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Gemma’s Tudor Blouse

Gemma had the Mini SewHayleyJane Box this month and paired it with a plain navy cotton poplin to make the Stitch Witch Patterns Tudor Blouse.

I always love the challenge of a Mini Box, and think the strawberry print fabric in this month’s one is super cute! I decided to try a new-to-me pattern company after seeing this blouse come up on one of the sewing based hashtags I follow on Instagram. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for using a smaller amount of fabric, and loved the Bridgerton Vibes it has going on: if you are a fan of the show (or that style of clothing) then this is one for you!

The pattern is The Tudor Blouse by Stitch Witch Patterns, a blouse that is inspired by 16th century square necklines of the Tudor era fashion. The original design features a centre button front closure, but there is a wrap-style version which is the one I was more drawn to. It comes in a cropped length or slightly longer length, and also two bust cup sizes. The bold puff sleeves are a really interesting feature, and with it being designed for lightweight fabrics such as cotton or chambrays, it has the promise of being a quick sew!

I wanted to make the wrap front version (this is for the cropped length only), and already knew I would need to add another fabric as I wouldn’t have enough of the main SHJ fabric for all of it. I decided to use a matching navy cotton poplin to make the sleeves, which I thought would look really good, especially highlighting the print of the main bodice. It also was a good weight for making that puff sleeve poof, maximum drama!

I wish I could say making it was as plain sailing as promised but I did encounter a few hick-ups! I downloaded the pdf from the company website (the designer is based in Canada) and got slightly confused at all the different files and which ones I needed to print! I ended up printing the same files twice, which isn’t great. I got there in the end though and moved onto cutting out my pieces….. Except I didn’t find it quite clear enough which pieces I needed to make the wrap hack, and unfortunately cut front and back ties when I actually just needed 4 fronts! This was annoying as it meant I didn’t have enough of my main fabric to re-cut (the perils of using only 1m!) as the wrap pieces are quite long. Frustrations briefly aside, I used some more of the plain navy poplin to recut the pieces, but am still slightly bitter about it, as I feel like I have somehow ‘cheated’ in my mission to show off the SHJ fabric and wasted some of it. It also means that the back ties are visible with the navy as opposed to the strawberry print. Just goes to show that no matter how long or experienced a sewist you are, mistakes still happen. Sad face indeed!

Moving onto more positive notes – it is actually a fairly simple and quick make! I made a size 22 but there is some give due to it being a wrap style. The fronts are lined and tie around to the back (hence my annoyance at not being in the same fabric) and the back bodice is panelled. The puff sleeves have elastic at the shoulder and hem, and are easy to insert – I did make my shoulder elastic shorter than stated, as it needs to be tight enough to sit on your shoulders without falling, I think I made mine just under half what it recommended, so do give it a try on before sewing together!

Despite my initial hick-ups I absolutely love this top. I think it looks very great, and is really comfortable to wear – great for the spring/summer weather. I’ve paired it with high waist jeans and can see it being a great ‘dressed up’ vibe. I’ll be making a few more (especially now I know which pieces I need!) and will also try the button front version too – anyone for a spot of promenading?!