MBM - Sewaholic Patterns Yaletown, the blouse version

This is a wearable muslin for a dress I had in mind for wedding guest wear. More on that later. First
to the pattern.

This is the latest pattern from Sewaholic. It is a faux wrap dress, with elastic waist, flutter sleeves and tie belt.

I liked the soft silhouette, great for a garden wedding I thought. And I do enjoy a flutter sleeve (I used to work with a boss who never  “liked” something. He always “enjoyed” it. This unusual example of English usage has lodged itself into my brain, and resurfaces every so often, even after 17 years).
The fabric is a silk/cotton blend I bought in Cabramatta a long time ago. It was cheap, from what I remember. It’s been sitting in the stash, because I was never quite sure how to wear that pink-and-red print. Anyway, it’s cheapness makes it a perfect wearable muslin candidate.
I cut an 8 at bust, grading to a 12 at waist and hip. I did a 1” FBA, using the Sandra Betzina “pop” technique which does away with the resulting dart from more usual FBA methods. I lengthened both the peplum and sleeve by 1”.

It was an easy sew. I mostly followed the instructions, apart from doing French seams on the side and shoulder seams. If I made it again, I might replace the facing with a binding, though. That's just personal preference though. This facing is topstitched down, so none of my favourite pet hate, floppy facings, here!

I’m wearing this with my recently made Named Clothing Cameron Flare Pants (you can just make them out). The best part of this outfit is that I am living my childhood dream of wearing pink, red, and purple together.
 So back to the wearable muslin thing.
The Sewaholic Yaletown  was Plan B for my brother’s wedding. Plan A was to make a dress from May 2014 Burdastyle  to wear with a wrap I have, as I wrote about here. Search as I might, I could not locate the fabric to make my plans happen. I envisaged a particular turquoise blue, which I could not find anywhere, and wasn’t in the mood for compromise. Time for another tack.  So I went stash shopping and found this silk/rayon chiffon that was a suitable dressy event candidate. Yaletown came out about the same time. Bingo. I had a plan.

So I had the fabric and China silk lining gelatined* and ready to go. It was literally on the cutting table with the pattern pieces in place, scissors poised. But with 8 days to go until I needed to wear this dress, I baulked.  This is why:
  1. I realised I had neither the time given everything else going on in my life in that 8 days, nor the mental space  to make this dress, especially considering this was to be my first foray into silk chiffon sewing.
  2. The print suddenly struck me as frumpy, especially paired with this particular pattern. When I asked my husband his opinion on this, his response was “yes,  possibly” which I took to mean “yes “. More than anything, this was a sign that perhaps this wasn’t a good idea. He is generally pretty positive about my plans. If he thinks it’s frumpy, it probably is.  

So there it was. If it hadn’t been for factor (2), I probably would have pressed on. But I’d lost my confidence to the point where I was stressed about the dress and hadn’t even cut it out, let alone sewed a stitch. On balance, I decided to skip it, especially as I already had a RTW lurking in the wardrobe that would do the wedding job just fine.
Instant relief!
I’m guessing this scenario is a common one with people who sew. Over the last few years, I’ve got to the place where I make most of what I wear. The only RTW I’ve bought in recent times is exercise gear and underwear. So I am in the mindset that if I wear it, I make it.
This project helped me realise that just because I could make it, doesn’t mean I have to make it, every time, all the time.
I am not meaning to imply that I’m never up for a challenging sew. But I definitely have to be in the right frame of mind, with no time pressure and have 100%,or at least 95%, confidence in what I am setting out to achieve.
So will this Yaletown dress ever get made? Maybe, but not in silk chiffon. More likely a soft cotton  or rayon that will get more frequent wear, in a suitable print.
Will I ever sew that silk chiffon? Who knows? I don’t know if I’m a silk chiffon type of person, actually.
Now I’m off to make a t-shirt!

(*the gelatin trick for light and airy fabrics really does work!) 


  1. ;) Oh Paola, I had such a similar situation at the start of this month! I actually cut my silk though & wrestled, every day, every single day, for 2 weeks... before my mum stepped in with the wise comment that it wasn't working & it was ok to stop. I hand stitched some divine cream lace to a RTW top, wore my new bias silk skirt and relaxed - and had an amazing time at the wedding.
    And I love mixing the reds/purple/pinks - my secret rebelliness is purple & brown. And blue and green, as well all know, they should never be seen without a colour in-between ;)
    Your chiffon is gorgeous - I'm sure it will mature well in the stash ;)

    1. Oh boy, I can feel your pain, but am glad you too had a Plan B that came off.
      Yes, blue -and-green were off limits to me as a child too. I remember being given a second-hand dress with green and blue stripes which my mother would let me wear because of the blue-and-green thing. I thought it was great, and wear blue and green often!
      The chiffon is back in the stash, biding its time:)

    2. Oops should have said "would not let me wear blue and green".
      And brown and purple is not a combo I would have thought of but sounds worth investigating!

  2. Oh I think I know just how you feel. I have gelatined silk chiffon cut out for a dress for my daughter. It's supposed to be worn next weekend. I managed to overcome my fear today and did do some construction. It went better than I thought. I also fall into the trap of thinking I have to sew everything. This dress is just another example.
    I love your top. Pink and red are glorious together. And purple too!

    1. Yes it is a trap, one I didn't realise I was in. And it is encouraging to read that your silk chiffon creation is coming together well. I've read so much negative stuff about silk chiffon around the traps, that it has spooked me, which was definitely a factor in not pressing on here.

  3. Paola I absolutely agree. I know 8 days to sew anything would be pressure plus . I think you made a wise choice. After all our sewing is meant to be an enjoyable hobby and not feel like a sweat shop. I just wore a ( very old ) RTW dress to my daughters valedictorian dinner .However I think your fabric is lovely not frumpy at all so I hope you get to sew it. ( I have one piece of silk chiffon as well - been in the stash for 4 years and suspect it will stay there another 4 ) how do you find your ya letdown top - does it gape? I sewed a wrap around blouse and ended up going back and adding buttons as the press studs were not enough to avoid the Hello boys look !

    1. Thank you Janine. I could definitely see myself veering into stress-head territory with this project, with resulting ripples throughout the family. So not worth it. And the RTW dress is very nice and actually fits, so why not!
      As for the gaping issue - thanks for reminding me. I should have noted that that wrap is kept together with a few stitches, as per pattern instructions. Getting the top over my head has not been a problem. "Hello boys look" - ha, I like that!
      As for the silk chiffon, I'll continue cast around for suitable patterns. I might even end up making it in the Yaletown. It wasn't very expensive (about $30 for 4 metres at Pitt Trading), so it won't be a financial disaster if the result isn't great.

  4. Yale town top. Autocorrect issues.

  5. The Yaletown top looks lovely on you. Love the pink/red/purple combo. I would definitely go with the Yaletown dress for your silk chiffon. I think it would look great on you. Good on you for not forcing yourself to sew under the pressure of time constraints. That just sucks all the pleasure out of sewing.

    1. Sewing under time constraints is so not my thing, I've realised. I generally only sew when I feel like it, and hate to sew because I have to. A good recipe for a half-baked job!

  6. I quite like your silk chiffon, maybe I have frumpy taste! I'm still laughing at you fulfilling your childhood dream of wearing pink, purple and red because I think that's my daughter's dream outfit too! Luckily your shades go really well together

  7. I'm thinking that silk chiffon will get a reprieve - maybe I was a little hasty in making a judgement under pressure. Maybe it was just the silk chiffon that was spooking me!
    I think I was your daughter's age when I had the pink/red/purple ambition. Hope Anna doesn't have to wait 40 years to fulfil it!


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