Welcome to our Tops Month! Today I’m reviewing the Oakridge Blouse by Sewaholic. This blouse is described as “a modern take on the bow blouse”, with “a similar fit the Granville Shirt, defining the waist without clinging too much. “.
- The Oakridge back is one pattern piece, cut on the fold, so it lacks the yoke and princess seam shaping of the Granville
- Front neckline is lower
- Obviously doesn’t have the collar/collar band – instead it has either a pussy bow tie, or a simple unadorned neckline
- Front button plackets are both separate pieces (rather than one folding over on the Granville)
- The sleeves have a simple band placket rather than the more complicated tower placket of the Granville.
Releasing them as two separate patterns allowed them to have the different design choices without the pattern pieces and instructions being overwhelming, and meant that she could increase the size range (the best part!).
The Oakridge is designed to be a casual but sophisticated blouse. It has shaping in the side seams and from the single bust dart. The one-piece back makes it ideal for busier printsbut the one-piece back means probably it’s going to look much better in drapier fabrics, especially for pear shapes and those with hourglass figures or similar (and as such is recommended for fabrics like rayon challis, crepe de chine or silk charmeuse – I wish it was easier to get rayon challis here!) I used a cotton lawn and even that is a bit stiff.
The new extended size range for Sewaholic Patterns goes from size 0 (30-24-36″ / 76-61-91cm) to size 20 (45-39-51″ / 114-99-130cm) – previously the patterns only went up to size 16. See below for the blouse’s finished measurements.
For my blouse I graded between sizes: size 12 for the shoulders and neckline down to the underarm seam, size 14 at the waist and size 16 in the hips. I also made the sleeves size 12 which was a mistake as these are slightly too small in the bicep. My measurements:
- High bust 38″
- Full bust 40″. Bra size 36DD
- Waist 32″
- Hips 47″ (definitely pear shaped!)
- 178cm / 5’10.5″ tall.
- I also have very narrow shoulders, a sloping upper back, and a faux-sway back because of my big bum.
No real faults with the instructions. I do with there was a better way of sewing the neck tie to the back inner neckline (the instructions tell you to hand sew it) but it did give a nice finish on the outside.
I did deviate from the instructions in several places: I used french seams throughout, including the shoulder seams; I sewed the sleeves in the flat rather than setting them in; and I used snaps rather than buttons; and I used bias tape for the hem rather than turning twice and stitching. I’ve also taken to pressing and pinning hems before sewing them up (in this case it was only needed for the sleeves), this makes your life SO much easier once you come to sew them – you just unfold enough to do the side seam, then press back into place.
I do think this style fits me really well. I do get some diagonal pulling at the side seams (see below) but, after an extremely unsuccessful attempt at fixing this (resulting somehow in a top that was WAY too tight in the bust and flared weirdly at the hips) I’m just going to be happy with it as is. Although the patterns are drafted with a pear shape in mind, I did still have to grade between sizes. And while I went with a size 12 in the sleeves this time, that was a mistake as they’re a touch too small at my biceps.
If you have a big chest, have a look at Mary’s post on how to do an FBA on this sort of style. I think this will work well even if your waist is less pronounced because of the wearing ease, and it would be easy to grade the waist seam out to fit – you can see an example of that here.
Will I make it again?
Heck yes! As mentioned above, I did make it once after trying to fit it differently (sorry, no photos – it’s been banished to the op shop) but in the future I’ll stick with how I made it here. I have a few lengths of silks that I’ve bought with this in mind so fingers crossed!
Size range: 3 (up to size 20)
Construction Process: 4.5
Final Fit: 4
Overall Rating: 4. The instructions are straightforward and include things like staystitching, which I like. Experienced sewers do this automatically but it’s good to see it included in patterns. I did email Tasia about a minor error in the pattern which will be fixed by now.
The construction process was also good, but I think the way the band attaches at the top could be improved – as it is, the button plackets have to fold open slightly in order to tie the bow.
Have you tried this pattern, or have any plans to?
Disclaimer: this pattern was given to me free of charge to review. All opinions are my own.