A monthly box of sewing goodies, delivered to your door

Esther’s Bakerloo Blouse

Esther received August’s Classic box and used her red gingham cotton to make the Nina Lee Bakerloo Blouse

After being under the weather for some time, it was lovely to receive this month’s box. Over lockdown, I started taking my fitness seriously and I lost a lot of weight, as such, none of the garments in my current wardrobe fit. I am also working on my style with my new shape so I’ve not been eager to sew clothes, since I am not sure if it would go with my new shape. I never realised how much weight loss would affect my sewing.  

When I received this fabric, I thought long and hard about what to make and early on, I knew I wanted to make a blouse but I couldn’t decide what pattern. I really wanted to make a tried and true pattern but with my body change, I don’t have any TNTs. The thought of picking a new pattern, tracing it, making a toile, diagnosing the fit issues, adjusting and remaking was just too much for me. Thinking about all of these, paralysed me. 

After thinking about it with no pattern idea in sight, I decided to prewash and press the fabric to see if inspiration will strike. I decided to enlist the help of Pinterest for inspiration and Pinterest did not disappoint. I was instantly attracted to a button down shirt with an oversized ruffle trim collar. I started to research patterns that would fit my specification. The Fibremood Honey ticked most of the boxes, except I preferred a bigger collar. 

However, the more I considered it, the more I thought this type of blouse might require a little bit more effort than I was ready for. As such, I decided to meet in the middle and make a pattern that I was already familiar with, has the beloved oversized collar but does not have me hoping my buttonholes work out. Enter the Bakerloo blouse by Nina Lee. I have made the Bakerloo blouse before so I was familiar with the instructions, which I knew would make life easier. 

I loved how easy the fabric was to press, cut and sew. It made getting back into sewing easier as I didn’t have to fiddle with the fabric. I made the Bakerloo previously in the D cup range which starts at a size 16, I am now out of that size range so I had to buy a new pattern in the B cup range. There is now only 2 inches between my upper and full bust so I made a size 12 and opted not to do a full bust adjustment. In cutting this pattern out, I tried to pattern match the side seams but I was not strict on it. I figured it won’t really bother me if the sides don’t match.  The most time consuming part of this blouse, in my opinion, is the work that goes into the frill and I was trying to have a simple sewing experience, I decided to leave it out. 

I absolutely enjoyed making this blouse. It was a quick and satisfying make. The top has a relaxed shape so it’s mostly straight seams. I absolutely love how the blouse has simple lines with a statement collar. With eliminating the collar frill, I was able to do most of the steps in one evening and finish the next day. I am definitely interested in making more Bakerloo blouses.