A Special Chiffon Joy Blouse.
Hello everybody, it’s Holly (@holsstevens on Instagram) here and Felicity Fabrics very kindly asked me if I’d like to write a blog post for them with some of their gorgeous fabric! So of course I said yes and could not RESIST using this beautiful, lightweight, black spotty chiffon fabric – it’s a beauty!!
It’s sheer, so whatever I decided to make I knew I’d need to line all or part of it. It’s drapey, floaty and has tiny raised black velvet-like spots all over it. There’s a definite wrong side and right side, so I had to make sure to check which side was which before sewing any pieces together. But it washed beautifully and I’d recommend only light pressing on a low heat – but have a practice first on a scrap piece!
So onto the pattern, I’d recently made the I Am Patterns Joy Blouse at the Sewing Weekender back in the summer. I absolutely love the simplicity of this pattern, combined with a really special fabric, I think makes a really beautiful garment! It has a lovely wide boat neckline, bust darts and elbow length sleeves finished with an elasticated cuff.
As mentioned, this fabric is pretty sheer so I decided to line the front and back bodice pieces with some plain black viscose, but leave the sleeves sheer to keep a bit of the ‘sexyness’ of this fabric, and I thought this would look a bit more fancy! The pattern is finished off with facings ordinarily but in order to line it I had to convert these pieces to a full lining instead. This actually wasn’t as hard as it sounds at all because I simply cut a front and back bodice from the chiffon, and a front and back bodice from the black viscose, and then sewed them together in exactly the same way as I would have a facing!
My bust measurement is 32 inches so I sewed up the size 38, which is for a 33 7/8 inch bust. There’s plenty of ease at the waist and hips so the most important fit point is the bust. As I’d made a Joy before, I knew it was a little big for me at the neckline. To fix this I took off 1cm from the centre front and back pattern pieces (which totalled 2cm out of both front and back pieces). This really improved the fit here and there’s no peek of my bra strap either side like there is with my previous one!
The instructions are good with diagrams to help at each step, the construction is very simple and is a perfect advanced beginner pattern. I made it slightly more tricky as I decided to french seam the whole garment too, as I didn’t want to see any raw seams through the chiffon fabric. This gives the top a really nice finish as well as keeping the seams super strong to survive future washing! In order to hem the main bodice pieces, (which was going to be a bit tricky in chiffon) I sewed a line of stitching 1cm away from the hem, then turned this up to the wrong side and pressed, then pressed this up another 1cm and then stitched it down. I found the chiffon hem was so much easier to press with a line of stitching through it! The lining hem I trimmed by 2cm then turned up by 1cm then 2cm, so it falls just above the length of the chiffon.
I’m so happy I decided to make this top with this fabric as I’m thrilled with the final result. I’m pleased I left the sleeves sheer and think it looks great with a sparkly necklace – perfect to wear out to a little Christmas dinner soon! I’d thoroughly recommend the Joy Blouse from I Am Patterns as it was very straightforward construction and is a reasonably quick sew. Depending on your fabric choice it would also work well for a warm sunny day!
So don’t be afraid of sewing with chiffon – it’s not as difficult as it looks!!