I’m really loving all things mustard this Autumn, so I just couldn’t resist when I spotted this lovely Liberty of London Tana Lawn at half price in my local Abakhan Fabrics store.
It’s a bit different to my usual Liberty purchases as I’m normally floral all the way! But it’s amazing, I love how retro it is.
My intention was to make a Tilly and the Buttons Megan dress, but then I checked the pattern library within my Wear Lemonade PDF membership, and the Simona Blouse immediately caught my eye, I also realised that I have far too many dresses and no where near enough tops, like seriously I’m still wearing vest tops in October. So that’s that, a new mustard blouse it is!
There were several things that caught my attention on this pattern, the loose 90’s style fit (I hate wearing tight fitting blouses), the baggy sleeves that gather at the Cuff, and most of all the adorable bow, you can’t go wrong with a bow.
Ok, so to start with the pattern said that I need 2.2m, and I had 2, but I said to myself “Oh it will be ok, I’m sure it will fit" however, I had to compromise on the bow tie a little by piecing a few cuts together, but I won’t tell if you don’t.
The Liberty Tana Lawn is just perfect for this type of blouse as it’s luxurious and drapey, but also cool and crisp and is so comfortable to wear. It can become expensive (when you get a little bit addicted to Liberty) but Abakhan keep selling it at half price or less, so it works out amazing value. I paid £12.50 per meter, so £25 for a Liberty Blouse, it’s not bad is it? Of course I tell the hubby it was from the remnant basket costing a fiver, but he doesn’t need to know any different.
I really enjoyed making this blouse, it has lots of detail which made it really interesting to sew, and I must admit that this is my first Collar Stand Collar, Yay to no longer being a Collar Stand virgin.
You may have heard me mention before that I am a member of the Wear Lemonade PDF pattern club, it’s great value at about £5 per month, and you get access to ALL their patterns from when you first subscribe (there is a min 3 month stay), it’s like pattern heaven!
You can also purchase paper patterns, here is the Simona.
I would say that this is a challenging beginner/intermediate level pattern, it’s not a quick half day job as there are quite a lot of steps, it includes the following techniques
- French seams
- Pleated back/yoke
- Gathered sleeves
- Collar on a Collar Stand
- button holes
I’ve found Sewing dresses is getting a little bit “samey” for me, so this was a refreshing change as it was a bit more of a challenge.
The only real change that I made was to use plastic Snaps rather than buttons, I did this for a few different reasons
- I had no buttons that matched so I would have had to spend extra cash buying them.
- I had an hour or so before I was due to go on a night out, and really wanted to wear this blouse, and Snaps are much quicker than buttons to install.
- As the fabric is quite loud, I thought that fancy buttons may get lost, so opted for the simple black gloss snap.
I think that the Snaps look fine, and I just love the sound they they make when you open them, it’s like popping bubble wrap :) also, there will be no buttons to get lost in the wash.
I am so pleased with how the Wear Lemonade Simona blouse turned out, there is nothing that I don’t like, I already have another 2 versions planned with more Liberty Tana that I have in my stash.
I may also make different colour bows to go with this blouse (a black and a grey) which will give it a totally different look too.
So far I have worn it with jeans and a big baggy cardi, but I’ve also found that it’s great under a pinafore dress, it’s such a versatile garment. By the way my lovely cardi was from Hand made by Holly Crow, this is the only item of clothing that I have bought in more than a year!
I love the collar and bow so much, you can wear it buttoned up for a more formal look, and un-buttoned if you want it to be more casual.
Some fellow sewists have been worried about joining the Wear Lemonade PDF pattern club due to the language mainly being in French, but most of the patterns do also have English instructions too (but not all).
Just before I started to sew my Simona blouse, Wear Lemonade responded to my email confirming that they were happy for me to use their patterns in my sew alongs, so I thought “what the heck, I’ll film a sew along, using a pattern I’ve not sewn before, including some techniques I’ve never sewn before, oh and requiring video editing skills that I don’t have, and with very little day light hours available due to the full time job” but I do like a challenge, and video editing was something new to learn.
I found filming the sew along really enjoyable, talking through step by step what I was doing really made me realise how much I’ve learnt over the past few years, and it made me plan every step rather than my normal “just get stuck in” approach.
But on the downside, filming did mean that it took ages to complete the blouse, mainly because I had to fit it in within daylight hours, where as I normally Sew late at night.
However, I did make the most of every inch of time, do you think that it’s normal to plan out what steps you can fit in whilst the kettle boils, then when the tea is brewing? Oh good, glad it’s not just me.
Wear Lemonade do also have some video tutorials on YouTube, but they are spoken in French, so I do hope that with my Sew Along you will jump in and give it a go as it really is lovely. You can access my Sew Along playlist below, its broken down into 13 short videos so that you can view either it all, or just the steps that you need help with.
I’d love to know what you think in the comments below, and be sure to check out the Sew Along, you will notice (I hope) that my videoing and editing improves as the Sew Along continues for example in the first couple the focus wasn’t so sharp on my camera, then I sussed out how to manually change the settings, oh and then I discovered how to speed up a clip in iMovie so you don’t have to watch me pinning something for 10 minutes!
Thanks for reading / watching and have a wonderful week :)
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