I’ve always loved a sweetheart neckline, it has such a flattering shape and a little twist on forties fashion. One of my first great makes was a sweetheart necked top (back in the 90s) which I adored, so when I saw Gertie’s Sweetheart Blouse Sewing Pattern I knew that this was a pattern I had to stitch. Today I’m reviewing making the pattern step by step and using this really pretty heart Crepe Fabric.

One of the big attractions to this pattern was its adaptability. I love the choice of sleeve details, the pattern offers three options plus a choice of three front details; a bow, contrast collar or an elegant heart shaped neckline. So you could make your design again and again, so many combinations. The pattern has also some adorable vintage details such as double back darts, back seam and puff sleeves to make it fit the body but also flatter your shape.

I decided on the bow front with the lap over sleeve (view A as modelled by Gertie) and made a size 12 using 2 meters of fabric.

I chose this beautiful heart design crepe as it was delicate, floaty and feminine and perfect for a Spring day or even for a Valentines date.

The fabric had white background and looks pretty timeless and with a small repeat pattern it meant that I didn’t need to pattern match.

If you’re not used to using black and white paper pattern instructions, please do not be put off. I really like a printed pattern and I find that the diagrams in Butterick patterns are really easy and they talk you through the process step by step. Here’s a detail of the facing instructions for the blouse and the back darts, which are really clear. As long as you have your tailor tacks and notches in place the blouse when together really quickly. I didn’t trace the pattern off and used it straight from the packet, the cutting out and tailor tacking was all done in about 90 minutes.

Here are the best features of the pattern for me and why crepe is a beautiful fabric to use and wear…

The Sleeves

I stitched the blouse using an 80 ball point needle and Gutermann thread. I loved the sleeve design as I have never constructed a sleeve with a wrap over detail. The notches on the pattern really helped and as long as you press when the pattern says so, the sleeve does go together surprisingly easily.

I finished seams with a zig zag stitch and pressed to the inside of garment.

The Bow Detail Front

Stitching the bow detail went together well, I stitched it together and pressed it every time the pattern told me to to get that sharp fold at the top and bottom of the fabric, the size 12 fitted me perfectly. A big plus for no alterations to the pattern. I was concerned that the bow would pull on the sleeve detail (as it’s attached onto 25% of the front sleeve) but it didn’t. A really wonderful pattern. The detail wasn’t too low around the neckline and followed the neckline perfectly.

The Back Dart

The back dart made the blouse fit into the shoulders, when I was making it, it did seem to be a lot of fabric, but as I stitched the shape using the back seam and the darts meant it created a very classic shape.

Double Darts

Even though it does take more time, these double sets of darts made the blouse fit just right. So be patience and it’s worth it!

I really recommend this pattern and this gorgeous crepe fabric. Even though the pattern states it’s ‘Easy’, I would recommend it for an advanced beginner. All the little details are really worth the time. The fabric was lovely to stitch with and if you are new to crepe, handle it gently with the right tension and it’s on your side! Some websites do recommend putting tissue under the fabric if your feed dogs / presser foot can’t be adjusted. I didn’t use this on this garment but I have done before to reduce snagging of the fabric.

I finished the garment using red buttons and spacing exactly to the pattern which for my shape worked out perfectly. I used a blind hemming foot to put a small hem on the blouse.

Finally, I was so impressed with how the heart shaped neckline was a great fit, no alterations so a big thank-you to Butterick for making a go to blouse for my Spring wardrobe.

Samantha blogs about sewing and DIY crafts and www.crafternoonteas.com and hosts Crafternoon Tea Parties in the Midlands, UK and beyond at www.crafternoonteahostess.co.uk.