Jennifer Lauren Handmade: The Afternoon Blouse & Shift Dress Review

I was honoured and thrilled to be chosen as a reviewer this month to review the Jennifer Lauren Handmade Afternoon Blouse and Shift dress. This was a design that I immediately liked the look of the first time I say it. I liked the simple lines, the modest neckline and the button feature. I love buttons and do have a collection of them! I could see myself wearing this dress to work in the summer. I Teach secondary school mathematics at a Government school and often the air conditioning is very ineffective and our Australian summers can be very hot. I also thought this would be a great dress to wear on a holiday… I like to go places like Singapore and Malaysia where it is very hot and humid. I admit I got a bit excited and sewed both blouse and shift dress versions. All up I made 2 dresses and a blouse in three days sewing…

First the Carousal dress version … I loved this fabric it is just whimsical and interesting and the blue/purple colour really appealed to me.

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Next was a real hot weather dress and much more neutral but possible not so much me. This made from a very soft light cotton, I took the button off one of my jackets (and had to find a new button for the jacket). The pearls are a little much aren’t they?IMG_0917.JPG

Lastly I made the blouse in a lovely batik and I reckon this is more me…IMG_0897.JPG

So I love the afternoon blouse and shift dress, because it is a fast and stylish make and can be made out of variety of fabrics. Here all of my fabric is quilting fabric from Tracey’s Discount Fabric in Geelong. The pdf pattern is the best to work with and is set out so you can tape it together in chunks rather than having to do one whole page. This feature is a great innovation. I have come to terms with printing and taping together patterns at home and now prefer it. I like to trace my patterns so tracing over white paper is much better than the tissue paper of printed patterns.

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I was between a 16 and an 18, but decided to sew the 16 after looking to see how much ease was in the finished garment. This worked out well and I am very pleased to see that the measurements given are very accurate and reliable. I followed the instructions mostly. Under stitching the neckline facings was one thing I did extra,  this pattern is designed I think for beginners so these fancier finishes are not part of its scope. I also ended up adding some interfacing to strengthen the back pleat on the white fabric as this was so fine that this would give it more strength. Overall a fantastic patten!

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