The Phoenix Blouse was love at first make. I made the sleeveless version when it was first released last summer (seen here on my Instagram acount). Then I made another one with pintucks in the yoke. I included the black linen Phoenix Blouse with the pintucks in my Summer10x10 (again, details on my Instagram Account). I have another sleeveless version cut out and ready to sew. It’s a favorite pattern. I intend to sew many more.
I hadn’t sewn the version with sleeves until now. The wide bell sleeve is not my usual style since my daily routine includes washing dishes and playing Lego’s. I do think I deserve a few shirts that are reserved for date night and Mom’s Night Out. I have to tell you—I feel very fancy in these sleeves. Bell sleeves are STATE OF MIND, people.
The fabric was ordered from Indie Sew but appears to now be sold out. It it also available at Hart’s Fabric (at a slightly lower price than I purchased it) so GO GET YOU SOME! It is a poly crepe and is lightweight but not sheer. I might line it if I were using it for a dress but I had no concerns with it as a blouse. Some people may mind that the fabric is white on the wrong side and it does show in the wide opening of the sleeve. It’s good to note that a yarn died fabric wouldn’t have this issue (if you would call it an issue—I didn’t really feel that it was one).
Just like every other Hey June Pattern, the instructions are straightforward and clear. Sewing the version with sleeves was no more complicated than sewing the sleeveless version; they each have their own challenges. The bell sleeve version does call for a set in sleeve but it was easy to ease the sleeve into the sleeve cap with a little gathering and fuss. Finishing a sleeve opening with bias binding is not my favorite sewing task. Call me crazy, if you want.
I suppose the only quirk I found about this pattern was that the ties come out the top of the split yoke. This looks really cute when the yoke is hanging open and the ties drop down to the sides. I didn’t love how it looks when the ties are tied together and I don’t think the designer really intended them to ever be tied. Instead I’d recommend eliminating the split yoke altogether; I didn’t have any issue slipping this top over my head without a button or zip in my black linen version with the pintucked yoke.
Several Hey June Patterns do have french seams and cleaner insides than this pattern. French seams wouldn’t be difficult to do if you are familiar. There isn’t really any method that I can think of to finish the front yoke any cleaner than is written in the pattern so you will need to do some seam finishing regardless. The back yoke is completely enclosed in the extremely satisfying and magical “burrito method.” A good burrito is worth a thousand French seams, amiright?
The inaugural outing of my Phoenix Blouse was in New York City with some of my very best girlfriends last weekend. We went to dinner and to a comedy show and I felt stylish and comfortable. It’s the bell sleeves—they make one feel fancy. I couldn’t recommend bell sleeves more.
Have you made the Phoenix Blouse? What did you think? Any other tops with fantastic sleeves that I should sew? I do realize I’m about two years late to the sleeve trend but now that I’m here I am HERE FOR IT.
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