Spoiler Alert – I might just have sewn something I really like; the Rhapsody Blouse (& Dress) by Love Notions; having sewn one I can tell you I’ll be sewing this again. And then again!

Yoke and Centre Back Pleat detail

Whilst the Rhapsody is an easy-wear pattern, it has some lovely design details that elevate it from your everyday ‘peasant’ blouse (for want of a better expression). It has shoulder gathers which drape nicely over the bust; a yoke, centre back pleat, curved hem, optional neckline ties and lots of sleeve options – from sleeveless through cap, short, flutter, 3/4″ length, flared cuff, bishop or trumpet AND it comes with two front bodice pieces – one for a standard bust (A-C) and one for full (D to E/F).

Whilst there are loads of this style of pattern out there; once I’d really looked at the Rhapsody, it then became the benchmark I judged the others by – an inbuilt FBA is always a winner but 9 sleeve options sealed the deal. So how did it sew up?

Classed as an intermediate, I’d say it’s a great sew for more experienced sewers and relative beginners – those design details keep it interesting for confident stitchers and the instructions make it doable for the less experienced; they’re clear and comprehensive without being long-winded – and there’s a sew-a-long available if you need it. If a relative beginner picked up this pattern being a little unsure of, say, sewing gathers or a yoke using the burrito method, making bias binding or sewing a V neck; I’ll wager you’d finish the sewing of this blouse a lot more confident than you started. It’s available in PDF format only in size range XS-5X (31″ – 55″ high bust / 33″ – 57.5″ full bust).

Curved hem

For my version, I looked at the high bust and finished garment measurements to gauge what size to sew. I used the Full Cup front bodice piece but opted to size down overall – I wanted it less blousy as I’m easily swamped by fabric. I also knew sizing down would be a safe option because I was using this Lady McElroy ‘Loretta’ Mulberry Woven Stretch Viscose – whilst a woven, its spandex content gives approximately 15% of very forgiving widthwise stretch. (I purchased it ages ago but it’s still available HERE)

I opted for the neckties and the bishop sleeves – and cut out my fabric on the single layer. I then proceeded to make 72″ of 3/4″ bias binding out of the remaining fabric scraps.

As for construction, the neckline is finished with the bias binding which also forms the ties; the yoke is fully enclosed (using the burrito method), the sides and sleeves are French seamed and then sleeve / armscye is finished in the regular way.

I don’t think I deviated from the instructions very much, apart from staystitching the neckline as soon as the yoke was in so as to prevent it stretching out through handling. I basted the sleeves into place so as to be able to manipulate the sleeve head gathers as much as possible before finally stitching them in. I also basted the hem; I find I get a much better result with a curved hem if I run a line of long machine basting stitches along the hem line (breaking the stitching at the side seams leaving long threads); this allows me to pull the threads ever-so-slightly to encourage the hem of the fabric to curve into place. I then press the hem up along that stitching line (using my beloved mini iron) before finally stitching it in place with a regular topstitching length of 3.5 mm. It makes for a really neat job.

Insides

All in all, this was a really enjoyable sew – apart from when I went to serge my first armhole and my overlocker threw a wobbly which meant unpicking the entire round of stitching! So, no, that bit wasn’t fun, lol!

And now I want to immediately sew one more but I’m torn as there’s another pattern currently on my sewing table yelling to be made!

Oh and I’ve got two waistcoats / vests to blog – I’ve put some pics on my Instagram feed though if you’d like an initial look!

Until next time, happy sewing!

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12 thoughts on “Rhapsody Blouse by Love Notions : Sewing Pattern Review

  1. Noted, thank you!!!

    Like

  2. Suzanne says:

    You may have already realised that you’ll need to subscribe to the newsletter to get the weekly offer Sarah, but if not….. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Patrina, if you do, I hope you love it too x

    Like

  4. Petrina Eve says:

    This is a great review and the top looks really good on you. Might have to give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooh I like your idea of adding beads to the ties and Autumn is a great opportunity for a long sleeve version!

    Like

  6. Margaret Vickers says:

    Have made the short sleeve version and love it ( added beads to the Ties) now after seeing yours, I definitely need a longer sleeve version!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Robbie and I agree; I was thinking a chambray tunic would look good and there’s an elasticated waist dress in the pattern too 😉

    Like

  8. robbie says:

    Lovely–inside and out. I’m thinking that view would look great in a tunic or dress length also.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can understand why! I hope to have a few more soon too x

    Like

  10. Bren Holmes says:

    I love the Rhapsody, too. I have made four so far. I haven’t yet made any with long sleeves, but I will!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Suzanne … ooh I shall have to look out for these pattern deals because sewing this up has made me want to try more if their patterns! I think a brushed cotton version should be lovely, hope you go for it x

    Like

  12. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for this review Sarah: this is on my ‘to-do’ list. I wasn’t sure about the neck ties but your version certainly looks good with them. I bought it when Love Notions had it as their ‘Friday $5’ offer a few months ago but didn’t get around to making a sleeveless or short-sleeve version for summer. Guess it’ll have to be a long-sleeved autumn/winter make; maybe in a brushed cotton? I have bought a couple of other LN patterns, again when offered for $5, the full-bust version of their patterns is such a gift! The inclusion of several different sleeve options is another attraction. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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