I stepped away from my #makenine2023 challenge list to create this fun item. I have had an eye on the Stitch Witch Tudor blouse for a while. My initial thought was that it should be made in a plain linen, but I got distracted and fell in love with this cute hallowe’en print.
The fabric is from Like Sew Amazing. It is a Ruby Star Society print and features a medley of spooky cats, some as skulls and others with a third eye. I was also taken with the colour combinations of teals, blues and purples against the black background.
The Tudor blouse is apparently inspired, by the square, sixteenth century necklines. I think this gives the top a unique flavour. In other respects it is a modern pattern, there are bust darts and the sleeves use elastic. The best thing about the Tudor blouse, however, is that is comes in two versions; there is the standard one with the buttons at the front, and a wrap hack. There is also a short version, which has five buttons down the front. I made the long version with the seven buttons at the front. Although I would say that the long version isn’t very long, it isn’t a blouse you can tuck in. I imagine the short version would be quite cropped.
I did make quite considerable adjustments to the pattern to get a good fit. The design means that a reasonably tight cut is required. I used the A/ B cup as a starting point. First of all, I made sure that the front was adjusted to according to the bodice sloper I have made previously. This essentially meant that the bust darts were raised and increased slightly. For the back, I substantially increased it to accommodate my wide shoulders. I suppose, you might think I should have gone for the large size and / or used the full cup version. When I looked at the cup size it was way bigger than needed and the wide back adjustment is something I always do on smaller sizes. Essentially, I’ve always added with my adjustments rather than subtracted. Is this the easiest way to do things, I don’t know. Does anyone have any thoughts?
The sewing instructions are easy to follow. The only drawback to this pattern is that it isn’t possible to try it on easily until you get close to the end of the construction. You really need those sleeves in place to get a realistic idea of the fit. So, I had to have a lot of faith in my adjustments.
I deliberated a long time over the buttons, and made my own covered buttons using left-over bits of the fabric. I chose to make buttons specifically using the pentagrams from the fabrics design. Was this overload? Probably, but there isn’t anything subtle about this print.
I grit my teeth through making the seven buttonholes! I used up some metal self-cover buttons from my stash, which were actually a little larger than the recommended button size. I think that the buttons would probably look better smaller, but then I wouldn’t have been able to get the pentagrams sited so well on them. It’s a compromise I can live with.
I attempted to pattern match throughout. Unfortunately, in real life I move and the cats at the front slip out of alignment. It’s probably a result of those very large buttonholes. Perhaps fiddling with the button placement might help.
I am really happy with the fit of this make. I made it snug around the bust, but with enough expansion around the belly for it to be comfortable.
I’m not used to wearing short tops, it is quite a deviation in style for me. But I think the long version of this blouse isn’t very short on me, and rides just slightly above the waistband height of most of my trousers and jeans. I am very short-waisted so I suspect that most people will find the long version quite short, and the short version very cropped. I did look extensively on Instagram to try to work out how this would look on my body, but of course, there is no substitute for trying it out for yourself.
The inaugural outing for this top was to a local gig. It was a warm evening and it was just the right thing to wear in the hot venue. I think the top looks good with the teal cargo trousers, but also with jeans.
All in all, this was an enjoyable make (apart from the buttonholes). I think the pattern has the potential to be made into really versatile garments, that can look casual with jeans, or more dressed up. There are loads of versions on Instagram and it really is a very inspirational to just take a look at them. This top works great in so many people’s individual styles.
Finally, I would like to make another version, this time in a sensible plain linen. I would like to choose a colour that would work with these wrap trousers. Yep, those trousers that I have yet to find a top that I feel works well with!