Completed: Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

13 Feb

I don’t think I need to introduce anyone to the sewing superstar Gertie, right? The sewing blogger, pattern writer, fabric designer, and workshop leader WHO LOOKS LIKE A LITERAL PORCELAIN DOLL (not even exaggerating… it would be maddening if she wasn’t also an incredibly delightful person to interact with!)? Yes. That one. If you don’t know who she is – well, welcome to the online sewing community! Now read up on the OG superstars!

I’ve followed Gertie for years – she’s actually the reason why I started my blog! – and cheered her on with every new business venture. While my tastes have definitely skewed away from vintage style, I still really love to see the stuff that she puts out. When Gertie was in Nashville last year for a workshop, she brought a few patterns from her new line, Charm Patterns, and I picked up the Rita blouse to try out. I like this pattern that it does look vintage, but not quite so costumey (no hate on y’all who do the costumey vintage; I fucking LOVE it but it just really isn’t a style I like to wear these days).

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

I always get bored with sewing winter stuff around this time of year – although I feel like this year it started a bit earlier. I’m also making a bigger effort to work my way through my stash, both patterns and fabric. I remembered this pattern a couple of weeks ago and decided to sew a test version. When I bought the pattern, I originally envisioned using a beautiful Dolce & Gabbana stretch silk with it, but I wanted to try the pattern with a less precious fabric before committing.

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

The test fabric is actually… wait for it… fabric from Gertie’s fabric line! Ha! I don’t see it available on her website now, but it’s a lightweight cotton with a really brilliant, colorful print. I received this fabric as the winner of a giveaway on Gertie’s old blog, back in like… 2015. Ouch. I actually got a few fabrics, as well Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. Truth be told, this fabric isn’t completely my style… I don’t wear lot of florals, I don’t wear much black in the summer (and to me, this is a summer print) and I also don’t wear this shade of blue. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely fabric… it just doesn’t fit well with my wardrobe. And, of course, I got something crazy like 4 yards of it. So when I was looking for a fabric to use in a test Rita, I rediscovered this piece and thought – eh, why not? No huge loss if it doesn’t work out, but I’ll still prob wear it if it *does*.

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

I’ve never sewn a Charm Pattern before, so I paid close attention to the size chart when choosing my size. There isn’t a lot of guidance on how to choose your size, so I just went with what my measurements are. The part I found most confusing was the underbust measurement – it seemed really tiny. And with a 27″ underbust, mine is already quite small! I was a little concerned about the amount of ease there, as I didn’t want it to be too tight if I take a deep breath. I ended up going with a size 4 and a C cup, again, this is based off my measurements.

I think the fit is pretty much spot on. There’s a little bit of ease around the waist, a lot of ease at the bust for all those gathers, and the bottom flares out a little for your hips. I think the pattern looks and fits exactly as it was intended to. And as far as the underbust – it’s perfectly comfortable. So yay for that!

Construction-wise, this was easy to sew. The hardest part was feeding the elastic through the channeling – the pattern has you create a 3/8″ wide channel for the 1/4″ elastic, and I must have made mine a bit smaller than that as I had a really hard time getting my elastic to relax out completely despite lots and lots of effort. I ended up shortening the elastic around the arms by about 1″ and the neckline something like 4″. I feel the arms are ok, but the neckline is slightly tighter than I’d like and it feels like it wants to pull up at the bust.

I serged all the seams as a sewed them (together, not pressed open like the pattern suggests. This is a test blouse, ain’t nobody got time for that!). There is an invisible zipper at the side; mine is a little shorter than the pattern calls for as it was all I had in my stash, but I don’t have any problem getting in or out of the shirt.

This was a quick project; I had everything traced and cut in about an hour, then the blouse sewn up the next afternoon minus the hems. Hemmed it the next morning and wore it out to see a friend that afternoon. Not too bad!

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

So… I think the blouse does look cute, and I like the way it looks in photos. I’m still not totally convinced that it is something I want to wear, though, both in style and due to fabric choice. It feels a little dressier than what I’m accustomed to. I originally envisioned wearing this tucked into my black pants, but the side invisible zipper makes a weird lump when I tuck it (this may not be an issue with something that is a true high waist – like, over the belly button). It doesn’t look bad untucked, but I’m not crazy about it. I like it, but I don’t LOVE it. And I have decided that there isn’t space in my wardrobe for things that I don’t actually love. I have enough clothes as it is!

I think I may actually remove part of the bottom and attach a skirt to it, and just turn the entire thing into a dress. I think that might be a better use of this fabric (especially since I have so much more of it leftover!) and I would enjoy wearing that more than the top. It would certainly be fun to wear in the summer, and lord knows I won’t wear pants when it’s hot out! And yeah it’s gonna be costumey AF, but I’m kind of loving that idea.

Charm Patterns Rita Blouse

Anyway, just thinking out loud! In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t use my special D&G fabric to make this as, like I said, I’m not 100% on the style. I am interested to see if that opinion changes when I swap out for a skirt. I need to dig through my patterns and see if I have something suitable, and I will return with an update!

14 Responses to “Completed: Charm Patterns Rita Blouse”

  1. Aleksandra Sandstrom February 13, 2019 at 2:15 pm #

    I feel like this blouse is old-school Lladybird and I love it for that. It would be a super cute dress on you, too, though! I love that idea. 😀

    • LLADYBIRD February 13, 2019 at 2:52 pm #

      Yeah, I think it’ll turn out cute! We’ll see haha

  2. Julie Culshaw February 13, 2019 at 2:42 pm #

    I think it looks great, and a dress would look good too. I suppose you will have to take the zip out and put in a longer one for a dress.

    • LLADYBIRD February 13, 2019 at 2:53 pm #

      I think I can still use the same zipper, actually. I will still need to take it out but I can get the shirt over my head with this length of zipper so I don’t see why a dress would warrant needing a longer one.

  3. Heather Myers February 13, 2019 at 8:35 pm #

    Hmmm, I know the feeling of what was I thinking with this fabric😐 – I’m looking at a large piece of soft grey cotton with bronze/orange pops dots now as I inventory all my fabrics.
    I like the lower part’s lines and could see a flippy gored skirt with it. I personally don’t like peasant gathered necklines, although I do like square neckline. But I tend to like tailored classic lines…

    • LLADYBIRD February 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm #

      I like peasant gathered necklines, I think I just prefer them as part of a dress and not an individual top on it’s own.

  4. bethnegrey February 14, 2019 at 12:37 pm #

    This blouse looks absolutely amazing on you! When I saw its name, I was puzzled at first until I got it. Rita. As in Hayworth. Absolutely is. The elastic allows for that sultry bare shoulder bit and the print is so perfect for that vintage style. The blue — at least in the photos — is also really pretty on you. If you decide to turn it into a dress, it will just shout (in the most lovely and lady-like way…) “summer garden party/date dress!” Just very cool, all the way round.

    • LLADYBIRD February 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm #

      Thank you! Yes, I think the blouse is named after Rita Hayworth. And that is definitely the look I’m going for 🙂

    • Anonymous February 15, 2019 at 1:47 pm #

      Although Rita Hayworth rocked this style with long sleeves, in her most famous role, Gilda, Gertie’s inspiration for this blouse was Rita Moreno!

  5. Sabrina B. February 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm #

    This is a lovely top although I can relate that it may not fit your style. It wouldn’t fit mine either, but your post nonetheless has me thinking about a less floral version that might work in my wardrobe. It is very flattering overall. I always appreciate seeing your makes for this reason, so thanks for keeping the blog alive!

  6. ooobop! February 25, 2019 at 2:24 am #

    On first sight, this suits you down to the ground. Just beautiful! – the style, colour, the print and all. But I know exactly what you mean about it not being you or sitting with your wardrobe. Sometimes you just cant put your finger on it!

  7. Nicole March 8, 2019 at 1:19 am #

    Loving the print of the fabric

  8. Loreta February 5, 2020 at 5:26 am #

    I love the blouse and how great it looks on you! A lovely pattern making idea.


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