The Ravenna Blouse is tops on our must-make wardrobe basics for spring list but this blouse offers so many customization options, it’s far beyond basic. Grab the Ravenna Blouse paper pattern over here, then read tips below from the fabulous Kimberly Payne of Straight Stitch Design, the pattern’s designer.
As we make our way out of winter and start to look for new spring tops, comfort usually wins out above anything else. Finding a top that is both flowy and fitted is the perfect transition piece, the Ravenna top is just that.
What makes this pattern stand out is the ability to really customize the top to fit both your style and current mood. You can sew this top in either a knit or a woven and include any combination of the design elements in the pattern. Leave everything off for a simple modern look, or include the ruffles and exposed zipper for a flirty modern look.
Ravenna includes some special techniques that might not be in your sewing arsenal. To help you end up with a wonderful new top I have put together a 3 part sew along to go over each of these techniques in a bit more detail.
The first post will be walking you through constructing the darts for the front piece. So lets get started.
When sewing the Ravenna pattern or any pattern that has darts I like to start by cutting the dart out of the pattern piece. This makes it really easy to then mark your fabric with the dart legs
A new trick that I learned when marking on my fabrics, most used with darts and pleats, is to use a Frixion erasable pen. They are really clear to see and with just a quick steam the pen disappears. I find this works so much better than any fabric marking pen I have used.
So taking your chalk or handy Frixion pen mark both the left and right dart on the wrong side of the fabric.
Fold your dart in half matching up the dart legs, making sure the point of the dart is centered. Pin in place.
Sew your dart, starting at the widest part, following the line from the previous step. Do not backstitch at the dart point, just sew off the edge of the fabric. If you backstitch it will give too much bulk at the dart point.
The most important part of constructing a dart is pressing the dart into shape. The whole purpose of a dart is to give shape to a garment so you aren’t able to just press it flat. This is where one of my favourite sewing tools comes into place, a tailors ham. Now don’t worry if you don’t have one, you can always just use a small towel or ball of fabric to create a curved surface to iron your dart.
Drape your dart over either the tailors ham or other suitable surface and press the seam allowance down.
With the dart sewn and pressed you are ready to set that piece aside and start working on sewing in your exposed zipper.