I applied to test this bowed blouse when I saw it on my phone screen, that part is important as I hadn't been able to see quite how much detail was involved! When I got the email to say I'd been chosen, I quickly joined the tester group and found the pattern files, yikes! I instantly knew it would take much longer than I had planned to make! Albeit a labour of love, I do really like the finished blouse and with a little more tweaking to the fit I can see it working well as part of my work wardrobe. Please bear with me for the photos on this one, I wasn't feeling too well at the time of the shoot!
The Zamora blouse* is a PDF file, it covers US sizes 00 up to 20 (UK 2-24!) and also has different pattern pieces for different bust cup sizes (A-DD) to save time doing your own bust adjustments. Unlike a lot of other PDF pattern designers these cup sizes relate to your actual bra cup size not the usual cup size worked out by subtracting your high bust from your full bust measurement. To work out what pages of the pattern you need to print, you need to see where your full bust measurement and cup size match up, then look for your waist and hip measurements. There are 42 pages of pattern pieces included but as each cup size has a different front pattern piece, you only need to print 22 of those pages and the chart on page 5 will tell you which they are to save you time! You can also save ink by using the layers feature to turn off any sizes you don't need.
The instructions are very well written with lots of detail and include fully digitalised illustrations throughout for a professional feel. There are notches and balance marks throughout the pattern pieces and all the pintuck and dart raw edges line up perfectly once sewn.
Recommended fabrics are light weight wovens with or without stretch (1 5/8 yards approx 1.5 metres). It also calls for a small amount of interfacing (for the buttonhole placket) and 5 1/2" buttons
There are 8 staggered pintucks on the front which help give the shaping needed for the bust along with a bust dart and 2 diamond waist darts either side of the centre front placket. Two diamond darts and a centre neck tuck are also included on the back piece for a little more movement room. There is a choice of 2 sleeve lengths, 3/4 sleeves or bracelet (just shorter tha full length to enable a bracelet to still be seen) length. Both sleeve options involve gentle gathering into a cuff which mirrors the gently gathered inset sleeve head. A very classic and formal looking blouse.
As per my measurements, I sewed the size 0 cup C, I could have taken my waist in to the 00 but felt the extra inch of fabric around my waist on the finished item would be fine. I originally had a rayon challis fabric in mind but upon seeing all the extra detailing I hadn't noticed before getting the pattern I soon realised I wouldn't have enough time to complete it with the French seams it would have needed so actually chose a very lightweight semi-sheer knit fabric! It has minimal stretch of around 10-15% and drapes lovely. Knits don't need the same seam raw edge finishing so would help me finish quicker but even so it still took me around 8 hours to sew. Due to my fabric being semi sheer I knew I wouldn't be able to use traditional fusible interfacing so used some organza instead. I spray basted it onto my knit fabric to hold it in place and stop it stretching out of shape.
How does it fit?
I quite like the fit all round, there are a few little tweaks I need to try next time when putting my original rayon challis one together, mainly looking at the drag lines around my bust, I think I need to slightly adjust the dart position for that.
I like the length overall but feel the sleeve length isn't quite a standard 3/4 so might adjust that ever so slightly too.
I think I'll also add a couple more buttons to the front placket next time to stop there being so much space between them, that is very much a personal preference based on aesthetics in my eyes though.
I fit the 'V' a little low but as I had to wear a cami under anyway due to the fabric being sheer that isn't an issue as that provided a modesty panel for me.
Pattern Cost (full price) - (£8.40) $12 (I received the pattern for free in return for testing it)
Fabric Cost - £5 ($7.11)
Notions £2 ($2.85)
Total cost £15.40 ($21.96)
Get the pattern before the end of March 13th and get 20% off with the code '4releases' and why not check out the other 3 patterns also just released whilst you're there!
A brilliantly drafted pattern with lots of attention to detail and minimal adjustments needed to make the fit perfect. A labour of love but a really pretty blouse at the end of it perfect for work. I will be making it again when I have time as I'd like to finish the Rayon Challis one I have already cut out. I will also have my eye on all future Itch to Stitch patterns as I have huge confidence in the designer and her patterns.
Blouse Pattern - The Zamora Blouse*
Fabric - Bargain fabric from a destash
Affiliate links are included throughout this post marked with an asterisk '*' it costs you nothing extra but means I get a few cent's if you buy the pattern after clicking through. I would love it if you could use them if this post has inspired you but feel free to navigate there yourself if you prefer! Thanks, Sarah
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Hi! I'm Sarah and I live with my 2 boys and my Husband in East Anglia, UK. I enjoy sewing for my family and it is my aim to have a completely MeMade wardrobe for us all!