My blog post this time coincides with an Instagram sewing challenge that myself and @sarahcsewing have just launched called the Nellie Sewing Challenge.
In my opinion this blush pink Morning Glory cotton lawn is the perfect summery match for this cute pattern! Just calling out to be worn with jeans, or dare I say it, shorts if the sun ever comes out!
I love Republique du Chiffon patterns (as you might have noticed!) and the ruffles of the Nellie are so on trend for 2018.
RdC patterns are admittedly a bit sparse when it comes to instructions but as long as you accept that occasionally you may need to stop and think for a minute you'll be fine!! I think they are so stylish and fun (and actually pretty straightforward when you know what you're doing) that they are well worth the limited instructions!
I’ll try and go through any areas that might benefit from extra hints and tips along the way!
I do also find them quite generous on size. I strongly recommend for you to at least check sizes by measuring the actual pattern pieces against your measurements. Even better, make a quick toile of the main body to make sure it will fit well.
So. The first thing to remember is that seam allowances are NOT included. But for this pattern not all pieces need them. The cutting layout does show which pieces require you to add seam allowances and which don’t. When I trace RdC patterns I always use 2 different colours to show the seam allowances (excuse my messy tracing!)
Start by sewing shoulders together - I used French seams for neatness.
Then you go straight onto preparing the ruffle, sewing the 2 sets of ruffle together at short sides before joining as the pattern instructs. Once trimmed and turned through and pressed, sew 2 rows of gathering stitches along the length of the raw edge. The pattern suggests 0.5cm and 1.5cm but you can easily adjust this if you prefer a narrower ruffle. I used 1cm and 2cm (i.e. sewing between them at 1.5cm seam allowance)
We then attach the facing pieces together and at this point I also turn what will be the raw edge under by 0.5cm, press and stitch to finish the edge rather than later in the process as I found it easier.
Gather the ruffle up as evenly as possible – it’s hard to know how much the first time you make one so all I can suggest is trial and error unfortunately. The only guide I can give you if it is any help that my ruffle measured approx 115cm once gathered before I attached it. Then pin to the front edge of the shirt right sides together starting 2cm up from the bottom of the right front hem and going up and around the neck and back round stopping about 1cm from the shaped corner at the middle of the left front. It doesn't go all the way down both sides like I tried!!!
Sew between the basting lines.
Pin the facing right sides against the ruffle and sew along the same stitching line. Remove basting stitches, then trim and press facing to the back.
Look how neat that already looks!
The pattern suggests top stitching around the outside edge of facing on the seam allowances but personally I thought it neater to finish nearer the ruffle. The facing won't kick out. But this is optional to you.
I used French seams again to sew up the sides.
Pattern pieces are included to make your own bias binding but of course you can always use shop bought if you are short on fabric. (I have since made a Nellie for my daughter and didn't have enough patterned fabric so used a plain white fabric for the facings and bias binding- but with this in mind I did manage to get a size 34 out of just 90cm of fabric!!)
Fold the armhole pieces in half, press and attach to armhole. Turn back, press again, stitch again et voila!
After sewing the hem, I used my fantastic buttonhole spacer to work out the position of the buttonholes- I do love this wee gadget!
All in all, especially after making a second Nellie, I think it’s a really fun summer shirt that is cleverly put together to make a simple quick sew yet looks so effective.
I should add that as with the RdC Suzon there is also a free sleeve add on download if you fancy short, ¾ or even full length sleeves.
I definitely urge you to have a go at this cute summer pattern and I’m so happy with my floral, ruffly, pink, girlie shirt- even more so when the sun finally shines!