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I’ve written only briefly about my “all-the-hard-things” goal for this year. It’s a nebulous goal, and the phrase “all the hard things” really sums it up more nicely than a whole bunch of bullet points or detailed goal lists ever could. Plus, an open ended goal leaves room for expansion and modification. I might make a bunch of quilting goals but then decide to take up, say, tattingΒ (hint: likely not what you think–click the link!)Β or wild-yeast sourdough bread making. With me, you sort of never know.

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One of my firm goals this year was to finally make the Mathilde Blouse, pattern by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons. I had seen this amazing version done up in Liberty lawn over at the Workroom’s blog (Liberty junkies: this blog is nearly as essential a follow as the Purl Bee) and I just knew–though I barely had Washi under my belt–that it had to be mine. I bought the pattern, I bought some beautiful Yuwa lawn because I’m not about to goof up $35/yd Liberty and…

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…I let the whole pile sit for a year, almost. Part of the issue was that the pattern, designed for A4 paper, printed super-weird and I had to hand-draw in many of the lines so that I could even cut it out. And that Yuwa lawn? Well. It came, and was supposed to be less-nice than Liberty, but it was the most beautiful fabric I’d laid my hands on to date, and I was terrified to ruin it. Plus there had been the Buttonhole Incident surrounding the Geranium Dresses I made for Lucy last year that made me love-hate-dread-fear my Janome auto-buttonhole feature. Let’s just recollect that Mathilde’s key feature is that lovely row of seven buttons closing the back of the blouse–romantic, dreamy, old-fashioned–but they had to be done RIGHT.

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What is there to say except, reader, I finally sewed it?

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This sew took me every bit of four whole sewing days, at 2-3 hours a day, to complete, but it was so worth it. I loved every minute, from french-seaming every part I possibly could, to carefully hand-finishing the cuffs (stitch in the ditch was too sloppy a finish for this beauty–hand sewing was definitely called for), to sewing on the bright, coral-pink buttons that Lucy insisted were the right choice for this blouse. (She was right.) Even setting a seam with my iron was a joy.

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The best part? It fulfilled my childhood Anne-with-an-e dream of ridiculously puffed sleeves on a garment. Mathilde Blouse: check.

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