This has been a long time coming. When I found out there is a pattern with my name on it, I had to have it. Luckily, I like the pattern as well.
This is a pattern sold both in paper or PDF version a French Indie Designer Wear Lemonade. Simona Blouse is an all-in-one shirt with a removable tie. It has slightly puffy sleeves around the wrist and will go well with both skirts or trousers.
I got myself the paper pattern. I really wanted it in physical form. So, I ordered my pattern all the way from France. It was a bit on the expensive side including the postage. But the pattern arrived really fast. The packaging is cute and sturdy. And it has a label with wear lemonade on it for me to add to one of my shirts made with this pattern.
The instructions come in both French and a really bad translation in English. However, they include photos in colour with clear numbering that points one to the right step for the wording. They also have a video that shows how the shirt is made – MakeMyLemonade. If you still think you might struggle, Melanie from Handmade By Ditsy Tulip created a detailed videoSew-Along that can help.
As I did not have any experience with making a pattern from this maker, I decided that the best way to go is to make a wearable muslin using some grey viscose I got from my local Abakhan store. Then for my first official version I used a Liberty cotton tana lawn to make it in combination with orange cotton. I cut a size 40, shortened the sleeves by about 12 cm.
The first time I made the back pleat, I could not for the life of me to figure out how to do it the way the instructions tell you. I was quite unimpressed with the finished result.
So, on my second make, I cut straight at the centre back and did a normal pleat.
To make the pocket I used my Prym Blouse Pocket template kit (which I reviewed here) for my second Simona blouse, rather than use the pocket piece that came with the pattern.
The first time around, I made a mistake and added the pocket onto the wrong side. Well, it ended up on the wrong side by the time I finished sewing the back to the front (that’s my money pocket now).
When I made my Liberty Simona, I decided to change the order of construction and to add the collar before I attached the sleeves and sewn the side seam. To add a bit of interest, I have cut the under-collar, inside collar stand and inside cuff out of orange cotton.
I found the detail of adding a little loop for the tie to go through under the collar quite a good idea. It helps to keep the tie with the shirt and you don’t risk looking it.
For Liberty Simona I made the tie out of the orange fabric. The tie for this version is also shorter because the fabric was not wide enough. I think it ended up being about 34 cm shorter than the pattern calls for.
On the first shirt I gathered the sleeve to fit into the cuff as the instructions advise.
But then on the second version I added a pleat instead. Recently, I find myself not to fond of gathering, so whenever I can I replace it with pleats. For me they give a more polished finish.
The instructions call for French seams, since the suggested fabrics are quire light and a French seam will hide the raw edges. First tome around, I’ve done this seam finish on all the seams including the sleeve. On the second one, however, the only seam I overlocked was the sleeve, so save myself some time.
For my first shirt I used buttons for closures and on the second one I put to practice my new poppers kit.
It took me almost a year to make my second version. I remember getting the orange fabric from Fabworks during the SewDewsbury meet last year.
I was pleased with the fit of the first blouse. I felt the sleeves as a bit too long so I shortened them.
Although this was a muslin, it turned out quite wearable and I am wearing it whenever I fee like it, with trousers or skirts.
I have to say I quite like the contrast the solid colour brings to the shirt. Also I like that it’s quite versatile. Perfect for office or to wear with jeans for a more casual look.
I am really sure that I will be making this pattern again. Just for now I will stop as I do not wear shirts as often. But, I am set for the office or for any occasion that requires office wear. I am glad that I finally got round to share with you a pattern that also has my name.
Have you found a pattern that has your name? Do you like it? Please share with me the patterns with your names, I’d love to know if you like them and want to make them?