Peasant blouse, 2009

On the first sunny spring days I am often struck with the desire to get something pretty in white muslin. I imagine Marie Antoinette felt something similar towards airy Gaulles...

I still had some of the material I have earlier used in this blouse, and now I decided to make a new version. I wanted the same sleeves, but a more revealing neckline. As in my old blouse, the bodice has two layers of the slightly transparent  material. Each is turned separate on the hem with a decorative sticth resembling drawn work, and then handled as one when making the pleats and lacing.
The eternal problem with a peasant blouse is how the fit it at the waist in case you want to, or don't wish to wear a corset over it. I'm senselessly addicted to a fitted waist, perhaps out of simple stubborness as it hasn't been trendy lately. On the old blouse I had several darts and an invisible zipper on the side seam, now I decided to try the charming solution of classic pseudo-old timey lacing. First I thought of placing it center front and back, but then decided to try to make it on the sides for change. This caused some challenge with the pattern, as I didn't want the lacing be so wide as to reach the usual place of the shaping seams, and also to narrow downwards. To achieve better fit I made two small pleats in the front next to the lacing, and one at the back. As the picture shows, the back still tends to wrinkle at the waist, but with a soft fabric it doesn't really bother so much.
My plan for a cotton tape-reinforced  line of lacing loops on the same material  turned out not quite fool-proof. In spite of all my double stitching some of the loops began to fray and give away almost at once when I tried it on. Somehow I had also managed to cut the whole thing slightly tight on the bust (ironic since I had just slightly outgrown the old blouse, thus the need for a new one), which didn't help any. Thus the lacing line did not just turn prettily like I had planned, and I had to stitch the pleat. It looks nice now, but is a bit tight. I haven't used this much, maybe it will stretch yet?

The picturesque lacing is not exactly handy and fast when dressing, undressing of washing - somehow I often end up with inpractical but pretty garments.

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