Happy Autumn Equinox, everyone! I hope you are having a rad time enjoying the change of the seasons. This lady is in her PJs on the couch with warm tea and cold and flu tablets. Boo! But on the plus side, I get some time to share with you my new top. It’s got polka dots AND there is a ruffle. Who can say no to that?
This sassy number is the Suzon Blouse by Republique du Chiffon. The Suzon is a sleeveless, button-up shirt with a ruffle following the natural curve of the shoulder. This pattern comes only in a paper version so for those of you on Team PDF you have been warned. Also, Past Amanda would like to provide a heads up to everyone who traces things out that the Suzon requires a seam allowance to be added. GAH! Learn from my mistakes, peeps.
I’ll be real here- I totally made this top out of the wrong fabric even though it is one of my faves. The fabric is a Pin Spot poplin from Spotlight which I buy in bulk when it is on 40% off. It is easy to sew with, presses nicely and has a bit too much of a firm hand for what I was intending. Oh well, they can’t all be winners! Note to Future Amanda: don’t do what Past Amanda did and be so desperate to make a pattern that you can’t be bothered driving the 40 minutes to purchase fabric that will actually suit. You’ll just get cranky at yourself later and eat half a packet of Tim Tams while you sulk. Though the Tim Tams were a good idea…And as a small side note: I have been using this poplin as a lining and accent for most of my sewn projects for the last 6-ish years and I love the cohesive feel it has brought to my me-made wardrobe. It is such a small thing but brings me lots of joy!
Construction wise, the Suzon is pretty straightforward. The instructions are translated into English and are a little patchy at times so it pays to have an understanding of shirt construction before tackling this one. I also loved adding the ruffle – I have never done such a teeny hem before and it was fun watching this come together. And in the tradition of fully owning my mistakes here – I did the button holes in white thread and it made the shirt rather lacklustre. By the time I realised this I had already cut the holes and sewn the buttons on… So, in total lazy Amanda fashion, I grabbed a black marker and hand coloured the buttonholes in. Dodgy? Heck yes! Noticeable unless you are looking for it? Heck no! I think this makes is pretty clear which side of sewing perfectionism I fall on…
Alterations wise, I made a 46 in this which proved to be a too big when it came time for the final reveal. The armholes were gaping a lot and there was lots of ease around the bust. These issues combined with the poor fabric choice made for a crazy tent top which I was not digging. In the end I took 4cm off each side which felt good at the time (thanks cold and flu tablets!) but in hindsight is way too much. As a result I now have draglines of sadness and the back is too tight. Dang it. I need to work on the fit some more – most likely a broad upper back adjustment and an FBA on the size down.
What I loved about this pattern:
- Ruffles for days! I think that 20-greateen is actually Amanda’s Year of the Ruffle!
- The sleeveless button-up vibe. As a lady who loathes sleeves, especially in woven tops, having a button up drafted specifically sleeveless makes me very happy.
What I would change for next time:
- Use the right fabric. I have some sweet Liberty lawn that has been maturing in my stash waiting for this pattern.
- Do some fitting. Please.
Fabric: 1.4m of Pin Spot poplin from Spotlight
Notions: thread from stash, 7 buttons from Spotlight
Alterations: removed 4cm from each side seam at the bust grading to nothing at the hips. Future Amanda remaking this pattern – please remember this was too much!!!
Overall, I seriously dig the style of this top if not my actual finished piece. Whilst I’ve worn this number to work a few times (and gotten a heap of ruffle compliments) the poplin and fit issues has made it feel a bit meh to wear. I’m looking forward to having another go at this in a better suited fabric. Here is to future victories!