Embroidered blouses rarely venture out of my wardrobe, but this was one was the winner when it came to assembling my Mother of the Groom outfit. I have had it for years, and have no recollection of when or where I bought it. It has no manufacturer's label or washing instructions. It was second hand and a bargain, that's all I can remember.
It is a lovely shade of ivory, so goes with just about every colour I am likely to wear, and the detail is beautiful.
It has appliqué flowers and shadow work leaves, with some raised stitching at the centre of the flowers.
The neckline and armholes are edged with closely packed buttonhole stitch.
The stitching all appears to have been done by hand. Even the turnings for the buttons and buttonholes down the back, and the buttonholes themselves, are hand stitched.
It is such a beautiful blouse, it is a shame that I have only worn it twice. The last time was for my nephew's wedding in 2010. It was slightly annoying to wear because it was far too wide on me and kept coming out my skirt waistband. Despite its delicacy, it is not fitted at all. It is made to fit a cardboard box. This time I decided to do something about it.
Rather than take in seams or add waist darts, the simplest solution was to add a belt made of one inch satin ribbon at the back. It was easy to insert the ends inside the French seams at the side, and then I had the challenge of using the buttonholer on the ribbon. The ribbon slipped around a bit, but I managed to get away with it. Had this not been a last minute job I would have made the belt meet in the middle, but I can live with asymmetry. It's artistic.
Here is the blouse modelled by my fake daughter. It was a tussle dressing her, and I couldn't make a decent job of tucking the blouse in, but on the day it was just the ticket.