Summertime and I Have No Clothes to Wear!

It’s that time of year when the temperatures start to rise, and our clothing get’s more minimal, lighter, and brighter.And I go crazy if I don’t jump in the pool several times a day.
 I have been on a quest for a good basic blouse to make in several colors to wear with shorts and capris.
 I refuse to wear t-shirts and capris everyday. Falling into this  trap is just not for me. I like to wear lots of different styes. I like to be put together, and I like to be stylish.
Sometimes I wear a pretty blouse over a tank top and capris or cuffed shorts.

 My friend Mary has called it a uniform. And as I looked around the ex-pat community here in La Paz, I realized that she was right. Women of all ages and sizes were wearing shirts and tank tops.  NO more! I pledge, dear Mary, never to wear that look again!
 My reliable Lutterloh pattern book  does not have what I  am envisioning blouse-wise.
 I have this pattern from 2008:

Classy silhouette, yes? I loved it when I purchased it. I did not look closely at the pattern picture nor the line drawing. It was only when I got home and started to lay it out that I realized it had dolman sleeves! Not my most flattering style.
I have rounded sloped  and narrow shoulders, this  style.accentuates that sloping roundness
But still…
I was heading to  northern Baja with my husband on a business trip and I need  something stylish and with long sleeves, it is cold up there in June. they call it the “June Gloom”.
I liked the blouse, and I still wear it and receive many compliment.
 I possess very few commercial patterns, most of what I sew is made from Lutterloh, because of the reliably superb fit.
When I purged 55 patterns from my stash a while back, I kept this blouse pattern and I am glad I did.

In the last century way back in the 80’s I lived in Fresno, California, which is located smack in the middle of the roasting hot, land locked San Joaquin Valley. I hunted for the lightest of fabrics, and the iciest of colors for my summer clothes.
And that is my encompassing hunt right now.
 Summer is coming soon, we have already had some 100 degree days, and we are just closing the first week of April!
I am losing weight, and I need clothes. I have been wearing the same white cuffed capris for weeks, I need clothes. My blouses are too heavy, and my tanks and other knit tops have seen better days.
 The fabric I used for this latest version of the Vogue top is a light, soft, plisse-like cotton with a batik design in teal.
 Here is a photo of the blouse hanging  outside my sewing room window so you can see how soft and light it is:

The sun was not up yet, and still the light shows how whisper soft the fabric is.
When I frist tried it on, it felt wonderful! But I thought it looked like a pajama top. “Okay”, I said to myself, “I’ll wear it after my last swim of the day, when I am showered, powderred and wearing this and only panties.”
 NOW WHAT?  I still need blouses.
Remember no tees and tanks.
 I decided to sleep on it.
 When I woke the next morning I pinned it closed and took a long hard look.
 Not bad, said I!
 So the other morning, I sorted through my dwindling stash of buttons and found some basic blue buttons, sat down  at my “new” old Singer 301 and made perfect buttonholes. Can you believe I purchased this machine just to make buttonholes?
 Well I did.
Back in Fresno ( what is with that place) I broke my promise to my mother and I sold  the old black Singer 301. Yep, the workhorse with the beautiful gold scroll work. My Singer is the beige version, Just as much a workhorse, but not a work of art.  I wrote about the  arrival of the black Singer here

 I wore the blouse to show property and to have a cortado doble descafinado ( Double decaf espresso cortado) with my friend Melanie. She took this photo of me at Cafe Exquisito.

I am going to put some very  light shoulder pads in to make it look like I have shoulders. The “batwing” look of the dolman sleeves bothers me, I like more crisp blouses. But in the searing heat of “Summer Hell” the so named fifth season (my Beloved named August15-October 15 th that way.) it will be nice to have any part of the slightest  breeze swirl around those batwings.

Stay tuned for my two Fluted neck blouses I made from Sandra Betzina’s wonderful pattern.
Here is some seasonal fun for you:


  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply April 7, 2014

    We have the same need in summer clothes…I really like the fabric, though I hate dolman sleeves. If I find something I like that I think you'd like I'll let you know what and where it is.

    Do you still not want to have anything mailed to you?

  • Lynn

    Reply Reply April 8, 2014

    I love the blouse! You look cool and elegant.

  • Anne

    Reply Reply April 9, 2014

    Hi Susan
    I enjoy your blog and comments (and might one day get into Lutterloh!) and seeing your makes – so I have nominated you for a Liebster award. Please don't feel obliged to accept – but details can be found on my blog post here –

  • Sarah Liz

    Reply Reply April 10, 2014

    I find dolman sleeves in summer can be useful – they are cool.I agree the look is not so smart- on the other hand, quick and easy to make – which is what you need if you have nothing much on hand. And your version is very pretty – the fabric works nicely with the sleeves – not to heavy 🙂 Glad I have found your blog.

  • Susan Fogel

    Reply Reply April 13, 2014

    Anne, I am honored that you follow my bog and that you nominated me for a Liebster award.
    I will follow up on this in the morning. How very nice. I am touched.
    mil gracias,

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