Project reviews

Aurelis Summer Blouse Project Review

Need a summer blouse that covers your arms? So-Sew-Easy has got you covered with the Aurelis Summer Blouse pattern. This is a how to sew an Aurelis Summer Blouse project review.

The link to the Aurelis Summer Blouse project free tutorial is:

Summer Blouse

This pattern is for personal use. Home sewists may sell Aurelis Summer Blouses that they personally make.

For the purposes of my review, I’m going to summarize the basic steps, tell you what I did differently (if anything) and share my general thoughts about sewing the project.

Introduction

The Aurelis blouse features a boxy shape and balloon sleeves. It’s an intermediate-beginner project involving sewing darts, sewing bias tape, and using elastic. Depending upon your skill level, you may wish to make your own matching bias tape.

This was my first time using a pattern that didn’t include seam allowances or hems. I read through all the instructions before cutting the pattern so that I could determine where I would need to add seam allowances and hems. I added a 3/8” seam allowance to each of the shoulder seams and a ½” seam allowance to the bottom hem. The size lines for one size larger than I had planed to make were ~3/8” larger than my selected size so I cut along those lines.

Step 0 Gather Materials

This project is intended for woven fabrics. Natural fiber fabrics such as silk, cotton batiste, lawn, linen, or rayon are recommended.

Multi-colored fabric on a green background
Fabric

You will also need some bias tape and 1/4″ wide elastic. I made my own ¼” wide double fold continuous bias tape. If you’d like to learn how to make your own continuous bias tape, check out my two-part series on continuous bias strips and continuous bias tape.

Step 1 Sew Darts

I’d never sewn clothing dart before so I read the recommended tutorial for darts. The tutorial’s instructions said to draw the dart’s sewing lines on the wrong side of the fabric, pin the dart together, then start sewing from the wider end of the dart. The seam is backstitiched at the wider end and instead of backstitiching at the point, you sew right off the end of the fabric then tie a knot in the ends of the thread. This method was quick and easy and resulted in sharp darts.

Close-up of dart sewn in multicolored fabric on a green background
Close-up of dart
Step 2 Finish The V

The Aurelis tutorial recommends that you cut a larger v in the neckline if your bust is larger. That’s open to interpretation so I looked at other woven, v-neck shirts I own that for inspiration.

Bias tape is used to used to finish the raw edges of the plunging v-shape and there’s a separate tutorial so sewing bias tape to a v-neck. This was another new technique for me. You sew a line of stay-stitiching along both edges of the v and snip into the seam allowance at the apex. Sew the open bias tape to the shirt, pulling the v into a straight line as your do so. Next the bias tape is folded over and it’s other edge is sewn. To make a sharp point at the centre of the v, a short line of stitching is sewn through the bias tape.

Closeup of finished neckline
Closeup of finished neckline
Step 3 Shoulder Seams

This step is straightforward.

Shoulder seams sewn in multicolored fabric
Shoulder seam
Step 4 Attach Sleeves

The pattern has marks to indicate which side of the sleeve is the front and where the shoulder seam should line up. These marks made it easy to sew on the sleeves.

Inside out blouse on a green background
Sewn on sleeves
Step 5 Side Seams

If you’ve sewn your sleeves correctly, your side seams will line up with your underarm seams

Step 6 Finish Sleeves & Bottom

I sewed a ¼” wide single fold hem along the ends of my sleeves before attaching the elastic. I used my sewing machine’s elastic stitch to sew on the elastic, but you can also used a zigzag stitch. Elastics vary in their stretchiness and my first elastic loop wasn’t long enough to stretch all the way around the circumference of the sleeve cuff.

Closeup of elastic loop being sewn in to the sleeve
Elastic loop shorter than the sleeve circumference

A longer piece of elastic did, and it results in a sleeve that is much looser at the wrist.

I used a ¼” wide double fold hem along the bottom of my Auleris blouse.

Step 7 Finish Neckline

The tutorial didn’t include instructions for finishing the neckline. Looking at the project photos, I suspect the neckline is finished with continuous bias tape and the ties are an extension of the same strip of continuous bias tape. I applied my continuous bias tape to the neckline with a 12” long tail at each end.

First step of sewing bias tape ties and neckline

Next I turned the short ends of the bias tape 1/3” and sewed them in place before folding the bias tape to the front of my blouse and sewing it. I continued folding and sewing the bias tape for the tails.

Sewing the bias tape ties

Here are some photos of my finished Aurelis Summer Blouse:

Closeup of finished neckline
Closeup of finished neckline
Finished Aurelis blouse in a grey background
Finished Aurelis Summer Blouse
Multicoloured blouse hanging on a black hanger (cream colored background)
Aurelis Blouse on a hanger
Conclusion

Between the unclear sizing information and the missing section about how to finish the neckline, these instructions aren’t as well written as other So-Sew-Easy projects. The intermediate-beginner project rating is reasonable due to the skills required. There are many references to more detailed tutorials if you’re not familiar with the necessary techniques. I really like the style of this shirt and will make another Aurelis blouse (or two). The fit is a little snug across the bust so I’ll use a larger size. My Aurelis blouse is a little shorter than I had planned it to be and the sleeves ride up more than I had anticipated. I’ll be making both the bottom and sleeves of my next Aurelis blouses longer.

Have you tried this project? Did you like this Aurelis Summer Blouse project review? Comment below and/or Pin me for later!

Tanya

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