FO: Chemisier Berthe from Un Ete Couture

With Pattern Runway Sweet Scalloped Shorts

Stats:
Pattern:  Chemisier Berthe from the book “Un Ete Couture” by Geraldine Debeauvais (La Republique du Chiffon), size small, lengthened by 10cm.
Fabric:  1 metre of 112cm-wide striped cotton poplin.  I bought mine for £5.25 (+ £1.25 postage) from Oh Sew Crafty on ebay, but Croft Mill sells it too (£6.95 per metre + £5.95 postage for a standard parcel –  worth it if you are stocking up the stash with a big order).  The collar and front bands are made of Supersonic white cotton lawn from Croft Mill.  This stuff is £12 per metre but is worth every penny – seriously gorgeous!
Other:  Vintage dark pink buttons from stash (found in a local charity shop for pennies); woven interfacing; thread.

Budgie print ironing board cover from Cath Kidston

Process:
I had planned to use a 1960’s pattern with this striped fabric, but I had not realised how narrow it was until it arrived.  The vintage pattern had all-in-one facings which were extensions of the fronts, and I couldn’t squeeze it out of my single metre of cloth.

I had seen several lovely versions of the Berthe blouse on French sewing blogs. The original design is a flirty crop-top with a longer back.  Several stitchers were surprised by just how short the front turned out.  I added a full 10cm back and front, in the interests of middle-aged decency.
The only way I could make the pattern fit my fabric was to play with the stripes. I cut the back and one front “sideways” and the final front with the stripes running vertically.

With all that madness going on, I decided to add a plain white collar and front bands.
That white cotton is of such a beautiful quality!  I am looking forward to sewing a whole shirt out of the remainder of my piece. It made the collar construction quite joyful:  creating clean crisp edges, but super-soft to the touch.  It was really easy to trim down the seams for a sharp finish without fear of fraying.
I must praise the designer for the collar instructions and diagrams.  It all fitted together perfectly, despite my fear of tackling a “collar stand” (in French!).

The armholes are finished with self fabric facings. As with the Robe Eleonore, the facing pattern pieces are drawn as part of the main bodice.  It is a good idea to trace them off separately, to avoid confusion if you choose to make the blouse a second time at some future date.  I have written myself a note… but will I remember?

Verdict?
I enjoyed sewing this blouse so much, that its wearability is almost secondary!
It all went together so smoothly, with matching stripes and perfectly-aligned collar and collar-stand – crikey!  It’s a miracle!
I definitely needed every centimetre of my front length extension.
Several other stitchers have expressed concern at the absence of bust darts, but the slightly a-line cut works for me without them.
I tend to prefer a short sleeve, rather than no sleeve, and the armhole is a little too deep for me.  I would tweak that if I were to make it again.  But I expect to be wearing a cardigan on top most of the time “in real life”!

Tucked in and buttoned up, with Peggy skirt

In summary?  Another hit from Un Ete Couture!  I can’t wait to get going on another pattern from this collection – I’m on a roll!