Four weeks off at the holidays is a fabulous perk of grad school and I've made sure to enjoy every second of it since this is surely my last "winter break." So in my neck of the woods it's been a snow storm and a sew storm (ha). I decided it was time to tackle a wardrobe staple: the blouse.

I've passed over many a great shirt pattern because I thought they were too intimidating. Perhaps it's because I think they're fairly susceptible to appearing "home sewn," as Michael Kors often sighs on Project Runway, and no one wants that!

Nonetheless I pulled together a mix of pieces from Simplicity 4077 and used some fabric I got from the remnant room over at Vogue. The ruffled front reminded me of a shirt I saw at JCrew in the fall but I was not willing to shell out seventy clams for it.

This isn't quite it, as it's a tad lumberjack-y, but you get the idea...

And now my version:

In making this I've learned that shirt construction is not all that hard; it's the finishing that makes or breaks a garment like this. I did not serge the raw edges because I still haven't sat down to figure out how to work the thing. Instead, I used french seams almost everywhere and some bias tape on the front darts and cuff seams.

I think the total cost on this project was about $6.50, which beats the sale rack any day.

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