I loved the look of this blouse so I was excited to get started once it arrived in the mail. Silhouette Patterns #622, Julianna’s Blouse, is a blouse with a center front seam, flounce around the front V-neckline, and double flounces at the sleeve hems. It is a popover blouse, meaning it has no buttons, it just gets pulled on over your head. Choosing a fabric was next on the agenda…
Due to the beautiful, swingy flounces on this top’s sleeves and neckline, Julianna’s Blouse requires a fabric that looks good on both sides. I thought that a solid-colored silk would be beautiful, but I got stuck on the color selection. If I chose black, my usual go-to, I was afraid it might look a little witchy. If I chose white, it could look too much like a pirate or costume-y poet vibe, so I decided to go all-out and make it in a vivacious turquoise floral polyester bubble crepe. Luckily my fabric of choice was almost as nice on the wrong side as it is on the right side, so I was good to go!
I used a fabric from my stash that I had originally found online at Fabric Mart Fabrics, so not only was it beautiful, but I got it for a great price. I was immediately attracted to it’s wild cacophony of magenta irises, tropical feel and line-sketched florals that all combine in a print that gives me Farm Rio vibes. It also really had a beautiful drape and dry hand that I couldn’t wait to see made up into this blouse. If you’ve never felt it before, the texture of the bubble crepe is similar to that of a paper towel. It is lightweight, but still drapey, and it’s thin, but not sheer. It has a nice dry hand and light as air feel when worn, so I knew it would make a beautiful spring blouse.
Once I took a closer look at the fabric, I noticed that it had a definite overall subtle linearity to it. What I mean by this is that the pattern repeats itself in a subtle, but linear way. The lines ran across the weft of the fabric, which would draw the eye across the width of the fabric, making for a less flattering garment. I decided to lay out the pattern on the cross grain so that the flowers fell in a vertical orientation. This choice won’t affect the drape of the blouse since it is less than a yard long – it is important to cut patterns out on the grain for longer cuts such as dresses and especially for pants!
I cut the pattern out with a D cup in a size 2, but I ended up tapering it all back down to a size 1 after trying it on. It was too full, and I don’t care for a lot of excess ease in my blouses. I am 5’3” with a short torso and broad shoulders, so when I wear a lot of fabric on my top half it makes for an unbalanced, top-heavy look.
Another thing I did was measure the sleeve ruffle and sleeve to determine what the finished sleeve length would be. I shortened mine by 2”. If you need to shorten the sleeves, you can just take the length off the top half of the sleeve, instead of off the flounces. With the sleeve flounces on this blouse, you really want to make sure you get the length right because if you leave them too long they will get in your way when wearing the blouse later.
Before I cut the pattern out, I also did a took a swayback correction. This is something I always have to do to my garments. It really cleans up the back from excess pooled fabric around the waist area. If you make the correction at the pattern stage of the garment construction, it is undetectable in the finished garment. If the garment is already finished or you bought it but it needs this correction, you can check out my blog post on how to add a seam to correct a swayback! Let me know in the comments if you’d like a blog post on how to alter the pattern for a swayback correction before the garment is sewn!
Once the blouse was constructed and I tried it on, I pinned the waist darts into place on the front and back. These are optional and only take in a very small amount of fabric in each dart, but they help provide really nice subtle shaping. Let me know in the comments if you’d like a more detailed post on how I do this!
At this point, I also decided on the length I’d like the blouse and pinned up the hem. One place where I differed from the pattern was that I finished the back neckline with a 3/4” bias trim facing instead of just serging and folding in a 3/8″ hem. I’ve read some other reviewers adding in a flounce piece to continue it around the neck, but I didn’t care to add this to my version.
The last special thing I did differently from the pattern is the edge finish on the flounce hems. Instead of doing a narrow rolled hem on all the flounce edges, I used the fact that the fabric was polyester and gently heated the raw edge with a flame. This kind of melts the fibers and prevents fraying while giving a clean hemless finish. It takes a bit of practice to get it right, not fraying, not blackened. I just tested it out first on scraps of the same fabric until I felt confident in my technique.
Overall, other than the typo on the back of the pattern envelope, I’d say the instructions in this pattern were fine. I love the finished blouse. It is so feminine but not over-the-top flirty. I actually think it would look sublime in a shade dusty or pale pink now that I’ve had time to live with it. Let me know if you’re going to make one and I’d love to see pics in the comments! To see a video of me in the blouse, check out my YouTube video – Recent Sewing Makes – June 2023 on my @makeitjustsewchannel! Happy sewing!