Sunday, June 30, 2019

McCalls's 9054 (1984): Liz Claiborne Blouse with Buttoned Cap Sleeves and Cloisonne Earrings

I made View B from this pattern for my very first blog post.  Today’s post features View C, which is modeled by the real woman on the pattern as opposed to the line drawing ladies.

The pattern describes it as follows: “Sleeveless, buttoned blouse C has extended shoulders with buttoned hemline pleats, collar with neckband, buttonhole pocket and shaped hemline.”   

There are two pleats at the edge of the sleeve and each pleat is fastened by a button. This creates a sweet cap sleeve effect which is attractive and unique.   Therefore, I’m baffled that the photograph is cropped right where they would be. 

I made this blouse for my mom.  Mom is an extremely skilled and highly talented seamstress who could (and still can) sew ANYTHING for our family.  From underwear to prom dresses, from men’s suits to drapes, she made it. And she was so good, it looked like you bought it in the store.  She oversaw some of my first tentative sewing projects (in the 1980s of course). While I did learn how to make a tote bag in Home Ec class, it was on my mom’s Singer that I made some actual clothes.  

Now that I can sew a little better than I did 30 years ago, I occasionally make things for my mom.  She had once admired this blouse, which I made in this peachy floral cotton silk blend some years ago.  

This blouse had some major flaws, such as failing to include interfacing in the collar and neckband.  Needless to say, you can’t really pop your collar, 80s-style, if your collar has no inner support.   

But mom like the design of the blouse.  So I offered to make her one for her birthday.  I presented her with two fabric options, and she ultimately chose this stretch cotton sateen.   This particular colorway is out of stock currently, but is available in a silver color palette. It’s a nice weight, easy to sew and would also make great shorts or pants.

I had fallen in love with this fabric when I saw it in person at Mood Fabrics in NYC.  The painterly swipes of pastel on the pinky-mauve background and the random black speckles are a nod to the  “memphis design” patterns so popular in the 1980s.   

There will be more about mom’s talents in the near future. This post is about her styling prowess and her substantial jewelry collection which includes some awesome artifacts from the 80s.  Recently I went home to visit my family for a few days.   When I asked to borrow the blouse I made her for a photo shoot, mom immediately ran upstairs to rifle through her walk-in closet. She came up with white shorts and light mauve flats to go with the blouse.  But the real magic happened when she presented these cloisonne earrings.  

"Mom, these are PERFECT!"

Those of us who were alive and shopping in the 80s may remember that cloisonne jewelry had a moment back then.   The dictionary describes cloisonne as “decorative work in which enamel, glass or gemstones are separated by strips of flattened wire placed edgeways on a metal backing.”  

Mom had even hung on to cloisonne earrings that once belonged to ME, circa 1985!

Once my outfit was complete, I was ready to model (I asked mom if she wanted to model her blouse but she was camera-shy).  Photography falls outside the vast realm of mom’s talents so that’s where my sister stepped in.  We all went out to my parents’ lovely backyard (yes, mom gardens too), where the three of us flowed together in creative harmony as my sister circled me with her iphone.

Jenn, get some closeups!

LOVE these earrings with this fabric

Hemline pleats and top stitched seam

Pop that collar

Mom called this my 80s scowl:

The buttons are mother of pearl.  Mom preferred to see the random green flecks on the backs of the buttons.  So they are sewn on “backwards.”

I did not make the welt pocket as shown on the pattern

Mom really likes her blouse and so do I.   She’s not going to let me have it, so I just have to keep on with my 80s sewing!

Special thanks to Jenn and Judy for helping me create this blog post!


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