Like I said in my July to-sew list, I’m really excited about this month’s Project #SewMyStyle garment.  The Valley Blouse looks super cute, and was actually something I was interested in sewing before this whole shindig began!  So I’m happy that this one finally came around.  Really, I love Sarah’s example photos, with that cute white swiss dot fabric.  I’d recreate that in a heartbeat!  But that’s not as fun as doing my own thing — and I want to give you some ideas for doing just that today.  Presenting: six ways to make the Valley Blouse your own!

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Six Ways to Personalize a Valley Blouse

Fabric Choices

Floral

buy: green fabric // pink fabric

If you’re in the Northern hemisphere and in the midst of summer, this is a great choice for you!  Maybe your office is a little chilly, and you’re ready for long sleeves — bring the outdoors inside with a gorgeous garden print!  Splurge on some Liberty, or save with another beautiful floral print.

Stripes

buy: pink stripes // blue stripes // black stripes

The Valley Blouse is a super fun way to play with stripes or directional prints.  Because there’s a yoke and sleeves, you could have a great time experimenting with layout and direction.  I would do the body in vertical stripes, and the yoke in horizontal or bias stripes.  The sleeves would look really cool in a bias stripe as well!  Remember to order extra fabric if you’re working with stripes.  Some people (not me…) like to match them, and if you’re having fun with the layout of the pieces that often takes extra room.

Plaid

buy: green plaid // blue gingham // red plaid

I’m thinking about you, Southern hemisphere friends!  A nice cozy flannel plaid would be a super cute choice for a Valley Blouse.  Sarah recommends lightweight fabrics, and I can’t tell from the pattern preview online how much ease there is in the pattern.  Consider sizing up if you think a heavier fabric would make the blouse too tight for you.

Design Elements

Tie Front

I’m really loving the tie front trend, lately!  The Valley Blouse should be easy to adjust for this feature — it has buttons, but you can attach ties to the front.  I also have a pin on my board where there are grommets at the front, and a ribbon tie between.  If you’re more fashion-forward than I, this would be so fun!  You could also easily adjust the buttonholes to do a lace up front.

Bell sleeves

Who doesn’t love a good bell sleeve?  The Valley Blouse’s bishop sleeves are gorgeous and classic, but bell sleeves would also be sooooo cute.  You could start them at the elbow and make them 3/4 length for sure.  But why not go big or go home and make them giant bell sleeves all the way to your wrist?!  Whatever length you decide, Mimi G has a great tutorial on how to adjust a pattern for bell sleeves.  Just be sure to adjust the Valley sleeve to be the width you want where the bell would begin first.

Embroidery

If y’all are surprised at this point by me including embroidery on a post, read the entire blog again!  But seriously — I love a little embroidery, and the small yoke of the Valley Blouse is a great beginner option.  You can read about embroidery tools here, and techniques here, and the second link includes how I transferred a design of my own to a yoked dress.  I won’t be releasing a pattern to go with this top, but if you’re looking for something, you may be able to adapt Allie’s free pattern!

I love all these options — if I had the time I’d be making tons of Valley shirts this month!  But if you’re not seeing anything here that appeals to you, check out my Pinterest board for the Valley Blouse.  All of the photos in this post can be found there, and there’s even more inspiration.  And if you do find something from this list that you end up making, I want to see it!  Tag me on Instagram with #maddiemadethis or @maddiemadethis, or send it to me at hello @ maddiemadethis.com.  You could get reposted on Instagram or featured in my fortnightly newsletter.  PS — this weekend happens to be newsletter weekend, so sign up below if you’re not already on the list!