Bellini Sewalong: Designing your blouse – Choosing a fabric (or fabrics) September 08 2014

Whether you’re planning on making a smart blouse for the office or for evening drinks, or something for the weekend, Bellini has you covered. This versatile pattern can be made up in a wide variety of blouse fabrics to suit your lifestyle. Here are some ideas to get you started.

You need at least 1.0m (1 1/8 yd) of 1.5m-wide (60") fabric, or 1.7m (1 7/8 yd) of 1.15m-wide (45") fabric for this blouse. If your fabric has stripes, squares, plaid, or any kind of pattern that needs to be matched, you may need significantly more than that, depending on the size of the repeat on the pattern.

Suitable Fabrics for Casual Blouses

Do you plan to wear your blouse as part of a casual outfit? Maybe you live in a hot country and need something lightweight? Here’s a selection of casual fabric ideas that might fit the bill.

Heather made her Bellini from this fun cherry-print cotton broadcloth.

Sue’s fantastic floral Bellini is a Japanese cotton lawn, which works perfectly.

Personally I have at least two of these blouses made from poly-cotton sheets, so I recommend bedding! Bellini also suits lightweight sateens and poplins. Other options include Chambray (see Lisa’s chambray Bellini here).

Suitable Fabrics for Smart Blouses

Are you making something for the office? Bellini can be made in more luxurious fabrics such as polyester or silk crepe-de-chine, charmeuse or georgette. Any silky blouse fabrics will be great for this.

My peach blouse with the scalloped collar is silk georgette and is very comfortable to wear.

My black blouse is made from a heavier polyester blouse material with a slight sheen to it. This is probably my most-worn out of all the Bellinis I have.

Katie’s black Bellini is made from a lightweight poly-cotton pique. Isn’t it fabulous?

Katie also made a classic white version from tencel shirting, which is so versatile – I can imagine this being worn in the office as well as after-hours.

Or, maybe you’re thinking of something fancier?

Becki has a beautiful silk charmeuse polkadot Bellini with contrasting collar which you can see here.

My blue Bellini is silk twill with sewn-on gems (more on embellishment in a later post). It feels very luxurious to wear!

Contrasting Fabrics

Want to make the blouse in one fabric and the collar in another? Knock yourself out!

What about a chambray or lace bellini with a leather or leatherette collar? Or a sequin fabric collar? I’d probably make the undercollar out of something thinner to reduce bulk when using leather or sequins.

Or, how about digging into the scraps box for an off-cut of fancy fabric to use for the collar?

Maybe you want to try colour blocking, like my girl Karen here in Gucci:

Colour blocking is a very simple way to add interest to a garment without distracting from its clean, minimalist lines. For best results, use the brightest colours you can find!

I hope that has given you some ideas about fabrics for your blouse. Any questions?