Say hello to the new Ballad Blouse by Love Notions! My favourite feature? The shirring of course! Never did shirring before? No worries! With this pattern, you shirr a rectangle and then cut out your pieces so it’s super easy! There’s also a video to guide you along the shirring process and I am sure many of us ambassadors will have our own content with demonstrations as well! If you are not a fan of the shirring element (abomination!), there’s a simpler gathered version too. And as usual, with Love Notions patterns, you have a ton of sleeve options to change up the style.
Shirring is very much trending right now. I am seeing it all over in ready to wear clothes and more and more sewing patterns are popping up with a shirring detail. I am not complaining at all… I love shirring! I remember messing around with shirring when I was growing up. It’s just so amazing to me how elastic thread in the bobbin can create such magic! Of course as a teenager I had no idea what I was doing… so I only made those little shirred tube dresses from rectangles of fabric. It feels so good to try shirring again and actually be able to crank out something fabulous other than a rectangle dress! The Ballad is such a satisfying make especially if you try the shirring!
One tip I have is if you’re using busy fabric and you really want the shirring to stand out, pick your thread colour wisely. I went with yellow thread to match the lemons instead of blue to match the background of the fabric. I was a Ballad tester and I can say this pattern went through an extensive testing phase. Making a pattern with shirring could be a little tricky so Tami along with the testers worked super hard to get it just right in time for release. I made a total of three garments for testing, using three different fabric types. The Ballad is a woven pattern that calls for lightweight fabrics with drape. Think rayon, crepe, voile, georgette, chambray, lightweight linen. Fabric choice is everything!
My first version was a chambray blouse with puff sleeves and I actually really disliked the puff sleeves in that stiffer fabric. My second version was a dress (Tami was toying with the idea of adding a dress version), and I used a rayon linen blend in a stunning tropical print. I adored the puff sleeves on this one but the shirring didn’t hold enough tension especially in the waist. My final version is made from rayon and it is absolute perfection!
My fabric is a lemon print with navy polka dots on a periwinkle blue background. So cute for summer! I used navy bias binding for my puff sleeves ties and navy buttons to match. The tension on the shirring was spot on and the blouse is super flowy and comfy to wear. I actually didn’t make my usual length adjustments. I wanted a longer blouse this time and I love where it hits. I was so scared about doing the placket in this slippery rayon fabric but honestly, it wasn’t bad at all! I really took my time and tried to be very neat and careful and it turned out beautifully. Although I purchased this fabric at my local fabric store here in Barbados, I did manage to find it on Fabric.com!
Here’s a fun secret… I can fit the blouse over my head so my buttonholes aren’t functional! I totally cheated and sewed my buttons on through both layers of the placket! The neckline has a really nice v shape that compliments those little shirred panels at the front yoke area. The back yoke is applied using the burrito method so it is double layered, very similar to the Rhapsody pattern. If you love the Rhapsody, there is no doubt in my mind you’ll love the Ballad too! This one has gathering at the back yoke instead of a pleat. And the sleeve options are different.
- short sleeve with cuff
- puff with ties
- Full Bust Option
For reference, I made size L graded to XL hip and I couldn’t be happier with the fit. It is intended to have a loose flowy fit that gives you plenty of ease at the waist and hips. The Ballad Blouse is the perfect addition to your spring and summer wardrobe! And here’s the best part… it’s on release sale right now! You can grab the Ballad pattern for $3 off until May 16th 2021! And while you’re at it, don’t forget the rest of the website is still on 40% off sitewide sale (ending today so hurry)! I hope you love the new Ballad pattern as much as I do… it was definitely worth the wait!