Hello everyone! It’s Kate from @timetosew and I’m delighted to be a guest on the Sew Me Sunshine blog. This Fibre Mood Lola blouse is made with a cotton crepe by Atelier Brunette, which behaves like a single layer cotton gauze. I made it during a Fibre Mood sewalong, you can watch the full video tutorial replay on the @fibremood IGTV account, here are the links to part 1 and part 2.
Pattern and fabric choice
Lola is a semi-fitted blouse and it's not the fastest thing to make, as you can see from all the details here. The features/techniques used include gathering for the ruffle, bias binding to finish the armholes, elasticated back.
Fabric wise, I love a bit of texture or tiny print on an otherwise solid coloured fabric which is what caught my eye. Gauze is a lovely combination with this summer blouse, soft to wear and the ruffles drape softly as opposed to standing up away from the body. Add in the open back and tie detail and this is about as romantic as it gets!
Things to check before you make
If you’re after the perfect fit then it’s worth doing a toile and checking these things:
- Location of the bust dart is correct for you (everyone has different boobs so the ideal placement is different for each person). This is piece 2 on the pattern.
- Whether the curved bit of the open back suits the shape of your back or is going to gape. I’ve tied my back ties quite tightly here as well as slicing a little off the bottom of piece 3 to remove the gape.
- Whether the bottom of the back opening is too low and flashes your bra straps. On this version I raised it by 3cm (i.e. piece 5 is 3m longer).
- Neckline sits well on you. I lowered mine by 1cm (personal preference).
Working with cotton crepe
Gauze is loosely woven, so best to be gentle and minimise handling as it can stretch out. And also be gentle when you put it on and take it off! (don't ask me how I know... oops).
Harriet had helpfully put on the fabric listing that the fabric is sheer. As Lola doesn’t lend itself to being lined, I chose to double it up in certain places. Here’s what I did to ensure maximum coverage:
- The bib (piece 1) and side back (piece 3) sections of the blouse are doubled up anyway in the construction method.
- For the lower back (piece 5), I just cut the same piece again and treated as one.
- I made two fronts (piece 2) with the darts, then put them wrong sides together, so the front behaves more like a lining
Some notes on the ruffle
Also since everything was in two layers I decided to make the ruffle (piece 6) double layer as well. First I cut 2x piece 6. Then sewed the outer long curved edge right sides together, turned the pieces back and pressed down. You can see the finished result below. If it had been one layer of fabric I would have hemmed it with a rolled hem.
Finally, there is a lot of gathering to do on the ruffle. My best tip is to take the time to do 3 lines of stitching, and use a different colour thread on the bobbin (and when you pull them, pull the bobbin threads). You can see a short tutorial on my IG stories here, it will make your gathering life a lot easier, I promise!
Here's the blouse, thank you Harriet for sponsoring the sewalong and enabling me to make the ultimate summer top!