I am so so excited and proud to announce that I have been asked to be a brand ambassador for Rebecca Page! Rebecca makes amazing PDF patterns for children and women. Sizing for women goes right from XXS to 5XL and are usually designed with curvy girls in mind, which is a winner in my eyes. The children’s patterns range from newborn to 12 years. She also duplicates many of the patterns to be made for dolls too, so you can match your little ones to their dollies and then to you if you wanted to!
“In our patterns you’ll find beautifully thought-out designs for you and your littles. Hidden raw edges, easy construction methods, detailed tutorials and superb finishes. You’ll learn, you’ll have fun and you’ll create gorgeous garments. It’s little bits of beautiful magic with stunning details!” (www.rebeccapage.com/about)
I couldn’t agree more, you will soon learn that the patterns are exactly that and I couldn’t be more pleased to be involved and to be creating her lovely garments.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you the the Riviera Ruffle Blouse – this pattern has just been released TODAY so head on over there because she has an introductory discount on it until 2nd August.
I signed up to be a brand ambassador and this is the first make that I have done of hers, even though I’d eyed up her patterns for a while. I was really pleased to find the pattern really accessible and the instructions are amazing. I would definitely recommend these patterns for newbies because they take you through everything, they’re super clear and have lots of little tips too. For me, I found that I could almost skip little bits because they were techniques I knew but I also learnt lots too.
My main learning curve was in creating the ruffles. I’m not usually a ruffle sort of girl but I didn’t feel right trying a ruffle blouse without them so I went with it. They were definitely time consuming and it took me a few goes to get it right. The pattern suggests a couple of ways of doing this. One is to sew a gathering stitch and pull it round on itself whilst pressing them hem. The other is to sew a rolled hem.
I bought a rolled hem foot some time a go and have since completely ignored it so I planned to continue doing so. However, I tried the method for pulling the curve round to a hem and it just looked really messy on the inside and I wasn’t feeling it at all. I think this was more because of the fabric I chose than the method because plenty of other ambassadors were able to do it. So… rolled hem it was. I found this(link) tutorial on rolled hems on YouTube and I was pretty pleased with the way they turned out. there was the odd twist in the fabric but overall it went well.
I chose to use this gorgeous polyester (I think) fabric which was originally from Sew Over It but I got it in the swap at Sew Up North, so I’m super grateful to the person who donated it. I am even more grateful to the lovely Lou over on Instagram who kindly sent me the scraps of hers after I didn’t have enough to make two of the ruffles. We had been discussing what we might make with our matching fabrics and when I ran out I immediately turned to her and she sent it to me, after she had made a lovely Penny Dress -what a gem!
What Rebecca says about having easy to follow instructions is so true and every seam is either tucked in or hidden away, it produces a really nice finish. As I said, the ruffles were time consuming, otherwise the garment came together pretty quickly overall. The instructions meant that I learnt lots of little tips and techniques when sewing shirt style garments like this – for example, the section on the back darts was really thorough and useful.
I particularly like the collar on the blouse – I find that I often find collars sit too big around my neck or that I feel a little masculine in them but this is curved, soft and feminine. The darts and shaping in it are lovely too. I put pink poppers on this as I was one, a bit worried about snagging the fabric with buttonholes and two, I was being lazy but I like the clean look of them.
I wore this to work with a black pencil skirt. I’m so pleased to have more separates to wear for work.
So… I also made another out of this Lilac Cherry Blossom Poplin from Sewisfaction. If you haven’t checked Sheona’s online shop out yet – you should, she has some lovely fabrics on offer. I’m eyeing up the bumble bee fabric next. I fully fully recommend this fabric though, it has cut easily and sewn up a treat, it has a very small amount of stretch, which made fitting the collar and the curves of the sleeves that little bit easier. I’ve had lots of compliments about the colour and the quality feels really great. There are different colour ways too.
Again, the construction was really easy. It comes together super quick with out the ruffles and everything has a great finish. I used these pearlised buttons I got in the sale at John Lewis in Leeds with this fabric in mind and I’m so pleased with how well they go.
The couple of criticisms I have with the top, firstly is that I had to cut a 3XL, which gave me a bit of a gulp moment. I’m assuming this is because there is such a range of sizes available but it didn’t make me feel much better at the time. Secondly is that the sleeve is a standard pattern, there’s no grade lines – I made a 3 XL, as I said, and found the sleeve to be big in it’s style so I imagine smaller sizes would feel a little swamped by the sleeve pieces.
It so happens that I love the look of these sleeves, they are quite a statement. I intended to join the sleevefest organised by Diane of Dream.Cut.Sew And Helen of Valentine and Stitch with the latest pattern from Simply Sewing Magazine, the Mia set. But I think these sleeves definitely qualify for a year of the sleeve style celebration! I still intend to make the Mia but perhaps not which as much urgency now I have these funky sleeves for #sleevefest2017!
I completed the rest of the blouse pattern without the ruffles for this version but with the aforementioned ruffled cap sleeves, which you bias bind in so it looks really neat. Another trick, I have learnt!
I teamed it with grey trousers for work and I felt really summery and smart. Lots of people commented on how lovely the fabric is and the sleeves were a highlight.
The pattern also has the option to use a paneled side, which is what I am going to do next time I make this in a maroon style purple with liberty detailing! Can’t wait! There are lots of ways to customise it to make it look different each time, which I love in a pattern. Definitely keep a look out for more patterns of Rebecca’s coming this way, there’s some very exciting patterns on the way!
*Disclaimer: I received this pattern free of charge, pre-release as part of being a brand ambassador in return for creating it and taking pictures ready for release, the views are truthful and my own. 🙂