As you may know I recently launched my Modista French labels, as a little homage to both the time I cherished living in France and my love of all things French fashion.
Hopefully you have discovered it by now, but the French DIY fashion scene is HUGE. And fabuleuse. As you might expect, French pattern designers are chic and there are many pattern and fabric designers in France who I’ve loved for ages for their gorgeous designs that have classic shapes with a really modern twist.
Amongst them is Le Camelia Rose aka Florence Fernandez who is a pattern designer based in Paris. Her designs are posted on Wissew, which is a very clever site that helps people to develop their own sewing patterns and host them on the platform.
Le Camelia Rose patterns are characterised by flowing shapes, a loose fitting silhouette and really fun details that make the outfit step out. I really like their Rose dress especially:
However Florence recently released a new pattern and it was one of those moments of see pattern – follow link – add to cart. I loved the shape of the Iris dress and those sleeves:
So basically I had to have it and within about 30 seconds had purchased and sent it off to be printed.
However when the pattern arrived I decided to go with the blouse option after seeing a few versions online. My me-made wardrobe is pretty dress-heavy at the moment so I’m trying to make a conscious effort to get more separates in there that I can combine. I chose a swiss dot cotton that has been in my stash for ages – I bought it at the Manchester Create and Craft show, unfortunately I’ve forgotten from whom!
Here is my completed blouse. I’ll be honest; during the making of this I was dubious at first. The pattern offers either a binding option or to line it completely, neither of which I wanted to do on such a delicate fabric so I drafted facings instead. To do this I traced over the pattern pieces, keeping them short and allowing for seams. The pattern does not have any darts and I was worried it would come out really baggy and shapeless.
However as I got into the making I realised how well put together the pattern is. There are 4 (FOUR!) neckline options ranging from square to a deep plunge, as well as varying sleeve lengths. I went for the second to deepest plunge and the medium sized sleeve.
The pieces fit together really well and, although there is a slight drag on my UK D cup chest, it is a really casual yet eye catching blouse. As there’s no darts it was an easy make too ; I speak French but even if you don’t, as long as you have some experience in construction you wouldn’t find it hard and there are picture instructions.
I’ve also seen that Wissew are adding English instructions to many of their patterns now, which is a bonus!
I was pleased with how the blouse turned out and the fabric was actually the ideal weight. I would recommend using a lawn, rayon or viscose blend for this as heavier fabrics might not work and make the drag lines bigger, although you could add rouleau ties from the sides to tie at the back if you liked.
I like this pattern and can see it coming in handy for winter as well as summer -I would love to make it in a lightweight black velvet with huge sleeves for a dramatic effect, or a square neck long sleeve number in an autumnal floral fabric. There are loads of possibilities to be creative with the details too; on Instagram I’ve seen people adding lace trims to the sleeve or seams, having fun with the binding or the pattern direction too.
I hope you like the blouse too and it’s given you the inspiration to try a French pattern!