Time for Tilly's Mathilde Blouse!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to share my latest make with you all! It's another tester. 
I'm kind of calling them tester's because: 
(a) I have never done some of the skills required
(b) I'm using pretty cheap material to practice with
(c) I want to check the fit before I use nice fabric

But it is completely wearable!!
I do actually have nice fabric about to be dispatched for the real one.

I swear I'll make a non-tester one of these days! I'm trying to figure out what pattern to do next as I type and there is definite non tester fabric hanging on the clothes airer!

Sooo on with the make!

I was sewing Tilly's Mathilde Blouse, which I had been admiring from afar for ages! I thought it would be a good make for me because its a very clean shape and I would learn a lot from it, having never done a blouse, pin-tucks, buttons, buttonholes or sleeves!!

According to the sizing chart, I was a size five. I noted that the size 4 finished garment measurements would also cover my curves so I had a perusal of the maker's gallery and decided that I liked the slightly more fitted blouses, so I decided to bite the bullet and go on the smaller side. 

It took me a while to assemble the pdf pattern (I didn't realise how many pages there would be!). But once it was already to go, I did like how it was nice and stiff and not easily damaged like tissue patterns. 

Cutting out went fine, but I did get confused on the facings, etc, where it said 2+2 (which I now know means 2 fabric and 2 interfacing). I did however panic and cut out 4 fabric pieces initially (imagining some fancy facing with an enclosed seam - like a collar). 

Moving on from there, I had some initial problems doing the pin-tucks. Firstly I didn't look to see how they are formed and I did some completely incorrect pressing which had to be undone. Plus (ignoring Tilly's wise advice) I thought that I could get away with notches on the top and bottom of the tuck and forego the chalk marks.
This moves on to me abandoning the notches and remarking the entire blouse. Picture this happening quite a lot throughout this make. I like to skip ahead and then have to take 4 steps back. I also pinned each pintuck and pressed them before stitching

I'm also not sure as to whether you are supposed to see only the topstitching for the first pin-tuck or see all of them? I can see the first and then bits and pieces of the third - but blame that on my rushed chalkmarks.
I also decided to throw caution to the wind and use a contrast thread for the topstitching to bring out the coral in the fabric. The fabric I got for very cheap in Walthamstow, the buttons came in a green button mixed bag. I think the thread was from the London Meetup.

Everything went smoothly for a while after that, I even did some french seams (another new skill).

I had to do some research, and quite a bit of practice, before I figured out the buttonholes. Even when I decided I was ready, the first one went funny on me and I had to rip it out, which is surprisingly difficult.

Once I had finished the buttonholes I realised they were supposed to be on the other side of the back opening. Whoops. Clearly didn't read the sentence to the end. I did sort of also wing how big they should be and where the button should be placed. There was no real measuring involved, but I'm happy with how they turned out! I think I just need to stitch up the buttonholes a little bit, as one keeps trying to escape, as you can see in the photos. I also have realised I can get it on and off without opening them so i can stitch them as tight as I like.

Now I'm not the best gatherer, I just don't really have the knack. I have problems keeping it tight at either end, although I guess it should fade out into being straight at some point, or I could start the gathers earlier and finish later on the fabric. I think its okay but it could always be better. I also couldn't see when I was supposed to sew up the side seams, but when I was following the online instructions they were sewn up in the pictures when the sleeves went in so I did it just before that!

I'm pretty please with the blouse! I do think that the fabric was a little stiff to make it, a drapier one would definitely be nicer, as the sleeves stay quite puffy when my arms are relaxed!
I'm thinking I might even try it with a short sleeve (like Lauren's in the maker's gallery).
I think that with a plain fabric it will be such an easy item to mix in with my wardrobe. I have so many skirts that I never wear because I literally have only 2 tops that I like. 

Now to settle the age old battle. I like it tucked in, my boyfriend doesn't. 

Who wins??

It's not bad, I just like a bit of waist definition. 

I'll leave you with what is becoming my regular photoshoot outtakes:

I wasn't looking at anything, which is what makes the two faces funnier!

Till next time!

Emmie x


  1. Ooo! This is gorgeous, I love the green buttons, and the coral topstitching is a great idea. It sounds like you learnt a lot of great new things with this. Re the stitching on the tucks, I don't think it matters if it's visible on all the tucks. I've made two Mathildes, and found the cuff gathers tricky too. The start and end of my gathers flattened out, but it could be because I was using slippy fabric. I think it looks great both tucked in, and not tucked in, and your hair is lovely.

  2. Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! Looks sooo good on you. I think tucked in is best. Far more classic. Are you using two rows of gathering stitches? That usually helps to keep the gathers neater. x

  3. Looks good! And you win..... I like it tucked in, too!

  4. Yay! I'll have to gloat when I tell him!

  5. Ahhh you look lovely and your hair is amazing. This doesn't look like a tester at all! It looks really nice tucked in your skirt too. When I do gathers I stick a pin in at the end and wrap the two threads around it in a figure of 8, then pull from the other 2 threads on other side. Then you don't have it all coming undone. I then tack/baste over this by hand then machine stitch. xx

    1. Thanks so much! Good trick, I'll try next time!

  6. It totally doesn't look like a tester! And you win, I like it tucked in too :)

  7. I absolutely love this, and you look stunning! Not a tester at all. And another vote for tucked in, at least with that skirt. Although it would also look nice untucked with some slim trousers.

    1. Thanks! Meant to say congrats on winning for your goldfish dress, I've been showing it to people for a while! I love it x

  8. Very pretty blouse - I like the colour of the buttonhole thread /buttons against the fabric especially :)


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