Hello! As an avid fan of MaaiDesign fabrics, I jumped at the chance to be here today as guest blogger. I’m Caz and I teach sewing and run sewing events in Sydney as UsefulBox.
When I was choosing the fabric I would use, it didn’t take me long to settle on Blossom Night Fabric by Atelier Brunette. It is 100% high-quality viscose and has a lovely drape so I knew it would be perfect for a Megan Neilsen Dove Blouse.
I have made this blouse before and have worn it a lot and have wanted to make another for a long time. I have also been very attracted to ruffles lately. So I drew inspiration from the Republic Du Chiffon Suzon Blouse and decided to make a Ruffled Dove!
Here’s how I did it!
The Dove Blouse has a lovely open V-neck so I decided that the ruffles would work best added from the front neckline to the sleeve and then in a curve across the shoulder blades. I decided that the best approach would be to slash the pattern and add in the ruffles within a seam.
To slash the patterns, I started with the front bodice first. I measured my own body from my shoulder/neck point down to where I would like the ruffles, which was 12cm. On the pattern piece, I drew a line 12cm down and parallel to the shoulder seam and cut the pattern through that line. Make sure you mark the grainline on both pattern pieces. When I laid it out on the fabric to cut, I added 1.5cm for the seam allowance along that cut line.
To create the slash through the back I wanted to echo the shape of the hem with the ruffle. I began by measuring down the armscye by 12cm. Then used the hem of the front bodice pattern piece to create the curve by laying it on top and tracing around the curve.
I again cut through this line to break the pattern pieces into two. Again, I added 1.5cm seam allowance to that slashed line when I cut out the fabric on the fold.
Now I didn’t want my ruffles too overwhelming so I decided to make them just 5cm wide when finished. Therefore I needed a rectangle 8cm wide to account for the 1.5cm seam allowance on each side. To give me the length to ruffle, for lack of a better description, I just cut the rectangle to the full width of the fabric and made two of them.
To make one very long rectangle to ruffle, I sewed the two pieces together at the selvedge and pressed the seams open.
HOT TIP: Cut these rectangles out between two pieces of paper if your fabric is thin like mine.
I then folded the ruffle in half with wrong sides together and sewed down the raw edge at 1cm seam allowance with a long gathering stitch. Then very gingerly I pulled the bobbin stitch and gathered up my ruffles!
I started with the back bodice first and laid my ruffles along the top edge and pinned. I then laid the back bodice yoke on the top and pinned, making sure that the curves matched correctly. I then sewed at 1.5cm and overlocked the edge.
It’s very exciting to then press up the yoke to reveal a lovely ruffle! Topstitching then completes the look and makes it sit so flat!
I repeated this process for the two ruffles on the front bodice and also topstitched the ruffles flat. Because the ends of the ruffles extend over the armscye, I laid out the pattern over the top and cut down the sides to make it even.
This makes setting in the sleeve much easier!
Because ruffles tend to have a mind of their own, I decided to baste the ruffle down at the armscye and pin back a wayward ruffle so that they sat flat when I set in the sleeve. (This photo shows the basting before I hacked off the extra ruffle as per previous step!)
From then, I continued to follow the very fabulous instructions from Megan Nielsen to finish my Ruffled Dove Blouse.
I am very happy with how this blouse has turned out and I expect I will get A LOT of wear out of it. It also won’t be the last Dove that I make!
Will you make a ruffled Dove?