Orion Nebula Polka Dot Pussybow Blouse

If I were a scientist, I would wear this blouse to all of the scientist cocktail parties that are clogging my imaginary scientist calendar. I would play it cool and see if anyone recognizes that the print derives from a Hubble Telescope image of the Orion Nebula. Too bad I’m not a scientist. Of course, I’ll wear it anyway and see if anyone notices.

I downloaded the image from the Nasa site, then manipulated it into polka dots and got it printed at Spoonflower. The print is for sale there, if you are interested. I picked the cotton voile, which is lovely, sheer and airy. It’s great for blousy blouse.

The idea for the print came about when I took the kids to see the Imax movie Hubble at the Liberty Science Center. A very small part of the movie showed pictures taken by the Hubble, which were amazing. The colors were just incredible. The rest of the movie focused on the telescope itself, which was rather dull. Anyway, I was so taken with the star photos that all I could think about was putting them on clothes. So here I am, with an Orion Nebula blouse.

Mostly, I used an OOP Vogue pattern. I changed the sleeve and the cuff. I originally intended the sash to be a bow around the neck, but decided that I like it better with a sash around the waist. If I wear it tucked in (a definite possibility), I may put the bow around my neck. But more likely, I will wear a coordinating scarf.

Detail of the Print


Cuff. I love extreme numbers of buttons.


Back View




  1. VTMartha
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Just lovely, Claudine!

  2. Posted April 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Fabulous! I love the hyperbolic buttons as well.

  3. Posted April 9, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That’s a lovely blouse.

    I earned a PhD at the Joint Institute of Laboratory Astrophysics. The women scientists are a very athletic and crafty lot. Many of us knit and sew our own clothes. We also wore vintage and thrifted garments while living on graduate student stipends. We are more likely to go hiking and picnicking than attend cocktail parties. But we do clean up nicely for parties thrown by faculty. 😉

    The imagery from Hubble are gorgeous. But how did you obtain the rights to sell fabric imprinted with Hubble imagery? The stock NASA imagery is freely available for non-commercial use.

    But free for non-commercial use doesn’t make it public domain. In fact, the ESA claims that Hubble imagery is NOT public domain in Europe.
    See these discussions

    By selling fabric with the imagery on Spoonflower, you and Spoonflower are both vulnerable to prosecution–unless you negotiated use agreements in advance with NASA and ESA. See the directions for obtaining permission here:

    Isn’t that a cumbersome process for a small business like yours?

    • Posted April 10, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your concern and I’m glad you brought this up. I am convinced that what I’m doing is legal. The first and last link you included contain the following paragraph:

      “If the NASA material is to be used for commercial purposes, especially including advertisements, it must not explicitly or implicitly convey NASA’s endorsement of commercial goods or services. If a NASA image includes an identifiable person, using the image for commercial purposes may infringe that person’s right of privacy or publicity, and permission should be obtained from the person.”

      This is the only part of the legalese that includes reference to commercial use. I am using the image for commercial purposes, but I do not convey NASA’s endorsement of my fabric, nor do I use an image of a person. I’m not trying to participate in a flame war, but really, I think this is OK.

    • Posted April 11, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink | Reply

      BMGM, in the future, you might want to consider being a bit less cavalier about using a public forum to accuse someone of breaking the law. It is hurtful to read this about oneself.

  4. Posted April 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That fabric is amazing.

  5. Layla
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    what an amazing idea and a super lovely blouse!

  6. Posted April 10, 2011 at 1:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    v. v. cool print!

  7. Tia Dia
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    I love the pictures which the Hubble takes, and always go “wow” with all the awe they deserve. Your fabric idea is brilliant, and the blouse is beautiful. You’re so creative, Claudine!

  8. Posted April 10, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous, feminine blouse, and unique fabric. Wow!

  9. Posted April 10, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    WOW! I don’t have words for how amazing the fabric and blouse is. Love it!!! What a great idea.

  10. Posted April 11, 2011 at 3:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a great idea for the fabric! Love it! And the blouse is so beautiful. Well done!

  11. Posted April 11, 2011 at 8:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    What an awesome idea! I love that it’s basically stars and doesn’t look like it at all.

  12. Posted April 11, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow! like Wow! Superbe blouse!

  13. Kathryn, aka fzxdoc
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Claudine, I love, love, love the blouse. Don’t take any guff from anyone about the print. It’s clever and beautiful and you seem to have everything well researched vis a vis selling the fabric before you offered it. Stand up for your rights. After all doesn’t the universe belong to all of us? And didn’t we taxpayers pay for the Hubble?

    On to sewing…is the Vogue pattern you used by any chance a Byron Lars design?

    The choice of voile for an outer space design is perfect because of its filmy lightness. Nebula, nebulous fabric, it’s so close.(smile)


    • Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Kathryn. I’m glad you like it. The pattern I used is 7317. It’s just a regular pattern, not a designer. Copyright is 2000.

  14. Sharon Killian
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Stunning! What OOP did you use? Thanks.

  15. Posted April 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful blouse and beautiful print!

  16. Posted April 13, 2011 at 1:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is a totally stunning blouse! And I endorse what you said back to BMGM, what a killjoy… the fabric is beautiful.
    I have to say though that I am a scientist for real, and we never ever had any cocktail parties. Not one. Pretty sad, huh? I would have loved to wear a witty number like this to a gathering of fellow nerds… I love that the sash on your blouse could be worn as a floppy bow too, my latest passion (and added to a long list of projects I have in mind)
    And thank you for your nice comment about my son’s backpack!

    • Posted April 13, 2011 at 9:24 am | Permalink | Reply

      No cocktail parties!?!? You are ruining my glamorous fantasies about my alternate life as a scientist!

  17. Posted April 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I LOVE this blouse! So chic and pretty!

  18. frifris
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is brilliant! I love it!

  19. Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    How did I miss commenting on this beautiful blouse! I love the backstory and the finished garment! Truly beautiful!

  20. Lashara
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The print and the blouse are gorgeous!

  21. Pamela Coughlin
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I really like this blouse! What a great pattern and a great job done!
    The fabric really sets it off nicely. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Posted May 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Absolutely Stunning fabric.

  23. Posted July 7, 2011 at 7:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    It’s absolutely fabulous! What a great idea for a print, and such nice colours.
    I’m in awe!

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