I do like a big blouse in a fabric with lots of drape. At the moment I'm also liking bishop sleeves with deep cuffs so the Nexus blouse ticked both boxes.
I didn't want a structured top so this viscose fabric from Economy Fabrics in Derbyshire is perfect and its juicy print makes me think of warmer days.
This is a really simple pattern with a faced opening and dropped sleeves. Now dropped sleeves aren't my go to style, I'm only 5'3" and really prefer sleeves that fit close to my shoulder point. however they work in this really soft fabric. The sleeves can be a wide bell or pulled in with the deep cuff. The versatility of this pattern is achieved, not only because of the sleeves, but because the neckline means it can be worn with the buttons down the front or the back. Believe me I've done this before and had loads of my students tell me I'm wearing my top back to front! There's also a shorter version with a straight hem.
I was unsure what interfacing to use. I keep 2 Vlieseline products in stock as I find they work with a wide range of fabrics
For this project I chose G405 as it has enough body to hold a good shape, whilst still being soft.
Here's the way I achieved a neat finish on this lightweight fabric.
Place the facing and interfacing right sides together and sew a 5mm seam along the edge that won't be sewn to the garment. The edge that'll be seen inside your garment.
Turn the the right sides out, twiddle the layers so the seam is at the edge. Fuse the interfacing to the facing. I like to use a silk organza pressing cloth.
The neck edge is cut on the bias and stretched loads. I really should have stay stitched it, but I'm not sure that would have been ok with this fabric. You can always use your stay stitch to ease in the edge so it's the same length as the pattern, pull in the bobbin thread just like gathering but stop before you get any tucks.
I chose to use one of my favourite products...Vlieseline bias edge tape. I used the pattern to cut it to the right length. Then pinned it onto my ironing board so the ends were in the right place.
I teased the edge of the fabric so it matched the length of the tape before fusing.
I don't often use French seams for everyday wear as I find the multiple layers are too bulky, especially where seams cross over each other. However they did work well for this lightweight fabric.
BUT! This pattern has a curved hem and side slits. Here's my solution to what to do with the bottom of the seam. I'll try to make sure I do a proper tutorial ............
Overall I'm really please with the pattern. However it's versatility is my one criticism ..........I don't like sleeve cuffs hanging down onto my hands getting in the way of daily chores. Because the sleeve can be made without the cuff the shape doesn't really work once the cuff is added. I had to overlap the cuff a long way to keep the bottom of the sleeve where I want it.
The cuff really shouldn't stick out like this. The sleeve seam really should be shorter which helps to stop the cuff dropping onto your hand, whilst still giving the lovely drape on the outer edge. However the pattern would need two different sleeve patterns.
I'm sure I'll make this pattern again, probably the shorter version with a redrafting of he deeve.