Dressmaking

Aisling blouse

My pledge for Me Made May in 2021 is to identify some of the gaps in my wardrobe. It’s not too difficult to tell…..hint, it’s separates!

As much as I love making dresses they’re just not practical for the Dutch rain. Now that outdoor hospitality can open 12-6, we are trying to explore our new city a little more for the first time in 7 months and unfortunately picnic dresses just won’t cut it, I need tops.

The Aisling blouse by Jennifer Lauren Handmade

I’ve started with this Aisling blouse which came free with last month’s Simply Sewing magazine. I am a digital subscriber to the magazine via the Readly app and therefore could download the templates from the website (fancy a trial month? Here’s my referral link). However I really wanted the Spring Dress by Nina Lee that was also included so asked my mum to send over a copy too!

I liked the Aisling blouse but it didn’t immediately grab my attention until I saw this absolute dreamboat version by Hey Sew Georgie:

Isn’t it stunning! This really inspired me to reconsider the top so I cut and made it in a couple of days.

Jennifer Lauren Handmade is a new-to-me pattern and something I absolutely LOVE is that she caters to a wide range of cup sizes. So if you are an A, C or D cup there is no need to do an adjustment as you can print these already included in the pattern! She is also actively adding to her Curve collection to be more size inclusive and I just really like the direction she is headed.

I am a dressmaker’s A cup generally but in Jennifer’s sizing am a B cup so cut the 14 in that based on my sizing.

This was a pretty straightforward sew – with just the one bust dart and no closure there weren’t too many difficult steps (is sewing separates always like this??).

I added a cotton black trim to my collar to help it stand out. My top tip for this is to baste a guide line within the seam allowance to ensure you are placing your trim evenly. I stitched 0.5cm within the SA, then lined up the edge of my trim with that and it turned out great.

This did SLIGHTLY confuse me when it came to lining up the collar with the neckline as of course the pattern doesn’t account for a trim. The result is that my corners are a little dodgy but hey, who cares. It still looks great.

I need to take a moment to talk about this fabric. A lovely lady named Marlies in Amsterdam reached out to me to say she was moving and….did I want to help her destash by taking some fabric? The answer was of course YES and as an added bonus I got to meet another lovely sewist in Amsterdam. As usual my instagram friends seem to know me extremely well so she had already picked out this floral georgette for me which I loved using in this make. I have been lucky to make some really wonderful friends in the Netherlands through sewing and feel so grateful to them. Thank you, Marlies!

Overall I am really happy with this make. I would perhaps size down to a 12 for the next one as the top does feel a smidge too big for me but it’s not super noticeable. It feels like a great step towards a more day-to-day wearable wardrobe and I love it!

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