Test: Kim ruffle top by Ose Patterns

[AD] The Kim ruffle top is a mix between a soft blouse and a boxy men’s shirt. It is from the newly established Ose patterns, a French company based in Paris. I think the top is incredibly charming and comes with the je ne sais quoi or that alluring French flair so many aspire to but find hard to grasp.

Sometimes luck comes my way. This was the case when Monty from Ose Patterns reached out and kindly asked me to collaborate with her to build an audience for her website in the English speaking part of the sewing community. After having a thorough browse through the Ose Patterns website, I agreed to help her out by making a version of one of her patterns, and for this collaboration I chose Kim, a shirt with a feminine ruffled collar with the option of long or short sleeves.

Ose Patterns is a relatively new pattern company with four patterns available so far. They have released three shirts or tops and a dress. I had a hard time choosing because they are all beautiful and versatile. I hadn’t heard about Ose before, but after trying one of the patterns I’m sure I will make more with their patterns later. The Pema dress has caught my interest in particular.

The website is packed with information in both English and French. Unfortunately I don’t understand French myself, but if you do, you have access to video instructions and podcasts with explanations of sewing techniques, tips and tricks. If you are, like me, an ignorant of the French language you still have access to thorough explanations in the English version of the instruction booklets.

Ose Patterns is aimed at the complete beginner, but each instruction starts with a summary of the necessary steps. This means that those of us with some sewing experience can navigate the process with ease, skipping to the parts you want to brush up on. This is a great feature and I loved having everything available at a glance.

The Kim top is based on a classic men’s shirt shape with a double yoke, back box pleat and no darts in the front. It is slightly oversized. The sleeves are gathered into a cuff sleeve band, and the hem is slightly curved.

The sleeves are designed to sit at the top of the shoulders, and the armsyce is quite narrow. This allows for freedom of movement although the sleeve and shoulder are relatively fitted. The ease is in the sleeve cap, so you have to be careful when inserting it to avoid wrinkles. I found it to be very well drafted with the necessary notches at the front and back.

The construction is straight forward if you have made a few shirts already. If you haven’t, the instructions are designed for complete beginners and will help you through each step with thorough explanations and illustrations.

I had no challenges putting everything together. The seam allowances, 1 cm, are included in the pattern. The size chart is well suited for my body shape, and I picked size 40 accordingly. I measured the yoke pattern piece and decided I needed a broad back adjustment to make sure I had enough room in the shoulder area. I dislike intensely to feel constricted when I move my arms forward. After finishing the top I think this was a litte unnecessary, but at least I can move my arms any which way now! I made no other modifications to the pattern. Next time I might add a little to the seam allowance around the sleeve cap, shoulder and side seams and finish everything with french seams for a neater finish.

Next time I’ll be less lazy and add sufficient rows of gathering stitches to the sleeves. Can you tell I’m impatient with gathering? I always find it tedious. The result is uneven, but that’s entirely my fault.

The ruffled collar is easy to put together, and I really like how it fits around my neck. I am weary of tight fitting collars, but in this case I find it very comfortable. The small ruffle is a lovely feminine touch without being too much. Ruffles and gathers has been on trend for some time now, but many designs are very voluminous and not quite to my liking. This is all the ruffle I need, and I like it both closed and open. Having an interesting detail like this is perfect for when we eventually can return to the office and I will start wearing more jackets again.

Collaborating with Monty was a pleasure through and through, and I can recommend Ose Patterns without hesitations. Their motto is “dare to be bold” from the French verb oser (which means “to be bold”). This is very moving and I love the sentiment. Sewing your own clothes can be very liberating, and maybe it will encourage us to be more bold in other areas of our lives, too?

Pattern: Kim top by Ose Patterns
Difficulty level: Easy
Size: 40 (UK 10/12, EU38/40)
Fabric: 1.2 m cotton chambray from rainbow fashion, Oslo
Time: Half a day

Transparency: I received the pattern collection from Ose in return for a blog post and other social media engagement connected to the launch of their website in English. Fabric, time and opinions are my own. Any further engagement with the patterns is not part of the collaboration.

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