Completed: The Taffy Blouse!

21 May

I don’t even know if I can legitimately call this the Taffy blouse. I mean, yeah, I used the pattern pieces for the front & back… and I cut the front on the bias. That’s about where the similarities end & the mad scientist in me started cooking up something entirely different.

Floral rayon
I started out with this fabric. Isn’t it so pretty? Approximately 1 yard of floral rayon, I found this at the Goodwill for a whopping $1.99 YESH. I envisioned it as the Taffy Without Sleeves and promptly cut the front piece out of my fabric.

… and then it was time to cut the back piece, and that’s when I realized I had made a huge mistake. I may be a small person, and I may wear my clothing very fitted, and this may be ~just a top~, but uhhh… it’s still a bias-cut pattern, and it needs more than a yard of fabric! I frantically tried to fix my mistake by moving the back pattern pieces around the sad flap of fabric that remained. I tried cutting the back pieces with a seam (as opposed to on the fold). I tried piecing them. I tried making only the bottom of the back floral with some kind of backwards contrasting yoke. No dice. I half-heatedly checked my stash for a lone piece of black fabric I could cut the back piece out of, thinking I’d do a two-tone look, but I didn’t see anything that even remotely matched. So, I did what any self-respecting seamstress would do – I got pissed off & chucked the top & all the little fabric scraps in the scrap bin. BYE.

In the meantime, I brainstormed until I had an epiphany. Do y’all ever get stumped by something sewing-wise & end up having an epiphany later that perfectly fixes whatever ails you? Or maybe that’s just me. I usually get them right before I fall asleep haha. Whatever, I ain’t complainin’!


So anyway, I ended up cutting the back piece in a black knit fabric, figuring the stretch of the knit would complement the stretch of the bias on the woven side (so if you’re wondering – the black knit wasn’t cut on the bias. It was cut on the… stretchy knit grain, or whatever you call it, I dunno). I did cut off a half inch or so of the back side, since it was extra stretchy. It still does not have negative ease, but I think it drapes pretty nicely.

The front (woven) part of the shirt is cut in a 2. I did have to pull up the shoulders quite a bit as the neckline was originally pretty freakin’ gapey, but I think it worked out in the end. It is still gapey & kind of lumpy in the back, but ehh… it’s the back, I don’t have to look at it. Haha!

Taffy - Back

Taffy - Front
So obviously, my Taffy does not have sleeves. It also did not get the bias tape treatment – I decided to use some of my lace stash instead. Pretty black lace around the neckline & arm holes! Looove it.

Taffy - Side
The lace at the bottom was an inspired afterthought – I barely had enough black knit to get the full length out of the back piece (I know, I’m such a mess); it ended up getting cut about 3″ short. So I shortened the front piece to match & sewed this pretty wide lace around the bottom. I love the way it looks!

So that’s it! A pretty simple top that almost didn’t happen. I really like the way it turned out and I think this is a great way to use up smaller yardages of woven fabric that you might not have enough to cut both the front+back with – just sub a knit in there! πŸ™‚

In other news – today is my birthday! Yay me, I made it all the way to 27 πŸ™‚
And I got some new fabric (and more is on it’s way – I placed an order with Mood this morning ;))

Yard sale score
Sorry this picture is so bad – the plaid in the second bolt is actually really beautiful & colorful. Blame it on the rainbad lighting. Anyway, my mom found this at a yard sale on Saturday – the woman holding it had been an heirloom seamstress, so there was promised to be lots of batiste! I told my mom to let me know what she found. She called me as she was leaving and said, “Yeah, I saw quite a few bolts of the stuff. I didn’t buy anything, though.” WUT. I made her turn around & go back & buy… all of it! Hahahahaa! What you see here is something like 15-20 yards of batiste. She got the entire stack (including about 10 more yards of that blue on top – I took 2.5 yards & let her keep the rest haha) for $15! Which is awesome because I was totally about to buy more batiste, except I was going to spend $16 on 2 yards. Soooo, needless to say, I’m pretty thrilled with this find. And I love that it’s all on bolts; it makes me feel extra fabric-hoardy.

She also bought me all these buttons… I think they were a quarter apiece. Aren’t they sweet? I especially love the lemons & the flies (my mom says they’re bees. Whatever, they will always be flies to me). And if you creep the right corner, you can see some of the wooly nylon she also got. Fifty cents a spool! Uh huh, I love me some yard sales!

And on a final note… Morgan sent me some gorgeous fabric all the way from Skopje, Macedonia.
Fabric from Macedonia :D
It is the most beautiful cotton I think I have ever seen! And she sent me two entire meters – which she purchased speaking only Macedonian! I am so proud of her & totally dying over this fabric. I have no idea what I will make out of it – I’m thinking it needs to be a maxi dress, though. The paisley repeat is just so huge & awesome. What do you think?

Oh, there were also hot dog flavored chips in the bag along with the fabric. I haven’t summoned up the courage yet to sample them (that will be tonight, after I’ve had a couple of birthday drinks hehe), but I’ll let y’all know how that goes down…

Happy Monday!


45 Responses to “Completed: The Taffy Blouse!”

  1. Roisin Muldoon May 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Yuss, that amazing Macedonian fabric needs to be made into a maxi dress. It demands it!

  2. Sassy T May 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Definitely a maxi dress, no little tops for that. It is an art piece, and nothing shows of an art piece in it’s entirety better than a maxi. . Oh your top is nice btw. Sorry got over excited when I saw the macedonian fabric and forgot to mention lol

  3. Amy May 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Happy birthday to a very talented girl!!

  4. Kerry May 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Happy Birthday!

    That fabric was born to be a psychadelic maxi x

  5. Lise May 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Happy birthday ! Enjoy your day. I love your blog, your creativity inspires me

  6. misscrayolacreepy May 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Happy birthday!

  7. Trice May 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Happy Birthday. I agree, I see Maxi

  8. Marie May 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I love your accidentally concocted top so much! The lace touches are so sweet and the black knit toughens the whole look up. It’s actually one of my favourite of your makes! And that Macedonian cotton is divine, I think you’re right about it needing to be a maxi!

    Happy Birthday by the way…enjoy your hot dog flavoured chips ;o)

  9. Johanna May 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Have been reading your blog for a while now (so fun, creative and inspiring!), but never written a comment, until now, ’cause I just had to say:
    Happy B-day!

  10. MarrieB May 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Happy Birthday!

  11. Missy May 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Oh wow that Macedonian fabric is SO BEAUTIFUL! Also, happy birthday:)

  12. Kristin May 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Yes, that fabric needs to become a maxi dress! I am dying to make some maxi dresses and skirts this summer, and I would love to see how awesome your creation turns out. Happy Birthday! Your new top is pretty stellar!

  13. theknittingarchaeologist May 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Happy Birthday! Love the shirt πŸ™‚ I wish I had your luck with Goodwill and Flea Markets and such! Maybe I need to look harder!

  14. gingermakes May 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Happy birthday, gal! I loooooove the pink fabric– what a great gift! And your top is adorable!

  15. Trisha May 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Happy Birthday! Love the black and floral top. It turned out great!

  16. littlepostcards May 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    I love your top and how you kept working it until you got something you loved. Your yard sale stash is awesome! Happy Birthday – I always enjoy reading your blog.

  17. ShanniLoves May 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Happy Birthday! And yes def a maxi dress!

  18. Sarah W. May 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Cute top! Happy Birthday!

  19. Meg@Mood May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    So excited to see what you make with our fabric! Sending positive thoughts your way, i.e., no wadders.

  20. Jo May 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    Happy Birthday! And congrats on turning a distaster Taffy into something you’re really happy with! πŸ™‚ I just finished my Taffy and I’m super chuffed with myself, lol. It’s a lot of firsts for me!

  21. oonaballoona May 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    oh god. i hope you’ve got a drink ready for post chip tasting as well.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! the sewing gods were indeed smiling on you from all angles. your blouse is the bomb diggetty. i wish my taffy looked like that.

    • LLADYBIRD May 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

      A drink could never fully prepare me for the overwhelming hot dog flavor that those chips contained. Weirdest food ever – and, uh, I totally brought the rest to work to make my coworkers try ahaha.

  22. Jen May 21, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Happy Birthday! Ahhhh, that top is perfect. I love black lace with jewel tones. However it was supposed to look, I bet this is WAY better. Also, I love the lemon buttons. What will you do with them?

    • LLADYBIRD May 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      I don’t knowwww! I want them to be part of something special, because I think they are so cute πŸ™‚ Any ideas?

  23. grenouille78 May 21, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Happy birthday! (I’m on Pacific time; it’s still your birthday here) Great save on the “Taffy” top. It would have been so sad if you hadn’t found a way to salvage that pretty floral. Also, holy cow what a score at the yard sale. Go, Your Mom!

  24. scruffybadger May 22, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    Happy birthday Lauren!
    That non-taffy is fab – it must be so satisfying to save something so close to disaster! The lace is a gorgeous finishing detail, esp round the waist….such a cool top!

  25. Helen's Sewing Adventures May 22, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    Happy Birthday!! Looks like you got an amazing selection of fabric. That (non) Taffy looks great. I’ve frogged so many small makes because I didn’t have enough fabric and hadn’t thought to add something like a knit or other fabric to it instead…Great idea!

  26. Laura Mae May 22, 2012 at 3:16 am #

    Happy Birthday, darlin’!

    I absolutely love the new blouse. The ones that give you the most trouble often turn out to be the best projects!

    And I have had many of those brilliant ideas come about after making myself walk away from something that is frustrating me.

  27. Donna May 22, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    I love your Taffy – that was an ingenious save! I think the lace on the bottom is my favorite bit.

  28. Juliette May 22, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    I love what you did with this top!And I love that DIY approach to sewing. Happy birthday!

  29. Kimberly May 22, 2012 at 6:37 am #

    Happy Birthday!

  30. sallie May 22, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    First of all – Happy Birthday!! Here’s to being 27!!
    Second – You are the queen goddess of the creative fix! I would have been totally stumped on this one!
    Third- Holy Batiste Motherload!

  31. Sigrid May 22, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Happy Birthday! That’s one inspired top!

  32. stacyverb May 22, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Happy birthday!!! Very clever Frankenpatterning on the “Taffy.” I have a box full of several projects that went awry for one reason or another, and your top is inspiring me to get them out and see what can be done. Hmmm.

  33. Mika May 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Happy Birthday!! I was thinking about a contast back for some of the shirts I’m planning – it’s nice to see it works out, so I don’t have to experiment. It’s also great to see a Taffy sans sleeves – I’m not a fan of them, but I still want to use the pattern!

    • LLADYBIRD May 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Yeah, I didn’t like the sleeves too much either – too frilly for me. The pattern is a really nice, basic bias-cut blouse, though!

  34. Casey May 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Happy, happy birthday!!!!! (Yay for fellow 1985 babies!) How were those hot dog flavored chips???

    I really admire you for salvaging that blouse; so often when I banish things they never, ever return. πŸ˜‰ lol. Kudos for making it work out into something really pretty!

    Also: I am insanely jealous of your batiste haul (and “fly” buttons–I mean, come on!)! Lucky, lucky you! πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD May 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      THEY TASTED EXACTLY LIKE HOT DOGS. It was the weirdest thing ever! I should have dipped them in mustard hahaha.

  35. symondezyn May 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    YAY! Happy birthday, and way to go on your Taffy-ish top! πŸ™‚ And even MORE way to go on scoring so much batiste for so cheap!!!! WOWZA!!

    Love that bright fun paisley; I can totally see that as a maxi dress! πŸ™‚

  36. modechocolat May 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Happy birthday!!! I enjoy this blouse!!! gg!!!

  37. Lucinda Campbell (@sewwrong) May 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    What a cute top! Sometimes the best projects from mistakes or miscalculations. Happy accidents are always the best πŸ™‚

  38. Becca May 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Happy belated birthday! You definitely got some nice sewing goodies. Can’t wait to see what you use the buttons for, and that beautiful cotton from Macedonia. The taffy blouse is so cute! You did a great job figuring out what to do to finish it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started something and had to set it aside for weeks until I figured out the solution to my problem. Sometimes for me, epiphanies come after staring at the project and my other material for a long time (those only happen when I have the patience to wait for an answer).

  39. Frances Ortega May 25, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Belated Happy Birthday. I love your blog. Like with the lace, you inspire me to “make it work” (cue Mr. Gunn;). You are also very positive in a world that causes people not to be. I hope you feel the love from those of us who live through you via your sweet blog. Have a great weekend!

  40. Clare S June 1, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    Happy belated birthday! (Just catching up on my Google Reader feed!) Hope you had a great day πŸ™‚

    Thanks a lot for sharing your ‘trials and tribulations’ with the taffy blouse – it looks fab and it’s really inspiring to see that even people whose sewing skills I really admire make mistakes AND that there are ways to fix our sewing mishaps!

    That fabric is amazing – the colours!!! I think a maxi dress is a great idea – you can float around in it all summer long!


  1. Me Made May – Week 5 Roundup « LLADYBIRD - June 1, 2012

    […] see it too well but I cut the ribbing off the bottom & replaced it with wide lace (just like my Taffy blouse) Pants: Colette Clovers Necklace: Vintage bracelet I turned into a necklace Shoes: Rugged Warehouse […]

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