Green shirt – or is it?

I think it’s petroleum green, but I’m not really worried about it. The most important thing: it’s beautiful!

August 2017 Jennifer Lauren from Jennifer Lauren Handmade invited a bunch of people to test her Afternoon Blouse and Shift Dress in order to show the world how it fits different body shapes.

As per usual I love her designs! They look a million bucks but are actually quite straight forward to make – everything I love in a garment. I’m all for difficult constructions when necessary and totally against when it’s not.

But I digress.

I made a straight size 24, again as per usual. But… I had to widen the sleeves a little bit, so I actually sewn them with a tiny seam allowance instead of the given one.

I’ve chosen the blouse version because I don’t actually wear dresses that often – even if I’d like to, but it’s not really practical while standing in stairs, putting up books or squatting at your work – so pants it is for my daily life. And I wanted to make something I could wear more (see me showing off at work) than only making a test garment and never wear it again. So a blouse it was.

I used a green/petroleum green rayon viscose (I guess. That’s how it feels anyway) I’ve bought at a market fair in The Hague for very cheap. My thoughts then: if it doesn’t work I at least haven’t spend too much on it. And I loved the color and the feel of it.

I also had a beautiful multicolored button at home that I’d bought in Rio and I thought might work well. I already had the right thread for that fabric and interfacing, so I was set to go.

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I used my “industrial” weights (washers from the DIY store) to hold down the pattern and then used pins to fix it to the fabric. I’ve tried using a rotary cutter, but can’t get used to it for the life of me. So even if scissors and shears are not as precise as cutters, they do work better for me.

Cutting was not a problem, and I realized right after cutting that the armhole would probably not be wide enough for my biceps and made a note to self: use the seam allowance instead.

I prepared all the pieces to start my sewing and then bang! My husband had a stroke and I couldn’t think about anything else besides living a day after the other.

It really gutted me to have to drop the project, but I was in no condition to do something else. So I took my time, let things slide for a few months and didn’t worry about the blouse.

But around February/March it started bugging me again. I was not happy I hadn’t finished the project – which I had promised I would -, and I still wanted to see the end product. It was such a beautiful fabric! I needed to finish it.

Decision made I put my mind to it and went to work. Following the instructions to the letter, because even if the construction is not difficult, it’s a bit fiddly if you haven’t done it before. And because my mind was still a bit fuzzy, I went slowly. Good decision, since I would have probably made a mess if not doing it that way.

But I love the end result! I wear it with enthusiasm and get loads of compliments for the make and the button. So success achieved.

As mentioned the construction is a bit fiddly but simple: if you follow the instructions the first time around. I’m still not too happy with how the rounding at the front came out – I definitely need more practice in that area -, but I love how it looks, how I look in it and that it actually is a pretty blouse. Good job, Jen!

Here some details. The one thing I did extra was anchor the facing on the shoulder, because it does tend to turn around the neck. It still does, but less then before.

Instructions: pretty good.

PDF: good and easy to put together. But next time I will have it printed as A0 – I don’t really care much about cutting and taping pages and pages of paper. I’ve been using Patternsy with great success, so I actually recommend (out of the goodness of my heart, because they are not giving me any discounts for that!).

Pattern construction: good and easy, even if a bit fiddly.

Will I make it again? Definitely. But I want to try the triangle detail next time, just to be different.

In my book a big success, both for the designer and for the maker.

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