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The Pendrell Blouse and why I’ll be making a wardrobe full of them.

December 20, 2011

You may have probably gathered from the title of this post that I love the Pendrell blouse.

If you haven’t, you’re a fool.

So many bloggers have made this blouse (Handmade Jane, Karen at Did You Make That?, Debi at Fashions from the Past for The Sew Weekly, Adrienne at All Style All Substance among the many). Now I can see why. It’s comfortable, it’s flattering, it’s simple…it’s everything you’d want in a top. Not only that, but I made two of these in a weekend as well as a skirt and a dress. That should show you how easy they are to make.

I (probably shouldn’t have) ignored the fabric choices and went for cotton for both tops. I wanted a nice, plain black one to wear to work but ran out of the cotton and had no similar to make the ruffles (I really, really wanted to put the ruffles in) so I used this Liberty Cranford fabric I won a little ago.

The Liberty fabric is odd in that it is composed of lots of tiny faces arranged so the hair brings out these flower shapes. I love it but I can imagine it creeping people out a little. Probably more so since I’ve also used it to make a Sewaholic Crescent Skirt as well.

The second version I made is the most ridiculous version.

It’s made from Heather Ross Underwater Sisters fabric.

I’ve had this in my stash for a long, long time but I’ve been much too scared to use it because I love it so much! I thought this top would be the perfect showcase for it without overdoing it on the colour (it’s very, very orange).

Again, I didn’t have enough to do the shoulder frills but I thought the cream fabric (which is actually from an old sheet) worked well for toning down the orange a bit and making it more wearable. On finishing it I headed off to Brighton to see one of my favourite bands – Low – with all intentions of heading to the seafront to get some decent pictures. (By the way, they played my favourite ever Christmas song – the completely un-cheesy “Just Like Christmas“. It was amazing!) What actually happened was that I got too scared I would head straight for Ditto, ruin the Seamless pledge for myself and end up kick myself for it. As it happened, The Twin had to work and the Other One was out partying so late I didn’t actually manage to see him the entire time I was there. In fact, I didn’t even wear the top at all. The first time I wore it was, oddly, to interview for some juniors at work. I hope it didn’t scare them off…

This is all a big explanation for the crappy photos, when all is said and done.

I’m quite happy with how I managed to get the rows of mermaids, swimmers, turtles and shoals of fish to line up. If only I’d managed to get them to stay whole…

Anyway, on to the pattern! This top is easily constructed and well fitted. I’m really happy with how it looks on as I was afraid I’d end up looking a bit like a sack, in all honesty! There are basically 6 main pieces which you can then add detail to at the shoulders to achieve the different looks. The instructions are fabulously clear, the fit is great and the top is more comfortable than you can imagine!  The princess seams are very flattering and allow a much better fit than with simply using darts. The different fabrics and different shoulder details individualise each top and I can see myself easily making a work wardrobe out of them. I urge you all to go out and buy this top right now!

By the way, the necklace I’m wearing is by one of my favourite artists Emily Winfield Martin, who trades on Etsy under the name The Black Apple. Look her up and buy!

Sorry for the terrible pictures once more: I’m forced to be my own photographer as I only live with two cats who aren’t very good at taking pictures. Trust me, *I’ve tried…

(*I haven’t…)

  1. December 20, 2011 9:02 am

    Lovely Pendrells 🙂 And that swimmer fabric is gorgeous!
    Ashley x

    • JuliaDBennett permalink
      December 20, 2011 1:53 pm

      I loev this fabric so much! I have some scraps left over that I’m loathe to throw away. If you have any ideas what I can do with them then let me know!

  2. tabathatweedie permalink*
    December 20, 2011 11:16 am

    What, you haven’t made three?!! They’re gorgeous – love the Liberty Cranford ruffles on the black one!!!

    • JuliaDBennett permalink
      December 20, 2011 1:54 pm

      Only two so far, Double T! I will definitely be making more. 5, for 5 days at work, probably! I’m going to attempt to make some trousers soon so I’ll have to make some that match them. It probably means something slightly more sensible than an orange top with a load of mermaids on it…

  3. Mon permalink
    December 20, 2011 11:46 am

    Right, they are pretty nice! 🙂

    • JuliaDBennett permalink
      December 20, 2011 1:56 pm

      Thank you so much! I love them – they’re so so comfortable!

  4. December 20, 2011 12:14 pm

    They look very nice and so versatile. A perfect addition to your wardrobe. I wanted to say Thank you to both you and Tabitha for in a small way, encouraging me to sew more of my clothes and accept myself through them.


    • JuliaDBennett permalink
      December 20, 2011 6:30 pm

      I’ve written a proper reply out to this comment 3 times now and every time I hit send my computer crashes!

      Basically, thank you very much for your lovely comment! Sewing has really helped me come to terms with the shape and size of my body and helped me learn how to dress for it. I’m much happier in my skin now I don’t have to wonder if the trousers I pick up off the rail are going to go around my backside or if my bust is going to spill over the top of a dress. It’s good to know you’re feeling similar and it’s lovely to know that we are encouraging you in the same way, even if it is only the tiniest bit.

      Thank you again, Maria – and keep reading, and commenting of course! xx

  5. December 20, 2011 2:03 pm

    Very nice! I’m a big fan of this pattern too, as you know. x

    • JuliaDBennett permalink
      December 20, 2011 6:32 pm

      Thank you! I don’t know how anyone who’s tried this pattern couldn’t be a big fan! I’m planning on making so many of them. I might even try converting it into a simple shift dress!

  6. December 20, 2011 6:23 pm

    Hi , I love your Pendrells. I really like the way you have used different faric for the ruffles ( very creative I never think of anything clever like that ) . I am a big fan of this pattern and I think I could use a few more .

    • JuliaDBennett permalink
      December 20, 2011 6:34 pm

      The only reason I had contrast ruffles was because I ran out of my main fabric – necessity is the mother of invention!

      Your magenta version is beautiful, by the way. The colour is amazing and it really suits you. I need to make some in slightly drapier fabric I think. What a shame 😉

  7. Elena Cresci permalink
    December 21, 2011 2:14 am

    I’ve definitely tried to get my cat to take photos. She wasn’t having any of it. Today she tried to eat my knitting. I don’t think she’s very craft friendly…

    Anyway, loving the Pendrell blouses! This is a pattern I’ve been meaning to get my hands on for a while – I want to make several knit versions of this baby! Lovely post 🙂

    • December 23, 2011 10:18 am

      I was thinking of making a couple of knit versions myself, actually! Let me know how you get on with yours – I think I should probably move on to something else first! I haev my eye on a dress from the Sew U Home Stretch book for my next project…


  1. Completed Project: Three Sewaholic Pendrells! | Thread Carefully

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