Mara Blouse Pattern Test for Compagnie M

A few weeks ago I was really excited to find out that I had been selected by Marte at Compagnie M to carry out a pattern test for her new Mara Blouse, a soon to be released pattern which will be available for download on her website.

Marte is a sewer, blogger and pattern drafter based in Belgium who has been releasing free patterns for funky children’s clothes for a while now. Recently she’s decided to branch out and plans to offer some for paid download too. One of the first of these to be available will be the charming Mara Blouse.

I was excited to be a pattern tester, but nervous too – what if it all went wrong? What if the pattern was too advanced for me? Could I get it all done in the time? But I desperately wanted to do it so as soon as the link to the downloadable pdf was sent over I printed out the pattern and stuck it all together.

The cutting lines are well spaced and colour coded which makes it really simple to cut out.

One thing I love about kids clothes is that you can often use up remnants in your fabric stash. I used some linen left over from my Mathilde blouse and some Amy Butler scraps left over from some placemats I made my mum about 5 years ago. I love the look of using the fabric for the yoke as the back bodice fabric too.

3 fabrics turnaround

I wasn’t sure about using the three different fabrics at first but I think it looks really fun and bright.

full hanging with raspberry

We did our little photoshoot at a local pick-your-own farm.

This is the first time I’ve used piping on a garment and it was a little fiddly – but I was in at the deep end trying to put it around a curved yoke. It was worth the effort though, it really sets off the contrasting fabrics well.

hanging cu

I found the yoke tricky to fit (because I followed the instruction wrongly!) but got there in the end.

I didn’t have enough fabric to match the pattern on the little butterfly sleeves but they still look cute! I also realised I had sewn the pink linen wrong side up so my pintucks turned out like pleats, but I think it looks nice like this anyway and after the struggle to fit the yoke I was NOT unpicking it!


Smiley shot – complete with strawberry juice on shorts!

It’s a great fit and I made no adjustments, S is small for her age and I used age 3 size.


Pattern drafting – girl’s apron dress!

I did it! I made my own pattern – okay so it’s very simple and there’s plenty of room for improvement but I’m really pleased with it.

I started off by taking my daughter’s measurements and also measuring some of the clothes she is wearing at the moment. Then I made some sketches and started drafting the pattern pieces. I thought it best to keep things simple to start off with.pattern


I wanted to make a pinafore with a cross over back like one of her dollies has. I thought it would be great to have big deep pockets to put all her bits and bobs in.


In the first draft I made I used her exact measurements…I quartered her chest measurement, added seam allowance and used it to draft a front and back piece to be cut on the fold. I forgot to add ‘wiggle room’ and the thing fitted like a sausage skin and she couldn’t sit down!! So I had to let the seams out a lot which has made the inside a bit dodgy in places.

I love the toadstool button on the front pocket and the vintage buttons I used on the straps.

split pic of serensplit pic 2

I should have stay stitched the shaping on the back yoke and skirt because the fabric on the back skirt piece stretched when I was putting it together – I ended up putting in a little pleat  in the back – I actually really like this feature and will put a proper pleat in if I do it again. I also think I could have gone with more of an a-line on the skirt, it looks a little boxy in the pictures and a little too long.

It was really satisfying to design and make something from scratch…the downside is Seren really doesn’t want to wear it and much bribery was involved in the taking of these pictures! Maybe next time I’ll try and draft something for myself – if anyone has recommendations for some pattern drafting books, let me know…