I often find myself lamenting that I don’t own enough fun or interesting blouses. Each morning I walk to my closet and find that my choices consist either of formal button-ups or basic tees – there is no happy medium! Fortunately, Liesl & Co is in the business of revamping drab closets, and, if you find yourself struggling with my problem, then the fun and flirty Afternoon Tea Blouse is the perfect place to start. This semi-fitted blouse with a color block for an inset stripe is the perfect fusion of business chic and evening casual. The lack of shoulder seams provides the garment with a graceful line, and the keyhole opening at the back of the neck elevates the design while also allowing for a more precise fit.
You may have noticed that we just got a ton of absolutely gush-worthy Cupro Tencel Linen in an array of just gorgeous colors. Tencel is an eco-friendly fabric made with wood pulp cellulose from the eucalyptus tree. It uses a non-toxic solvent during its production process and uses much less water than the production of most fabrics. Tencel is extremely absorbent, irritation free, and it naturally prevents the growth of bacteria. It’s also 100% biodegradable, making it a comfortable AND sustainable choice. All this plus the beautiful drape and texture convinced Bonnie that it would compliment the Tea Blouse’s flow-y design.
Both Sides Now
She chose the Cupro Tencel Linen in Ecru as her main fabric while using the lovely Moda Calypso Rayon Batik in Orchid for the inset stripe across the shoulders and, in a spark of personal inspiration, for trim around the neck! Interestingly, these Cupros have both a matte and shiny side. The matte is, technically, the ‘right’ side, but both sides are equally beautiful so the decision yours! I personally love the subtle sheen of the shinier side. However, Bonnie decided to showcase the matte side for her Tea Blouse, and, after admiring the finished product, I can safely say that I love the textured ‘matte look’ too!
Bonnie loved the clear instructions included with this pattern (thank you Liesl & Co ), and found that the trickiest part of construction was sewing the gathers in the sleeve flounce. The Cupro is a heavier weight and therefore the gathers were bulkier than Bonnie preferred. To fix this she ultimately took-in the sleeve flounce where it attached to the rayon strip, eliminating some fabric. This, in turn, reduced bulk. Using a lighter weight rayon or cotton/rayon blend is a good way to avoid having to drastically adjust the gathers on your own Afternoon Tea Blouse.
Bonnie also found that, with C/D cup, she had to move the dart points on her garment in 1.5 inches. Therefore, don’t hesitate to make adjustments in this area to suit your own shape. Lastly, the Orchid Batik has a lovely pattern that was a bit difficult to line up particularly where the rayon attached to the sleeve gathers, so, if you’re planning on a patterned inset fabric, be sure to take this into account.
This blouse is stylish, fun, satisfying to make, and a delight to wear! With this garment in your collection. the morning perusal of your closet will never be dull again!