The Clara blouse was Sew Over It's February PDF release. It looked a bit different from other patterns in my stash, and seemed to be a good combination of being very wearable but also with the potential to look quite smart, so I was fairly quick to buy it when it was released.
The blouse features, in Sew Over It's own words, 'a pretty pleated round neckline, keyhole opening at the centre back, a stepped hem, and long sleeves with deep cuffs and continuous bound placket cuff closures'.
The Clara blouse was an enjoyable pattern to sew. The bodice section came together fairly quickly, and then I needed a bit more time to sew the sleeves because those cuffs involve a couple of more fiddly steps. Nothing too taxing, but the kind of thing that it's worth taking your time over to make sure you do a good job.
The instructions were all very clear and easy to follow. I did spot a typo in the instructions about making the rouleaux loops for the neckline and cuff buttons, but I emailed Sew Over It to point it out and they got back to me really quickly to say that the instructions have now been corrected (if you downloaded the pattern before this week, the seam allowance when sewing the rouleau loop strip should be 1.5cm instead of 2cm).
In terms of sizing, my bust measurement is between the 12 and 14 for this pattern, and my waist/hip measurements put me right in the size 14. The Clara blouse has a relaxed fit though, and based on the finished measurements I was fairly sure that I'd be fine with a straight size 12. Thankfully, it turns out I was right! There's still plenty of ease as far as I'm concerned, and I think if I'd made the 14 it might have turned out a bit too roomy for my tastes.
I was slightly unsure about how I'd feel about the cuffs - not in terms of how they look, but in terms of whether they'd annoy me when I was wearing the blouse because they're quite large. I'm pleased to report that I've worn the blouse for a whole day now and wasn't bothered by the cuffs once.
If I make another Clara blouse, I'd possibly omit the stepped hem and just use a regular straight hem. While the stepped hem looks nice, I'm only going to wear the blouse tucked into full skirts so nobody will ever see it.
The fabric I used is a freesia print viscose that I bought last spring/summer (I think from WeaverDee, but I know a few online shops stocked it at the time) with the intention of making a dress, but I then went off the idea of the fabric/pattern combination I had in my head. I love the fabric though, so I'd been keeping an eye out for the right project to use it and when the Clara pattern was released it seemed like I'd found what I was looking for. And as bonus, as I'd bought enough for a full-skirted dress, I'm pretty sure I've got enough fabric left for a short sleeved summery top too!
Overall, I'm really happy with my Clara blouse. I enjoyed sewing it, I'm pleased with how it looks and it's good to get this fabric out of my stash. I'm going to wait and see how much I wear the blouse but, based on first impressions, I could definitely see myself making more in the future. Have you had success with any new patterns recently?