Hello my lovely Sewing Friends,
I admit I’ve found it a bit hard to put metaphorical pen to paper recently but I really wanted to show you my two versions of the Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Co. I’ve seen so many stunning versions of this whilst scrolling through my Instagram feed that I eventually succumbed! I also knew it would be an easy, quick sew and it seems that’s pretty much all I’m capable of engaging with at present. Plus, I really wanted to try sewing up a knit garment on my new sewing machine as I’d only road-tested it with wovens thus far. It was a no-brainer really.
The top, as I say, is incredibly simple. The pattern is one bodice piece – it’s the same for both front and back – sleeve and the neckband pieces. The Adrienne is designed to have billowy statement sleeves that are gathered at the shoulder and hemmed with elastic. The length is apparently drafted to be slightly cropped – the instructions say the hem should just hit below your bellybutton. I’m 5.3″ and found that I didn’t need to lengthen the pattern to do away with the cropped look. The bodice is designed with negative ease so it fits bodycon style emphasing the contrast to the sleeve.
I’ll be honest, I’m easily irritated these days. I knew that if I didn’t reduce the width of the sleeves, they’d end up annoying the life out of me everytime I tried to shrug on a coat or catch them on a door handle or whatnot. So I actually took a whopping 6″ out of the pattern piece – this is easy to do, the cut line is marked on the pattern. I’m really happy with the result; I still feel the pared back sleeves retain enough drama. In fact, they have about all the additional drama my life can take at the moment!
I used Lady McElroy printed jersey for both of these makes. I bought and sewed up the black, Pergola Retreat print, fabric first which is a viscose/spandex blend. I think it’s evident in the picture, that this is printed onto a white base cloth; one of my pet peeves. It has about 35% width and lengthwise stretch, however, you really don’t want to stretch it to this limit because it will start to ‘white out’ – you can see that as it pulls across the expanse of my chest! It is worth mentioning that this pattern is drafted for knits with at least 25% stretch on a standard B cup … and I’m a D. I hoped using a slightly stretchier fabric and sewing the side seams with a reduced seam allowance would be enough to give myself extra room to maneouvre. I think I only just got away with it; I’m wearing a nude bra here to emphasise what I mean. When I pair the top with a black bra, all is good.
The duck egg blue print*, whilst also printed on a white base cloth, is 100% cotton and has more stretch to it – about 50%. However, I still went ahead and redrafted the bodice pattern to grade out the side seams as well as sewing them in with a 3/8″ seam allowance to gave me all the additional fabric I needed, not only to stop the dreaded white showing through but to stop the beautiful print distorting too. If you also want to make the bodice more forgiving and less of a bodycon fit, it’s not a bad idea to do the same – I definitely feel more at ease in the blue version.
The other alteration I did, was to use a shorter than recommended length of elastic to fit the shoulder. This was done to stop the shoulder from falling down my somewhat narrow frame but I think I shortened it a tad too much! It now pulls up the neckline more than I wanted. Ah hum, lesson learned. I used bra strap elastic in the shoulder, as recommended in the pattern, and it feels really comfortable.
The other thing I wanted to mention was the use of ribbing fabric for the neckband! Oh my goodness, why has it taken me soooooo long to use the stuff?! This is a tubular, quite fine, rib*; it has good recovery and stretch meaning that neckband lays nice and flat to the body. I think in future, I’ll be using ribbing rather than self-fabric for most of my cuffs and neckbands etc and I’m kicking myself for not doing so sooner! I think I’m going to source a few shade ranges, in both fine and wider ribs, so I’ve always got some to hand.
I do love both of these tops – they’ve both been worn a lot since I sewed them up and continue to wash and hold up well. I confess, I much prefer the blue; I adore this print – it’s also available as a cotton lawn and I’m trying to convince myself it wouldn’t be wierd to have two completely different garments in the same print in my wardrobe – I really want to sew myself a Suki Robe in the lawn to waft around the house in!
I also want to sew a solid black version of this top; I think a classic black paired with my wide leg Emerson trousers will look sophisticated enough over the upcoming Holiday season, whilst being as comfy as wearing PJ’s – you can’t really argue with that, can you?!
Until next time, I hope all stays well with you and yours.
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Disclaimer – The black fabric and the Adrienne Blouse pattern were purchases. The *duck egg blue fabric, the bra strap elastic and *black ribbing fabric were sent to me without charge by www.minerva.com in exchange for a review on their new and improved website – additionally, you can find and follow me over there. (You can also access the full supplies kit to make the blue version of my Adrienne Blouse HERE). This post contains some Affiliate links; if you choose to purchase via an Affiliate link, you will be supporting this blog at no additional cost to yourself for which I thank you! Sarah x