We started by draping a blouse toile on a mannequin, taking Edwardian pin tucks and high collars as a starting point.
Because its a one off fitted costume piece the toile was actually in the real fabric, so once both sides matched no pattern was required, it just got sewn up as a base for all the lovely layered lace.
The laces are a wide variety of randomness, some very old stained pieces, some new little off cuts from other dresses, but all reused,recycled and hand stitched down. Some were even dyed with tea (hot water and teabag,no milk, obviously! Just dunk bright white natural fibres stuff in for a pretty off white vintage look…)
The back is a big keyhole shape, I have a backless corset and thought it would be a good excuse to use it, with a cream latex rubber cowl neck. I blame the lovely Emma Brackenbury for re-introducing me to the awesome possibilities of latex cloth, I shall also be dipping lace into liquid latex, drying then attaching, to finish/blend all the textures together.
No it’s not a very practical blouse, it won’t wash in a machine. But that’s not really an issue for a showpiece.
It has one classic Edwardian bishop sleeve in muslin, made from a traditional edwardian pattern and because I can’t resist the asymmetric, (and have option paralysis when it comes to sleeves,) the other is a broiderie anglaise Vivienne Westwood style twisted,pointed, tucked and pleated puff sleeve (ish) which I just made up as I went along.