The never ending (linen) story: La Sylphide blouse

I promise this is the last you’ll see of this navy linen!


I scraped this blouse out of the very last of what was originally a 5m piece of linen that I bought for $3/m at The Fabric Warehouse’s crazy sale late last year, previously used to make my Bleuet Dress and Mr. Guy’s Negroni shirt. There was so little left that I had to compromise with shorter sleeves (which is actually rather good in the heat we’re having) and the bow is half the width it should be. Even so, I’m somewhat impressed that I managed to fit everything on!Image

From my last dress, I knew that I didn’t need to make many alterations so made it as is; although now I realised that I didn’t alter the dart height, so they’re still a bit high.


The sleeves are made using my bodice sloper pattern, cut as long as the fabric would allow me; the back is the original La Sylphide pattern piece and it fits me so well I’ve actually started using this pattern piece for other dresses. I lined up the pattern piece with my back bodice sloper and the armscye is EXACTLY the same so now I have this darted version, and the old princess seam version. I still need to turn my princess seam sloper into a darted version, for when I feel like using one.


The waist seam is sitting a bit high, I guess because it doesn’t have a skirt to pull it down, and I feel that the peplum is a bit too short – it would be a lot more flattering if it was a couple of inches longer.

This isn’t a real issue, because of course the top looks even better tucked in:


The back waist seam still sits a little higher than the skirt waistband, but I don’t think anyone will notice!


The buttons are navy ones with gold pieces in a circle around the thread holes (if that makes sense) – oh goodness do I love them. I think I might need to buy up all the stock that Made on Marion has to use for future projects.


What else, what else. Why can I never think of anything to say in my blog posts, even though I love reading everyone else’s blogs? Too inpatient and succinct, I guess.

Anyway, I think this top will only really be worn tucked in. I never thought peplum tops would suit me (despite being recommended for pear shapes), so even after finding out that it looks alright on me, I’m not used to seeing that shape on my body and I feel it’s a bit too fru-fru. Maybe it’s just the placement/length of the peplum so I may try it again, at least until I work out the best way to turn this into a normal blouse without the peplum.

I’m quite pleased with the construction of the top, too, and the whole process of making it shows me how much I’ve improved recently. I wasn’t in the best mood when making it (tired) and Mr. Guy even told me “you should stop sewing, because you’ll make a mistake and be even more upset/angry”. I kept sewing but was mindful of what he said (it was true), but I didn’t make ANY mistakes. In fact, I noticed myself subconsciously fixing mistakes I would usually make, before they happened – things like accidently getting fabric caught in a seam, messing up the narrow hem (thanks to Mrs. C I have ditched the special “narrow hem” foot for my machine and am much happier for it), not catching all the layers when edge-stitching down the neck tie or when stitching in the ditch.

This is how cool I feel aboutΒ  that:



Pattern: La Sylphide blouse by Papercut Patterns

Fabric: Linen scraps, ~1m $3/m

Notions: buttons, $2 each = $10. Thread and interfacing, stash.

Total: $13

In other news, I know I have mentioned that my parents have been visiting this week, which has been lovely. I took a few days off work and yesterday we drove up to Cape Reinga, the most northern part of New Zealand. Reinga means “underworld” in Maori, and the alternate name “Te Rerenga Wairua” means “leaping-off place of spirits” – this is where the spirits of the dead pass (by leaping off the old knarled pohutikawa tree that is clinging to a rock overhanging the ocean) before travelling to the underworld/the spiritual home of Hawaiki.

Behind us is where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean mix, a spot that is constantly unsettled. The Māori refer to this as the meeting of Te Moana-a-Rehua, ‘the sea of Rehua’ with Te Tai-o-Whitirea, ‘the sea of Whitirea’, Rehua and Whitirea being a male and a female respectively.

A lovely day, finished off by a beer at the Kohukohu pub, talking about fishing rights with locals, then pies for dinner from the organic shop.


27 thoughts on “The never ending (linen) story: La Sylphide blouse

  1. This might be quite a random comment – but I’ve been watching some make-up tutorials lately and I can’t help but notice that your lipstick looks gorgeous with the red of your skirt – the whole outfit is such a pretty look πŸ™‚ I like the peblum tucked in the best because it shows your contrast piping but I think you can pull it off very well when it is left out as well.

    • Oh thanks! I only recently got into makeup (thanks, reddit) and over the last couple of months have acquired quite a few lipsticks. This is NYX soft matte lip cream in Morocco – they’re really good, particularly for their price!

  2. I think your new top looks wonderful both ways, I like it both ways. (Song lyrics I half remember!!) It is hard to accept a new silhouette, I am having a waist right now, even though I don’t really have one, I am having the illusion of a waist. I would never have dared but for bloggy encouragement!! NO dogs here will deign to be enspectacled.

    • Bloggy encouragement can be quite good eh, letting you accept something you weren’t sure about (otherwise I only have Mr. Guy for advice), or confirming that something doesn’t work.
      Our puppy only JUST deigned to be enspectacled πŸ™‚

  3. Sophie I really like the Peplum version on you, especially with the red skirt, and I think it definitely looks more flattering with the peplum out. Even though the peplum is shorter than it should be I really, really like it.

  4. I’m with Sandra, I love it untucked and it’s not frou-frou at all. It looks fabulous against the red skirt. Glad you got great value out of that bargain linen (why on earth would they put navy linen on sale anyway?)

    • Thanks Gemma! And I have no idea why they put this in the bargain bin, it’s beautiful – Leimomi was extremely jealous when she saw it, too! I have seen a few of the fabrics that were in the sale back on the shelf at full price.

  5. This is a gorgeous blouse & I love the classic navy & red combination. I think it suits you untucked but it does look really chic tucked in to the red skirt! Thanks again for all the gorgeous scenery photos & information too!

    • Thanks – I’m not sure if people want to learn about local history/customs/scenery but I thought I might as well include it in case people are, and it helps me to learn it all too.

  6. Love this blouse both tucked in and left out – the peplum really is very flattering. You look great in navy. ( and pictures of Mr Guy as well as gorgeous scenery always go well with my morning coffee πŸ™‚ )

  7. Very nice! You’ve gotten some great mileage out of that navy denim!!

    I actually like the peplum untucked – it suits you. I vote you wear it more like that until you get used to it. πŸ˜‰

    Also, the neck tie is really cute at a narrower width!

  8. I love the look of the peplum blouse on you! Very nicely done and even the skinnier bow works well. Great job on eeking out the fabric as much as ou could too, it’s so satisfying when you manage that, huh?

  9. I think the blouse looks best with the peplum out and looks really flattering. I don’t think it looks too frou-frou because the peplum isn’t too peplummy because of the short length -I don’t know if you know what I mean). I think the narrow bow works really well, I don’t think it would have looked better if it was wider. And I love all the scenery pictures/garment pictures with pretty and changing background. It makes me feel like I am travelling and I think it’s nice to see where other bloggers live, instead of just seeing the same backdrop all the time…

    • Thanks Wendy! I’ve had another few looks at the photos and am actually rather liking it untucked now – and it’s certainly better when it’s hot. I also like the narrower tie, I think it looks better in the stiff fabric (whereas I think the drapier fabrics look better with the wider tie).

      And yeah – photos in the same location help to showcase the outfit, I guess, but I’m trying to use it as an excuse to see a bit more of the surrounding land (we’re only up here for 2 more months)

  10. What a beatiful place you visited with your parents!
    I do think the Peplum looks very good on your figure. It’s a matter of getting used to wearing this kind of silhouette I guess. I say that to myself as much as I say it to you, lol!

    • Yeah I’ve never reeaally liked them (although I had a Jacqui E skirt that had one and I LOVED it) but I do think this one looks good… not sure why I haven’t worn it yet, I think it feels so dressy for a workplace where the other GP’s all wear sandals

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