The CHARLIE pattern collection came to me at the perfect time. I’ve been looking for a classic blouse pattern with a twist for the summertime, and the Charlie short sleeve blouse fits the bill. The blouse has an effortless dropped shoulder with a loose fitting silhouette on the bodice. The back placket adds just enough detail to elevate its already timeless design. I also chose to make a pair of the long pants. They’re high-waisted and straight-legged with some very nice tailoring details, such as front pleats and cuffs. Additionally, the super wide and curved waistband on the pants is perfectly body-hugging.
The amount of care and attention that was put into the pattern is very refreshing. The instructional booklet is meticulous and clean, the sewing overview is highly informational, the stitching line is colored, and the diagrams are very clear with multiple illustrations per instructed step. They even took into account the correct way to pin your pattern pieces and illustrated it on the diagrams.
For the fabric, I chose 2 different weights to make the top and the pants. For the top, I used 2 yards of FS APRICOT Midweight Linen. I wanted the top to be light and airy for warmer weather. The midweight Signature Finish is the softest and most comfortable linen for garments that I’ve ever used. The pre-shrinking process is a nice bonus feature if you go for this linen. For the pants, I wanted a little bit more weight and body so I chose FS INSIGNIA BLUE Heavyweight Linen. The softened heavyweight linen has been my go-to fabric for all kinds of garments – especially for bottoms. The linen has the perfect balance between drape and structure that will hold the pleats and cuffs well. I prewash both fabrics in hot water, on separate loads, and dry them on high to make sure I get all the initial shrinking out of the way.
Constructing the garments was a breeze thanks to the ultra clear instructions. The sides and shoulders of the blouse are joined using french seams. Since the french seams used here have tiny seam allowances, I made sure to trim loose threads before doing the second part of the french seams to avoid threads sticking out on the outside. Other than that, I did not make any modifications except shortening the inseam of the pants by 4”.
I’m super excited on how these two pieces turned out. The blouse is something I would probably wear the most. I love the shape of the neckband and the split placket neckline. I definitely want to make another sleeveless blouse in IL020 Bleached lightweight linen. The pants will also go well with a lot of other tops in my wardrobe. I’ll pair them with a cropped sleeveless top to dress them down a little bit for casual wear.
Overall, I’m super happy with the CHARLIE pattern collection. These pieces are ones that I would wear constantly and make often! I hope you enjoy these makes as much as I do.