Project 16, part 1 – But Nothing’s Wrong?
Welcome back to Mukashi no Sewing! This week I started a new restoration project, with a twist – I didn’t have any idea this garment would need restoring when I bought it! 😀 I bought this blouse from Wunderwelt a while back because I needed a short-sleeved black blouse that would match my old-school lolita looks. (Old-school…is hard to define, lol…but I use it to refer to lolita garments/street snaps from 2006 or before.) It was listed as “Rank D: Fairly poor condition, major stains and/or damage,” but looking at it I literally couldn’t see a thing wrong with it. It’s really difficult to find older blouses with measurements that suit me, and this one even had the broad shoulders I need so I decided to snap it up.
When it arrived, I inspected it thoroughly, but still couldn’t see anything wrong. No stains, no tears, no fading…nothing. It was only when I put it on that I finally realized what the “major damage” was: it was missing its detachable sleeves!
If you’re not familiar with this concept, it’s a brilliant one! Many lolita blouses (and some dresses) will have short puff sleeves with buttons on the inside, and long sleeves with matching buttonholes. This allows you to change the dress to suit the weather and your style, giving you more bang for your buck!
You can see here on the Maxicimam blouse how the buttons secure the sleeve:
And here’s how my blouse would look with a long sleeve borrowed from the Maxicimam blouse:
My blouse is by the brand Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (BtSSB, for short). I actually haven’t been able to identify the exact release yet, but it’s similar to the Little Princess Blouse from 2004 except it has a Peter Pan collar instead of a sailor collar. Another candidate is the Rose Lace Blouse from 2001 – that one has a detachable jabot as well as sleeves, but the image on Lolibrary is too small for me to be certain. If you know what my blouse is, please do drop a comment and let me know! ❤
For a while, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted/needed to restore this blouse, as I did in fact purchase it as a short-sleeved blouse! But as time has gone on (and winter has gotten COLD), I’ve really wanted to be able to wear it in long-sleeved form. And my Aunt Sue just happened to have the perfect black cotton fabric that she was happy to donate to the cause!
My plan is to use the Maxicimam blouse’s sleeves as a pattern, although I’ll have to adapt it somewhat as the upper part of those sleeves is much wider than the Baby blouse allows for. I’ll definitely do a mockup in muslin first! Baby did several blouses with detachable princess sleeves in the era I’m looking at – The Frill Frill Blouse and Baby Doll Blouse from 2004, and the “elegantly” named Princess Sleeve Blouse with Back Shirring from 2003 all have this type of sleeves. I’m still not certain if I’m going to add ribbon and ladder lace to allow the sleeves to be gathered – it’s common in this type of blouse, but my blouse doesn’t have ribbon anywhere else on it so I’m worried it might look out of place. Plus, I never gather the sleeves on my Maxicimam blouse – I love the long bell-shaped cuffs!
The next step, then, is to make some mockups to determine fit and shape and be sure I can get enough length, then I can decide on the final trim and get to sewing! If you enjoyed reading this please subscribe below to get a notification each week about my latest post — I look forward to seeing you next week for more fashion, history, and crafts here on Mukashi no Sewing! ❤
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2 thoughts on “BtSSB Blouse Restoration: The Beginning”
This is a brave and fun endeavor. It will definitely get the brain whirring!
I’m honestly a little anxious about taking on the madness that is sleeves! 😱 But I’ve got to learn them at some point! 😂