Ditsy Spring Cyclamen Blouse
If you've followed me on Instagram for any length of time at all you'll probably know that I really love a blouse. Absolutely love them. I love making them, wearing them, the lot.
For me they're more wearable than dresses as I prefer to wear trousers the majority of the time, but still like to look put together. A blouse does that perfectly.
Also, they use waaaay less fabric than a dress does, and generally take a much shorter time to both cut out and and sew up.
Cyclamen by Lysimaque is an romantic blouse with an unusual pleated bodice, multiple collar options and two sleeve options.
It's labelled as an intermediate pattern which I think is accurate as there's a couple of techniques involved that may be tricky for a beginner.
The size range is sadly limited, only going up to a 106cm hip (EU size 44).
It's pretty roomy, with lots of ease built in and if you were to omit the bodice pleats you could make it super boxy.
I've made this blouse once before and followed the instructions to the letter - having done so, I can say that I'm personally not keen on how the collar is constructed and attached.
The pattern instructs you cut a single layer of collar which you hem and attach to the neckline and simply overlock/zig-zag the seam. While this is fine, I prefer a neater finish. And I found the collar likes to turn up at the edges which I don't care for.
So for this version I lined the collar and interfaced the top layer.
I made a ruffle trim (love me a ruffle) which is a long thin rectangle measuring 2x the outside length of the collar long and 5cm wide.
I pressed it in half WST, then joined the short ends RST, clipped the corners and turned them out again to get neat edges. I then gathered it and basted it to the interfaced collar piece, before sewing the under collar to it RST.
After attaching it to the blouse I chose to finish it with a bias facing, to make it nice and neat. I much prefer how this looks compared to just finishing the raw edge.
I chose the pleated sleeves as they sounded interesting and I really like how they look. I made the pleats slightly bigger than the pattern suggests as the cuffs would've been a bit loose for me otherwise.
Fabric and Notions
I used a cotton poplin that I bought a few months ago from Blackbird Fabrics. They're based in Canada but offer reasonable international shipping (just keep your basket total under £135 to avoid import duties - correct Feb 2023!) and have a brilliant selection of fabrics. Not an ad, they're just fab.
The buttons are from Pigeon Wishes. I absolutely love Megan's buttons! These are the 'Pure Shores' shell buttons which seem to go with pretty much every fabric.
The label is by Kylie and the Machine from their 2022 advent calendar, and one of my favourite designs from the set.
I'd like to make another version of this blouse with the huge sailor collar, it looks so fun!