The Style Arc Victoria blouse is a semi-fitted 3/4 sleeve blouse with angled design lines, bias cuffs, and a shawl collar.
After making this and seeing other versions online I think that the best fabrics are soft, lightweight solids. A sheer is even better if you want to emphasize the seam lines.
The fabric I used was a silk georgette from Gorgeous Fabrics. Despite what the description below says it had no stretch.
My buttons are the pearl half-dome buttons from Cleaner’s Supply.
After sewing some samples I decided to splurge for TIRE silk thread from Red Rock Threads. My normal Gutermann was just too thick, especially when it came to the buttonholes. The topstitching is also really beautiful:
I interfaced the center front using the couture weight Pro-Sheer Elegance from Fashion Sewing Supply. I highly recommend interfacing this piece. It really stabilized the buttonholes and gave the shawl collar a bit more definition. Since I was using a fussy fabric I block fused the interfacing before cutting.
I starched the heck out of the the fabric used to cut all the other pieces. It gave it a hand almost like silk organza. Unfortunately it is proving difficult to wash out. I washed it twice using Forever New, then soaked it in Eucalan for 15 minutes, then soaked it in water and vinegar for 18 hours. Then I washed it again using Forever New, once again using vinegar in the rinse. I still don’t have it completely out (I would say the starch is 85% removed). I really should have used Lena Merrin’s gelatin method instead.
The major style change I made to this blouse was changing it from a slightly curved to shirt tail hem. I like the length of longer shirts like this in the front and back, but not at the sides. I used my Safari Sam pattern as a guide.
Like for my Annie Cami I made a muslin out of a cheap acetate lining fabric I had in my stash because the seaming made guessing the fit of this shirt harder than usual. Due to making a muslin I was able to sew this in about 7 or 8 hours, which included starching and pressing the fabric, cutting, and having to unpick a couple of buttonholes.
Fitting adjustments were:
- Lengthened the sleeves 1/2″
- Broad back adjustment (3/8″ length, 3/4″ width)
- Added 3/4″ width to the sleeves
- Added about 2″ to the hips at the side seams
- 3/8″ narrow chest adjustment, shifting the amount removed from the chest to the front of the sleevecap
- I had to add 3/8″ to the curve of the side front princess seam to give myself more room in the bust – the curve is IMO a bit too flat here.
- I also took it in at the waist a little bit
The major issue with sewing this blouse is landing those corners. There’s 7 pivot points: two at the front, three at the back, and two at the neckline where the back attaches to the front. I ruined my first piece of silk georgette before coming up with a better method which I found foolproof. I didn’t want to complicate this post so I wrote a separate tutorial here.
When it came to finishing the seams I left the back ones raw (since they are on the bias and topstitched in place) and finished everything else with a narrow 3-thread overlock on my serger. This fabric is like a robin’s egg blue and I didn’t have any serger thread in that color in my stash, so I used a mint green for the lower looper, a light blue for the upper looper, and beige for the needle.
I’m extremely happy with how this blouse came out. It feels like pure luxury when I wear it and was the perfect pattern for this silk georgette. I can’t wait to make another one!