Emma’s Tried and True Blouses and Shirts!

Hi Sewists,

November will see TnT (Tried and Tested) Month for the Sewcialists so I wanted to share my  Tried and Tested shirt and blouse patterns to give you an insight into my experiences with the patterns. These are just some of the patterns I have tried over the course of the year ,but if I am completely honest, I’ve still trying to find my perfect ‘go to’ blouse pattern! These notes are written from experience and most are already on my blog, so find me over there or over on Instagram.

First up is the Rebecca Page Riviera Blouse which was released in July. It is great because it has quite a few options; it has options for a ruffled front, for side panels and for a ruffle style sleeve. I have made this twice now and I cut a size 3XL due to having a larger chest.

I made my first in a polyester I got in a fabric swap and I made the ruffled placket and left it sleeveless. I found the ruffles a bit of a challenge, but when I return to it, I expect to find it much easier next time — there is the option to overlock/serge and I now have an overlocker, so the edges which will be a lot less drama!

I made a second one in a cotton poplin from Sewisfaction. I made this one without the ruffle placket but with the sleeves. The sleeves add just enough detail for me and I think the blouse has a great shape.

In terms of alterations, I haven’t had to change it at all from the size I cut, though thinking about button placement was crucial so that it doesn’t gape in the wrong places!

I intend to make this again with the side panels in a contrast fabric this time. There has been lots of variations of this and I think it is open to lots of colour blocking and the use of different fabrics. It also comes from 18 inch dolls size, through to child’s and adults (XXS-5XL) so there’s lots of variation.

The next is Simplicity 6232.  You get double your money for this one as it is for both a man and a woman. It is a fantastic and reliable classic shirt.

I made this for my brother in a grey. It is the perfect classic men’s shirt with pocket, plackets and shirt cuffs. There’s quite a lot of scope for personalisation because there is a yoke and proper collar. It was the first shirt I ever made and it wasn’t without it challenges, but more because I was new to shirt-making than because of the pattern. I always find the Simplicity instructions very thorough and this doesn’t fail.

I also made the women’s version for myself recently as a classic white blouse. Again, a perfect reliable basic and one I will definitely be using.

The Ella blouse by Sew Over It is a ballerina slightly-wrapped blouse, which is designed to sit on your waist. I have made it twice and I really like it. It doesn’t use a great deal of fabric, and because it finishes at the waist, it makes for quite a flattering silhouette.

I wear mine with high-waisted skirts at work. The pattern itself is made for wovens, and I’ve made one in a viscose and one in a chiffon, which I wear over a black vest. I have also hacked the chiffon one to use ribbon as the ties, rather than making the tie pieces, making it a quicker sew and requiring even less fabric. If you need bigger sizes in the chest then you can easily add an inch or two to the sections the the front of the blouse.



Many people on Instagram have gone on to make this in jersey for a really easy tie style cardigan too which is what I think I will do next with this flattering pattern.

One blouse I really do want to champion is the Simple Sew Pussy Bow Dress and Blouse. It comes with the options to make both a blouse and a dress and I would really recommend it in terms of fit. As a busty girl I usually struggle to get blouses to fit well but this is perfect. It had lots of shaping, with darts in the front and back, and bust darts to make a really nice fit. You insert the zip at the side which makes for a really clean look.

The way that the neck piece is inserted is genius, because you sew the wrong sides together and turn them out through a hole in the neckline which you then hand sew, hiding all your seams! Perfect! I think it would be possible to make the neckline piece slightly thinner for a more subtle look. I have made it in an abstract blue and pink style fabric but I’m definitely going to make a dress version soon.

If you like simple instructions and a great fit, I would really recommend this one!

That’s it from me, I hope to see you all in November and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s TNT patterns!