I have finally completed this blouse and wanted to share with you. It was so much fun to make and to be honest this is actually my second version. I started this just after completing Colette Ginger and it was, for me, a step too far. That's not to say that this is a difficult pattern, more that for a third ever make, I was not ready for it possibly a little over ambitious.
The problem with the first version
My first version was navy and white polka dot crepe de chine. This I believe was a major problem because the fabric although beautiful and drapy was also a slippery little creature. I also cut it out with scissors. When I think about it now, these both combined meant that the pieces I cut really had no bearing on the pattern and that was just the start of my problems. The neckline and the pleats were wonderful and challenging and really fun to make. Tilly's instructions make it very easy to follow as do the wonderful tutorials on her site. My real problem came with the seven button holes. I had not done button holes before. i have also lost the manual for my machine. I tried to guess, starting at the bottom as this I thought would be least obvious. The first one went well but with each successive buttonhole they got worse. The button holes were a disaster. I gave up on the project. then...
The practically perfect second version
So I started a second version this time using a lovely navy cotton poplin star print.
Far easier to work with I wondered why I didn't use cotton more often. I cut it with my rotary cutter and the pieces looked just like the pattern; This made assembly sooo easy.The pleats were a joy and I even added some crochet lace detail between the yoke and the front - an idea
stolen borrowed from Lauren Guthrie.
The sleeves were not for me and so the I also borrowed the cap sleeve idea using Sewaholic's Alma as a pattern. I also love those seven large buttons on the back.
If you are new to sewing this is a perfect pattern just don't use a slippery fabric - cotton poplin is cheap and perfect for the capped sleeve version and widely available in lots of gorgeous patterns. Use a rotary cutter although with care they are very sharp. You get a very accurate cut and accuracy does make sewing much easier. Do follow all the steps from Tilly's site, both the instructions and photos are brilliant. Try not to lose the manual for your sewing machine. Practice buttonholes over and over until they are perfect before moving onto the garment.
I will be making another Mathilde although again with cap sleeves. This is only make three of my 12 makes so I hope to make another Mathilde in the new year. The next pattern I will be making April Rhodes Staple dress. Have you made this? I chose it for the pockets and the easy styling.