If you haven’t begun your Sew My Style project for July yet, learn from some of my difficulties and read this before you cut out the Valley Blouse! Mine has come together ok, but not without some wrestling. In particular, the keyhole section of the instructions could do with some further explanation.
There is a tutorial on the Califaye website to help with the sewing the keyhole, but I think that even before you get to that section, there is a potential pitfall, which you could avoid. The cutting layouts show the ‘keyhole liner’ piece being cut on grain, but I would recommend cutting it on the bias. It is near impossible to get a piece of cotton with no stretch to conform neatly to a curve. If it were cut on the bias, this would be much easier. I ended up with a couple of small pleats at the middle of the liner when I tried to get all the edges enclosed.
After my experience with the Basics Pocket Skirt, which was a little large, I decided to follow my instinct and cut the size small this time, even though my measurements put me in the medium. This was definitely the right choice, because the fit is pretty much spot on. There is enough ease to make it flowy, but without drowning me in fabric!
This fabric is a cotton Swiss-dot, and is possibly slightly heavier weight than the pattern is intended for, because the gathers don’t drape as well as they could. That said, it is very comfortable and perfect for summer. The fabric is from Fabworks and is a lovely blue and grey combination, and at just £4/m it is another bargain!
I used little hexagon shell buttons from my stash and made actual buttonholes. I think that they are just great for setting of the simple pattern.
In the pattern, it suggests that you use French seams for the sides and the back yoke which I did. Just bear in mind, that with 1cm seam allowances, this does make your French seams very small and a little fiddly.
I’m not sure about how full the sleeves are. I might take the cuffs off, slim the sleeves down and then put the cuffs back on. I do quite like them rolled up like this though.
I followed the instructions fully this time and there are a couple of neat tricks for things like enclosing the front yoke seams. This shouldn’t be too new to you if you have made a yoked shirt before, but take you time if not. This is probably the most complex pattern from project sew my style so far, but it is still very manageable if you take it slow.