I suppose it was inevitable that I’d eventually fall for the statement sleeve trend (which is probably long past now, but don’t get me started on trends…) Anyway, I had purchased the Adrienne Blouse pattern from the Friday Pattern Company over a year ago, but what with pregnancy and preemies and all never made it. Until now.
This is a really simple pattern. Like, simple enough that I almost hated to buy it. But sometimes you just want your hand held, and also I feel a bit guilty knocking off indie patternmakers.
Anyway, no regrets about buying it. I do kinda wish I’d printed it out twice, as you have to cut the sleeve on the fold twice and the front and back piece are the same so you have to cut that twice as well. Or traced it out in full pieces as per the cutting layout. But yeah, really simple.
One of the reasons I wanted the pattern was I was curious about the construction of the shoulder. Turns out it goes together pretty much exactly how I thought it would, but it’s still nice to have the brain-work done for you. And the elastic measurement (and yes, it is as short as it says, I spent a good while looking for reviews because I thought it should be a longer piece over the shoulder. It is not.)
Based on my measurements, I cut a medium in the sleeve and bust grading to a large in the waist and hips. Other than that, I added a bit of length to both sleeve and hem (simply by cutting to the length of the longest size), and a bit of fullness to the sleeve mainly to maximize fabric use. I would definitely keep the extra body length in a future version, but maybe not bother with the extra sleeve length. I have long arms but that doesn’t matter so much when the sleeve is meant to be 3/4 length. I also cut the two bands at the neckline on the straight grain, which isn’t really a good idea but the heavy rayon spandex I was using has lots of stretch in every direction, and it let me use up more of the sliver of fabric left between cutting out the bodice and the sleeve.
The sizing turned out pretty perfect for skimming without being too tight, and this heavy rayon knit is the perfect fabric for this pattern—the weight and drape are just luxurious.
I did most of the sewing on this pattern with the serger and my new coverstitch. I used the coverstitch for topstitching the neckline bands, as well as hemming and creating the elastic casings on the sleeves. The only thing that gave me pause was how to use it for the sleeve hem, since the instructions would have you leave a gap for inserting the elastic and I didn’t think that would be a good idea for the coverstitch. So I basted that casing with the regular machine, inserted the elastic, and then cover stitched, painstakingly since it’s VERY GATHERED (especially since I made my sleeve hem elastic quite a bit more snug than the measurements given, since I wanted it to stay up if I pushed the sleeve up my arm.) I’m not sure if this was the 100% best way to do it—stitching the casing and inserting the elastic before sewing the underarm seam would be a lot less fiddly and almost as tidy—but it worked in the end.
Other than basting the sleeve hem, the only thing I used the regular sewing machine for was basting the parts where the neckline joins the sleeves, since this needs to be really precisely positioned. This worked pretty well. I also took the time to thread my serger tails back into the seams here, since they need to be sturdy.
So I’m pretty impressed with the combination of simplicity, fit, and dramatic flare. I’m also currently fighting off the urge to make this in five different colours, because it is pretty distinctive and I probably don’t need THAT many versions. I do really like Strict Stitchery’s version with the lace sleeves, though, and I also wonder if it might work with a lightweight non-stretch for the sleeve…
Maybe just a red one though?