I'd like you to meet Rose, my new favorite sleeveless button up. Okay, okay, to be fair, it's also my only sleeveless button up, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I love this shirt.
The pattern is from, you guessed it from the title of this post, Jalie Patterns. I'll admit, I've never really had any interest in the company. Sure, lots of people on Pattern Review rave about it, and I see the Elénore Jeans all over sewing social media (Sewcial Media if you will) but whenever I look at the website, I don't find things that suit my style. I'm more of a preppy, J. Crew person when it comes to my wardrobe, so the knit-heavy, athletic/dancewear focus led me not to really pay attention to the patterns when I was looking for things to add to my already-long list of potential projects. It's just like my Netflix queue: sure I could get around to watching Daredevil, but I'm not a diehard Marvel fan, so it's always at the bottom of my watchlist.
Anyway, I went to PR Weekend in Stratford, ON at the beginning of the month, and there, Jalie presented their new collection. During the presentation, Émilie from the company was wearing this really relaxed fit, posh-looking button-down that I just had to make. Enter the Rose Top.
Having never sewn a Jalie pattern, I was surprised by the layout of the whole thing, with the instructions on the same paper as the pattern pieces. Plus, the steps are in both English and French because, you know, Canada. Both these facts make the sewing process very different from the Big 4 and most indie patterns. I'll admit, I'm a little obstinate and reluctant to change, so it took me a little while to get used to the difference. In fact, I kept missing steps and having to go back and read the instructions again because I'm a visual person and I normally only follow the pictures, but that doesn't quite work with Jalie.
Oh well. That's not really a knock on the pattern itself, but more of a compatibility thing with my own sewing style. A sewing "It's not you, it's me" situation.
But besides having to re-read, I really loved the making of this shirt. I made the collar first because I had never made one and wanted to make sure I got it right before cutting in to the rest of my fabric. The collar is cut from the ivory shirting that was part of last month's Heavyweight Box for the Datura Blouse, and it was a great contrast to the main fabric. It has a satin weave and was crisp but light. To beef up the fabric, I used a shirt-crisp interfacing because I wanted a really structured collar. And man, it is structured: super pointy with just the right amount stiffness.
For the body fabric, I used a rayon twill that I picked up at Fabricland in Hamilton, ON specifically for this shirt. It's a deep evergreen with a cream/brick floral stripe. It's also medium weight with an almost spongey feel to it. When I got home from Canada I looked up what it could be because it felt different from most rayon twills I've seen, which are lightweight and very drapey, almost satiny in feel. This had a twill weave on both sides and wasn't fluid in its drape. After a little research in my textile book, I've come to the conclusion that it's a surah, a fabric which I never knew existed but which ended up being perfect for this blouse.
The fit was pretty good right out of the box, though I did lengthen the dart legs by about an inch and shift them upward about 1/2". Next time, I might move them up even more because they still sit a little below where they should be. I also narrowed the shoulders. The cut of the blouse is has a really straight armhole, and actually it sat right where it should on the edge of my shoulder, but I've found that I like a contoured armhole on my sleeveless tops, so I angled it inward by an inch. I think it makes my wide shoulders look much narrower this way.
I did have two dislikes about the pattern. One, I found it odd that you didn't staystitch the neckline until you had already sewn the darts, topstitched the button placket and attached the yoke. I always do it right after cutting to prevent any distortion, especially slipperier fabrics like viscose. Two, I didn't like the way the bottom of the front button placket was hemmed. Per the instructions, you topstitch the placket and then just simply fold up the hem 5/8" and topstitch that in place. This leaves you with a noticeable corner of fabric at the bottom. Instead, I used the method from other shirts I've made and sewed the bottom of the button placket to the front with right sides touching, clipped my corner then turned the placket right-side out to create a nice, clean corner. Then I hemmed the rest of the top using the prescribed turn-under method.
Well, that's it. I'm very proud of this blouse and I'm already considering making another one, even though I rarely repeat patterns. I feel rather sophisticated when wearing it, yet it's also really comfortable and breezy for the warm weather.
I'll leave you with a nice close-up of my first ever collar because I'm pleased as punch about how it turned out.
Until next time...