Sewing Charm Patterns "Rita" Blouse
Earlier this year I donated to a Kickstarter project by Gretchen Hirsch, who was trying to raise money to start her own line of vintage inspired sewing patterns. The fundraising campaign was a success and a few weeks ago, I recieved two of her patterns in the mail. I was excited to start sewing both of these, and decided to start with the "Rita Blouse" first.
I was very happy to see the concept design for the "Rita Blouse" when it was first announced. I'm a huge fan of this style of peasant blouse and wear them quite often. I was excited with the possibility of being able to make my own in whatever color I needed.
What struck me first when receiving this pattern was the beautiful illustration by Gemini H on the envelope. I love to collect vintage patterns and often purchase them for the illustrations alone. Most modern patterns use photographs rather than illustrations and they just aren't as fun to look at. Opening the instructions, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the technical illustrations were also beautifully done and very informative. The instructions themselves were very clear and easy to understand.
The pattern pieces are multi-sized to fit sizes from 2 to 16. This pattern also comes with separate cup sizes for the bodice, which I think is a brilliant idea. Often I have trouble with the top of a pattern being much to big, so having the option for different sizes made it much easier to find the right fit. My only confusion with this multi-sized pattern is that in some cases there were so many notches bunched together that I had a hard time figuring out which notch was intended for my size. In the end I was able to work through this issue, so it wasn't a deal breaker.
There are two options for this blouse design. One has gathered sleeves and the other flutter sleeves. Since I already own a bunch of peasant blouses with gathered sleeves, I chose to make my first version with the flutter style.
I had some leftover fabric from my hotdog skirt project, so I decided to use up the rest of that. This blouse was extremely easy to sew and from start to finish it only took me a few hours to complete. The blouse fit pretty well; the top portion fit perfectly, but I probably could have gone down a half size in the lower portion. The fabric I used was a linen fabric, so the sleeves didn't drape as much as I would have liked so next time I would opt for something a bit softer.
Once I had finished my first blouse, I decided to make another one with the gathered sleeve style. This time I used some lavender vintage fabric that I found at Goodwill for $1. I didn't have a ton of skirts that I could wear with this color, so I also made a dirndl-style skirt to go with it. I was able to complete both the blouse and skirt in a day.
Overall I'm very happy with this pattern. As someone who isn't an expert at sewing, I appreciated the clear instructions and illustrations. I plan to make many more versions of this blouse and I'm looking forward to starting the "Lamour Dress" soon. I am really excited about the possibility of more retro patterns from Charm Patterns.