Monday, 17 October 2016

No. 3 Kastrup Blouse

Ta-da, my finished No. 3 Kastrup Blouse from How to Do Fashion


This vintage-inspired pattern comes in three different versions: short sleeved, cap sleeved or short sleeved with volume to the back. I chose the straight forward short sleeved version which incorporates some lovely design features. These include Princess seams to the front... 


Double layered raglan sleeves which fit snugly across the shoulder


And a deep keyhole opening at the back, fastened with a button and thread loop.


Before I get onto a full review though, there are a couple of points worth noting about the pattern. The pattern itself is printed on good quality paper and comes in a smart, stylish folder, but no instructions are actually included with it! The instructions for each separate version of the pattern can be found on the How To Do Fashion website. It's all very comprehensive and includes additional advice on common fit problems and extra sewing tips. But I do still think that for £16 the basic instructions could have been included with the paper pattern. Also, the pattern is printed on both sides of the pattern sheet so you still have to trace off the pieces. This I found really annoying. Why pay a premium for a printed pattern if you still have to trace it? To be fair, the tracing didn't actually take that long, but it still annoyed me!

Anyway, enough grumbling, back to the pattern….the pattern comes in UK sizes 6 to 20 and I cut a straight size 10. I based this on the finished garment measurements (printed on the actual pattern sheet) and by studying the sample garments on the website, which helpfully tell you the sizes they're sewn up in. I made no changes to the pattern pieces but did make a couple of small modifications once the blouse was constructed. I shortened it by 3cms as it was quite long on me and took in the side seams from the waist down by 2cms at each side. For any future versions I'll probably go down a size at the waist and hips to avoid having to adjust the side seams. One other important point to note is that the seam allowances throughout are 1cm rather than the standard 1.5cm (or ⅝"), so don't forget or you may get a tighter fit than you were expecting!


The instructions are available in English and Danish and were pretty clear on the whole, although the names of some sewing techniques get a bit lost in translation (e.g. understitching is referred to as topstitching). There are illustrations for each step and links to online videos for trickier sections, but I think a few additional diagrams for some of these sections (such as the sleeves) would have been useful. The sleeves are double layered and sandwiched between the front and back neck facings. It took a bit of head scratching for me to work out how it was all supposed to slot together, but I got there in the end. I think this is how they should look from the inside - all very clever and neat. 




The pattern states that any type of light fabric can be used and I think the key word here is light. I used a lightweight poly chiffon and wouldn't really have wanted to sew with anything much heavier as there are lots of layers around the facings. There are no instructions to stay stitch in the pattern, but I did stay stitch the necklines and the seams around the raglan sleeves as they're cut on the bias and were liable to stretch out.  

Overall I was very impressed with the pattern and would definitely recommend it. Yes, having to trace it is a pain, but it's a pain I'm prepared to overlook because the drafting and construction is so good. I achieved a great fit with minimal effort, and now that I've used one pattern I'm quite tempted to try another. I'll certainly be making another version of this top that's for sure, I love it!


This blouse is my official entry into October's #sewdots challenge, which you can read more about it in my last blog post and on Rosie's blog here. Happy Monday! x


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21 comments:

  1. Thanks for this review Jane. I've been looking at a couple of How To Do Fashion patterns recently, but I've not seen one made up or reviewed up to now. The lack of included instructions does seem poor when you consider the cost of the pattern, but the result looks lovely.

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    1. Glad it's helpful, it's always good to get an idea of patterns via reviews, without them you're almost going in blind! It didn't take me that long to get over my frustration re instructions and tracing, once I started sewing they were wiped from my memory! x

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  2. Jane it is a brilliant top but I echo your frustration on the pattern contents. I bought the Louisa dress pattern for my girls from Compagnie M and had to do exactly the same - the swear words were far ranging when I opened the packet to find I had to print out 18 pages of instructions and trace the darn thing onto my own paper!! Grrrr! Why oh why include such heavy packaging when we could have another sheet of paper instead? Rant over. Jo x

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    1. Exactly! I'd be just as happy with tissue paper and a cheap envelope if it meant I didn't have to trace or print out instructions! I'm right with you Jo! x

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  3. Job well done! Looks very clean and pretty. I agree with Sam; thanks for the review. I have never sewn anything from the before. Btw, your skirt, is that a Tilly-pattern? Also very nice!

    /I blame Paris

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    1. Thank you very much! Yes, the skirt is the Tilly Arielle pattern, another one I'd highly recommend! x

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  4. Looks amazing I wish I could find a good pattern place by me so I can get back to sewing again.

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    1. I get most of my patterns online, well worth considering! And thank you. x

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  5. I love your new top with the cap sleeve, very complimentary on you. I also like the style lines.

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  6. £16 is way more than I'm prepared to pay for a pattern, anyway. But all that and no printed instructions plus tracing your pieces? That's outrageous.

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    1. It was a bit of a nasty shock, I still really like the pattern though! x

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  7. Looks great on you, but I think I would be disappointed with no instructions for that price, as well.

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks, I'm very pleased with the fit! x

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  9. Lovely top Jane, it looks like a great fit and I love the spots, perfect for Sew Dots! I am so surprised the pattern was double sided and you had to print instructions separately! I've never come across that before so thank you for including in your review as I'll make sure I double check in future!

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    1. Thank you! As I said in the review, a bit of a pain but worth it in the end! x

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  10. Hi Jane
    Thanks for your honest review. I think you look amazing in your new blouse. I am working on the translation and I will definitely look into the the instruction for the future
    best
    Nanna
    how to do fashion

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    1. Thank you Nanna, much appreciated! x

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  11. Loving the pattern of your outfit,you look adorable

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