I’ve sewn the SBCC Tonic tee a few times – both the short and long sleeved versions – and I know that they work well on my 158cm frame. I always look at the patterns that SBCC releases with interest because of this. The most recent was the Flora blouse. Super simple. I didn’t pay much attention until I sew Gillian’s versions, then knew that I should give the pattern a go.
Really, I should have remembered: the simplest of patterns are the ones that require the best drafting. Simple does not necessarily mean easy or unskilled! This pattern has two pieces – front and back – so it’s definitely simple, but it’s still drafted to fit a short person really well. It’s all about proportion – armhole depth, neckline width and depth, not just about how long the blouse is overall.
From the pattern website: The Flora Blouse is the perfect quick sew, requiring minimal fabric yardage, and an easy elasticized neckline finish. It is the updated basic wardrobe piece that will sure to be your go-to item for all seasons to wear by itself or use as a layering piece. The Flora Blouse is perfect for petites because the fullness of the body is scaled for a petite frame. Fit is intended to be relaxed/loose, but skims the curves of the body. Best for light weight, draped, woven fabrics.
My aim was to sew what I hoped would be a wearable muslin. The striped fabric is a soft cotton voile from deep stash – another fabric that I think possibly came from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table. The colours are fabulous! Because it’s a stripe, I needed to pay attention when laying out the pattern pieces and cutting. I have to say that I matched up the side seams perfectly!
I finished all the raw edges on the overlocker before I began assembly. Shoulder seams first, pressed open, then sleeve hems turned up and stitched. Side seams sewn and pressed open, then hem turned up and stitched. Neckline turned to the inside to form a casing, stitched in place leaving a small opening, then elastic threaded through. I used plush backed elastic that I had nearby that just fitted inside the casing width. Elastic adjusted to the suggested length, opening stitched down, and done!
I suppose that it’s what is sometimes called a ‘peasant’ blouse with that elasticised neckline. I don’t feel that the gathers are over the top – they provide shaping and interest without it being too full. I had dilemmas deciding what size to sew – as usual, my measurements fell across three sizes – and the shaping was difficult to grade across. In the end I chose to sew straight size XL but with 5/8″ seam allowances, but size L would have been fine.
It’s going to be months and months before it’s warm enough to wear this top, but I’m glad I’ve sewn it. I am tempted to follow Gillian’s lead and lengthen it to a dress as well.