If you follow a lot of sewing blogs, you’ve probably seen some of your fellow sewists making up patterns by the new-ish German pattern company Schnittchen. Until recently, Schnittchen’s size range topped out at a European size 46 (similar to a Burda size 46). However, now several of their patterns are available in a very generous size range–up to a European size 56 (up to a 53.5″/136cm bust).
Schnittchen asked the Curvy Sewing Collective if we were interested in trying out one of their patterns in their new plus range. After checking out their website, I decided that their minimalist-style patterns with unusual details were right up my alley. I chose to sew and review the Michelle blouse, which has some interesting features that I haven’t seen in any other current sewing patterns:
- The Michelle is a swing-style blouse with a good amount of ease through the bust and hips. Fabric choice is going to be very important for this pattern–you’ll want to use something lightweight and very drapey.
- A dropped shoulder, with the choice of sewing a sleeveless or long-sleeved blouse. (I opted for the sleeveless version so that I could layer the blouse under a cardigan in cool weather.)
- No buttons or buttonholes! It might seem weird, at first, but the blouse has enough overlap at the CF that they aren’t really needed. The blouse fastens at the top with a single snap. And I thought that the final blouse might hang weird over my large bust, but due to the shaping, there’s no issue with that at all.
Schnittchen also generously offered to giveaway several patterns to our CSC readers (details at the bottom of this post) in conjunction with my pattern review.
Note that while I received a promotional copy of this pattern, all of my opinions are my own.
Pattern name: Schnittchen Michelle Blouse
Size Range: The Michelle Blouse is available in both Schnittchen’s Plus size range and Misses size range. The Plus size range encompasses European sizes 46-56 (42″-53.5″/106-136cm bust, 45″-56″/114.5-142cm hip). The Misses size range encompasses sizes 34-46 (32″-42″/82cm-106cm bust, 36″-45″/91cm-114.5cm hip).
When reviewing my photos, I realized the hem looks like it hangs strangely in some of my photos. This is simply a result of the blouse shifting while wearing it and not a result of weird drafting or anything.
What size did you make?
Based off of the size chart, I made a size 52, blending to a size 56 from the bust on down (aka a “cheater” FBA). I debated doing a “real” FBA on this one, but given its loose, swingy style, I opted to skip it.
Amazingly, while the armholes are a bit large, the blouse doesn’t ride up in front, even without an FBA.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
I didn’t make any adjustments on this beyond grading between sizes and shortening the overall length of the blouse by 1.5″. (For reference, I’m 5’2″ tall.)
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
This was an easy blouse to construct. The drafting and style is unique, but there isn’t anything particularly challenging about the actual construction.
The instructions are on the sparse side–similar to StyleArc’s. There aren’t any illustrations, and the instructions skip over things that should be familiar to more experienced sewists, such as which way to press your seam allowances and how and when to finish your seams. I skipped the instructions and used other methods, such as the burrito role method for the yoke, to get cleaner finishes on the yoke and facings.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
I was impressed with the pattern’s fit. I was a little skeptical about the lack of bust darts, but with the right fabric, I don’t think they’re necessarily needed. Now, a tent/swing-style top isn’t probably the most slimming choice for my full-busted figure, but sometimes it’s nice to just wear an easy-fitting shape without stressing about whether or not your waist is defined.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
This is such a quick, easy, and comfortable sew that I would definitely make it again. If I were to make the sleeveless version again, I’d probably raise the armholes a bit; however, I’ll probably make the sleeved view next time.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
I thought that this was a very well-drafted pattern with a very inclusive size range. Given the easy-fitting shape, I think that most curvy sewists would have a fairly easy time with this pattern. The instructions are a bit sparse, but the construction is pretty intuitive if you’ve made a blouse with a self-faced center front before.
Size Range (1-5): 5 (Nicely inclusive size range).
Instructions (1-5): 3 (I didn’t have a problem with the instructions, but they’re probably a bit sparse for some of the CSC audience.)
Construction Process (1-5): 5 (I ran into no drafting issues and the construction process was very smooth.)
Final Fit (1-5): 4.5 (The fit was true to the size chart.)
Overall Rating (1-5): 4.4 (Average all scores)
And now for the part of this post that you’ve all been waiting for: the Giveaway! Schnittchen has generously offered to give away four of their new plus size patterns to four of our readers. We have 2 copies of the new Katha tunic for giveaway, 1 copy of the Rose dress, and 1 copy of the Jeannie dress.
To enter the giveaway, simply comment on this post with the name of the pattern that you’d like to win. Make sure to either check back to see if you’ve won or make sure that we can easily contact you–either through your CSC login or by leaving an email address or link to IG or other social media accounts as part of your comment.
Entries for the giveaway close on Friday, December 2 at 12pm Pacific Standard Time. We’ll notify the winners a few days after that.