Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Celeste blouse // Selkie Patterns

I had no intentions of making the Celeste pattern from Selkie until I heard there was a competition to win a fancy schmancy embroidery sewing machine from Husqvarna Viking if you made one! Typically, I only heard about the competition about 6 days before the deadline so the challenge was not just about the pattern but about whether I could get it done it time!

One evening was wasted just dithering about whether I should even bother. One was spent printing and sticking the PDF together. Another was spent looking at photos, inspiration and my fabric stash to see what I could come up with that was just that bit different. Two days to make it and another to photograph it! All this was happening around a full work and social calendar by the way, so I was very proud of myself for getting it done in time!

The Celeste is both a blouse and dress pattern. I decided to just make the blouse as, let’s face it, I have far too many dresses. It’s a loose fit pattern with a darted bodice, back yoke and keyhole closure and plenty of optional extra details. It’s finished with a neck facing and a sewn in hook and eye at the back neck. There’s 4 different sleeve options as well as a cute collar.

I opted for the two part bishop sleeve and at the last minute, decided to add the collar too for that little extra pizazz.

I couldn’t help putting my own touch to it with a few hacks though! I altered the collar shape to be more exaggerated all the way around – the original shape has it longer at the front so I made it so it was like this front and back. I switched out the hook and eye for long ties at the back. Personally I hate hook and eye closures in this spot. I’ve only ever done it once and found it’s a nightmare to close and always gets caught in my hair. Not fun!

I also decided to ruffle it all up! (No surprises there!).

I added an extra frill to the sleeve where the lower gathered section attaches, a frill around the exaggerated collar and also a topstitched heart shaped frill to the front. That last bit might have been a bit of overkill but at least it’ll be easy to remove should I wish to!

Top tip for adding ruffles to a seam: measure your seam length and double it to get the length you need to ruffle. This method hasn’t failed me yet!

I used a piece of cotton plaid from Sew Me Sunshine for this make. It had been lingering in the stash since early summer and I’d considered adding it to the destash pile but I’m glad I hung onto it as it’s a really great weight for something like this. Light and airy is definitely the way to go for voluminous sleeves.

I made a size 14 with a 3cm big bicep adjustment.

It’s just a completely bonkers blouse! It’s over the top and feels so out there but I kinda love it at the same time. There was a distinct lack of effort to pattern match I’m not gonna lie, but I’m not too bothered by it.

Is this gonna be enough to win me a super duper fancy sewing machine? Maybe, maybe not! I shall wait to find out!

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