A monthly box of sewing goodies, delivered to your door

Gemma’s Paulette Blouse

When I only have 1m of fabric to make something with, I always keep in mind ways I can use the fabric with something else when looking at patterns, to maximise the best use of it.

Shirt/blouse patterns work well for this, because they tend to have different panels and pieces that are great for mixing and matching either fabrics or prints, and a really fun way to experiment with colour blocking. I definitely had this in mind when planning this month’s make – I love the pastel pink of the double gauze, and wanted to add a ‘little something’ to really elevate it, and create something that not only showed off the beautiful texture but created a stunning piece!

I browsed through quite a few patterns before finding ‘The One’ – the Paulette Blouse by Fibre Mood. Now I must admit I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this pattern company. I love the design elements that a lot of their patterns have, as they are really good for taking a basic shape and adding interesting features (which this pattern certainly does!) However, as much as I love their magazines/lookbooks, it really bothers me that they don’t add the seam allowances to the patterns! Coupled with the very busy/hard to read pattern layouts in the magazines, I just find it a nightmare to trace off, and tend to cry silently in the corner at the injustice of it all. However, if you purchase the pattern as a pdf through The Fold Line, they have the seam allowances added, so hallelujah! 

The Paulette Blouse is perfect for what I had in mind. A fitted shirt, but elevated by princess seams that have a big ruffle that extends from the front over the shoulders and across the back! I planned to use the double gauze for the main body of the blouse, and a contrasting one for the ruffle, to really highlight the feature.

I have to admit a little happy accident happened whilst planning: whilst deciding on which colour to contrast with, I eventually settled on this darker pink shade (also in double gauze, to keep the textures the same) which I thought would really stand out against the pastel pink. When picking buttons I realised that the ones from last month’s box matched perfectly!! It had almost the same shade of dark pink, and it was like it was meant to be!

As I only had 1m of main fabric, I decided to leave the sleeves off the shirt, which I think will also make it a great top for warmer temperatures as double gauze is actually quite lightweight. You do need to work carefully with this fabric, as it is a little temperamental – I found that it can stretch a bit when working with it, which is great when you need to ease in certain parts, but not so great when you realise your collar doesn’t match up as one piece has over stretched! But it does go through the machine well, and is great for creating so many different types of garments.

Another point with Fibre Mood patterns is that the instructions aren’t as easy to follow as I am used to with other patterns, and I did have to concentrate to make sure I attached the right pieces in the right places (I find using washi tape to stick to your front sides very helpful when the fabric is basically the same!) However once the ruffle is attached it comes together like magic, and looks amazing!

I really feel this make was a big win – not only did all the elements come together to create a stunning blouse as I hoped, it showed just how creative you can get with smaller amounts. I love this blouse and it will definitely be getting a lot of wear!