Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Completed: Summer Ruffle Blouse

The weather here is finally starting to sunny up, so I've started thinking about warm-weather sewing. I picked up a bunch of lightweight fabrics for such a thing and one was this lovely rayon with a yellow floral pattern on a white background. It's so drapey and smooth and a dream to wear--but a nightmare to sew!

I wanted to do something a bit different than my go-to standard Granville pattern for this fabric, and I was intrigued by some ruffle shirt patterns I've seen around, like the Suzon by République du Chiffon and Simplicity 4122. However, both these patterns seem to be a boxier cut than I like to wear, so I thought I'd try to replicate the ruffle feature and hack it onto my Granville base, which fits me well in the bodice.

It wasn't too hard to draft a semi-circular front and back yoke to fit, but the rounded neckline was a bit more of a challenge. I ended up with a horseshoe-shaped pattern piece which was super shifty to sew, so even though as drafted it's supposed to be a 1-inch width all the way around, the final collar ranges from 3/4 inch to 1.5 inches at different points along. Oops. I think it still looks fine, but if I make another one of these I will try starching my fabric before sewing to see if that helps with the shiftiness! The neckline bit is kind of like a curved mandarin collar, or just a collar stand. I used this tutorial to help me sew it up properly.

This was my first time sewing French seams, and I think the effect is really good with the lightweight rayon. They do take some time to do--trimming all my seam allowances down to 1/8 inch was terrifying with such a fray-happy fabric! But it worked out in the end. I did manage to sew one sleeve the wrong way round and have to unpick it, thanks to my ingrained impulse to sew with right sides together. That's a hard habit to break.

These photos were taken on a family hike through Ball's Falls Conservation Area in Ontario, which has got to be the most hilariously-named conservation area. Let me know if you can think of another contender.

Ruffle Shirt

It wasn't really that warm out, but it was sunny, so I froze a little to get some pics for the blog. Unfortunately, a lot of them are pretty blown out--the camera used wasn't the best and it was so darn bright, and the shirt is white. Altogether not the best mix for stellar photography.

Here you can see how the ruffle goes over the shoulder to connect to the back yoke. The ruffle pattern piece ended up being 110 inches long (twice the width of my fabric) and scrunched into a 44-inch length to fit around my two curved yokes. Longer than I expected it would be!

I try to avoid selfies on this blog, but with this camera they seem to have better detail than the ones taken from further back. Here you can see the ruffle a bit better, and the floral pattern of the rayon.

I didn't want to go through the trouble of making sleeve plackets and cuffs with this fabric, so I played it safe and drafted little short sleeves for this blouse, and just double turned up the hem. It kind of flares out at the sleeve hem, though, so I might go back and finish the sleeves differently.

There are the lower falls in the background! They are much bigger in the spring when all the winter ice melts. We came here last fall and there was barely a trickle!

One final selfie for fun :)


  1. Another excellent project, Hilary! Looks perfect from here!

    1. Thank you very much! I'm quite pleased with the result. The fabric is a winner!