Simple Sew Lottie Blouse and Skirt pattern review
I am a big fan of making sewing simple and Simple Sew paper patterns do just that. I will be using them in my sewing workshops and stocking them on my website very soon. I need to test all the patterns I use, making sure they are suitable for my future beginners and easy to use and follow.
Packaging and Instructions
The envelope has space to place your pattern back when you have finished with it, traditionally the envelop is thinner and I have tried squashing it back in and ripped the sides. I have heard some people iron their patterns before they return it to the packet. That is not for me.
The tissue paper is slightly thicker than some patterns, which is good. My pattern was slightly stuck together, so when I opened it, it ripped and I had to stick it back together. I’m sure this is probably just a one-off thing.
The instructions are presented over 4 sides of A4, very professionally and clear drawings of the product and of each stage. There is a key for right and wrong sides, general preparation and lay plans on the front. Then inside there is step by step instructions, these are clear and easy to follow and #sewsimple. There is additional information for the binding and I like the order of make they use. Adding the zip in to the skirt first, is good and prevents puckering at the end of the zip, some patterns say to sew the side seam up and then add the zip. The day I learnt not to do this changed my zips forever.
The blouse, you sew the sleeve heads in first and then the side seams, this is far easier than setting in a sleeve.
Over all instructions are good, some stages are a little over looked and could be a challenge for a beginner. In my introduction to sewing workshop I will definitely use this pattern, as the shape is good and I can help and demonstrate the tricky parts. Heres a link to my workshop:
For a beginner it does have some challenges; the concealed zip, waistband, binding and tie. All things that would add to someone’s sewing skills set, so not a bad thing. I remember back to when I first started sewing at college, I would avoid designing anything with a sleeve, I found these so hard to get right. They would always hang towards the back, my placement was all wrong. Luckily when I started working I mastered this, I was an apprentice, I was the one who had to make all the customer toiles, mock ups of the made to measure wedding dresses.
For the hem of the sleeves and blouse hem, I used a pin hem, this is just much smaller than folding over twice and stitching. Instead I folded over, stitched on the fold edge, trimmed away the raw edge and then folded over again and stitched again. Leaving a much finer hem.
When placing the zip in, it is important to measure and check both sides of the waistband, making sure that they match. If the top isn’t sewn the same on both sides, then the lower part of the waistband will also not match. before you sew, close the zip to check
I love pattern, so made both products in floral prints, both can’t be worn together. They look great in the shapes. The pattern sleeve shows the garments in plain fabrics, online you can see the blouse in a print though. Next I will make the skirt in a denim fabric to go with this blouse. It would also look great in a plain wool or a pinstripe. I used to wear heels and pencil skirts to work a lot, as a manager. I would definitely recommend this style for work wear, you could make a different colour for each day.
I made the blouse in a very light weight cotton, I think it may look better in a heavier viscose or polyester, as the sleeves look wide. I wanted to use a liberty fabric, but I just didn’t have enough.
The skirt I made in a thick printed stretch fabric and this looks great and could be made smaller if you wanted it to be tighter fitting.
The sleeves appear to finish below the elbow in all the pictures, but mine finished above. I don’t think my arms are long? When I make this again, I would lengthen or even shorten them. Maybe even add a little gather and bind the sleeve hem. I would make the tie longer too, as it also looks shorter made up, compared to the pictures.
Both garments I made a size bigger than the suggested size and they both fit perfectly and are really comfortable as a result. The shape and length of the skirt is lovely too. Always check the measurements against your own before you make any pattern. You can always take it in, you can’t make it bigger.
Both products were easy to make and the skirt will definitely be a staple in my wardrobe. The blouse with some adjustments I would also recommend. Both products are very comfortable to wear and the blouse can be worn with jeans and or with the pencil skirt as workwear.
I love sewing and Simple Sew patterns are up in my top ten go to patterns.