From the minute I laid my eyes on the Adrienne Blouse Pattern by Friday Pattern Co, I knew instantly that I needed to make one. I really don’t focus that much on making tops in my Me-made sewing, and pretty much any tops I do make are usually standard T-shirt’s. My me-made wardrobe is lacking in the tops department, without a doubt. What drew me to the Adrienne blouse pattern is that fact that it’s a relatively simple shape, but can easily be dressed up or down, and the whole vibe of the top can be altered with different fabrics and solids/prints.

What I wanted to create, was a neutral, easily paired with top, that adds a bit of drama and interest to an otherwise simple outfit. I imagined wearing it with a simple pair of jeans, but also wearing it underneath dungarees - which would catapult a usually quite dressed down ensemble, into something much more put together and thought out.

Sticking to my neutral theme, I spent a while picking out the perfect shade of jersey. I wanted to pick something that would go with pretty much everything, without washing me out. I have quite a red-toned complexion and so sometimes if I wear cooler neutrals, such as an arctic white, it can make me look a bit worse for wear (which no one wants). I finally settled on a Viscose Jersey Fabric in shade Cream. The jersey I decided on in a medium weight viscose jersey. I wanted to choose a jersey that wouldn’t be too lightweight and flimsy, that would have a good stretch and recovery, and also wash and wear well. I’m starting to think more and more about the longevity of the garments that I am making these days as I think that fast sewing can be as problematic as fast fashion. The items become throw-away and seen as less worthy and so I wanted to pick a well produced fabric, that would stand the test of time. I want to create garments that I can wear over and over again without them falling apart. Investment sewing, I like to think of it as (a bit like investment pieces that you would buy for your wardrobe if you weren’t sewing it yourself).

I decided to make a size XL going by the pattern sizing chart. I did debate making a L, but I noticed that there was already quite a bit of negative ease built in, and so settled on the XL. I wanted the top to be form-fitting, but not skin tight. The pattern is really quick and simple to prepare as there’s only three pattern pieces - the sleeve, the bodice (front and back are the same for this pattern, making this even speedier to cut out), and the neck binding. You also need some elastic for this pattern for the shoulders and sleeves. The pattern instructions are really easy and straight forward to follow and the also include lengths for the elastic too, taking out any guess work, and simplifying the process even further.

I managed to sew this project in just one evening, using my sewing machine and overlocker. I overlocked the seams etc, and for places that required stitching with a machine such as the hem and the shoulders and sleeves where you need to make a channel to insert the elastics, I used a 3-step zig-zag stitch. The 3-step zig-zag is my preferred stitch for stretch fabrics. It finishes well, doesn’t stretch out or distort the fabric, and in my opinion it’s the most hard wearing stretch stitch that’s less prone to popping stitches or broken threads when put under pressure.

Once I’d finished sewing the top, I tried it on straight away and it was pretty much love at first sight. I really love the contrast between the form-fitting bodice and the voluminous sleeves. The fabric I chose was the perfect choice. It’s comfortable to wear, it’s incredibly soft to touch, and I love the colour, too. I like that you can alter the look of the top by wearing the shoulders of the top on your shoulders, or pulling them down and wearing them off the shoulder too. Multiple looks from one garment is always a winner in my books.

The making of this garment was extremely enjoyable. I love projects that are relatively quick and simple, but leave you with a garment that you know is going to be worn over and over again, and enjoyed for a long time to come. I now have a top that fills a hole in my Me-made wardrobe and also styles well with some of my previous makes. I cannot wait for cooler weather to be able to wear this more often!