Harriet's Colette Aster Blouse

One of the reasons that I love getting the Sew Hayley Jane boxes is that every now and then, I get a fabric that I might not choose for myself and so pushes me slightly out of my comfort zone.

I'm one of these sewists that isn't really very sophisticated in my selection of prints, and I have quite a lot of polka dots, stripes, and clashing colours in my wardrobe; so this month's beautifully elegant teal floral print is a fabric that I would usually walk past if I saw it in a fabric shop – not because I don't like it, but more so that I don't really feel grown up enough to pull it off. The feel of the viscose that arrived in this month's box is what I'd definitely describe as 'heavenly'; it drapes really well and has a lovely weight to it – Hayley definitely has a knack for choosing her fabrics!

Despite it not being a fabric that I'd usually gravitate towards, I was adamant that I'd make something for myself (for starters, I'd used the fabric last month to make something for mum so this one was coming to me!) and that it would be something that wouldn't end up languishing at the back of my wardrobe. The obvious choice in my mind was a midi length dress; something that could be worn to weddings and fancy sort of parties – but I don't go to places that would warrant wearing a dress like that all too often and I already have a solid number of pretty dresses, which led me onto the plan of making a blouse.

My everyday sort of uniform is a jersey top tucked into jeans, but one of my New Year's Resolutions for 2018 was to shake that up a bit so that I can get as much wear out of my handmade wardrobe as possible, seeing as I tend to default to separates rather than a dress, a natural progression seemed to be a button-down top and jeans. So that's what I decided to make this month!

Colette Patterns' Aster Blouse was exactly the sort of thing that I was looking for, a button-up shirt that can be dressed up or down, depending on the fabric you use and what you wear it with. This viscose worked wonderfully with the drape of the shirt, lending itself to the box pleat at the back and giving movement to the blouse as a whole – and the best part is that, while the viscose holds pleats well and is very receptive to pressing, it doesn't crease at all! What could be more perfect for a blouse, right?

I really loved the of ribbon that came in the Classic box this month, and wanted to incorporate it into the shirt somehow. I was thinking of using it around the sleeve instead of using the main fabric for the cuff, or on the inside of the blouse as part of the hem. In the end, I decided that to have the ribbon visible would detract from the details of the fabric and that it would be too bulky on the inside of the hem. I'm planning on using it alongside one of my plain fabrics in the future instead, such as along the top of patch pockets or as a cuff on sleeves or looser trousers.

I've ended up absolutely loving this fabric, and keep on pointing out the strawberries in the design to anyone that'll listen because they're my favourite part of the print! I think that I made the right choice pattern-wise, and despite cutting out a size a little too large, I'm going to be getting a lot of wear out of it! I plan on getting a lace-top vest in a complimentary colour to wear underneath so that the neckline doesn't come quite so low, and mum's persuaded me to let me share it with her, because it fits her perfectly!

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