Melissa of Fehr Trade sent me a care package that included Love Sewing magazine. The issue I received had this Keyhole Blouse pattern so here’s my review using fabric provided by White Tree Fabrics UK.
The keyhole design feature of this blouse is very Danyrs (Game of Thrones) with a bit more coverage without the dragons and more contemporary. I know. I watch too much TV. Of course I chose a metallic pleat plain fabric for this project.
The 3 sleeve lengths makes this pattern adaptable to any season and look soft enough to wear for any occasion. I chose to make the 3/4 sleeves.
So…I found some info about sewing prepleated fabric reference on a Threads forum. Hence I chose to use fold over elastic in a similar for the neckline as an easy finish. I didn’t want to distort the fabric as I sewed it.
When I tested this fabric on the overlocker, the needle broke so I decided to french seam this fabric.
I used a microtex needle size 60 for this fabric and it sewed really well.
I chose View B because the fabric is pre-crinkled and for my height, that provides plenty of detailing. View B is also the quickest version to make so if you’re time-poor, choose view B.
Notions – matching thread is all you need #simple.
I checked the measurements on the pattern and mocked up a 10-12-12 shape width and took 3cm from the length.
I folded this length out at the hips so the hem remained curved.
I moved the shoulders forward by 2cm and that was all the adjustments I made #simple.
Construction – this blouse is fast to sew.
- Snip the seam allowance of the keyhole neckline, almost to the fold line marking, but stop 3mm short. Fold the edges of the keyhole under twice and sew. Press and top-stitch it in place.
At this point, I did a row of stay stitching along the neckline but I used a long stitch in case I needed to slightly gather the crinkles back into place.
- On the back bodice neckline, fold the pleat marking inwards to meet the centre back, sew and press into place.
- Stitch across the top of the pleat to secure it.
Again I sewed a row of stay stitching for the same reason. Remember, the neckline seam allowance is 1cm.
- With right sides together, stitch front and back bodices at the shoulder seams.
I used a french seam finish so you sew the wrong sides together first 0.5cm; trim; iron seams; then sew the right sides together.
- At this point I decided to sew on fold over elastic that matched the fabric colour on the neckline. Why? I felt this fabric needed a stable neckline finish that didn’t make the neckline bag over time. I also find it’s easier to sew a neckline when the fabrics lay flat so I tend to do this before sewing on the sleeves.
I sewed the fold over elastic to the wrong side first and then sewed it to the right side.
- On the sleeve, sew a line of gathering stitches at the sleeve head. The sleeve seam allowances are 1cm.
Sew the sleeve hem using 1.5cm hem allowance.
- Pin sleeve to armhole curve, right sides together, matching the notches for the front and back sleeve. When you get to the sleeve head, make sure the gathering ease is below the sleeve head but above the notches. That’s where you’ll need the sleeve ease.
- Stitch the blouse side seams together. I used a french seam finish so you sew the wrong sides together first 0.5cm; trim; iron seams; then sew the right sides together.
- Use a fine hemming tape to help set up the hem for this fabric.
Again, the hem tape held seal the first turn of hem without loosing the pleating. So the second hem turn kept the fabric crinkles in place.
Voila! A fast blouse to make and it’s very wearable.
This loose style top is very wearable and the fabric gives it day or night wearing options.
I’ve worn this blouse a few times on the weekend and it feels lovely and look RTW. Having said that this fabric washes easily and the micropleats remain strongly in place.
This is going to be an easy blouse to make again and wear a lot.