100 Days Project, Lutterloh,Up-cycling and Me!

Lutterloh chambray blouse 2



Forty one days into the 100 Days Project, I am loving it. And friends and family are watching me, commenting and telling me that they are having a good time.

My friend Kass, that I mentioned in another post said she has never enjoyed sewing as much as she has while following me in this project.

At the farmer’s market, my friend Lei says:

“I was waiting to see this one in person.”

Or on the day I just could not finish it in time to show it off. she said

“Where  is that gorgeous blouse that you have been working on?”

Friends and neighbors, male and female are telling me that they are enjoying seeing my work pop up on Facebook. So what I thought might be considered a huge ego trip is something that friends and family are actually enjoying and looking forward to!

Every day the 100 Days Project participants  make something, whether they make words, food, clothing, art, grow things, they  must get it done and chronicle it on Intsagram. Miss Meliss, my gorgeous, smart and favorite (only) daughter did this last year. She wrote one perfect sentence every day. Here is the link to her announcement of this year’s 100 Days Project.

100 Days Project


Naturally I chose to sew and chronicle my work. This project is forcing me to sew as much as I can each day, and to complete projects, and then wear them in town so that my Beloved can take wonderful photos of me.

I am energetic, productive, happy and also loving showing off! I have also started to learn to pace myself. There is no deadline. Anything I do from choosing fabric, buttons, pattern to laying out the pattern, cutting and sewing it into a garment is part of the creative process. It is not a rush to the finish.

Today’s post is about enjoying a gifted fabric, and upcycling a 17-year-old blouse! I chronicled all the iterations that I am about to share with you as part of the 100 Days Project.

My friend Sheryl gave me this fabric that she purchased on eBay. It was billed as denim. What arrived was a tissue-thin voile. The weave looked like denim. I call it chambray.Lutterloh chambray blouse fabric and pattern

It has been in my stash for about a year, and I have been pondering what to make.

I like this particular Lutterloh blouse, and I thought that making the facings in white and turning them to the outside would look crisp and cool for summer.

Well the first attempt, with the pieces laid loosely on top looked like 1960s military wife. You know, sweet, conservative. My friend Helen said:

“More like Catholic school.”

You get the picture. Certainly not a look for me!Lutterloh chambray blouse military

I decided to make my own white seam binding, and also make the button placket white. This looked better.


Then I decided that I would remove the pocket from one of my old, but loved Faconable white shirts. I have not worn any of my Faconable (Nordstrom house brand) in years. They seem to have shrunk in the closet!  But the fabric is superb, and they cost a lot, and they are the last holders-on of my old life. I could not bear to donate them. So I carefully removed the pocket and reapplied it to my polka dot blouse. Looks really crisp. This composite shows the pocket on the final version of the blouse with the points of the sleeve placket as front detail. It also shows the blouse with short sleeves on the hanger. It only looked good with sleeves on the hanger!Lutterloh chambray blouse composite 1

Then I decided that the sleeve placket would look wonderful as a detail on the sleeve. And yes that detail looks sharp.


However, in grading this top down from the fuller figure pattern, I cut in the armscye too deeply. I really didn’t realize that I had done that until I applied the sleeves. They look good on the hanger, but the sleeve seam is inches into my shoulder, rather then sitting right at the knob where arm joins shoulder.

I removed the sleeves and bound the armhole. Then I removed the sleeve plackets and applied them to the front. In days gone by, say prior to the start of the 100 Days Project, I would have tossed this blouse and moved on. But I am publicly chronicling my creative efforts. I want to show finished work. And also show that  bloopers can be fixed

I like the blouse. It looks good with my white shorts and Capris. It is light and airy and crisp. Crisp. I just love that word.

The blouse is a touch snugger than I like. I graded it down a little too far. But I am working on grading down the body underneath. It will loosen up.

So here I am again in my blouse with the two different white bottoms that i also made.

Lutterloh chambray blouse

I made the shorts and the Capris. I now have white pants, shorts and Capris. I try to make all three pants lengths in the same fabric and at least two tops so that I have a nice selection of things to wear. This photo was taken after I had been sitting for a few hours.Lutterloh chambray blouse side view

The 100 Days Project has helped me focus and plan what I make. And I love wearing the clothes I make for myself.

I also feel good that no one was forced to sew my clothes in unsafe conditions for low pay.

And here is what sunrise over La Paz looked like yesterday from my terracesunrise over la paz






  • Sheryl

    Reply Reply May 30, 2016


    • Bev Durvin

      Reply Reply May 30, 2016

      Susan… I am the lucky one as I saw this smashing outfit in person the other night… loved it! You are so inspiring! Hugs

  • jaya

    Reply Reply May 30, 2016

    Susan nice color

  • Tess

    Reply Reply May 30, 2016

    You are amazing….and yes looks much better without the sleeves…love seeing your posts on FB. Hugs Tess

  • Michele

    Reply Reply May 31, 2016

    Great work Susan!! Love the garments and the pictures take us away to a tropical vacation! 🙂

  • Kass

    Reply Reply May 31, 2016

    Well, Susan, you always write in engaging, spare, and delightful prose. I do find your projects and your chronicling of them entertaining and sweet. You should know that I have hated sewing virtually all my life. My father ran the Singer sewing machine company for all the years that I was cognizant and growing up, and my mother was a fabulous seamstress who sewed all of our clothes until I was well into my teens. This posed a lot of ambivalence for me, as I wished that I could convince her much sooner than I did, that I should be able to wear Levi’s brand jeans, and so on. On the other hand, when my school district finally came part way out of the dark ages in the early 70s and said that female students could wear pants to school, but not jeans, — they virtually had to be a dress that was a little bit shorter than regular dresses, over a pair of pants made from the same fabric, — my mother made Pantsuits for me,(out of stinky, very stinky polyester; a hallmark of the time) that I could accede to, and was actually freaking relieved to wear, after all was said and done. Throughout it all, I felt the giant scythe of female Destiny swinging over my head, and I knew that it was a race to the finish to find out if I would have to succumb to becoming a seamstress myself, – a destiny heavily weighted toward traditional womanhood, with all of its ‘womanly arts’- and adding that to the rest of my reluctantly accomplished womanly arts, and thus be forced to add another nail to my own coffin as a human being, were I to succeed as a seamstress. So you see, the whole notion of notions, and seeing, is not a subject that I have willingly or sympathetically embraced. And that’s why I give you kudos for bringing your hundred-day sewing adventure into my orbit in such a way as to draw curiosity and attention from me without causing me to go stomping in the opposite direction, with a cloud of ferocitys over my head, and murder in my heart.

  • Sue

    Reply Reply May 31, 2016

    what a glorious place you live in! Your blouse is absolutely lovely. I also make Lutterloh patterns – with mixed success, so am impressed at the changes you’ve wrought.

  • Barbara

    Reply Reply June 1, 2016

    Peter Pan collars remind me of third grade. You won’t find them on me now, no matter how many Millennials go ape over them.

    This now looks lovely and summery. And crisp!

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