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denia blouse

THREE USED SHIRTS: ONE NEW DENIA

The Fashion Revolution movement is taking place this week, on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse on 2013. Fashion Revolution believes in a fashion industry that values people, the environment and creativity. Feel free to check their webpage to know more about their mission and how you can participate too.

On our side, we want to take part in this revolution, even if it’s just with a little tutorial. We’ll show you a fun and creative way to use patchwork and upcycling to make new clothes. Why ? Because we buy way too many clothes (and fabric !). And to produce these fabrics, people and the environment suffer as a result of the way fashion is made, sourced and consumed. We thought it would be a great idea to use used clothes to make a new Denia blouse.:)

To make this sewing project, you’ll need the following:

  • Used shirts. It can be your husband’s (or brother, boyfriend or dad) old shirt or from a second hand shop. The bigger the better ! Choose them with similar weight and drape, it will be easier to sew. For mine, I choose 3 shirts with contrasting textures and similar tones (ochre, vanilla and cream). They come from a second hand shop and are very big (size XXXL! We could have fitted 3 Lucile inside!).
  • Thread. Matching colour or contrasting, that’s your choice.
  • Sewing machine and serger. If you don’t have a serger, no big deal. We haven’t use dit here, but it gives a nice finish to your garment’s seams.
  • The Denia blouse pattern or any simple pattern with few pieces. For those who don’t know the Denia pattern, it’s a simple and loose-fitted blouse. It has a round neckline, short sleeves with cuffs. It ties in the front and buttons in the back.

1/ Choose the shirts you’re going to use based on weight and drape, but also colour, texture and patterns. Select 3 to 6 different fabrics. Stripes, checks, florals, dots, plain colour… don’t be shy and experiment to create a unique patchwork.

2/ Cut the shirts along the seams and keep the big pieces : front, back and sleeves. You can keep the yoke, collar, cuffs and pocket if you want to add cool details or for another project. Make sure the fabrics are pressed before cutting. Cut the principal pieces into rectangles as big as possible.

3/ Prepare the patchwork. Play with the different fabics: take the rectangles and place them together to see what combination you like best. It can take some time to find a balance between the fabrics: drawing a sketch can help you with the composition as well as making samples of the patchwork.

4/ Sew the patchwork. With right sides together, sew the smallest pieces together 1 cm from the edge. Press the seam allowances to one side and topstitch them. Continue sewing this block to the next fabric rectangle until you have pieces big enough to fit the pattern pieces.

If you have a serger, use it to finish the seam allowances. You could also use a zigzag stitch or bind the seam allowances. I have left the seams raw but the topstitching will prevent them to fray too much.

5/ Place the pattern pieces on your blocks and trace them. Once the pieces are cut, you can staystitch around them to make sure the patchwork seam allowances stay in place. Then, you just need to follow the instructions to sew the Denia blouse.

Do you repurpose fabric or old clothes to sew new garments?

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INSPIRATION BEHIND THE NEW PATTERNS…

I went to Japan last year and the street-style there inspired me quite a lot. Particularly in Kyoto, where most women would be wearing the same outfit over and over: a loose top or jacket, a beret and some loose skirt or wide-legged trousers above the ankle. There was something very chic and casually elegant about this combination and I became obsessed with the silhouette.

Sources : Denia, Tello and Botanic inspirations.

The patterns volumes of this collection are directly inspired by this travel and all the things I have seen there.

I chose loose and destructured lines for Denia and Botanic patterns in order to get easy to wear garments with style. According to the fabric, colors and patterns you choose,  there are a lot of opportunities to make different options and wear them!

The Tello Jacket is directly inspired by the utility jacket: my grandfather wore one almost everyday during my childhood! I decided to use the same base and make some changes in order to offer a modern take on this great jacket.

These are all the inspirations that lead me to create this chic and casually elegant Japanese-like silhouette. Perfect for the up-coming summer… and later as well! How about you? How do you come up with your sewing projects inspiration? Trips, colours, shapes, magazines… Let me know!

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Zoom in: the Denia blouse

And last but not least, I’m really excited to introduce the lovely Denia blouse!

Denia is the easiest of the new patterns: this would be an excellent project for a beginner seamstress. It features a round collar, short cuffed sleeves and buttons in the back. The wide panels can be tied in a knot or left loose. It’s available as a PDF pattern in English, French and Spanish.

For fabric, we recommend light to medium weight such as cotton poplin, batiste, linen, viscose, chambray… Use stripes or color block to highlight the original seams.

Depending on the fabric you choose, Denia can be either casual (think cotton or linen) or more dressed-up (viscose, silk).

I was also inspired by my Japan trip for the Denia blouse: I wanted something stylish but with a very classic line at the same time. The volume is key for this pattern: loose-fitted, the ties help shape the blouse the way you want to.

Stripes were obvious to me as soon as I started working on the pattern: it would be so great to play with horizontal and vertical stripes for the many pieces. I used a cotton fabric with lurex stripes from Un chat sur un fil for the presentation pictures.

I also made a very light viscose Denia (fabric from Henry et Henriette) with contrasting bias piping and a small chest pocket. And I can’t stop thinking about a color block Denia for summer…

This will be the perfect top for summer as it’s loose-fitted and will look stylish with everything. How about you pair it with the Botanic trousers, the Rosari skirt or the Port shorts?

Find the Denia blouse PDF pattern here!

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The new Spring patterns are here!

Spring is finally here and it’s the perfect excuse to introduce three new patterns available in paper and/or PDF format. I’ve also prepared some surprises for all of you so stay tuned! But first, let’s see the new patterns:

  • The Tello jacket is a classic utility jacket, unlined and with many pockets. It features a topstitched collar, one piece sleeves with dart, one vertical zipped chest pocket with lined inferior and one patch pocket, large hip pockets and six button closures at front placket. This model is available in paper and PDF format.

  • The Botanic trousers are wide-legged with a high waist and cropped length. They feature a double-pleated front, pockets and a removable belt you can tie according to your own taste. The waistband sits at the natural waist and has a flat front and elastic back for comfort, no closure needed. This model is available in paper and PDF format.

  • The Denia blouse is loose-fitted, with a round neckline and short cuffed sleeves. It ties in the front and closes in the back with buttons. This model is available only in PDF format.

There you go, a complete outfit perfect for Spring! I hope you’ll like it! You can find all 3 patterns at the Pauline Alice patterns shop. This week, we’ll go into more details on each pattern…

 

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