Nina Lee Bloomsbury Blouse in Indigo Fabric by Zoe

Hand dyed fabric can easily be feared, there are different washing instructions, the print is always going to fade no matter what you do and if you wear/store the garment with any lighter colours it will transfer. All these things can easily put you off buying a hand dyed print but I have don't some testing and actually hand dyed fabric is much easier to care for than you might think.

Using the Daisy Indigo fabric by Merchant and Mills I have made the Bloomsbury Blouse by Nina Lee London. This was my second time making this blouse and I must say I'm super proud of this top! For this version, I kept the yoke frill big but omitted the neck and sleeve ruffles. I also put a seam in the back rather than a button back because I personally find it uncomfortable. I was worried after I cut it out that the lack of pattern matching would be super noticeable but luckily it's not! Next time I think I will make the sleeves full length rather than cropped but apart from that it is perfect!

Before I started sewing I had to prewash the fabric and it is recommended you do this 30 to 40 degrees Celsius with a handful of table salt. Usually, I wash my fabrics with similar coloured garments but this time I washed it all by itself with a colour catcher for extra security.  Then to test out how well the dye is going to last I did a little experiment. I cut three swatches from the fabric, I kept one as a control (I didn't get A's and B's in science for nothing), washed one in the machine with a regular detergent at 30 degrees 5 times and hand washed the last sample with a delicate detergent. The first one hasn't been washed and the second one I washed in the machine and you can see the difference but it's not as dramatic as I thought it would be. The last one is hand washed and this has had next to no fading! I recommend hand washing your garment with this fabric but if you occasionally chuck it in the machine it will be fine.

Once my fabric was washed dried I got cutting, with my little helper. I am the second smallest size and I got 1.5 meters which was just enough. I ended up adding a seam to the collar facing but apart from that I squeezed it all out if you're not making the back alteration I did or are any bigger than an 8 definitely get 2 meters.

Sewing this garment was an absolute dream! Sewing, pressing and cutting this fabric is like a hot knife through butter. The only issue I had was when pressing the dyes did come out on my ironing board but this was a few months back and my ironing board is losing its blue glow now, definitely get something to protect your ironing board if you have a white one like me! I haven't had any transfer to my other clothes with this top but I am making sure to pair it with similar colours or darker, I don't really wear pale colours anyway so this isn't a problem at all.

I also made these pompom earrings which happen to go beautifully with the fabric. This top is both fun and smart and I see many more in my feature. 


  • Love it Zoe. I’ve seen quite a few people make this and yours is the best one I’ve seen. The ruffle is really well handled and thanks for some great tips on the fabric. x

  • I love this top so much! I’d been wary of trying the hand dyed fabrics but am very tempted to treat myself now!

  • Love the colouring on this fabric. Zoe looks fantastic as always.


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