I’m not going to lie – when I first saw the new Colette Patterns release, I thought it was pretty boring. But then I thought about it some more, and I thought hey, boring is what I need right now. I don’t need another pretty dress, or a flouncy skirt. I need basic wardrobe staples and separates I can wear with jeans. I wasn’t sure if I’d like this particular blouse pattern, but I thought why not give it a go?
To be honest, this is the first bit of sewing I’ve done in the past two months, aside from hemming some hiking pants (and I only did that because I really had to – it’s hard being short!) We moved house at the end of March, and around the same time, our foster cat we adopted got a cancer diagnosis. He passed away in April, and I lost the motivation to do pretty much anything for a while. I loved that furry little dude so much!
This pattern is the first thing that ignited just the tiniest bit of a sewing desire in me after that, and I embraced it.
I decided to make version 3, with the flutter sleeves. I have large upper arms, and the freedom of a flutter sleeve is heaven to someone who always feels a bit hemmed in by most sleeves. I wanted loose, light and casual. I chose to make a size 12, grading out to a size 14 at the hem. I didn’t really need to grade out, but I’ve gained a little bit of weight lately (comfort eating) and I wanted to play it safe. This blouse is a really loose fit anyway – much looser, I think, than the finished measurements suggest. My waist measurement is around 34″ these days, and the finished measurement for a 12 at the waist is 33.25″. Yet I have plenty of room, as you can see!
I used a rayon challis (I think) from my stash – I bought it from Trademe in a bulk lot, so I can’t be 100% sure. But it’s lovely and soft and drapey, and it feels exactly like rayon challis I’ve worked with before. I made my own bias binding out of it, too, which was less fun than making it out of cotton, I’m not going to lie. The first lot I made went in the bin, after it slipped and slid around too much while I was trying to pull it through the bias tape maker. The second lot I made wider (1.5″ before folding) and that turned out much better.
The instructions were okay – I had a bit of trouble with the yoke burrito, which is odd, as I never had any problems with it whilst making Luke’s Negroni. I followed the instructions, but my blouse front pieces kept ending up the wrong away around when I pulled everything through. It’s probably my fault somehow, as I’m quite bad at visualising how these things work, but it was puzzling and quite frustrating. I ended up getting it done, but not the way the pattern instructed.
I also found the folding placket instructions a little bit confusing at first, mostly due to the lack of diagrams at this step – there’s just one picture, and a lot of folding! But I got my head around it after playing with it a bit, and it was all good. Perhaps I’m just a bit out of practice!
The insides turn out really nice if you follow the instructions – I pinked my side seams, but all other seams except the armholes are neatly enclosed. Excuse the wrinkles here, this was after a full day of wear. I was really comfortable in this blouse – it’s loose enough so there’s no worries at all about bust gaping, or tummy gaping if you eat too much cake. It’s soft against my skin, breezy and it covers my arms. The only things I’d change for next time are a forward shoulder adjustment – the shoulder seam sits a little back on my shoulders, which is a common problem for me, and raising the neckline a tad – I’d be a teeny bit self-conscious leaning too far over in this!
And a thank you to everyone on my Instagram who helped me choose the buttons – I went with the navy blue a lot of you suggested, and it’s just perfect ❤