As a part of the Wardrobe Builder collection from Winter Wear Designs (https://goo.gl/ZhZPMK), I had the pleasure of testing the Classic Shell pattern for women. It is truly a wardrobe builder kind of pattern, in that you can make SO many different looks and have so many options available to you all in One Pattern! You can make it a top or a tunic with long sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, traditional short sleeves, or tulip sleeves. The blouse was a very easy sew, even with the options of the keyhole in the back or the tulip sleeves. The instructions were clear, and had lovely pictures as guides. There were also mini-tutorials on just how to get your Classic Shell fitted to your body just right, with special instructions like armscye adjustments for shoulder adjustments. The pattern even explains body shapes so that you can figure out the best places to make adjustments that are typically needed for your body type. The dart placement and instructions made this one of the easiest darts that I have ever sewn onto a blouse; so, if you were wary of having to create a dart, don’t be!
This Classic Shell blouse requires woven fabric, and I chose to use a lovely rayon challis for my testing garment that I got on sale from Urban Rag Trader (on Facebook or Etsy as urbanragtrader.etsy.com). It worked perfectly with this pattern, and it made me want to make more in different colors and patterns. Despite using woven fabrics, this pattern had plenty of ease built-in in the waist and hip area, so the look was relaxed and flowy, without being at all restrictive. Perhaps it is because of this built-in ease that the designer advises you to base your main size off of your bust measurement.
The only reason that I would ever hesitate in making more of this pattern would be the need for pressing things. I am a military spouse, and I don’t always travel with my iron (but almost always with at least a sewing machine). haha The iron is needed for the setting of the sleeves, the hems, the bust darts, and the bias tape (I chose to make double bias tape out of the same rayon material as the bodice). When I am a home though? Watch out! I plan to make one for every day of the week!
Regular price on Wardrobe Builder patterns at Winter Wear Designs is only $5 (but she is running a short-term release special bundle of the Classic Shell and Banded Hem Tee, so go and get yours today (https://goo.gl/ZhZPMK)!