Elise blouse by Rosie and Me
My blouse sewing continues with the Elise blouse by Rosie and Me. This is a new pattern company for me, although I have been eyeing this blouse for a while. This pattern has cap sleeve and 3/4 sleeve options, French darts at the sides and a nice shawl collar. It is available in pdf format in both English and Dutch.
The pattern comes in two size ranges, regular 34 to 44 and plus size 44-54. I went with the size 36 but I had to do a lot of modifications to make it fit (I’ll explain later.). I would recommend, though, that if you are in doubt, go up a size.
I chose this nice lilac cotton poplin with some stretch. The colour is gorgeous but unfortunately this fabric is prone to wrinkling. I was lucky to find matching buttons.
Sewing, instructions etc.
I measured the pattern before choosing the size 36. I was a bit worried about the width of the shoulders, so I decided to make a little adjustment to fix that. Then I started sewing.
After I had the shoulder and the side seams together I realised that the fit was awful. The front shoulder seam pattern piece was much wider than the back, so finally my shoulder adjustment was unnecessary. The extra length at the front shoulder pieces was due to the curvature of the armhole and the seam allowances. Anyway, this wasn’t the worst thing. I found out that the curves in my body and in the pattern did not match at all! The blouse was too large at the back and too small in the front, especially near the hem area. I had to pull to get the front edges together. Of course, if I did this I got horrible pulling creases. There was no way I could save that blouse.
I went back to the fabric store to buy 80 cm extra to make a new bodice for the blouse, determined to conquer this pattern!
This Melville blouse I made a while ago had the similar kind of fit, so I was able to use it as a base for adjustments. I put the Elise blouse pattern on top of the Melville front and drew the line than corresponded to the bottom of the French dart. Then I extended the Melville bust dart and the French dart until they met at the bust point and used that point as a guide. I cut the French dart open until the bust point and closed the bust dart of the Elise blouse. This way I transferred the French dart to the better fitting pattern. Then I cut the Elise pattern open diagonally from the hem to the shoulder and adjusted the width to match my Melville blouse. Then I drew the new pattern that now had more room for my tummy and my waist.
I did something similar to the back piece. My Melville has two darts and the only shaping Elise blouse has is in its center back seam. I did adjust the seam slightly but I also straightened the waist curve a bit.
I did not want to ruin any more fabric so I cut a toile out of cheap cotton. This was a good idea. I had to adjust the French dart that was a bit too narrow in the middle. I also had to widen the front piece at the center front hem, adjust the side seams and take some extra fabric out of the center back. Finally I had a pattern that fit! I redrew the pattern and made a new pattern also for the front facing.
The second time around the sewing was a bit easier. I also had a collar ready that I had already finished so I was quickly at the stage where I had stopped the first time. The sleeves were easy to make and fitted the armholes nicely. The cuffs were a nice detail but there were no sleeve vents to worry about!
The finished Elise blouse
It took about a full day of sewing and then I had this blouse ready. What do you think?
I am happy with the width but I am a bit disappointed to find out that the neck line comes a bit too low for me to wear it without a top underneath. It barely covers my bra and that is if I don’t move at all. I think this kind of neckline would suit a blazer a bit better. However, after thinking this I can see how I could use this in the summer as a light alternative to a blazer.
That being said the collar sits very nicely. I was a bit worried since after having some bad experiences with fusible interfacings lately I switched the interfacing from the top collar piece to the bottom collar piece. This luckily didn’t have any effect on the draping of the collar.
On a whim, I made a matching hairband out of the remaining fabric. I cut a strip, doubled it up and sewed it into a long tube. After I turned and ironed the tube I turned the seam allowances in at the ends and sewed two short pieces of elastic between the ends to close the hairband and to add some elasticity. I also made my daughter a similar hairband.
With curls and flowers in my hair I look a bit too cute for my age. Can a woman of 35 still pull this off without looking ridiculous? I did get some looks when I popped out for some errands. Well… who cares! It’s not like I have energy to do this every day!
I hope you enjoyed this post and do like and subscribe if you want to get reminded when the next post appears! Happy sewing!
Your blouse is beautiful especially with that skirt! I checked out the pattern and the sizing is actually only to a 44 not 54 which is a size 14. Sadly not very inclusive sizing and certainly not big enough for my girls 🙂 Lovely with the striped Tee underneath!
The bigger sizes are in a different pattern. They are there. Check Elise+ pattern!
Here is the link: http://www.rosieandme.com/product/elise-blouse-plus/
Katja, Love the blouse! The violet is lovely, and the “lapel” collar is lovely, albeit rather low cut!
Have you blogged the skirt? The fabric is so dramatic and PERFECT as a skirt! Fabric love!
Thanks! Unfortunately the skirt is RTW! But I agree that it goes nicely with the blouse!
I’m really sorry to hear that you had such trouble getting the fit right! Especially since that is an aspect that we put a lot of attention to and include tutorials how to make adjusmtents for different body types.
You are correct that the shoulder seam allowance is added after drafting the pattern. Eventhough without the seam allowance they match up perfectly I do understand that the width difference with the allowance can be confusing. We plan to adjust this!
I’m glad you found a way to make the fit to be perfect for you. And I have to say that the blouse looks gorgeous on you. Especially with that skirt! Awesome combination!
Thank you for sharing & Best wishes,
Esther from Rosie & Me
Thanks for the comment! I think that the biggest problem for me was that I have a bit of a round tummy and a sway back. This meant that I needed more room in the front. Also my waist is proportionally bigger than my size would suggest and this resulted in really weird looking pulling of the fabric. Due to the French dart, the waist curvature wasn’t so obvious. If I may offer a suggestion, it might be useful to have the real garment measurements somewhere in the instructions.
Anyway, the pattern does have really good advice on how to fit the pattern. I surely know how to do it, but in most cases I don’t have to, so I have gotten in the habit of forgoing the toile stage. With the toile I was easily able to fix the issues.
It just the way it is, there is no way to make a blouse this fitted so that it fits for each and every body, since we are all different. Like I said, this might be a good fit for a person with a more hourglass type of a body.
However, I’d be happy for some advice on how to lift the neckline. I love the collar and don’t want to mess with the drape. I’d be happy to try to pattern again and make a blouse that wouldn’t flash my bra.
Thank you for the advice on adding the pattern sizes as well. We’ve gotten that request before and is defintally something that we plan to add in the near future.
I will be more then happy to mail you advice on how to raise the neckline. That is the least I can do! Perhaps that is also a good measurement to add, so people know what kind of cleavage to expect.
I have to admit that in the next two weeks I am extremely busy, so don’t expect it real soon. But I will send it to you before May!
Great! Looking forward to it!
I wrote a tutorial how to raise the neckline. It will be added to our Tips & Tricks page soon, as I figured it could help other sewists with the same question as well. So thank you for that!
Here you can find the link:
Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions!
Thanks, Esther! I will read the tutorial and make another version when I have time. I think this pattern deserves another go, since the collar is so pretty and the sleeves fit beautifully.