Unless you've been surfing the online sewing community with your eyes closed for the last month or so (you mentalist!), you've no doubt come across the first downloadable pattern, the Matilde Blouse, designed and released by the super-talented Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons blog. Aside from Tilly's own of course, there are some truly fabulous versions of this pattern popping up all over blogville, many of which can be seen on Tilly's maker gallery. Go and see for yourself if you don't believe me...
I was asked by Tilly to one on of her army of testers for this pattern and its instructions. As someone who has developed and released my own sewing patterns, I was thoroughly impressed by the amount of work and attention to detail Tilly put into making the pattern, instructions and everything else that went along with releasing it as flawlessly and user-friendly as humanly possible. IMO, she has seriously put some of the well-known sewing pattern companies to shame in these regards! Everything about Tilly's approach to the process, including garment design, graphics, detailed blog posts, community involvement and so on has been amazing, in my book.
So ta da!!! Here's my version of this blouse pattern. As Tilly admitted herself, she wasn't sure if the style of this blouse was particularly 'Zo-esque', but we both agreed the final garment is plenty 'Zo', not least thanks to the injection of leopard print! This fabric was a gift from the lovely Karen, and has been languishing in my stash for a year or so. When the Mathilde blouse called for something light-weight with a bit of drape, I knew it was time to get this fabric deployed! I had bought a pack of red vintage plastic buttons for the back fastening but when I opened the pack one of them was a different design to the others, and there wasn't enough of the predominant style. That would annoy me so I opted for a complete set of metallic silver ones from my stash instead.
The reason I have taken longer than everyone else involved in the testing to get my version out there is that I had to remake my sleeves, and packing up and moving flats last week put sewing to the back burner for a while (don't you hate it when that happens?!). A combo of a printer scaling error on my part and the initial pattern being a little short in the sleeve length for the non-petite meant my initial sleeves finished at a slightly annoying point around my elbow. Finding these things out was of course the point of having testers in the first place! Having finally got my new sewing room set up into some sort of useable state last weekend I was able to return to this blouse and I'm dead pleased with the fit of the final sleeve version.
Even thought the sleeves are very voluminous, I was able to wear my reversible bolero shrug over this blouse today with no trouble or discomfort at all. So, aside from it being too damn cold for light-weight blouses at the moment, I declare this a 'wearable garment' that I predict will definitely see wardrobe rotation, therefore I count this as the third in my sewlution of twelve wearable garments made by me this year! BOOM!!!!