The year of the sleeve! (part I)

Sooo, I have to admit that I hate following trends. I have this whole snobbish thing about how it's easy to sheepishly follow trends, but it takes integrity to stay true to one's own style. But every couple of seasons I fall for a trend and have to face my own hypocrisy. And boy have I fallen this season! It's all about sleeves, and I looove it!

Since big and frilly sleeves started popping up on the runways, and later the high street shops, I've been thinking about making my own top with dramatic sleeves. So I looked around the Internets for suitable patterns, and my eyes landed upon the Megan Nielsen Dove blouse. Bingo!

(Two things to come clean about here: 1) See that bit of fabric in the V neck? The facing flipped up as I rushed to get into a pose before the self timer went off. 2) I may have gone a bit crazy with the contrast while editing these photos.)

However, to reduce the cognitive dissonance of "I hate following trends, but look at me following a trend!" I had to at least stick to my standard monochrome tones.

So I made it up in a subtle ivory Prestige crepe from Fabric Godmother. As soon as I saw the pattern I knew I'd be making the full bell sleeves, so I wanted a heavy drapey fabric for this blouse. Something that would have beautiful movement. And this fabric is just the ticket. It is so thick and heavy (for a crepe). The quality is superb and feels very luxurious. As a colleague commented when I wore the blouse to work: "It looks expensive."

So let's talk about the pattern. Consistent with my previous experience of MN patterns, this one is well-designed and comes with good instructions. It's quite a loose fitting shape, so there weren't any fitting issues at all. I cut a straight size S and it fits beautifully.

The design is simple and elegant, but as usual with MN patterns, has a modern twist that adds that little something extra. Aside from the obvious, the sleeves, I am a big fan of the V neck finished with a facing. It creates such a clean look that I absolutely love.

You can see that I went for version 3 with the full bell sleeves, and the only modification I made was to the hem. This was not part of the original plan. I loved the look of the long, curved hem, but when I tried it on like that the overall look in this white-ish fabric was a bit...religious-sect-member-uniform. So I made a very impulsive decision to chop a big chunk off the bottom of the blouse and ended up with this boxy, slightly cropped shape. Which I really love! It puts the sleeves in focus and makes the overall look quite clean and simple.

So in summary - I absolutely love my Dove blouse. I feel super glamorous in it! And I can't tell you how many compliments I've received about it. The only issue: I'm bound to dip my sleeves in my food at some point.

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