. I couldn’t help thinking that a beautiful garden in full, flamboyant bloom would fit the bill.

So. This week we revisited Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

Bishops Palace Wells CathedralApart from the wonderful waterside views, it does have beautiful flower gardens. Perfect.

mccalls m6951 view A side floral

Sewing Details

Before I talk about the gardens, just want to say that I’m really pleased with how the blouse turned out. Eldest is too. It’s made using the pattern McCall’s M6951.

A tiny word of warning about the pattern. There is a “Girl” size and a “Girl Plus” size. If your children are willowy, like mine, go for the “Girl” size. Might sound obviously. I assumed it was the difference between a tween and a teenager. My mistake. Should have checked the measurements. Oops!

mccalls m6951 view A back floral Fortunately, nothing had been cut out before I realised my mistake. The pattern is easy to follow. Not too many pieces. Only part that made me think was attaching the collar to the collar band. Got there in the end. Don’t be fooled by the photo above. There is no tuck in the back. I should have made sure it was flat, before the photo.

Fabric quantities seem to be out as well. I ordered fabric for view A. It calls for a contrast fabric for the back. Turns out I had enough to do the whole garment in the floral fabric, with some left over. Not sure if the suggested lace is meant to be an overlay. I’ve double checked in case I’ve made a mistake, but I seem to be right.  Admittedly, I seldom follow the suggested layout, so that might help to explain. But then again, who does?

willow dog bishops palace

This is going to be a popular blouse. She has asked if I’ll add an extra button, but otherwise it is perfect. The fabric is scrummy. I loved sewing with it. I’m told it’s lovely and soft to wear too. Very comfortable. Making it an ideal choice for a day out.

leapfrogging willow structure bishops palace wells

Bishop’s Palace, Wells

As for the venue, Bishop’s Palace has two new exhibitions on at the moment. They have willow sculptures by Elaine Marks, dotted around the grounds, and in the Palace there is an exhibition by a local artist Chris Lee, that I was keen to see. Children loved seeing both of these as well as the stained glass wings from last year.

willow statues at Bishops Palace


While some like to sketch what they see, others like to express their own interpretation of the sculptures. Hmm. Still figuring out this one.

willow deer head Bishops Palace

They all enjoyed it. Inspired by all they saw.

mccalls 6951 view A floral

This girl turned into a teenager this week. Would you believe it? I, of course, can’t believe how the years have flown, and may demand a recount. Quite relieved that her new blouse was ready for her birthday. Yeh!


Fabric, pattern and thread: Minerva Crafts  (tulips flowers cotton poplin dress fabric)
Buttons: Local fabric store

Have a look at the talented Shirley’s version of this top. She’s used lace on the back.

Noticed as I went through the photos that all the children are wearing at least one homemade piece. Middle has a pair of leggings, which I don’t think I’ve blogged. Youngest is overacting in his new car shirt and hand-me-down recycled trousers. Nice to see my handiwork still being used and appreciated. Smile.

15 thoughts on “A homemade birthday blouse

  • Friday 7 August, 2015 at 5:28 am

    How clever are you, such wonderful sewing, how I wish
    Beautiful photos, happy days x

    • Friday 7 August, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      It’s the fabric that makes this so special. She made such a good choice.

  • Friday 7 August, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Happy 13th birthday!
    What a beautiful blouse.The fabric is so pretty. Are collar stands tricky? I have never attempted one before, they look quite complicated x

    • Friday 7 August, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      Thank you! The collar was much easier than I thought. After I realised I was over thinking it! Always the way. I followed the diagram rather than the instructions at that point when the collar was attached. This pattern goes together quite easily. I would add an extra button though to avoid tummy buttons showing!

  • Friday 7 August, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Oh I love those willow sculptures – how beautiful…. and the various interpretations, very special. I hope your daughter has the best birthday, what a special one and how lovely to have a mum who can create such fabulous clothes. Hope you all have the most fantastic weekend!!!

    • Wednesday 12 August, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      Thank you. She had a lovely birthday. She’s already hopig I’ll make her more blouses.

  • Saturday 8 August, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Very pretty, I’m only just starting out with sewing and always seen to have loads more fabric than I really need. Love Wells and those willow sculptures.

    • Wednesday 12 August, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      Welcome to the fabric stash club. I think most people who sew have one of those.

    • Wednesday 12 August, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Thank you!

  • Monday 10 August, 2015 at 12:45 am

    This is lovely! I really like the floral fabric you used and gorgeous photos! My daughter was just asking for more of these tops for school. It is nice that it is sleeveless, but wide enough to meet our dress code for school. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

    • Wednesday 12 August, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      It’s such an easy pattern to put together, that I’m sure I’ll be doing more of these too. We have uniforms for school here. Not thought of the dress codes you would have to follow.

  • Tuesday 11 August, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    What gorgeous fabric. You did such a great job.

    • Wednesday 12 August, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you! I wish I had spotted it first. It does make a lovely blouse, but I don’t think it would go down well with my daughter if I made one for myself!

  • Monday 17 August, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Oh that is really lovely well done you

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