The Carry Blouse by Fibre Mood is a basic, oversized, button-down shirt pattern. One of the views with the regular sleeve has a basic silhouette, which is very helpful to have in any sewer’s pattern collection. This can then be used as a pattern block to create other patterns with an oversized look, like jackets and coats. And I am sure, I will whip this out to make this view in many different fabrics. The other view is more elevated with BIG sleeves. The volume of the sleeve is created by 6 pleats at the armscye, and lots of gathers that are inserted in a sleeve cuff. The overall effect reminds me of a Victorian painter’s smock, and I am here for it!
I made my voluminous sleeve version in size XS with Shibori-dyed medium-weight linen from the Fabricsstore.com. The weight and drape of linen works really well for the shirt. Linen has such a lovely quality – it is equal parts crisp and sloppy, if you know what I mean. It holds the structure of the gathers well, but has a relaxed movement. Plus it is so easy to fold for Shibori tie-dye. The dye colours turn out very vibrant on linen, much better than on cotton, I think. This is also named my “Triangle Shibori Shirt” because I used 3 different Shibori resist folds based on triangles to create the patterns. In the picture below, you can see what the fabric bundles look like just before dyeing. The bundle on the left created the pattern on the right side of my shirt while I am wearing it. It’s a hemp-leaf pattern that is the most intricate compared to the other two. The bundle in the middle corresponds with the pattern on the left side of the shirt, and it’s based on an equilateral triangle fold. The bundle on the right is based on an isosceles triangle fold, and created the pattern on the back of my shirt.
I may be doing a mini-series soon on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube Shorts showing the different folding techniques. And yes, I’ve joined the TikTok bandwagon – please follow me there if you haven’t already. Great appreciation for your support.
Sizes for this pattern go from XS to XXXL, catering to bust measurements of 30”-57.5”. The cut has very generous ease and you may want to size down if you want a more streamlined look. There are many things I love about the shirt. All the details that tick all the boxes for me for a solid button-down are there: the shape of the collar, the slightly curved hemline, the sleeve packets and cuffs, and back yoke. I didn’t make any modifications to the design at all, and I didn’t have to. There’s also the added bonus of 2 sleeve options. This pattern is a great investment because is the classic shirt pattern for me. It’s fantastic thrown over a pair of jeans, or makes a cool cover-up for bikini days at the beach.
When sewing, I did change up a few things that you might find helpful to do as well when you’re sewing up your own Carry Blouse. First, I widened the seam allowances from 1cm or ⅜” to 1.6cm or ⅝”. Fibre Mood patterns come with the option of adding 1cm or ⅜” seam allowance, and I like how when I print out the PDF, I can choose to have this added or not. However, this width of seam allowance doesn’t really work for me anymore. I prefer to have it wide enough to accommodate any fraying that might happen at the raw edges after cutting, and it allows for more comfortable handling when applying French seams, which was how I closed the armhole and side seams. I didn’t use the serger or overlocker while working on this project. There was quite a bit of bulkiness to deal with at the armscye because of the pleats, and I wasn’t sure if the French seams would work, but I tried it and loved the results. When sewing these French seams, I started the first line of stitching at ¼” with the wrong sides facing. Then after trimming the seams to ⅛”, and pressing, I sewed the second line of stitching (right sides facing) at ⅜”.
Second, when sewing up the sleeve placket, there are 2 seams that the instructions require to be sewn at ⅙” or at 0.5cm from the raw edge. This was way too skinny to have enough control at the sewing machine. Depending on the fabrics used, you may risk the fabric being eaten up into the plate. Instead, I sewed these 2 seams at ¼” or 0.7cm, and that worked fine for me.
Lastly, the placement of the top and bottom buttons on the shirt front was awkward. The top one was too close to the collar, and the bottom one was too close to the hem. I positioned my top button so that there was 2” of space between the collar button and the 1st button on the shirt front. The subsequent buttons were spaced 2.5” apart, and I ended up with only 7 buttons on the shirt front (excluding the collar button) instead of the suggested 8 in the pattern.
I am very happy with this project. Since I dyed the fabric and took my time with it, sewing in silk organza stabilisers, and hand-basting wherever possible, this Carry Blouse is an extremely meaningful piece of garment for me. It’s another garment with statement sleeves, which seems to be a theme in my endeavours these days. I am mighty proud that I managed to pattern-match a tie-dyed fabrics across the two front pieces. This means that during the folding stage of the Shibori dye, I had to place close attention to precise folding. In addition, I also carefully pattern-matched the left front pocket as well. From further away, you can’t really tell there’s a pocket until you come up close and spot the stitching.
Of course, this Carry Blouse pattern was launched by Fibre Mood as part of a magazine of sewing patterns that was launched recently. There are many other patterns in this issue that have caught my eye: the Harper Top, the Drea Trench, and the Eve Dress. Getting the magazine itself would be a great deal because it has quite a few good ones in there this time. All the links in this paragraph are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through them, you help me make a small commission without any extra cost to you. Check out my other social media accounts as well if you are interested in following my Shibori dyeing experience with this project. In the meantime, Happy Sewing!