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Pleated Satin Bell Sleeved Blouse

I don’t know about the rest of the sewing and knitting world, but a lot (okay, most) of the things I make fall into two categories – thick, warm winter items, or light summer dresses, so I’ve been trying to remember to also make some inter-seasonal garments to wear throughout the upcoming months too. You know, so I actually have things to wear!

When Minerva Crafts asked me to try out this Pleated Satin Fabric, I thought it would fit perfectly into this kind of category. The fabric is a polyester satin, with an irregular pleat detail and I chose the teal green colourway.

The fabric, although polyester, has a lovely feel to it, drapes really nicely and is not too shiny – which I definitely prefer. Looking at the image on the website, I wasn’t sure what the transparency would be like, but it’s perfect for tops and blouses. I did also think that it would make a gorgeous evening dress, but I fought against my instincts and decided to make something more practical that I’d wear a little more often.

Almost as soon as I opened the parcel containing this fabric, I immediately wanted to make a floaty, bell-sleeved top, with a V-neck, similar to so many I’ve tried on in the High Street. I didn’t have an exact pattern in my stash already, but I did have a basic t-shirt pattern – New Look 6434, which I hacked to form the shape of the top. I then made a few customisations, to suit the fabric and create the style I was looking for.

I added two semi-circle shapes to the bottom of the sleeve pieces to get a wide, floaty sleeve, and I lowered the neckline into a V shape. This was mostly a trial and error kind of process, so there was a lot of basting and unpicking, until I got the shape I was looking for. I planned to add a simple facing to the neckline, but due to the pleats on the fabric, I couldn’t get it to lie properly. Instead, I made a neckband and top-stitched it down. Luckily the fabric is quite forgiving, so any small puckers on the neckline end up hidden in the pleats.

I omitted the fastening that the pattern recommends at the back of the top. As the fabric has a little stretch, and as I had already lowered the neckline for the V-neck, I simply didn’t need a button and button loop closure to get it over my head.

I was surprised to find that this fabric doesn’t seem to fray! Even after one hand wash, the edges haven’t shown any signs of wear, which is great. Cutting the fabric isn’t too difficult, but I’d recommend using pattern weights instead of pins, to avoid damaging it. It does tend to move about – due to the pleats – and weights seem to work better overall.

The colour is descried as teal, but I think it looks more of a forest green. Either way, it’s beautiful and different to the majority of my wardrobe, which makes a nice change.

I’d recommend the fabric for simple, uncomplicated garments, so that you can really let the material do the talking. Any pattern needing something with a good weight, but with drape would work really well. (I can imagine this making a beautiful Megan Nielsen, Dove blouse.) I have a little bit left over, so I’m going to see if there’s enough to get a True Bias, Ogden Camisole out of it for the summer.

If you want to have a look at my other makes, then you’ll find me on Instagram or my Blog.

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