Frilly Festivity

Frou-Frouing the Frou Frou

An outside shot! By the skin of our teeth, an outside shot! Talk about chasing the light. With minutes to spare, I leapt from my sewing machine and begged my boyfriend to take a couple of snaps. They’re not brilliant, but they’ll do. What a lovely change to have a background that isn’t a white wall.

So, this is my toile of the Pendrell blouse. I was sorely tempted to skip the toile and cut straight into the lawn cotton with the burnt out polka dot:

But I’d already emailed Handmade Jane for her thoughts on this make, as blogged about here. She’d made some adjustments to the Pendrell blouse and I knew in my heart that I should test the pattern too. I’d be gutted if this fabric was wasted.

Then I remembered some pink gingham that had been sitting in my stash box since last summer. I’d bought it from Walthamstow market, so I know I’d have spent £2 a metre maximum on it. Cheaper than calico! The decision had been made: pink gingham would be my test make. That decision was made on Friday night. Now it’s Sunday evening and I spent the weekend at a conference in Coventry. I think that tells you everything you need to know about the speed of this make.

Any other conclusions?

Narrow upper chest adjustment Seriously, I need to have these words tattooed across my forehead. I forget every single time, despite the fact that almost every make needs a narrow upper chest adjustment. I definitely need to pinch in the top of the princess seams to accommodate my personal body issues. The problem may not be entirely obvious in these photos, but that’s because I’m wearing a bra that was probably designed by a construction engineer on his day off.

Sizing I cut a size 10, which works well with a skirt but would be a bit too snug to go over jeans. So if I want a more roomy make, I need to take this into consideration.

Depth This is a long blouse. I’m going to take a good couple of inches off the bottom before hemming.

Bias Bindings Of Dreams Oh my goodness me. This pattern is worth buying if only for the genius instructions for the neck and arm bias bindings. The directions for these weren’t immediately clear to me, simply because they were so different to what I’ve done before. So I turned to the blog sewalong and this particular post that was a work of art in terms of simplicity and helpfulness. If only every pattern came with these online posts! Many tears would be saved in households around the world, I’m sure.

I’m a fan of sleeveless blouses as they sit so smoothly beneath cardigans, but I always find the facings a drag. Not any more! This is a technique that can be easily transferred to other makes. Thank you, Sewaholic. You’ve just made my life a lot easier.

French seams The good news is that almost every seam can have a French seam. Only the princess seams need pinking or overlocking.

Adaptability All the way through this test make I kept thinking, I can’t wait to see how this works in different fabrics. This blouse is highly adaptable because even a slightly alternative weight fabric will perform differently with those bias frills. And oh, what frills! I kept trilling, ‘They’re so cute!’ They’re born to be made in gingham. Look!

You tell me. What’s not to like?

Those armholes, by the way, fit perfectly.

Before I leave the subject of gingham: several Sewists bought some beeooootiful blue and white gingham when we had our Walthamstow Shopping Frenzy. Far be it from me to influence final makes, but I just want to put it out there: Pendrell + Gingham = Match Made In Heaven. That’s all I’m saying.

So you’ve been warned. The pattern has been tested and I’m ready to go a bit Pendrell mad. You may be seeing various versions over the coming weeks. If there’s one teeny-tiny drawback to this pattern, it’s that I can’t see those frills sitting easily under cardigans which makes this a definite late Spring/Summer make. But if that’s the worst I have to say – that I’m guaranteed a summer of frilly festivity – that’s no bad thing. Result!

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23 Responses to Frilly Festivity

  1. Carly says:

    Oh, it’s so cute! I LOVE the gingham, must get myself a trip to Walthamstow market soon. Looking forward to seeing more versions of it.

  2. Alessa says:

    Gingham and polka dots in one post! Yay! The blouse/wearable muslin turned out very pretty. 🙂

  3. rachel says:

    It is gorgeous! I definitely want this pattern now. The red and white polka dot will be perfect – can’t wait to see it all made up.

  4. Roobeedoo says:

    Tsk! Don’t go messing up my queue!
    It is fab! I can’t wait to see the spotty version!

  5. Liz says:

    That is so pretty 🙂

  6. Lovely, everyone seems to love this pattern, its on my wish list so I must get round to it as it looks so pretty and versatile.

  7. Scruffybadger says:

    Super cute! Love the serendipitous fabric choice ( sorry just learnt that word and it seems to fit perfectly). It is just too cute for words. I have not yet bought the pendrell and am finding it ever hard to resist and stick to resolutions when such beauty is showcased. I will have to brace myself for the red polka dot version!

  8. Amy says:

    Wow, it’s so sweet! You’re right, those frills are made for gingham, but it’s gonna look super in the polka dots!

  9. Tasi says:

    So unbelievably cute! It’s awesome in gingham, I love how the lines fall on the ruffles, too! It will be fabulous in the polka-dot lawn. Can’t wait to see it! (And glad the sew-along posts were helpful too!)

  10. Tasia says:

    So unbelievably cute! It’s awesome in gingham, I love how the lines fall on the ruffles, too! It will be fabulous in the polka-dot lawn. Can’t wait to see it!
    (And glad the sew-along posts were helpful too!)

  11. lizajane says:

    Very cute! It does look great in gingham.

  12. Esz says:

    That’s it! I think I need to do a narrow upper chest adjustment on a few of my things too. Still getting the hang of all this fitting stuff.

    How exactly do you go about doing such an adjustment??
    The top is mega cute too! Love that gingham.

  13. K2 says:

    I ordered my Pendrell a couple of days ago. I can’t wait to make my own for the summer at work. I need light summery tops that cover my shoulders for work. I don’t think I can get away with the extra ruffle (over 40 years old), but I know you can make many different versions using the same pattern.

  14. Jane says:

    OOh it’s lovely, I absolutely love gingham and that looks gorgeous on you. I’m in complete agreement about the neck/arm binding, doesn’t it work like magic?! So glad the pattern worked for you. x

  15. Adrienne says:

    Yes! The binding technique was my favourite part as well! *Tap on the back* for being disciplined and making the mock-up first. In my modest experience, it’s just not something you can skip.

  16. javede says:

    The blouse looks lovely even if it is just a test! The bias binding looks great and I will have to bookmark the link you mentioned though I try to convert patterns so that one shoulder is still unsewn when I use bias binding(guess that is not an option here though because of the frills).

  17. Tilly says:

    Very cute. Can’t believe this is only the toile!

  18. Roisin says:

    This is adorable, I love the ruffles especially, and that shade of pink looks great on you as well!

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