The lovely Marthe by Republique du Chiffon made with an Australian accent.
I follow many French seamstresses who share their creations on their blogs and on Instagram. The French love Republique du Chiffon (RDC); so many blouses, pants and dresses created in gorgeous, what I presume are, European fabrics.
I too have a love affair with RDC and the first pattern that caught my eye was the Marthe Blouse. It is a peplum top, with raglan sleeves and lower back hem. They recommend using light fabrics such as silk, light denim and cotton voile.
So, of course, I headed to Tessuti Fabrics to see what I could find. Tessuti have a great choice of European fabrics and I thought I might find something interesting. Turned out that I chose fabric leftover from an Australian designer. I don’t know who it is, if you recognise the fabric please let me know.
So here is my Marthe with an Aussie accent. I hope you like her.
This was the first time I used slippery fabric. I spent a fair bit of time pondering, reading and generally agonising over how I was going to cut out the pattern accurately. The pattern calls for one piece to be cut on the fold, but I thought that there was no way I could do that without the fabric moving around. To solve the problem I traced the pattern piece and created a whole piece instead of a half (does that make sense?!).
I cut out the pattern on a single layer of fabric with left-over quilting cotton wadding placed underneath. It worked beautifully; that slippery fabric wasn’t going anywhere!
My other challenge was giving proper consideration to the fabric pattern repeat. The fabric is polka dots, black crosses with multi-colours – argh! I decided to concentrate on getting the right balance of colours whilst at the same time avoiding getting a cross on my chest or back. I’m happy with how it has turned out.
I initially cut out the sleeves in the main fabric but decided it was just too busy and opted for contrast, black, sleeves instead.
The only change I made during the construction was to leave out the zip. I found that I didn’t need a zip to get the blouse on. Had I known, I would have cut the back as one piece, similar to the front.
I’ve read on other sewing blogs that some people had issues with the width of the neckline. For whatever reason, mine turned out fine but I did have a time getting the binding to sit flat. The solution was to resort to hand stitching (I don’t mind really, it can be very relaxing), it is not perfect but it is sitting flat at the front and mostly flat through the rest of the neckline.
Marthe is fun to wear. I did many pirouettes when I finished it, just so I could see the peplum swishing and swaying around.
I found checking out Top Notch’s Marthe post really helpful, I recommend reading her post if you are wanting to make one too. She rocks a peplum top! Marthe is not the only one she has created, check her out.
One well-known French sewing blogger is Jolies Bobines. I think she has made just about every RDC pattern. Enjoy her creations too.
I’m now off to do more pirouettes in my Marthe blouse 😉2