Friday, 7 February 2020

Tilly And The Buttons Mathilde Blouse - Make Nine 2019 #9

There's nothing like leaving something to the last minute, and that's exactly what happened with this!  It's Tilly And The Buttons Mathilde Blouse, and it's my final make for Make Nine 2019. 

I didn't think I was going to finish 2019 Make Nine because I simply couldn't decide what to make with this fabric.  But then I was reading this post on the Tilly And The Buttons Blog on Christmas Eve, it mentioned the Mathilde Blouse, and inspiration struck.

I was nearly finished my Rosa dress, and this got started on 27th December, so no pressure...  I technically finished it on 29th December, but read on for the drama!

First though, here are the deets - the fabric is some green silk I got on ebay a few years ago, and I stablised it with spray starch.  Everything is French seamed, including the armholes, which I hadn't done before. 

The pleats were a bit tricky in the silk, but I took my time, and they turned out ok.

The buttons are some wooden buttons that my sister bought me.

By the way, my skirt is the Tilly And The Buttons Ness skirt.  I made it a few months ago using some denim from Oh Sew! and I absolutely love it and have been wearing it a lot.

I was very pleased with how my blouse turned out; all I had to do was wash out the spray starch, and that's when disaster struck! Normally I would use Dreft handwashing powder, but the last time it ran out I couldn't get it, and got Daz handwashing powder instead.  I put some powder in a basin with some hot water, put in my blouse, and when I took it out this happened.

This is on the right back,


this is on one sleeve,

and this on the front - you can see the stitching from one pleat on the left.  As you can see, some of the dye has bleached on various parts of my blouse.  There where other spots as well, but I didn't photograph them.

I think that maybe some of the powder hadn't dissolved properly, and to say I was furious didn't even skim the surface!  So the blouse got set aside for about a week while I decided what to do, and thank you to everybody on Instagram who suggested solutions, hand washing liquids and who offered sympathy.  

Here's what I ended up doing - my machine has loads of embroidery stitches, and after testing on some scraps, I settled on a leaf design.  To stablise it, I cut a piece of interfacing and hand-basted it to the back of the fabric with two layers of silk on top, which you can see in the photo below.

This is on the yoke at the front neckline
The bleached bits aren't obvious in this photo, but they absolutely were in real life!

I sewed the embroidery stitch from the right side.  This is how it looks from the wrong side.

 I then cut down the interfacing and silk patches with embroidery scissors.

And this is how it turned out.

This is the front left shoulder

Centre front
Upper right back

Button placket

This is the back of the left sleeve, but there is also one bit on the right sleeve

It took ages, but I like how it looks, and it's definately saved my blouse!  The Daz powder went in the bin and I got some handwash liquid.

Has anybody else ever had a disaster like this?



  1. So glad you managed to save this. It was such a good pattern /fabric pairing. I never would have thought of using embroidery... Genius.

    1. Oh, thank you! I was so happy to be able to fix it, because the fabric is gorgeous.

  2. Silk is a protein-based fabric - silk worms help create it - wash with a gentle hair shampoo or a specific cleanser created for silk. I pop in a teaspoon of vinegar into the final rinse water - helps keep that lovely lustrous sheen on the fabric ☺

  3. I'm amazed you still had any dreft recently! It disappeared from my area some years ago and I used to stock up with liquid dreft from France or Belgium but that has disappeared too. Glad you've found an alternative.

    Your embroidered leaves are great, they make your top look even more special. With my luck it would have been a huge bleach spot on the bust point!

    1. Thank you!! In fairness to the Dreft, my last box ran out a few years ago, and that was why I had to buy the Daz. But I'd used it to wash lots of things, including silk, and that hadn't happened before. I never liked it as much as Dreft though - sad times that it's no longer sold!!

  4. That's such a clever solution. It's very pretty with the embroidery. The blouse is a beautiful colour and I love those pleats. I swear by Woolite for washing all wool and silk fabrics. By the way I really like the Ness skirt too and have made three for me and one for my daughter. Hope you enjoy wearing your lovely blouse and skirt.

    1. Thank you Elaine! I'm pretty sure I bought Woolite liquid, but I haven't used it yet. I absolutely love the Ness, and can fully understand why you've made yourself three!

  5. Thank goodness you were able to save the blouse, it's a beautiful colour on you. I remember reading about all the drama on Instagram and wondered how you were going to be able to sort it. Just goes to show how harsh some of these washing powders are.

  6. Good rescue solution! It's great that you were able to save it - that green really suits you!

    1. Thanks Ruth! I love green, and it's not easy to find a nice green fabric.


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