Before Christmas Makerist kindly asked me if I would like to try one of the patterns from the designers they were featuring in a post Christmas $2 sale. Makerist have an amazing selection of craft patterns including sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery, you can visit their website and view their vast collection here.
Flicking through all of the lovely sewing patterns on their website the Florence Blouse caught my eye. I loved the relaxed style of the blouse and the shirring detail at the cuff. I thought this would be a make for my wardrobe that could be dressed up or down so I knew I would get a lot of wear out of it. The pictures below show the designer’s photo and the line drawing.
I downloaded the PDF pattern and got to work printing and sticking together. The pattern construction was very straightforward and the instructions on how to tile the pieces together were very clear. This pattern actually only has three pieces to it so it’s a very simple construction and was quick to cut out.
I’d had this beautiful red floral viscose fabric from Minerva in my stash for a little while and thought it would make a very pretty version of the blouse so I decided to use that. I’ve linked the fabric here if you’d like to see it for yourself. It also had quite a festive feel being red – perfect for Christmas time.
The sleeves are a raglan style which is a lovely relaxed look and there is a dart at the top of the sleeve which gives a pretty little bit of interest and shaping.
What I love about this pattern is that it comes in the form of an E Book giving lots of detailed help and tips along the way. There’s also a YouTube video to go alongside the pattern instructions with timings so you can either watch along while you sew or, if you find yourself stuck at any point, you can refer to the video for help at the relevant point.
I’m still quite new to shirring so when it came to the cuffs I did have a practice using a scrap of the fabric I was using for the blouse. So far in my shirring journey I’ve found it all a bit trial and error to find what works and it seems the tension may be different for every garment you make. This time I hand wound my bobbin without stretching the elastic at all and used a stitch length of four to get the desired effect. I would recommend winding a couple of bobbins before you start because the elastic does seem to run out very quickly.
There is a very helpful section of the video on shirring so if you are new to this technique it would be really helpful to watch this first.
The pattern calls for you to sew the underarm seam of the sleeve and then sew the shirring in the round but I chose to do my shirring before sewing the seam so that I could sew my rows straight and enclose all of those elastic ends when sewing my seam. This worked well but next time I make the blouse I will try sewing in the round.
The front of the blouse is sewn together at the centre giving that lovely V point and the neckline is finished with bias binding. You can choose to use either shop bought bias binding or make your own. I made my own as I didn’t have any shop bought in the right colour and I think it gives a better finish to use the same fabric as that of the pattern anyway.
I absolutely love my finished blouse. It’s so comfortable and easy to wear due to the oversized nature of the pattern and the shirring gives a very pretty addition to the cuffs.
I know I’ll be making more of this pattern because it’s a very ‘me’ style. Perfect for the day with a pair of jeans or dressed up for an evening out with heels or a skirt.
If you love the look of this pattern too you can get your own copy using the link here. I really hope you like my blouse and found my review of the pattern helpful! Have you tried shirring? How did you find it?
Until next time, happy sewing!
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