Aila from the last issue of Fibre Mood is a sweet versatile little number, ideal for easy dressing on warmer days. This version is made in a slinky viscose with stretch and super comfortable to wear.
Aila is a blouse with pointed collar and collar stand and gathers instead of a box pleat in the back. It has grown-on sleeves and an extended yoke. It is slightly oversized and intended to be made in a fabric with drape, or you could size down and go for a crisp fabric instead. Or, if you like the boyfriend look, keep it oversized in a cotton poplin.
The design is very simple and the grown on sleeves makes is a pretty quick project. For a simple project to stand out and deserve its place in your handmade wardrobe, you could give it a neat finish. In my opinion this elevates the garment substantially, and it doesn’t take that much more time.
I cut an extra yoke piece and sewed it using the burrito method for a clean finish. To avoid bulk I removed four centimeters from the inner yoke at the sleeve hem. Since the blouse has a lot of ease I didn’t bother with extra seam allowance for the side seams. I made french seams there with 1.5 cm seam allowance all together. That was all the changes I had to make to achieve a completely clean and overlock-free inside. There is nothing wrong with overlocking to finish the seams, of course, but sometimes an old fashioned technique just is better in my opinion.
The instructions are very easy to follow and with clear instructions, so you really don’t need to make any changes. The sizing is from XS-XXXL, meaning there’s a good chance you will find a size that works for you.
My fabric choice was a little challenging to work with. Viscose with elastane is hard to press and it is difficult to obtain sharp, precise corners on the collar. I used lightweight interfacing to stabilize the collar, collar stand and button stand. if I make it again, I’ll choose something a little different. The result is still a wearable and useful basic shirt for spring and summer. The ditsy polka dot print is low contrast and will go with almost anything.
Fabric choice is really important with this pattern. It will look very different in a graphic stripe or a bold floral. If it is made up in silk crepe de chine it will be very luxurious. You can always add a chest pocket for interest, or shorten it for a modern, cropped look. Sleeve cuffs would be lovely, too. It would be lovely lengthened into a summery shirtdress, too, with or without a belt. If you like to play up the feminine, why don’t you substitute the yoke for a broderie anglaise or something embriodered, maybe from a table cloth. A last, but not at least, you can play with mixing fabrics and make it color blocked.
Transparency: Fibre Mood comes out six times a year, and I was lucky to be invited to take part in the “link party” they always arrange on the release day. The link party is an opportunity to see the designs on various body types and in many creative interpretations, which is very helpful when deciding on what you want to make for yourself. They offered me to choose one design from the Fibre Mood 14 to sew up in advance, and this time I went with the Aila blouse. In return, I have to post once about it in social media. Fabric and notions are my own. As always, I give my honest opinion about the pattern.
What do you think – is Aila a blouse for your summer wardrobe, too?