This is my third project using a Lekala sewing pattern. The first two were my maroon wrap top and my blue polar fleece top, both made with this free pattern. After the good results of the first two projects, I decided to go ahead and try a paid pattern, and this velvet blouse was the one I chose for my next project. Here is my experience making it.
I made this blouse in November 2017. According to my project page, I did it in 3 days. With few pieces, it was a quick project. What took the longest was prepping and sewing the panels with the pleats.
My Favorite Fabric
I used blue velvet to make this blouse. Have I mentioned before how much I love velvet? I’m sure I have, when I talked about my Christmas dress and my purple velvet circle skirt.
I chose a sky blue satin material for the panels for the neckline and hem ruffle. That wasn’t the best material to use, as I’ll explain in a bit. The satin frays very, very easily, so I covered the raw edges with bias tape before sewing it to the blouse. For the bottom edge I did a rolled hem. When it was time to make the ruffles and pleats I realized that the satin wasn’t the best choice for it. It is somewhat stiff and just doesn’t gather nicely. I remembered another project years ago when I tried to make satin ruffles and first discovered that. By the time I made this blouse I had forgotten about it. Well, anyway, I finished sewing the pieces to the blouse.
After sewing the neckline piece in, I discovered another difficulty, also owing to the stiffness of the satin and compounded by the fact that it was a double layer. Being so stiff, not only did the satin not pleat nicely for the neckline, but it wouldn’t even stay up. It forced itself out from inside of the circle and hung out and down from the seam. At the time I didn’t think I would be chronicling my projects like this, so I didn’t take any pictures of it. Obviously, it wouldn’t do to have the neckline like that. I had to pin it up and sew each pleat down.
After the blouse was finished, I put the finishing touch on it: a thin blue ribbon on the edges of the sleeves with extra to tie in a bow. I think it looks really cute. The sleeve caps are slightly gathered, creating a bit of a puff.
All in all, the blouse turned out nicely. The velvet is so lovely and soft, and it’s quite comfortable. If I were to make this again, though, I would use a different material for the pleats.