Thursday, 20 March 2014

Carme Blouse

As the seasons change and I can think of a time when I won't be wearing a cashmere cardigan and boots, my creative activities always turn to dress making.  I am a sucker for anything with a yoke- skirts, trousers, shirts so when I saw this pattern had just been released by Pauline Alice- a PDF print out pattern at only 8 Euro, I bought it straightaway- the perfect fit for this Little Folks voile on sale at Patch Fabrics.

The style reminded me strongly of the Tova but with a few style and fit differences.  There are bust darts which I am guessing are cut for a B cup as I found the fit was only slightly generous ( I am an A).  If you are larger than a B cup, a full bust adjustment would probably be a good idea.  The front yoke bib panel is rounded rather than square and also has an easy pin tuck option- you would sew pin tucks in a rectangle of fabric and then cut the bib section from this.  The sleeve and cuff is slightly more complex on the Carme and includes a sleeve vent.

The yoke is attached to the body using a really straightforward technique- I know this was a tricky area for many Tova sew-along sewers!

I cut the bib section on the bias to make the most of the grid pattern and interlined this with some lightweight cotton.  I also lowered the collar a little and also lowered the placket opening- around an inch.

 Sleeve vents are a little fiddly especially with slippy voile but I did find a little Sewline glue helped hold fabric in places too small for pins.

The shaped hem is a nice touch- it dips front and back.

  • I made size 36 and took in the waist a little more on the side seams
  • French seams throughout and triple stitch zig zag to neaten armhole seams
  • I shortened the length by 1 ½" on the lengthen/shorten line on the front and back main sections.  I have adjusted this for next time so it will be shortened by ¾"
  • I will lengthen the sleeves on the next one by ¾" so they fall a little lower at the wrist.
  • I lowered the collar and placket by just under 1"- I will make this a little lower next time- the collar needs to be redrafted for this one
  • I didn't make the sleeve tabs- not something I generally use
  • I only made 3 buttonholes as I never wear this style buttoned up, I like it to fall open
  • I used a walking foot and a Microtex 70 needle for the voile
  • I used under 1.5m of 1.5m wide fabric for size 36 I cut although I used less fabric for the bib because I omitted the tucks.

I really enjoyed this pattern and after measuring the pattern pieces and comparing them with favourites like the Tova, I was confident enough to make it without a test version.  Pauline is running a Carme Sewalong on her website and each stage has its own youtube video which is so helpful if you felt tempted to make one too. Blouses (don't like that word) or shirts (prefer that word) like this are a wardrobe staple for me so I am already thinking ahead to the next couple of these.  Pauline Alice is a relatively new pattern designer but she already has four different styles available.  The Cami dress is next on my list as I prefer a fitted style and this looks really cute, at the moment though, there is a queue of patterns and dressmaking so it may have to wait…two quilts are calling, a pillow project and a bit of planning for future idea await.
sib blog


  1. So pretty! I am hoping to make a spring Tova soon, but it looks like we might have some snow on its way to us~ I love the AMH print from her little folky line and you look so pretty as always~ xc

  2. This suits you really well Kerry. And Patrick GBSB would be very proud of your pattern matching!

  3. Excellent fabric choice for this shirt.

  4. Really lovely shirt! And great tip to use glue on those sleeve vents I will have to try that next time I make them - thanks!

  5. This is such a lovely fabric you've chosen Kerry! It suits the blouse pattern completely (and it was a great idea to make it simple, no pin tucks and no sleeve tab). Congrats!

  6. gorgeous! I love all the little details - you are so good at this stuff!

  7. Very pretty, and gotta love when sale fabrics come through for you!

  8. very pretty! love the fabric!

  9. Lovely blouse and you model it with such style!

  10. I saw that blouse, and it looks like an amazing pattern - and definitely a staple to have in my wardrobe. I made the Cami Dress ( you will love it - I think it is really your style!


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