I have wanted to sew the Valley Blouse by Cali Faye since the pattern was first released. It is a very close cousin to the Voila Blouse also by Cali Faye (and one of the first patterns I sewed) with a slightly curved hem, long sleeves instead of short and a split front bodice joined with a button. I bought navy double gauze fabric last summer from Imagine Gnats and after the new year, this was one of the first projects I started. When I made a couple of versions of the Voila Blouse, I cut out several inches from the blouse width based on Erin’s very excellent recommendation. It is a very blousy blouse and I didn’t need all that volume. I didn’t make a muslin for my Valley Blouse. I probably should have but I decided to just plunge in and I cut between the Medium and Large lines. Then I took about 2 inches out of the front and back panels to reduce the overall volume and lengthened it by about 2 inches. I only had 2 yards of the navy double gauze that I decided to use for the pattern so I cut the sleeves a bit shorter than I normally would have and I used scraps of cotton lawn for the hem facing and to line the bodice.
The sleeves are somewhere between a 3/4 length and full length and I am actually happy with the length despite the fact that they are shorter than as drafted. In retrospect, I would use the double gauze to line the bodice because I think the lawn and double gauze don’t shrink at the same rate and the lawn lining ended up making the bodice a bit tighter than I would have liked but I had to make do with 2 yards. I also have gained a bit of weight and gone up a size or so since I sewed the Voila and a Large is probably a better fit for me at this point. In any event, I ended up giving myself a bit more width across the bodice by sewing the two pieces together and shifting the button. It doesn’t actually line up with the button hole now but I don’t think it is noticeable. When I make this pattern again, and I probably will because I really like wearing it-it is really comfortable-I will probably size up and lose the keyhole which did nothing for me-I actually sewed it together as well because the gaping wasn’t really flattering for me. This was a situation where half way through sewing this project, I almost abandoned it. The neckline felt too low, the key hole gaped, it was tight across the bodice. But then I came back to it several weeks later and made these little adjustments and now I really like it. Some pictures of my process below, mostly so I remember what I did. I find it really helps me if I snap a picture using my phone when I tweak a pattern. I have much more luck when I go to recreate the tweaks at a later date!