I recently subscribed to Seamwork, and the first pattern I chose was the Violet blouse. It’s actually a Colette pattern, not a Seamwork one, but I prefer the more vintage feel of Colette patterns. I used a beautiful printed cotton that I’d had my eye on for ages, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!
That being said, I’m really glad I made a toile first, as there were a couple of changes I made to the fit. Firstly, the bust darts were waayyyy too low so I raised them by a couple of inches. I think this is a pretty common adjustment with this pattern, as I’ve read lots of reviews where people have had to do the same, so I’d definitely recommend toiling it before cutting into your precious fabric! Secondly, there was a lot of gaping around the neckline and excess fabric all down the front, so I took a chunk out of each of the front pieces to make it sit flat.
I’ve never used a Colette pattern before, but I found the instructions clear and easy to follow. They were halfway between the hand holding you’d expect from Tilly and the Buttons and the minimal Big Four instructions. This pattern is marketed as a beginner level project, but I think it would be better for confident beginner/intermediate sewists. It’s not a difficult pattern, but in order for the blouse to look good it has to be sewn very accurately, mostly because of the collar and buttons- if they don’t line up neatly, the whole blouse will look messy. I think it’s best suited to sewists who have a bit of experience under their belts, so they can focus on accuracy rather than basic techniques.
I’ve been taking part in the Seamwork Design Your Wardrobe program over the last few weeks, and this blouse was one of my projects for it. Soon I’ll do a blog post all about the capsule wardrobe I’ve been making, which is nearly finished! Here are some photos of me actually wearing the blouse, so you can see how it fits:
Pattern: Colette Violet blouse, version 1
Size/Fit: I made a size 0, with the adjustments listed above.
Fabric: Printed cotton from my local fabric shop.
Sewing Time: In bursts over a week.
Quality of instructions: Great
Difficulty: Confident beginners and above
Adjustments: Just the fit changes listed above.
Make again? Maybe, although I’m not sure I need another blouse!