Thursday, 3 May 2018

Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

I have discovered a small problem with blogging and the rest of life. I can either sew or I can blog. I doubt this is a mind blowing discovery for anyone and I am sure many have experienced this before me. Normally I try and balance the two activities. With the frenzied sewing associated with a trip and the need for a whole new wardrobe blogging fell by the wayside.

That in itself is another interesting aspect of the human psyche. I have a perfectly adequate wardrobe that would have easily served me over my five weeks away yet I MUST have new clothes. It didn't help that our trip ended up being earlier than planned so the sewing list in the time available became ambitious especially from a naturally slow sewer.

This blouse was the first item sewn for my 6 in 6 Pattern Review Travel Wardrobe back at the beginning of February. Not that I finished six garments within the deadline. Photos were eventually taken of the garment being worn in mid April.

The finished garment

The photos don't show this top off to advantage or maybe it does fit that badly. It doesn't feel ill fitting when worn and I normally fuss with garments that pool in the small of my back like this one appears to do.

It does crease badly when washed and  isn't suitable for travel as you can't guarantee an iron will be available. But it looks alright on the hanger!

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

The fabric

For some reason I have always wanted some of the Liberty of London print called Isle of Wight (this is colourway A) and luckily for me The Fabric Store had some in the colour that fitted into my travel wardrobe so I snapped it up during their Summer sale.

I have never even been to the Isle of Wight although my aunt goes there every year in December with friends (and then coincidentally has a cold for Christmas).

Creates Sew Slow: Liberty of London Tana Lawn Isle of Wight A

The sewing pattern

I discovered the indie pattern designer Okistyle thanks to another blogger and I would give them credit if only I could remember who they were.  Since discovering this pattern company I have bought six of their PDF patterns and have another four on my wish list.

One of the Okistyle jacket patterns is cut out in a lovely two faced leather which didn't quite get sewn in time for the tavel wardrobe.

It is a great compliment to the designer Oki that I have purchased so many of her patterns as I hate (and hate is not nearly a strong enough word) taping PDF patterns together. I have found however that the bench or floor in my hotel room is good for taping PDF patterns together and it whiles away a good few evening hours.

The Madrid Blouse is described as "a sleeveless top with nice peplum, Back darts are visible on the right side. Visible long zipper on back, french darts on front."

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Oki is from west of Mongolia, now living in Germany. She has been interested in textiles and clothing since her childhood, learning dressmaking from her mother.  Oki is a one woman company who in her own words "design, construct patterns, fabric dyeing, sew, model and do everything myself.  I love unusual precious materials and unusual shapes for dressmaking. To sew Okistyle dresses should be fun and it should be even more fun when you wear them :-)"

The pattern alterations

I can't actually tell you what pattern alterations I would have made to this pattern because when I printed it out (the whole pattern not just the first page with the 10cm square) I didn't print it actual size. My 10cm square was about 9cm ish but I only discovered this after taping all of the pages together and whilst I may have been willing to sacrifice a few pages of paper and print it again I wasn't willing to do the taping again.

Something else to note is that the pattern pieces don't contain seam allowances but I didn't read that important piece of information until later.  So with such amazing attention to detail it is a miracle that this blouse fits.  Not a miracle really because I used a TNT blouse to give me an idea of which size to use. I changed the armholes to be the same as my TNT pattern so I could use its' sleeves as a sleeveless blouse would get limited wear.

Two other changes I made were: a forward shoulder adjustment; and lowered neckline. This neckline in its original form is high enough to make me feel like I'm being strangled.

The sewing

This was sewn using my 1953 Singer Featherweight with French seams. The hems and neckband were machine sewn too. Nothing difficult or unusual about the sewing.

I did omit the facing. Instead the neck was stay-stitched at 3/8" then folded to the stay-stitch line and folded again to give a narrow hem.

The other thing I missed out was the zip down the back. I thought the tana lawn was a bit too light for a zip and I didn't need it to get the top on and off with its lowered neckline. This meant the back pattern piece could be cut on the fold.

I really enjoyed making this top on the little table in our motel room and it is great to wear, even if it does need ironing. (Something else to do in my Wellington hotel room to while away a few minutes.)

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse

Creates Sew Slow: Oki Style Madrid Isle of Wight Blouse


  1. wow, I am smiling about your printing error (haven't we all done that?) and then no seam allowances! Even with all that happened, you have ended with a beautiful blouse.

  2. I picked up on the Oki vibe via Ruth at Core Couture, and then fell into the pattern buying pit myself! It's a cute top, and doesn't look ill fitting, I just think it's got some static issues on your bum! I always stand a little too straight for photos, and get the same effect...