A bit of a meh Airelle

Hello campers how are you all on this sunny but quixotic Sunday? We’ve had hailstones and chilly winds in between the sunshine so it was a case of grab yer camera phone and run outside while it’s dry (if not exactly warm) to take pictures of a top I finished last week but didn’t have time to photograph. And to be honest with you, I wasn’t that bothered about taking pics either as this is one of those makes that I know I won’t wear again. But let’s talk this through…       Airelle by StitchandWitter

Airelle by Deer and Doe is one of those patterns that I’ve lusted after for a while. Just look at these by Rachel and Made by 6 if you want to see how gorgeous it can be. I thought it would be the perfect blouse for me – bit preppy, bit sweet etc. Plus it has the cutest collar. After my sewing funk ended thanks to Coco I thought it would be the perfect next project. And it was, after a fashion. No fastenings or tricksy bits which was great. I graded from a 38 at the bust to a 40 at the waist and then back to a 38 at the hip and the sizing worked out pretty good. I used some stash fabric for both collar and blouse and bought some black satin piping in Walthamstow market for 60p a metre. So far so cheap!

Airelle by StitchandWitter

Yet this blouse isn’t right for me. It’s just… I don’t know… maybe draining me of colour or something? Or perhaps it’s the blousey nature of the sleeves. I’m not a huge fan of blousey sleeves and these feel pretty voluminous. On the whole it just feels a bit too billowy for my liking.

Airelle by StitchandWitter

Any suggestions as to what changes I could make, to make it worth another shot? I was wondering if maybe I could do a matching instead of contrast collar, perhaps reduce the sleeves a bit, even make a short-sleeved version perhaps. Maybe just a brighter colour will pep it right up?

Have you ever made something and known right as you finish the last stitch that you’ll probably never wear it in real life?

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52 thoughts on “A bit of a meh Airelle

  1. I think you’ve sewn up a beautiful blouse! But I know what you mean about not quite feeling something suits *you*. I’m not sure I have any clever ideas for modifying this particular one – I don’t think I know enough about sewing yet for that!

    I really love your skirt as well – did you sew that yourself? And if you did, what pattern did you use? Bit of a cheeky question, especially when I couldn’t be much help about the blouse!

      • I really like it too!!! But you’ve got to feel comfy in it, otherwise you won’t wear it at all. So, That would have been my suggestion- sleeveless. But then if not quite that drastic you could shorten the sleeves. Depending how much effort you wanted to put into it you could take them out and slim them down, or shorten them and reset them with pleats so the sleeve cap is less pouffy?

  2. It’s a cute blouse but maybe shortening the sleeves would make all the difference. A dark print blouse with long sleeves reads Amish, but with shorter sleeves would look younger. I looked at the other versions you mentioned and Made By 6 has very narrow sleeves and Rachel’s are less billowy.

  3. Joanne, to me it looks like a nice blouse.I wouldn’t change it actually. What if you tried it with a pair of jeans? Or in the worst case scenario, try making it in a different fabric. That collar is really cute

  4. How about the collar in a different colour – a rich green might look good with that grey. You could scallop the edges of the collar to make it softer and/or you could add embellishments or large gem type beads to the collar. I think for me, it’s the collar that’s the problem.

  5. The collar’s really cute! Maybe if the sleeves’ fabric are a bit softer and has more drape (maybe in a black sheer chiffon), it would feel more modern and less bulky. Or the sleeves can be replaced with a cap sleeve? I think this piece still has potential! 😀

  6. I love the top but that’s no help if you don’t. Cap sleeves maybe? And yeah, I’m constantly making clothes for a woman I’m not, with a lifestyle I don’t have. Still fun making them though.

  7. I quite like this too. But if it’s not ‘you’ then it’s just not. Maybe you can try to make it short-sleeved, almost like cap sleeves? I think it’ll make it look a bit more ‘fresh’. I love what you did with the piping too!

  8. It is sweet, and I do so know that feeling as I just finished a piece that I’ve had to work on so much and still can’t get it right. But there’s potential here and I would consider changing out the sleeve. Both the other versions you brought up are much lighter in color, and do appear to have different sleeve version. Good luck, don’t give up!

  9. i just finished mine as well, and i’m not a fan either. I think I need to do it in drapier fabric–the sleeves seem sorta stiff for me. Blouse-y yet stiff.

  10. It’s a nice blouse, but I get what you mean, I reckon it’s just a little too big on the body and snug on the bust. If you were to redo this, I’d suggest going slightly more fitted. It looks ever so slightly loose above the bust line and shoulders, with some drag lines pointing to your bust. Could you try going down a size down (36) and do an FBA, also drop the apex of the bust darts 1/2″ (they look like they end really high directly on your actual bust apex, and usually darts should finish just below). The 36 might also fix the blousy-ness of the sleeves too.

    • Fleur that’s amazing advice thank you so much! I’ve never done an fba before but there’s so much advice out there am sure I could give it a go. Thank you!

  11. I think it is a lovely blouse, but I also think the black collar brings it “down” and the black is too close to your face, maybe try another colour (perhaps a solid bluey-teal like the blouse itself?); also if the sleeves are a bit too long, shortening them and taking off the black cuff could make it more wearable for you…just my two cents worth 🙂

  12. I think Fleur has it right. There is too much fabric in the armsceye. If you google it there are a bunch of good sights that talk about armsceye measurements. I think you should wear it anyway. It looks great with your hair. You are inspiring me to keep sewing. My mother always said you need at least 70 fails before you start getting some sewing successes. Your knitting looks great. I have yet to make sweater for myself successfully.

  13. The blouse looks really lovely to me, but I understand what you mean about wearing something that doesn’t feel right. It usually is not apparent to the observer, but we alone feel it. I just finished a blouse where the sleeves stuck out, and I’m sure no one else feels that anything is amiss, but I just didn’t feel good wearing that blouse, until I narrowed the sleeves. Now I feel like “me” in the blouse. Maybe you could try to make the sleeves into short sleeves and narrow the width a little? Hope you find something that works because this pretty blouse is worth saving 🙂

  14. I think it looks cute but maybe a bit school teachery/ interviewy with the black skirt. I think it would look cute with jeans. Shortening the sleeves would Def help with the blousiness!

  15. This is a super cute make but I think it needs some skinny jeans and boots to sass it up a notch! You’ll be like Sandy from Grease (though maybe with less big hair and sewn on pants) 😉

  16. I really like your blouse, especially with the contrasting collar. Perhaps I just like duller colours. But if you feel you won’t ever wear it, you have nothing to lose by hacking it up and experimenting with changes. Unsure if short sleeves would be better – just a bit shorter, above the elbow might work. I think the style works with the longer ones. However, maybe if you made them slimmer and got rid of the sleeve band (a bit like Made by 6’s version) it would seem more like a top and less blousey? Get the scissors out and go crazy!

  17. I looked at the other blouses and could see they don’t have the gathering effect at the sleeve binding which gives it a more modern look. Also their sleeves end before the elbow joint whereas yours extends beyond. I think what they did was a good idea. Finally it might be a good idea to have the binding on the sleeves the same color as the blouse fabric – like Made by Six did. Regardign the collar, perhaps a lighter blue would work – may blend more.
    Having said all this, I love your sewing projects. In my books you are a master sewer.

  18. It looks really well made but there’s something about those sleeves and something about the above bust area – stop me if I’m getting too technical.

    I am always making things and then know I’ll never wear them – usually knitted things – which is why I stopped knitting for quite a while but I’ve got back into it now as I enjoy it and it is something I can do in the evenings in an attempt to be sociable.

    • You’re absolutely right there’s a definite issue above bust area. Knitting is even tougher when it doesn’t work out as so many hours are involved. But at least you can unravel it!

  19. You’ve done a great job with the sewing, but the overall effect doesn’t do anything for you. I think it’s partly styling it with the black skirt – as another poster mentioned it might look better untucked with skinny jeans and ankle boots and more of a bohemian vibe.
    I am impressed with the quality of your craft though – it’s really nicely executed.

  20. I actually like your blouse. Maybe the whole outfit is a bit sad because of the dark colors. Did you try it with a brighter bottom?

  21. You’re looking gorgeous as always, so it’s hard to give a fair critique, but as I know you, the whole outfit is a bit….. stuffy? business-y? to be really “YOU”. I think as others have suggested, pairing the blouse as is with jeans would work, or shortening the sleeves if you want to keep it dressy. There’s nothing obviously wrong with it as is, but I agree, it doesn’t do your personality justice. With no design changes at all, a fun, bright print or a pretty Liberty lawn would have an entirely different effect, as well 🙂

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