The newest pattern from French sewing company Orageuse caught my attention immediately when it was released. I have never sewn any pattern from this company before, but I decided to buy this pdf pattern and try it since the instructions were available also in English. This long-sleeved Orageuse Prague blouse pattern has a turtleneck collar with buttons in the back and an optional deep v-neck opening in front. It is pretty loose fitted but has darts to create a bit of shape.
The pattern has French sizing. The sizes range from 34 to 46 corresponding to European sizes 32 to 44. I made the size 38 and it fitted without any modifications.
The Prague pattern suits for thin to medium weight wovens such as silk, viscose or polyester satin, crepe among others. I chose to use this pastel green floral polyester satin. My chosen fabric is not the easiest to sew with but luckily I had some good tricks in my sleeve to make the sewing easier!
So before even cutting the fabric I sprayed the whole fabric with starch and ironed it. This stiffened the slippery satin a bit and made it much easier to handle. In fact it ended up feeling a bit like cotton poplin. Just to be sure, I cut all the pieces using my rotary cutter to minimise shifting of the fabric.
I had a bit trouble with fusible interfacing. This fabric came out of factory remnants so I did not have any caring instructions. However, I’d never normally use hot iron (anything above 1 dot) to iron polyester satin. Unfortunately the fusible interfacing requires at least two dots. Finally I ironed the fusible interfacing through a pressing cloth. I was lucky and the polyester did not melt. It seemed to stretch a bit which formed slight wrinkles but I was careful to interface only the parts that did not show in the final blouse. The other thing that I noticed was that the darkest colours seemed to bleed onto my ironing board cover when ironed with two dots. Now my ironing board cover is decorated with dark bluish-green leave pattern!
I am nowadays quite bad with instructions. I tend to skim over them and just follow the pictures to get the sewing order right (because sometimes there are design elements that require unusual order of sewing). However, I liked the way the instruction pdf was constructed. The whole layout/design of the leaflet was very professional looking.
The pattern instructions warned about the difficulties of sewing with slippery fabrics. I realised the importance of the warning (that I had ignored) when I saw the amount of narrow bias binding I had to sew on the three slits: one at the back neckline and the two at the sleeves. The pattern pieces reserved for this were quite narrow with only 5 mm seam allowance. I’d recommend cutting the bias binding strips a bit wider if you are planning to use slippery fabric or fabric that doesn’t crease well (Mine didn’t). I did manage the bindings though, which makes me quite proud! I did hand-baste the neckline slit before finishing it with top-stitching at the edge. With the sleeves I took a risk and finished the binding simply with a huge amount of pins and an edge stitching foot.
With the neckline facing I used the method I found in some retro pattern a while ago. I zigzagged the edge of the facing to prevent it from fraying. Then I sewed around the edge to create a stitching line to help to turn the edge of the facing in. I finished the edge by folding it and edge-stitching it.
The starch was also very good at preventing the fabric edges from fraying. This made it quite easy to sew french seams. Finally I French seamed all the seams except the sleeve-to-armhole seams that are not really visible and are a bit pain to sew anyway.
I finished the blouse using gold-coloured buttons from my stash. I was only able to find seven of them, so I had to put only two buttons on each cuff.
This blouse was a bit more work than I expected. It took me about two days to make. However, the fit is just right without any modifications. I was originally a bit worried that the turtleneck collar would be too loose, but after inserting the buttons and the buttonholes the collar looks ok. The v-neck is not too deep and is perfect for showcasing a nice necklace.
Th4 back of the blouse is as beautiful as the front due to the nice button detail:
I think that this blouse looks the best when tucked in. I feel that if I were to wear it over trousers or a narrow skirt I should add a little more definition to the waist and a little bit more width to the hip. The blouse hem is not even close to being tight, in fact there is still some inches of positive ease, but I think adding some extra ease would make it drape a bit better over my hips. In the pictures I have tucked the blouse into my Lekala’s 3-seam-skirt.
All in all, I am very happy with my new blouse! I can definitely recommend this Orageuse Prague blouse pattern. The difficulty level for this pattern is listed as intermediate and I would agree with this description. Due the fiddly details this is not something for a beginner but needs some sewing experience. I have a feeling that this will again be one of those go-to patterns in my pattern stash. I can see a lot of different ways this pattern could be hacked into an infinite number of different blouses.
Thank you for reading and happy sewing! Do share the post with your friends if you like it and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already done so! Happy sewing!