Pattern Reviews

Shoulder gathers & galore. 2 Gorgeous Ballad blouses (Love Notions). Easy button placket.

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The Ballad blouse from Love Notions is their newest pattern and I am telling you…. this will be one that you’ll end up making many many times! The shoulder gathers or shirring are sooooo cute.

I have already made several and see many more in my future. It’s for woven fabrics and that is great for me because it’s my favorite type of fabric to sew and wear.

**The Ballad blouse is only $5 on Friday 17th of June 2022. This is 60% off! . Get yours HERE with my affiliate link if my sewing inspires you 🙂 Thank you! Also, don’t forget t use my code Pins10 at checkout for an extra 10% off.

Features of the Ballad blouse: shoulder gathers & shirring

The Ballad blouse is full of gorgeous features and lots of options. The fit is relaxed and will have you feeling very comfortable in all occasions.

On the shoulders, you can choose between a gathered option or a shirred option. There two options have separate front pattern pieces and button placket/ neckline. Both options will have ease above the bust and you have a standard and full bust option for a great bust fit.

There is a yoke cut double and finished neatly with a burrito roll method (See a DETAILED video about this on my channel HERE). Underneath the yoke, there are gathers.

The neckline is a V shape and you can choose to make buttonholes or not. The neckline is wide enough for you to pull on the blouse from the top without an issue, in that case, you could just sew on the buttons 🙂

There is a sleeveless, short sleeve with cuff, flutter, long bishop and short puff sleeve with little ties for options.

The hem is curved and it intended to hit the mid to full hip.

Best fabrics for the Ballad

The Ballad blouse is designed for woven fabrics and on the graphic above, you can see several options. I like drapey fabrics best. I have combined fabrics for both my versions, using rayon for the main pieces and linen for the plackets.


The fit of the Ballad blouse is relaxed with comfortable amount of ease. See the details in the graphic above. The upper body measurements include a 57.5″ bust and 59.5″ hip. There is a standard bust option catering up to a 3″ high bust/full bust difference and a full bust options for 4-6″ difference.

The length is mid-hip to the full-hip. I chose to sew a XL, standard bust and added 1.5″ between the bust and the waist to account for my height difference. Love Notions drafts for a height of 5ft 5″ and I am 5ft 8″.

The armhole coverage is good on the sleeveless version and the depth of the V neckline is also not too low.

Sewing considerations

  • The seam allowance on the side seams and sleeve seams is 1/2″, so that french seams are easy to sew. Both steps with 1/4″ each.
  • All the other seam allowances for the rest of the pattern construction are 3/8″ and I love that. Sewing the placket/neckline with 3/8″ seam allowance is much more accurate and easier to sew.
  • The yoke is enclosed with the burrito roll. See the first method I demonstrate in detail in THIS VIDEO.
  • The placket is sewn RIGHT SIDE OF PLACKET to WRONG SIDE OF THE BLOUSE. The placket is understitched and flipped over to the right side of the blouse. It’s essentially like a long reverse facing that is interfaced and will have the structure to support the buttonholes.
  • The shirrred option is made by shirring a large rectangle first and then cutting the shape of the shoulder with the pattern piece provided. It’s a separate piece. The neckline is sewn in the same way.
  • For the gathered shoulder version, its a good idea to start gathering 1 3/8″ away from the center front. This will leave the area for the placket flat and gather free and that equals: less bulk.
  • I prefer to hem the blouse first, before finishing the placket.
  • The cuff for the short sleeve has an angled shape, it it not a rectangle and it fits the sleeve well without it “sticking out on the side”
  • The bishop sleeve has an elastic casing on the hem of the sleeve.

The video on my channel

On my video you can see:

  • An overview of the pattern pieces
  • How to sew the placket / neckline in detail
  • How to sew the cuffs of the short sleeves

Also, you can see them on in motion!

Lets see them! shoulder gathers

I have two Ballad blouses to share for now! more coming later in the week. The Polka dot version is my pre-tester version and the flowery one is my official tester version. Both have the gathered shoulders option and are made with rayon and have a linen placket.

Pre-test Polka dot Ballad sleeveless blouse

Very early in the test, the button placket had a curved shape and you can see that below. That was changed later. This version is also a tad longer and I am very happy with it.

I chose the gathered shoulder version and sleeveless. I made self bias tape and love the curved hem here. I have paired my Ballad with my black Sybil Illusion Skirt with a zipper hack, also from Love Notions.

Tester version: flowery rayon with short sleeves

The final version has a corner on the placket and it’s not curved like the previous one, other than that, it’s the only main noticeable difference. It’s also a little shorter. I chose this very special fabric with flowers in vertical type print. The placket is made with linen. The cuffs of the short sleeves fit well and there’s great comfort and mobility with the sleeves.

The future & plans

I will have a separate video on my channel later this week with two more versions:

  • A hack with pin tucks instead of gathers
  • A version with the shirred shoulder option. This will need to be made with a very light fabric because I need to wear a tank top underneath. I can’t have the elastic thread touching my skin.

SO excited! The Ballad blouse can be tran-seasonal and I’d love to make a long sleeve version in rayon twill for cooler weather.

The Ballad blouse is only $5 on Friday 17th of June 2022. This is 60% off! . Get yours HERE with my affiliate link if my sewing inspires you 🙂 Thank you! Also, don’t forget t use my code Pins10 at checkout for an extra 10% off.

DISCLAIMER: The links to the Ballad Blouse in this post are affiliate links. I was a pattern tester and had access to the PDF pattern in exchange for my feedback on instructions and fit. I purchased all the fabrics. I produce sewing content independently from pattern brands and share my unique way of sewing with you. I don’t necessarily follow instructions rigidly. My opinions are honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.


I spend a lot of my time sewing, filming/editing videos, writing and taking photos for both my Youtube channel and blog and if you love what I do and consider my work valuable for your own sewing, you can support me financially in a non-committal manner by purchasing me a ”coffee” through Ko-Fi here.  $5 gets me one cup of “coffee”, or how I call it: a zipper!

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