Ivory Patina

As per my plan, I’ve made the short-sleeve view of the Friday Pattern Company Patina blouse.

But this isn’t the slubby rich recycled mahogany silk I had my eye on at all! It’s old rayon!

Ah, old rayon. As shifty as new rayon, but with that classic I-lived-in-your-scrap-box-for-four-years flavor. We’re still without a washer; I was fine casually pre-washing my first Patina blouse’s poplin in the bathroom but my respect for silk might cross the line into fear of silk, and I just couldn’t see myself throwing it into the tub and hoping for the best. So I raided my scraps for something! Anything! pre-washed to sew, which is how I ended up using such an unfavorite fabric here (the unfavorite-ness is also why the scraps have lasted this long).  

This was made from two different rayons – one length was leftover from a blouse I made from fabric purchased at Walthamstow in 2017, and the other length *may* have come from a fabric swap around the same time. They’re not a perfect match, but they’re not bad. The yoke and the undercollar are a slightly brighter shade of ivory, but I can live with that, especially for the price tag (my favorite, the bubble).  

I’d mentioned wanting to take pictures of an alternate facing/yoke construction, but in white fabric without an obvious wrong side, that seemed like a fool’s quest. Luckily it turns out Peter of Male Pattern Boldness has already done it! The neckline of the Negroni shown there is a different shape, but it’s the exact same technique. Here’s the first part, assembling the shirt body and inner yoke/facing unit; and the second part, putting it all together with some very fun and satisfying burrito sewing. I left the small part that I couldn’t sew by machine unsewn, so you can see how small it really is.

See that fingertip-sized gap next to the facing/yoke seam? That’s it.

And using this technique means no visible topstitching on the yoke, though it’s ordinarily covered by the collar anyway.

I absolutely prefer this method. It’s easy to reshape the facing pattern piece, too; just overlay with the shirt front and trim as shown, below.

That little leftover can go right into the recycle bin. Huzzah.

This is the ‘lowered neckline’ variation, 1” lower than the standard draft. I find this depth a little more becoming than the standard. The pattern also has instructions for lowering another inch, or raising the ‘v’ neck higher, but this is about right for me. The collar is wobbly though! Oh woe! It’s not the draft, it’s the rayon. I interlined it with white linen, but that was shifty and grow-y too, and even though I moved the collar pieces carefully and sewed them first, the long outer curved edge stretched out pretty badly.

There was a ruffly clown-collar vibe to the finished shirt. Based on hope, not science, I plugged in my iron and chuffed steam at the collar in hopes of shrinking the edge. I don’t use the chuffer often though so I actually just sprayed the whole thing with surprise brown spots. WHAT FUN. Since a new washing machine didn’t magically appear as soon as I flavor-blasted a white shirt, I stuck it under a cold shower with some dish soap then threw it in the dryer. And, um, something along the line there worked, because the collar is definitely improved. I feel like a very lucky bunny.

The dart is a little low. Also, I realize now, the tip needs pressing. Next time my ironing board is out I’ll gather my courage, roll up a towel, and go for it.

I forgot to take pictures of my first version untucked, but here’s some of this one. Wrinkly, because my go-to is tucking in, and also because I’m tireless in my quest for gritty realism or something. The untucked silhouette is actually not too godawful!

I’m feeling good; I got to sew, and I got some aged fabric into use, even though it was kind of a pain in my neck. The rayon really can’t support the weight of the collar that well, even with my interfaced v-neckline, but it does gather nicely. And you can’t go too far wrong with a white blouse! After all that monkey business with the steam, I like it. It’s a bit everyday-pirate, but that’s not necessarily a problem.

If I kind of blur my eyes and blend the collar into the shirt, the Patina looks like a decent plain v-neck woven blouse base. I bought it for its slight costume-y elements, but I might keep making it for relentlessly sensible reasons. Two steps forward, one step back!

We took these pictures on an unseasonably warm day in November, by the way – it feels like another universe now. I don’t do much Christmas-specific sewing, but Christmas BAKING is very much on. Cinnamon & chocolate! See you soon!

Pattern: Friday Pattern Company Patina blouse

Pattern cost: NA

Size: M, lower neckline

Supplies: scraps of rayon, from stash; thread, Michael’s, $2.39

Total time: 5.5 hours

Total cost: $2.39

8 thoughts on “Ivory Patina

  1. This is a really lovely collar. I sewed a blouse with a similar collar 20 years ago, out of brown silk, and wore it until the collar wore through due to all the washing — I don’t know where I got that pattern then, but I always felt good in it. I notice the back neck is quite low on this blouse — does that feel okay in the wearing? I’m thinking you couldn’t wear a cardigan over it and have the collared out because most cardigans would have a higher neck, no?

    I discovered a few months ago that rayon is much easier to handle when I use a DRY iron. That was a revelation. I’d been trying to fix everything with steam, but it actually stretches the rayon, which is why the dryer works to put it back in place. Anyway, try it and see how it works for you.

    I hope Santa brings you a new washer, quickly!

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    1. THANK YOU! I don’t know if you have a direct line to the North Pole or what, but I am currently washing a bunch of towels in my very own home!! 😍 The wait is over!

      About the collar – I’ve worn this and my other Patina blouse layered just with Marlo sweaters so far, and I tucked the blouse collar underneath the sweater neckband. The Marlo has an even-deeper front V, so it doesn’t cover or even overlap the Patina collar in the front. I’ll report back if I try with another layer! Worn by itself, I’m really happy with the neckline, because it doesn’t slide around. There’s a risk with a deeper back neck that it could all just slide forward but this shirt stays put, no shifting backwards or forwards!

      Thank you also for the tip about rayon. I have another length waiting to be used for *something* and I’ll handle it with that in mind! When I figure out what that something is! 😀

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    1. If fancy silk is about as tricky as rayon that’s a really useful reference point!! Because now I can avoid both! 😂 Well, until I really really want some.

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  2. Ooh this is lovely and ugh rayon! I’ve only made a couple things in rayon and every time they come out with wobbly hems. But whatever, just tuck it in and it’s fine.

    Also, every time I read your blog and see alternative construction I get very excited but also I’m not at the point where I feel comfortable deviating from the instructions. In fact, I don’t know if I will ever get there. I kinda love following instructions. Is that weird?

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    1. I don’t think so! I also love instructions! Which is why I so often borrow other project’s instructions – it’s more like matchmaking than rewriting. Like, I just use the Ginger jeans zip method everywhere. Even when I maybe shouldn’t (I’m trying it later with a project that calls for a different seam allowance, but I’m gonna go for it anyway! Wish me luck!).

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