A Duo of Carmes- IPM2016 Week 2 One Pattern Two Ways

Hello everyone,

I love Pauline Alice’s  Carme blouse pattern. I have made it twice before already. Its a simple chic pattern with a loose fit pullover style. Its certainly one of the tops I first made to a reasonably decent standard by following the video sewalong which is great for beginners.

I decided to to do one in a floral chambray for main fabric  with a plain bib front and the inverse on the other. The second Carme is made from a medium weight 100% cotton while the bib is from an embroidered small tablecloth that my mother gave me years ago. I never used it but always thought it might make a nice elbow patch. When I saw this magenta fabric I had a light bulb moment realising it would match perfectly – lucky there was just enough of the embroidered fabric to cut out the bib front.

The weather has been poor in the North of England this week so the pictures don’t quite convey the intensity of the colours. The blue is really a lovely vibrant conrflower blue while the magenta top is quite a fabulous bright jewel tone.


Over the course of 4 makes , I have made the following adjustments to this pattern (I have ordered them chronologically from first to most recent),

  1. Lowered the bust dart by 1.5″
  2.  Lengthened sleeves by 3/8″
  3. 5/8″ broad shoulder adjustment (this has become a standard adjustment for me now)
  4. Lowered front neckline by 3/8″ – I didn’t quite like how high the collar was over my collarbone.

On the blue floral chambray one I experimented with cutting the sleeves on the bias and I really like how they fall now.

Seam finishes – Chambray got french seams except for armholes because I do not know how to french seam an eased in sleeve. On the magenta one I used my overlocker to finish all seams.

For the hemming on the chambray I wanted to keep the smooth roll of a hand sewn hem so I slip stitched it.

For the magenta cotton I finished the hem with overlocker then sewed it by machine at 3/8″. This cotton is quite medium weight so double folding it would have created a stiffer look on the hem. For the undercollar and inner cuffs I used some silk habotai in magenta. It feels luxurious. I also incorporated selvage edges on the inner cuffs to reduce finishing time.

I choose non-descript buttons for both blouses – this blouse has so much going on with the pin tucks and the placket that I felt fancy buttons did not add anything.pauline20alice20carme20blouse201

Both are quite different and I quite like (love) these additions to my wardrobe. They work really well with my Birkin Flares too :-). There will definitely be more Carmes in my sewing future. I am not yet done with this lovely pattern.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, Happy Sewing everyone.




33 thoughts on “A Duo of Carmes- IPM2016 Week 2 One Pattern Two Ways

  1. Pingback: And the One Pattern, Two Ways contest winners are…. | The Monthly Stitch

  2. The tops are beautiful! I’m admiring your Birkin Flares as well! What a wonderful touch to use a bit of tablecloth! I keep collecting linens and look forward to using them in clothing. You are an inspiration.

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  3. Absolutely gorgeous, both of them! I like the magenta one more, it;s probably the embroidery :). I loved your sashiko Carme too and I might just need buy the pattern now.
    I was struggling to see where the bust dart is when you said you have lowered it, I didn’t think there were any darts there. I spotted them in the end, but I think they are maybe too low now, they seem to sit below your bust?

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    • Great observation. I hadn’t really thought about its placement since doing the alteration.It was the first alteration I had ever made to a pattern. I think I need to angle it up towards the bust point. The dart is more like a straight line across. Although most reviews of this pattern lower the dart because it i quite high. I think you’d make a magnificent Carme blouse.


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