Pattern Testing: Chalk and Notch Fringe Blouse

You guys, I really love Instagram. I mean, I hate it, with it's nonsensical algorithms and shadow banning, but for discovering new sewists, fabrics I have to have, and pattern companies, there's just no beating the non-stop, ever-encouraging "sewists of Instagram".  It has also meant I get to try amazing new patterns like this new one from Chalk and Notch.  The second I saw the post featuring this dress with a call for testers, I pounced.  I immediately fell for the mix of utilitarian-look sleeve tabs with the dainty curved hem.  And let me tell you, those are still my favorite features!

Right, so I pounced.  Then, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a tester (obviously) and was added to the Facebook group where I discovered that Gabriela (the designer/owner of Chalk and Notch) is amazingly detailed, organized, interactive and seriously helpful and friendly.  She tests her patterns in phases, ensures the range of sizes, as well as views, are covered, and gives prompt feedback.  It was so fun watching the phases progress and see the little changes that went into making this such a great pattern!

The top I'm showing here is phase 2, but I've got a dress coming that I made using the last phase and can attest that the final version is even better! But, more on that in my next post.  This top was actually my "wearable muslin". My fit garment, so I could give thorough feedback and get Gabriela's as well, regarding the fit.  But, I sewed it up exactly by the instructions, which are so, so thorough by the way, and it's fully finished inside and out.  And, who doesn't love a breezy white blouse in the summer?  Particularly in rayon challis!  I just don't recommend wearing it with a black skirt, as I did for the first set of photos I sent in.  Can you say waitress hahaha!  I expect I'll typically wear it like I did here, with a more casual bottom.

I won't go into the fit with this one, except to say that the recommended sizes seem spot on and I'm 5'10" (all legs) and I lengthened the skirt of this by 1.5".  The fit of the bodice changed slightly between this one and the next, so I'll go over my alterations in my dress post.

What you do need to know about though, are the instructions.  The whole instruction packet is so well organized and illustrated and if you're someone who likes to use the instructions on your computer or tablet, rather than print them out, there's an additional feature for you.  I was genuinely impressed when I saw it because I've never used a pattern that had it.  There are links at the top of every page so you can easily navigate to the sections you want to read (including an abbreviated set of instructions, if you just want an overview).  The pattern file also has a handy adobe feature.  Each size is set as it's own layer, so once you pick your size, you can select and print only the size (layer) you need.  I love this feature because it really speeds up the cutting process.  No "wait, which kind of dots am I again?" haha.

All the categories at the top of the page are actually handy links :)

And, of course, the pattern itself is just as good as the instructions.  Everything came together easily and just as it should, making it an easier project than it seems.  And as a bonus, for those who are concerned by sewn on button bands, this one is more an illusion.  The band is just a facing on the inside of the top, top-stitched in place. Also, the sleeves are set-in flat. So basically, this is a deceptively easy shirt haha.

I’m sorry.  You know I love a balanced pattern review, but I just don’t have anything negative to say about this one! Unless you don’t like cut-on/drop sleeves? I don’t know.  What do you all think?  Are you in love with Fringe yet?

Stay tuned for the dress view and full fit details in my next post :)

Happy sewing! x

Top: Fringe Dress (View A Blouse), Fabric: Hancock Fabrics  //  Shorts: Simplicity 1808, Fabric: Hobby Lobby (blogged here) //  Necklace: Vintage  //  Bag: Sanctuary via TJ Maxx  //  Shoes: Clarks


  1. Oh it's so pretty in white!! I love the clickable instructions and abbreviated ones.

    1. Thank you, Emily!! Aren't those such great features!?

  2. I love this white version! So simple and clean!

    1. Thanks, Maddie!! Something tells me this white one going to get a lot of wear!

  3. Thank you so much for your kind comments, it really was such a pleasure to have you! I think I need a white version too, so perfect and clean!

    1. Thanks again so much for having me, Gabriela! It was such fun! I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I like this white one. The pattern looks so great in so many prints, but sometimes simplicity is perfect too.


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