Full on Floral: Megan Nielsen Dove Blouse

February 22, 2017
Dove Blouse

I was all set to make the biggest bell-sleeve option of the Dove Blouse from Megan Nielsen until I saw what the pattern piece looked like. I could have used it as a template to make a shield – it was bigger than me! But after some online encouragement, I decided to go for it. After all, once I tire of the bells, I can always take them off and still have a great shirt. In that spirit, I also broke out this rayon from Cotton and Steel that I have been putting off using. I couldn’t find the right project for the fabric that would fit within my 2.5 metres. I cut very strategically (I had to piece together the neck facings), but I just eked it out, giant sleeves and all.

I wasn’t sure how the sleeves would look in the print, but I was happily surprised with the results! I feel like it’s going to be hard to have a bad day in this shirt. I made the XS, which was again an experiment and I’m glad I did. I find it too long, but I suspect this rayon will continue to shrink. The neckline is also lower than I would usually go and a bit much for the office. I’ll raise that next time. I used french seams where possible, and finished the bottom hem by hand. There are times when the neck rises up away from me (depending on how I stand), but I’m not sure what this means for the fit – it’s too long in the upper bodice? Needs an FBA?

I let the sleeves hang for a good day before I hemmed them as they are cut on the bias, but they didn’t stretch out too dramatically. However, one side stretched out more than the other. I have a vintage dress form and it is certainly drunken in stance, so perhaps that contributed. I also discovered the warm-climate nature of big bells: you try cramming that much material into coat sleeves!

Since this shirt is a little too low for the office, I’ll have to wear it out instead. Must be time for wine, no?

Project: Floral Dove Blouse by Megan Neilsen

Total Cost:$75

Fabric: $56

Pattern: $17 CAD


Time: 10 hours, including PDF assembly

Techniques: French seams, French darts

Fit Adjustments: Straight size XS. I’ll need to shorten the length and raise the neckline next time.



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  • Reply allie J. February 22, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I love t his pattern + fabric combination!! Perfect for a night out, just as you said! 🙂

    • Reply Erica February 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      We will have to have a cheers across the continent!

  • Reply Erin Baan February 22, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    I made something where the neckline stood out like that once…in the end I traced it to the angle of the shoulder seams. I have fairly flat shoulders, most patterns have the shoulders cut on an angle, some deeper than others. I almost always trace a flatter line out of the envelope now, and rarely have the problem. Not sure if that’s the issue, but maybe worth a try? If you can pinch out excess fabric on the shoulder seam right at the neckline, that might be it. Great top, though! Really stunning on you!

    • Reply Erica February 22, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Thank you, Erin! That adjustment makes sense. I’ll have to experiment!

  • Reply Lynsey February 23, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Awesome top, loving the sleeves and the bold fabric, it’s a great combo.

  • Reply Indiesew Fall/Winter Collection: Coram Top – The Handmade Wardrobe October 20, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    […] is old Cotton and Steele rayon. You can see how I used the other colour-way of the print on my Dove Blouse). I made mine out of 1.5 metres of fabric of 44″ wide fabric, but you could get away with a […]

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