A few months ago I was browsing Kollabora when I came across these two pretty white blouses. I'm a sucker for a white blouse and at the moment I have none in my wardrobe. This pattern - the Carme Blouse by French designer Pauline Alice looked like it would be a great way to add fill the blank spot in my wardrobe but alas, I had no white fabric in my stash so decided to test out the pattern with this grey voile that I bought from Lincraft in an online sale recently. Who buys plain white fabric anyway? I must remember to collect some next time I'm doing some fabric shopping!As much as I love the finished blouse, it was a nightmare to put together. Mostly due to my silly mistakes, but the pattern could have done with a bit more detail in the instructions and some extra diagrams. I definitley don't think I would have made the mistakes if the instructions were more thorough.
The thing I loved about the design is the pleated front yoke. It was really easy to make - you sew the pleats into a rectangle of fabric before using it to cut the yoke piece from but I was stung when sewing in the front placket. Not once, but TWICE! I could have cried!! Especially after all of that work sewing the pleats, my placket ended up off-centre both times. The instructions just weren't clear enough, and even though my instincts were telling me to sew the placket in the centre of the yoke (and I've sewed plackets a lot so I should have just gone with my gut!) the instructions made me think that the placket should have been placed off centre....argh!
This is the first project I have tackled in a long time which has sat half-finished for a couple of weeks - I was mad about it! Anyway, I finally got it together and finished it, but only just scraped in with enough fabric to re-cut the yoke and placket pieces three times!!
I also love the option of rolled-up sleeves - probably how I will mostly wear it, but I like being able to unroll the sleeves to wear under a jacket without as much bulk too.
I sewed a size 36 and am satisfied with the fit. Looking at these photos, there is some funny bunching up of fabric just under the curve of the yoke, but after looking at a few other finished blouses it seems as though most people have the same problem unless they have no boobs. It really doesn't bother me that much, probably a lot more noticeable in still photos than when I'm moving around in real life.
The fabric is fine, nothing to gush about but it's a very easy colour to wear and feels nice. Plus, it was cheap (I got mine half price) so makes for a good wearable muslin. It does crease really well which is great for the pleats to stay in place but not so great if you can't handle creased clothes. It doesn't really bother me in a shirt like this.
There will be another Carmel. It will be white and I will not make any mistakes with the placket next time! Stay tuned!