Liz Haywood recently released her latest pattern, the Petrea Dress and Blouse. Both views feature a Peter Pan collar with pin-tucks at the front and back, a button front, and a semi-circular back yoke. The fit is intended to be loose fitting and flare out from the tucks. The dress version is zero-waste, features inseam pockets, and the blouse version is low-waste and has patch pockets. I have been excited about this pattern ever since Liz began showing previews of it last year. The way in which she incorporated the curved collar into the zero-waste layout is so intriguing to me and the pin-tuck detail elevates the blouse without being too fussy or frilly.
I had the pleasure of sewing up the blouse version for myself. I made size 36 as my bust is 36″. The pattern recommends selecting your size based on your bust measurement and sizing up if you are in between sizes. I did make a few adjustments to the pattern based on my preferences and my fabric length.
I decided to shorten my version for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I am 5’4″ tall so the finished length of 26 3/8″ was longer than I wanted for this particular garment. After drafting my length changes to trace paper I realized that the fabric that I intended to use was the exact length I needed once the blouse was shortened – it felt meant to be. I used Japanese Cotton Double Gauze in lavender from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. This pattern is a great opportunity to use narrower-width fabric that is sometimes more difficult to use with zero-waste patterns.
The pattern offers two ways to transfer the pattern to your fabric, you can print the pattern pieces or draft them yourself directly to the fabric or to paper first. Liz does provide the templates for the curves and the tuck positions. I chose to draft my pattern on Swedish Tracing Paper first. The instructions walk you through this process and the only thing that I adjusted was the length. I shortened the given dimensions for the front and back pieces by 4″.
Once my size was transferred to tracing paper, I was able to layout my fabric as directed and cut out the pieces. I managed to make one cutting mistake at this point. I accidentally cut the back into two pieces instead of leaving the piece whole (I just sewed it back together with a small seam allowance). The instructions are clear, but I would definitely recommend reading through them a couple of times before cutting just to make sure you understand how to cut the pieces correctly.
I took my time while sewing up the blouse as there are a few steps that need a little extra attention. Pin-tucks are something that I have never sewn before and with Liz’s template, they were a breeze to mark and sew. I appreciate that the finished width was provided so you can check to make sure your piece is going to fit into the collar. Liz also provides tips for fixing your tucks if your pieces ended up not being the right width. I also enjoyed the process of sewing in the back yoke. I love how all the pieces come together to make a whole and the hand-sewn interior yoke looks so nice and clean.
Because I shortened the blouse, I decided against adding the pockets. I will save these rectangular cutoffs for a future project, although I did consider turning them into bias binding to finish the neckline. Once the blouse was finished I chose to add faux raglan seams as directed in the instructions to reduce the amount of fabric that the armholes. I made sure to first baste these seams to check their position before sewing them in. I’m glad I took the time to add these seams as they help the blouse lay better at my shoulders and add a cute design element to the blouse.
The Petrea Blouse was such a pleasure to sew. Slowing down and taking my time to make something a bit more intricate was a good change of pace. I love a zero/minimal waste pattern that is not obviously zero-waste. The details of the Petrea Dress and Blouse, from the pattern layout to the sewing construction, make for a fun and satisfying project and finished garment!