I can honestly say that this pattern has been one of my absolute favorites (I’ve already made two!) and was so fun to test. I am so excited to be sharing the Fringe Blouse and Dress from Chalk and Notch which was released today on the Chalk and Notch website!
The Fringe Blouse and Dress pattern features two views. View A has a button up front, elbow sleeve and sleeve tab while View B has a pull over, notched front with a cuff on the sleeve. Both views have a dress and blouse view. The dress features optional pockets and both views feature a back or front waist tie, curved hem and a gathered skirt.
Chalk and Notch patterns are so beautifully designed, tested and executed. The pattern comes with an interactive tutorial along with an abbreviated tutorial for the advanced sewists of the world.
I sewed up two versions of the Fringe Blouse both in rayons. The first version was out of a floral rayon from Style Maker Fabrics. I am always drawn to floral rayons and this was no exception. It was a perfect fit! The Fringe is really suited for rayons. I actually had enough of this rayon to make a second top from it – the Key Largo Top.
The second version I sewed up was in one of the new April Rhodes Rayons from Art Gallery Fabrics. I purchased mine from Imagine Gnats. This fabric is a little outside what I would normally pick, but when Gabriela posted the original version of the Fringe I just could not get it out of my head. I love this fabric and am resisting the urge to order more because I think I want a second garment in it….
I chose to sew up version B, not only once but twice, because I love it that much! I also really like the silhouette that version B creates. Also, the fact that I hate buttons and buttonholes added to my draw towards version B.
During the testing process, the pattern changed a couple times. My floral version was part of the second phase of pattern testing and there were some slight changes made to the pattern for the final version, the April Rhodes version. I love the way the pattern turned out and will be making approximately four million more.
My favorite feature of the pattern is the neckline and neckline facing. It is such a clean finish! Also in the final version, the neckline hits in the perfect spot for me.
In my second version, I bias bound the hem (my favorite way to finish curved hems!) but that isn’t part of the pattern as drafted/constructed.
The Testing Experience:
Gabriela runs her pattern testing in phases and I think it’s an amazing way to run them and also keeps things so organized. There is an first phase with the pattern as designed by Gabriela and there is a fit portion of the phase then a final portion of the phase. After phase one closes, Gabriela makes any pattern adjustments necessary based on feedback and the the second phase opens and follows the same process. Once the second phases wraps up it moves on to the final phase. During this pattern test, I was part of Phase Two while for the Farrah Top, I was part of Phase One.
I’ve had the opportunity to test for a couple different designers and I always find testing Chalk and Notch patterns to be so enjoyable and fun. I also find test sewing to be such an educational experience as well. I usually don’t make a lot of adjustments on patterns but seeing all the adjustments that can be made to tweak fit and achieve the perfect fit is always so inspiring!
I would encourage people who are interested in the design and drafting process to give test sewing a try. I’ve learned so much.
FRINGE BLOUSE SUMMARY:
Size Made: 6
View: View B
Ease of Construction: It actually comes together really quickly despite having a lot of pieces and parts! The most time consuming? Turning those darn ties right side out – why does that always take me forever??
Fit: Perfect fit!
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