Woooohoooo!!! My first ever successful blouse I’ve ever sewn (I had a hell of a time with a Simplicity pattern last year that never actually materialized into a finished project).
For those who have been following my journey, you likely know what I’m going to say – consider making a muslin, and don’t hesitate to grade your pattern up or down if you need to. Those have been my biggest lessons. Also, having muslin fabric that you’d never consider actually making into something wearable is very freeing.
So, here are the stats –
Pattern: Colette Jasmine – Version 1
Size: I cut a size 4 in the shoulders, and graded up to a size 6 in the waist and hips, with a size 10 length. I might go a little longer next time (I like my tops long whether I’m tucking them in or not), and I might consider grading up to a size 8 – however, the 6 really looks good on me, so I’ll likely chicken out and keep with the 6.
I cut the sleeve to a 4 as well, but for the arm band, I went up to a 14 for it to fit me properly. And it does fit quite nicely in the sleeves.
Alterations: The shape of the top center back was gaping like crazy on me, so I shaved off about an inch straight down that edge, which made it straight instead of slightly bowed out. I’m so glad I did! It fits great this way. The only thing I have to say is that if you do that, make sure you also shave off an equivalent amount from the back facing, otherwise your back collar and facing are going to be too big for the neck opening and your collar won’t lie flat (mine doesn’t, because I forgot to adjust the back facing).
I used a 100 % cotton batiste from Fabricana in Richmond for this project. I think it was about $9.98 or so a meter, so it only cost me about $20. I learned something else with this project. I wear cotton. I like wearing cotton. So I need to make sure I don’t get lured into the inexpensive polyester when I’m buying fabric. I just don’t like to wear it as much.
If you’re thinking about making this, I’d say to take your time and make sure you’ve got your fit right. That was by far the most challenging part for me, especially since I really don’t have a lot of experience sewing garments and tops in particular.
I opted to finish my straight edges with a french seam, but I admit, pretty much all my other edges are serged. It’s just quicker and I like the look. For the hem, I turned up a quarter inch and then folded that over again and sewed close to the folded edge, so I do have a visible hem, but it’s not really visible, because I have a hard time seeing the thread on this fabric at all.
I also machine stitched the cuff into place. But again, I’m happy with the look and seeing a little bit of thread on the ‘right’ side doesn’t bother me.
I’m going to make this blouse again…in fact I think I’m going to make it out of some blue and navy itty bitty polka dots in the same fabric as this one.
One last note: this pattern was my first Colette Patterns project (other than the Sorbetto blouse, where I made the wrong size and botched the fabric so it didn’t count), and it was super easy to follow. Some patterns make you feel like you’re left in the dark a little if you’re a beginner, but this one didn’t. It was really clear and provided all the information necessary to make the blouse. It makes me excited for the other Colette Patterns I have in my pattern stash!