New British pattern company = another Peter Pan collar blouse!


Friends, have you heard? There's a brand new, British pattern company on the scene - a heartening sign that domestic-stitching is still going strong, if not gaining popularity! Simple Sew design and print their patterns in the UK using a British pattern printing company and they offer all customers an email support service and UK customers free postage!

Their designs are contemporary fun, flirty (as is the artwork) and mixing and matching their patterns could result in a pretty cute capsule wardrobe I reckon. There's definitely a By Hand London feel to some of them, but that's no bad thing in my book. So if you fancy the chance to get your hands on a Simple Sew pattern, look out for a giveaway on their Twitter and Facebook pages on Christmas Eve!


Typically, when Claire contacted me about trying out a Simple Sew pattern I chose The 'Pretty' dress which isn't yet available. My second choice was the Peter Pan Collar Blouse because, well, I love collars and back buttons. I was a little apprehensive about the lack of bust shaping on this pattern, but it actually hangs remarkably well and I'm really, really happy with the end result!

As a whole, this pattern is ridiculously easy to sew up with just three pieces and no darts or zips. And if you have a one-step buttonhole function on your sewing machine, you really are laughing! The only time consuming thing is making bias binding, but you can always cheat and buy that if you're feeling lazy ;o)

I 'graded' the pattern across three different sizes -10 for the neck and shoulders, 12 for the armholes and bodice (up to the waist) and 14 down to the hips. Doing this eliminated my usual neck-gaping issues and has allowed much needed room for my hips and posterior. In fact, I probably could have gotten away a 12 for the entire bodice, but I love how roomy and floaty this has turned out. Despite the lack of shaping, I still don't feel like I'm wearing a tent. Odd, but true...unless you guys disagree entirely of course!   



What I liked about using a Simple Sew pattern

The pattern came in a tidy little envelop with great artwork...seriously, I want the entire outfit and hair people! Very cool! It's printed on what I would call 'sturdy' tissue paper, which is so much easier to work with than the usual super-flimsy stuff. It feels like it can take a whole lot of manhandling, pinning, annotating...you name it. 

I think my favourite touch has got to be the nifty little pattern piece tags, which you can cut out and pin to your fabric pieces to keep track of them. I've not seen this before, but it's a clever idea, especially if you're working on a more challenging pattern and/or with fabric that's hard to mark.

Suggestions for improvement 

I can't speak for all Simple Sew patterns of course, but it's only natural that there would be a little room for improvement, especially with beginners in mind. Mainly it's really small things like the cutting lines being very similar and the fact that a shorten/lengthen line isn't included in case adjustments are necessary. The pattern also didn't require you to interface your button plackets which I found odd - I went with it though and it turned out fine so maybe it's not strictly necessary?!? 

I think the biggest stumbling block for beginners could be the instructions - there are lots of useful diagrams, but the written instructions do assume a certain level of knowledge. For example they mention French seams and bias binding, but no hints on how to do/make either. Fear not though, for the good people at Simple Sew have big plans for online tutorials (which will also feature contributions from fellow bloggers) and as I mentioned above, they offer email support to those who need it.



Next up, a couple of detailed close-ups. I really love the collar on this blouse, especially the shape at the back. Do you like my fabric by the way? I stash-busted the whole blouse - the animal print a cheap polyester I've had for a couple of years, the collar a viscose blend and the buttons I received from a swap. Originally I picked out black buttons, but I think the cherry red is much more fun!



I know you're all thinking about the elephant in the room - the chilly and dreary weather we're experiencing. Well, until Spring/Summer I actually intend on layering this baby up like so...



...which is exactly how I wore it at a cheeky little get-together in London today with Rachel (House of Pinheiro), Tania (Sew It Anyway), Louise, and our guest of honour all the way from California, Erin (Miss Crayola Creepy)!

Just moments before we drooled all over Shaukat's extensive Liberty range!


I don't think poor Erin had ever experienced so much rain in her life! It's alright for some, isn't it?

29 comments:

  1. Great blouse - I love the swingy shape - and exciting to see another UK pattern company. The patterns look a bit basic for me at the moment but I will definitely keep an eye on their releases. I love that they include little labels for each piece, I often do that myself so it's cute to have them included.

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    1. Thanks! They've got a lovely dress due for release next year!

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  2. Good on you girls for venturing out in such dismal weather! Hope MissCC had a lovely time with you all!

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    1. We are nothing if not determined...hehe!

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  3. The new top looks very cute on you hun - glad that there's a new UK pattern co. out there now! Plus,feelin' "well jel" of the day out with the fellow sewing-ladies :)

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    1. Thanks for all the kind words Claire...hope we get to meet up again soon!

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  4. And how fabulous you looked!
    Lovely to see the details x

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  5. Those little tags are a great idea, and your top came out great! I love a simple silhouette blouse like that. I guess I'm going to be checking these patterns out...

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    1. It is a beautiful shape despite its simplicity...have fun browsing!

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  6. This blouse is beautiful. It was lovely sewing you again....

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    1. Lol my autocorrect must be addicted to the world sewing. I meant seeing

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    2. Haha, I love 'sewing'! Lovely to see you as always!

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  7. Super cute! I love a bit of leopard print. It suits you perfectly! I am so jealous of your wonderful sewing meet ups. I wish I could come meet you all!

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    1. Thank you Kat...I think I'm addicted to leopard print! Hopefully we can meet one day!

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  8. Swit swoo. Lovely as ever. Thanks for introducing me to a new company!! :-)

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    1. Thank you and you're very welcome!!!

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  9. I love this and think it's really flattering. It really suits you. Can't believe how cheap their patterns are for an indie company! Pity I'm pregnant so won't be able to try them out for a while! :(

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    1. Yes, such good value for money! Hope you get to try them out some day...though this blouse is so roomy you could probably get away with it...

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  10. gorgeous doll suits you to a t. Again I blinking love that fringe of yours :)

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  11. It is as I have already mentioned a top make Marie - looks so right on you - you + Peter Pan collars= gorgeous!

    Just a quick note to say have a wonderful Christmas and a great new year :-)

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    1. Thanks a million Winnie! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas too!xx

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  12. Such great news to hear there is another British pattern company around - though probably not so good news for my purse! you look very glam in your top, and I am loving your Christmas decorations! (and that fire place - wow - what a feature!)

    You popped to mind the other day actually - I dragged my husband to Birmingham the weekend before Christmas for some rag market fabric shopping. It was the first time I have been able to go back since our big meet up in the summer. My word it was busy but I was keeping an eye out to see if I bumped into any bloggers. I didn't, maybe next time - still so glad you introduced me to the place though :D

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  13. This is so cute! I love the top and the leopard, too, of course! Happy Christmas to you-- hope you have a lovely holiday in your new house! :)

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  14. Wow great to see the lovely blouse (although it looked great layered I must say). Fab buttons!!

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  15. This pattern has just arrived on my doorstep, after me ordering it as soon as I'd seen this post - it looks lovely on you! Just a quick question; Do you think you could get away without having buttons on the back, or is the neck too small to just shimmy over the top? (This is only 'cos I'm too excited and want to make it tonight, but won't have time to buy buttons!). Thanks!

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    1. Gosh, that took a while...but glad you're excited about it! I don't think I'd be able to pull mine over my head without the buttons I'm afraid...it's a pretty high and small neckline! Maybe you could leave a gap a couple of inches from the top (like a keyhole shape) and finish with a little button and loop?

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