Scoop neck blouse with statement sleeves

A review of Chalk and Notch Wren Blouse and Dress

Reviewed by Kaysews on 20th April, 2022

This is a well-designed and drafted pattern for a blouse and mini-dress. It has a scoop neck, buttons up the front and options for a short puff sleeve with elasticated hem and a long sleeve with a cuff. The short sleeve is unusual, being in two parts, enabling scope for playing with stripes or even colour blocking. The blouse is designed for light to medium weight wovens, such as cotton lawn, double gauze, or linen. I made mine in broderie anglaise, which worked really well. Fabric with a bit of structure shows off the short two-part sleeve to best effect, but a drapier fabric such as viscose should be good for the long sleeve version and dress.

The pattern comes with two bust cup sizes, A/B or C/D, and if home printing you can choose the size and cup options you want to print. The copy shop version includes all sizes and both cup options. There is good advice in the instructions on choosing a size, and I found the pattern true to size. I measured an 8 bust and 10 waist/hip, but could see from the finished garment measurements there was plenty of ease at the waist and just enough ease for me at the hip to cut a straight size 8. I left out the optional back darts, which would create a closer fit. Without the darts the shape is boxy but not loose or oversized. Note that the seam allowances are 1 cm, so there isn’t much scope for alterations within after cutting out.

The instructions are excellent, clearly written and illustrated throughout. There are separate instructions for the different versions and I appreciated the additional abbreviated section, comprising written steps summarised on one page. For me this meant I could read the detailed instructions before sewing and then just use the abbreviated steps as a reminder as I went along.

The pattern pieces went together very well making this a blouse a pleasure to sew. I have already cut out another in cotton seeersucker and will try the dress as well. Can thoroughly recommend this lovely pattern.