Pattern hacks

8 Rhapsody tops & dresses (Love Notions). Different fabrics & cool hacks.

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The Rhapsody blouse & dress from Love Notions has been a firm favorite pattern of mine for a few years already and in this post you can see 8 versions! I’ve made blouses and dresses in different fabrics, views, styles and there’s even a few hack ideas here too!

The Rhapsody blouse & dress is the feature Friday pattern, and it’s only $5 today Friday the 9th of April 2021. Get yours HERE.*

Features of the Rhapsody

The Rhapsody blouse & dress features include a yoke with gathers on the front and a pleat on the back. The yoke is lined and finished neatly inside and it comes foward towards the upper chest. There is no “shoulder seam”. The little V neckline in the center and the rounder shape from the V is finished with bias binding. The fit is relaxed with some shaping. Before, there are 9 sleeve options and a curved hem. The dress version was added when the pattern was upated in 2020. It is a separate skirt piece with elastic casing at the waist.

Fabrics for the Rhapsody

Recommended are fabrics I’ve always enjoyed: light weight woven fabric. Options can be: crepe, rayon challis, voile, lawn, peachskin, 100% rayon, gauze, silk and chiffon.

I have made 6 woven versions and have used chiffon and crepe with great results. I have also made a cheeky knit version too.

I have written a guest blog post for Love Notions full of tips and tricks to facilitate working with silky fabrics and feature the Rhapsody blouse. Delicate fabrics need a little extra steps and the results are floaty and stunning.

Sizing

The sizes included are XS – 5XL catering up to a bust of 57.5″ and hips of 59.5″. My measurements are between L and XL. Love Notions recommends sizing down if between sizes. Also, choosing the size is recommended to be done based on the high bust. If the difference between the full and high bust is 4-6″, the Full bust option will provide a better fit without the need of an FBA (Full bust adjustment).

After considering carefully the finished garment measurements and the positive ease I prefer, I chose a straight Large for my earlier versions and my most recent version is a XL after my body measurements have increased.

Love Notions patterns are drafted for a height of 5ft 5″, so I will always require diverse length adjustments. I add 1.5″ between the bust and the waist to account for my height difference.

Let’s see them all!

Number 1: Colorful crinkle crepe

I made this Rhapsody blouse with a crinkle crepe that frays a lot. I love the colors; they are so bright. I chose the sleeveless version and used self bias tape to finish the armholes and also to bind the edges of the curved hem.

Turquoise print across the front
Bias bound armholes

Number 2: Border print chiffon

This fabric took my breath away when I saw it and I was very careful with the placement of the pattern pieces.

I chose the 3/4 sleeves with a cuff and chose a darker part of the fabric to contrast the tones on the sleeve. The same with the bias binding ties.

Number 3: lengthened to dress in chiffon

This was a precious fabric. I love the print that makes it seems like it’s been bias cut, but it’s not. The tones are neutral and I love the grey. I lengthened the blouse by 13.5″ while keeping the curved shape of the blouse.

Longer length to dress
Curved hem

Video about Versions 1-3 on my channel

You can see versions 1-3 in the following video on my channel, as well as a video review of the pattern.

Number 4: Heavy luxury crepe winter Rhapsody

I made this Rhapsody blouse lengthened to dress with a heavy luxury crepe fabric. This fabric was kindly gifted to me by Tami, the owner of Love Notions as part of the brand Ambassador’s secret sewist event. You can see more about this fun event in this blog post.

Because this fabric is heavy and more structured, I decided to change the neckline construction. The original bias bound neckline would not sit right with this fabric. So, I decided to draft a front interfaced facing to highlight the little V neckline in this design. The front facing was sewn to the lining yoke to form a complete facing for the neckline. The little V in this neckline becomes a feature.

Dimensions of the facing. It needs to be interfaced.

Because the hem has a curved shape, the hem was done with bias tape and sewn by hand to keep the hem neat. From all the sleeve options, I chose the bishop sleeve and instead of sewing the casing with elastic; I drafted a cuff instead.

The video on my channel about my winter Rhapsody

You can see the details on how the neckline was constructed with the facing, in detail, in my video below.

Number 5: dress with a necktie hack

I chose a navy background bubble crepe with colorful flowers to make another dress. I used the same modified pattern I used for the dress above but added 14.5″ to the length instead of 13.5″. I wanted it a tad longer so I could have the option of wearing a belt. Using a belt can make dresses shorter.

I drafted a smaller facing just for the little V on the front and a long necktie to finish the neckline instead of the bias tape. I always love a necktie and I had enough fabric, so why not?

Dimensions of the small facing. It needs to be interfaced.
Necktie piece is 2 yards long and 4″ tall. I had to piece mine from scraps 🙂

The video on my channel about the necktie hack

You can see how I changed the construction of the neckline and added the neckties in in my video below.

Number 6: Official dress in Chiffon

I chose the brand new dress length version available when the Rhapsody blouse was updated in 2020. This option wasn’t available before, and I really love it. You can see it in the line art below. The previous dresses I made were made just by lengthening the blouse version. I like that there is a separate skirt piece with a casing here.

I have had this fabric in my stash for YEARS and always pictured a light and floaty dress. This newer version of the Rhapsody is perfect. I chose the sleeveless version, finished the armholes with self bias tape. All the seams inside are finished with French seams.

The French seams are done by sewing 1/4″ wrong sides together and then again 1/4″ right sides together. To attach the skirt to the bodice, I also did French seams, but different. I sewed the first seam wrong sides together with 1/8″ and then the second seam (right sides together) at 3/8″. This still uses 1/2″ and allows for a casing. I used 1/4″ elastic inside.

I love the result! just as I’d envisioned.

Let’s say that there was a lot of hand basting done and every minute was worth it. Slippery sheer fabric needs extra care but the results are always satisfying.

Number 7: A knit version! patience needed

The Rhapsody blouse has definitely NOT been designed for knit fabrics! But I couldn’t resist this challenge. I chose a white & black stripe rayon spandex. I chose to cut it all with the stripes going vertical because they are more flattering this way. This direction of the fabric is not the one with the greatest stretch, the horizontal stripe direction is. This is why I sewed the same size I used for the woven versions. I cut the yokes with the stripes horizontal. The sewing was the same as for the woven versions, with the exception of the neckline, armholes and the hem. I used a shallow zigzag stitch: width 0.5 and length 2.5.

Neckline: I cut a long piece that was 4.5cm tall along the greatest stretch of the fabric (horizontal stripes). The portion sewn to the neckline is 85% of the length, and the remaining length turns into the front ties. I fussed and fiddled and sewed an actual small V shape binding on the small center V neckline. Patience patience. Lot’s of hand basting and this all took longer than my woven versions.

Armholes: I cut two long pieces at 85% of the armhole circumference, 4.5cm tall (same as the neckline binding) and sewed them on traditionally as armbands.

Hem: I used a twin needle and folded up the hem by 5/8″.

I would not recommend trying this pattern with a knit fabric UNLESS: you have patience and are willing to spend a lot of time getting the neckline to look precise. I will do it again for sure, but differing from other knit projects, this one will take longer than the woven ones! believe me 🙂

I LOVE this dress so much and am glad to have taken this challenge. I now have perfected how to sew a cute little V neckline binding that is not the typical V neckband.

Video about my chiffon and knit Rhapsody dresses

To see the sewing practicalities of these two dresses number 6 & 7 and how I adapted the sewing to work for a knit, see my video below.

Number 8: border print rayon

My latest Rhapsody blouse is super special. I chose 100% rayon in a border print. I wanted the lighter areas running along the selvedge to be to upper part of the blouse and the navy area to be at the hips. This meant that I cut the pattern pieces on the cross grain. I made sure to pre-wash my fabric 3 times to deal with the shrinkage.

I used the 3/4 length bishop sleeves and cut the cuffs shorter to gather the sleeve into them a little.

The video I made for the Love Notions YouTube channel featuring 8 versions. Huge roundup.

This is one of my all-time favorite patterns and that’s why I’ve made so many versions.

The Rhapsody blouse & dress is the feature Friday pattern and it’s only $5 today Friday the 9th of April 2021. Get yours HERE.*

DISCLAIMER: I was provided the pattern without cost, in order to be able to write a guest blog post for Love Notions in 2019 and then the most recent version update.

I have affiliate links in this post to the pattern company and the pattern. If you click on these links, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission that helps finance my sewing, blog and Youtube channel.

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5 replies »

  1. I love ALL your versions! I don’t think I have the patience for the knit version, but I will be making up several tops and dresses in some rayon voile I just purchased. Can’t wait to get started!

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