Have you ever decided that a pattern wasn’t for you, only to find yourself inexplicably drawn to it over and over again? That was me with the Norma Blouse. For some reason, when I first saw the line drawings for this pattern it just didn’t speak to me as something I thought I would wear often. I don’t know what it was about it, but I quickly decided that this was one I could live without.
I kept finding myself scrolling through Instagram, stopping to look at cute tops and realizing time and time again that I had stopped for yet another Norma! They were catching my eye all over the place, and I decided that when I had the right fabric ready to go, I’d have to just bite the bullet and try the pattern out. Alexis of @myysweetsunshine happened to host a giveaway for the Norma pattern right about that same time, so I entered… And I won! I rarely win things like this, so I knew it was a sign. I sent my pattern off to the copyshop for print and got to work right away!
It was admittedly a little risky to sew up this beautiful Liberty fabric using a pattern I hadn’t tried out yet, but as a sewist, that’s just how I roll. I’m not big on muslins, and usually if I make one at all it is simply in a fabric I still love and want to wear but won’t be broken-hearted about if it doesn’t work out. It’s a wearable muslin, sure, but it’s honestly just meant to be a wearable thing, muslin or not. So jumping right in with the good fabric wasn’t that big of a leap for me!
I knew I wanted these birds to line up prettily across my top, so while I didn’t go as crazy as I thought about going with the pattern matching, I did at least take care to make sure the rows were even! The fronts line up quite well, and sleeves almost lined up too by happy accident!! I’m perfectly happy with the result – while I always admire seamless pattern matching along a side seam or button front, I know that that amount of tedium in planning is not likely to bring me much joy, so I opt to fall somewhere in the middle. This was the perfect amount of matching for me!
Being a Liberty Lawn, this fabric is of course, beautiful. It is a high quality fabric, soft on the skin, well-behaved while pressing and sewing, and it drapes quite nicely. This particular design has 5 or so colorways available, and I thought that this “Jade” version was absolutely perfect. It features lots of the fun, whimsical colors that are often featured in Liberty prints, but is a fairly calm print so it isn’t too dramatic or loud. I spent a little time deciding how I wanted to play the colors up or down – I knew the buttons were going to make all the difference here!
I originally considered some natural wood buttons, a favorite choice of mine that I use frequently. I love adding a warm, natural tone to my pieces in the button details! The neutral, natural wood would help to keep the print calm and subdued, so that was potentially a pro (or a con – depends on the day). As I searched through my button stash, though, I remembered these killer pink Tabitha Sewer buttons I’d picked up back in the Spring and the game was over. The bright pink pulled the pink flowers out of this print and really made things pop in a way that the natural buttons just could not. It was the perfect match!
One little qualm I did have with this pattern, though… The button placement! The pattern offers you placement for the top and bottom button, and then leaves the rest to you. This was the first time I’ve ever thought that I might need one of those accordion style button spacer tools! When I went to sew the buttons, my daughter had stolen and hidden my clear ruler somewhere, so I (in all of my genius) decided to “eyeball it.” I thought I had everything spaced out quite well, until I sewed my buttonholes in place and realized that indeed, my top two and bottom two buttons were equally spaced from each other, but there was an oversized gap in the middle! But I guess you live and you learn… I wasn’t going back. If it turns out to be a gapey hole, I can always add a little invisible snap to keep things in place. Otherwise, we’ll call it a design feature!
I absolutely love the way this pattern and fabric came together to make this top, and I’ve got more Norma blouses on the brain already! I think it is going to make such a lovely top for spring, especially in this fantastic fabric. The details are lovely, and it came together much more quickly than I imagined.
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! The fabric used for this post was provided to me by Minerva in exchange for photos and a blog post of my finished garments posted on their website. The Norma Blouse pattern by Fibre Mood was gifted to me after winning an Instagram Contest hosted by @myysweetsunshine. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me balance the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth