Today you’re being treated to an earlier post than usual because it’s the day that Issue 13 of the Fibremood magazine becomes available and I got to sew up one of the new patterns ahead of time. This is the Fibremood Paulette blouse and I was given the pattern to make and review and to show you lovely lot, of course 🙂
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You know, I can’t remember the last time I made an actual button-up blouse. I used to wear them often in my 20s and for some reason, I stopped liking them in favour of knits. I still don’t like shirt type collars but I like this collar because it’s just a collar stand (or mandarin collar as I used to call them).
Anyway, when it was time to decide if I wanted to make anything from this edition of the magazine I found myself drawn to this blouse. I’ll be honest with you, I had my doubts about whether I would like the ruffle but the fact that I had some lovely soft and drapey silk in my stash (some Clothspot fabric that was a Christmas gift) which would be perfect for it, so I decided to go for it.
The blouse has two princess seams at the front which go over the shoulder and carry on at the upper back in a curved yoke. The ruffle follows the yoke seam at the back and this was the only part that I wasn’t keen on as I dislike ruffley yokes and also I felt it might emphasise my rounded shoulders. So the first order of business was to keep the curved yoke seam but to cut the ruffle shorter and stop it just by the top of the shoulder. Once I was set on that plan I got to work…
I cut a straight size 38 and it was pretty much perfect. All I did was to bring the shoulder seam towards the front for my forward shoulder adjustment and to increase a bit of bust depth/length. To do this I slashed the side front and opened it by about a half-inch (1.5cm) and then added the same amount on the front panel, by slashing across level with the bust.
In my previous two Fibremood makes (here and here), I wished there had been a bit more shaping in the form of bust darts (which I added myself) but I’m actually pretty impressed with the drafting for this blouse. It really is a nice shape. I came to the conclusion a while back that I don’t like unfitted blouses without shape…just too much volume if I ever want to tuck, but I really love the shape of the Paulette. Those front princess seams are just lovely so I can say in all honesty that this pattern is worth getting hold of if you like a fitted silhouette.
So those ruffles…all I did for the shoulder area was to cut off some length and curve the end of the ruffle round at the end so that it just disappears into the back yoke seam just past the centre of the sleeve head. Now the instructions have you do a narrow hem along the ruffle edge but I thought a rolled hem done on my overlocker/serger would be a lovely way to finish the edges. I wrote a rolled hem tutorial here if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself.
The fiddly-est bits of this make? Without a doubt those rounded ends of the collar and covering the buttons…there was much muttering of naughty words under my breath. I also had to make sure I had a brand spanking new Schmetz Microtex size 60 needle in my sewing machine because the fabric was a challenge to sew. A thicker needle would pull threads and I had to be careful with pinning too. Apart from just being mindful of those things it was an enjoyable and relatively quick make (a refreshing change after my recent tailoring marathon!).
And those doubts I had about the style? Well, I have to say I’m really taken with the style and it doesn’t feel overly sweet. I think the collar and button closure do a lovely job of moderating the sweet ruffles. I love that it’s fitted too. I’m also thinking this would be great with piping added down those front seams and the sleeves hacked into a puffed bell sleeve shape with deeper cuffs…what say you? Ooh and maybe buttons and loops instead of buttonholes…yes!
On that note, I’ll love you and leave you and I’ll get back to my Friday schedule next week. See you then!
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Thanks for sharing. I just received my copy of the magazine and this blouse was one of the patterns I instantly liked. I love a good ruffle myself but I agree with you 💯 it’s a bit too much in the back. I will try it and see how it looks. Wonderful workmanship as always!
Thank you so much, Beatrice! Regarding that back yoke…The seams line up nicely so if you just shorten that ruffle it should work well. Just shoot me an email if you get stuck xx
Lovely construction, Diane, and it looks beautiful on you! Your design choice to shorten the ruffle and reduce the Paulette’s over-the-top femininity was very smart. I do like the simpler collar stand and wearing this untucked to balance the ruffles.
Any other alterations, other than adding bust length?
I purchased my *FIRST* ruffled blouse a year ago: it looked great on the (American) Chico’s website: fun to pair with a faux leather jacket, coat or leggings, for example! But I have to push myself to be more comfortable with even a more tailored (less wide) ruffle, as I have never been comfortable with frilly detail.
Like you, I tend to always do knit tops (so comfortable), but a (fitted) blouse in a woven fabric definitely ups the elegance!
Thank you, Joan! Nope, no more alterations other than bust length and moving the shoulder seam forwards. The body length and sleeve length were spot-on for me.
This is wonderful, in style, color for you and construction! I too am not a frilly garment fan, but do like ruffles like these. This might go on my list. Thanks!
Thanks, Heather! I think I like that the fabric is quite floppy so the ruffles drape nicely and it’s why I like them on this blouse.
The colour of this blouse took my breath away in your close up picture – this is YOUR colour for sure and someone who knows you well and colour did an amazing job at gifting you the perfect item 🙂 luxe fabric in your colour and enough to make a lovely blouse with it. Love your suggestions for change if you decide to make it again and I agree with the others that your rendition of the ruffle in working a bit to downplay it, was brilliant. Beautiful! I’ve been eyeing ruffles for a while a warily, not convinced it’s an embellishment I should consider but on you in this blouse I’m almost tempted 🙂 Thankyou again for another great inspiration video.
Thank you, Kathleen! It really is a fab colour, isn’t it? I have the lovely Alice from Clothspot to thank for this lovely Christmas gift 🙂
If you’re feeling tempted by a ruffle, how about just one in a smaller area on a top for starters?
Might you be kind enough to give us some tips on how you achieve such neat buttonholes?
Oh definitely! Perhaps a future blog post?
You are very talented and do amazing work! This looks lovely on you…not fussy at all. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Ohhh, that’s so lovely of you to say, Claire. Thank you!
So *that’s* what you were up to with the silk! I knew you’d gone all ‘Secret Squirrel’ with it 😆 – and what a delight! I share your uncertainty about ruffles but this is so elegant – not overly-ruffled at all and I think the simplicity of the collar helps dial down the fussiness. Also I’m a sucker for a covered button. I particularly like the balance of the sleeves into the slightly deep cuffs – wonderful – I think it’s a really well-considered pattern design. The colour looks as stunning on you as I suspected it would – and congratulations on wrangling such a tricky fabric into a beautiful finish! 👏
Hehe, yes I was squirrelling away behind the scenes working on this blouse 🙂 And thank you!
It sounds like you and I sing from the same hymn sheet with our feelings on ruffles. For me, they have to be tempered in some way. Oh and those buttons…what a faff! I need one of those covering machine thingeys!