In the hope of ending up with something slightly less godawful, I set about remaking this blouse.
Originally given to me by my Auntie, it was made from lovely silk but possessed absolutely non of that loveliness to accommodate the hulking bicep. Aside from that affront, it had a button placket of see through miniature sequins and transparent plastics as adornments should be reserved for Iggy Pop’s pants circa 1996 and 1970s children’s umbrellas.
Anyway double yuck for the whole thing but being loathed to throw away anything silk worms have been sacrificed for, the least I could do is make myself a nice clown blouse from it.
So the unpicking commenced, slicing and dicing was planned and scraps of silk sari in lovely enteric tones were set aside for the additions. I preserved the original binding to finish my comedy collar and it was all going swimmingly.
That was up until I started to cut away at the silk and if you’ve ever tried this you’ll know that it’s as slippery as a politician and took me a good hour or so to get it how I wanted in order to graft my saris on there. I reshaped the shoulders as my first attempt with the new pieces looked wing-like and fit for a prog rock convention and as I was going for clownish, it just wouldn’t do. After lots of thinking about it and imaginary constructing (this happens a lot) it all came together nicely in the end and I elected to re-use the tabs from the original blouse to roll up the newly fashioned sleeves. Now the final thing to do was unify the colours and I wanted to avoid harsh chemicals because of the fragility of some of the silk parts. So I set about trying swatches of stuff I had in the kitchen cupboards as you do and this combo achieved the dirty greige I was after.
It’s basically Douwe Egberts coffee and blue mallow flowers. It soaked overnight and was fixed with white vinegar and salt for 20 minutes post rinsing out all the residual dyestuff. Here are the results:
And from the front:
So there you have it, the Big Girl’s Blouse.