The Bakerloo blouse from Nina Lee Patterns burst onto the sewing scene last month and it’s gone down a storm. The huge collar and ruffle ooze cottagecore cool (although maybe saying cool negates the cool?). The pattern gives two versions: a shirt and a dress and two sleeve lengths, so you get a few options before any hacking or customising. Another bonus, there are no fiddly fastenings to sew as it opens with a keyhole at the back!
I made this alongside my un:CUT co-hosts Atia and Juliet. At the end of season 1, a listener suggested we all make the same pattern, and we decided to go with the Bakerloo as it’s a style we all loved, but we could each interpret our own way.
I’ve made Nina Lee patterns before and I fit a straight size 8, so I cut straight into some beautiful fabric from Sew Me Sunshine. I haven’t worn anything this style before and I feel the dress could be a bit much for me, so I opted for the blouse. The basic structure is so straightforward to sew; the relaxed shape means straight seams all the way!
The only area I became a bit unstuck was, as to be expected, the ruffle round the collar. The pattern includes a ruler to measure your ruffle length – a genius addition that I’ve not seen anywhere else! I found attaching the ruffle round the point really tricky; it’s a pointed collar, and you need to manipulate the ruffle around it, making sure to sandwich the ruffle in between the collar pieces, without crossing over or catching the other side of the ruffle, or smushing it so it all gets caught up. Tricky, hey?! I’m not totally happy with how mine turned out at the points, the ruffle isn’t sitting very evenly or neatly. I have seen other sewists do this perfectly well, it seems ruffles and frills just aren’t my strong suit! For any future versions, I’ll make the collar curved rather than pointed, which I think will be so much easier.
The design gives the opportunity to do some brilliant print clashing – I used a contrast for the frill, and another fabric for the underside of the collar:
This is a new style for me and it’s really fun and dramatic to wear (albeit around the house!), but the relaxed shape keeps it comfortable. The Bakerloo blouse is versatile enough to wear with jeans or a skirt, and it suits all shapes and sizes, search #bakerlooblouse on Instagram for inspiration!