Sewing Pattern Review:

Nepheline Blouse by Vivan Shao Chen

About the Pattern

The Nepheline Blouse Pattern

The Nepheline Blouse is a great, shirt-style blouse to sew if you don’t want to get caught up with collars and cuffs. It has modern design lines and an oversized style with lots of volume and a strong A-Line shape.  The sleeves are the stars of the Nepheline show –  three-quarter length awith a pretty pleat detail at the fullest part that add to the shape.

The pattern has 2 views, with two neckline heights. The second view and lower scooped neckline has an optional ruffle detail.

The pattern is supplied with a B and D cup option. I have sewn the D Cup pattern.


Vivian Shao Chen

Fabric Type


Recommended for:

Confident beginner

Nepheline Blouse by Vivian Shao Chen - Pattern Review -
Nepheline Blouse by Vivian Shao Chen - Pattern Review -

Supplies you’ll need

  • iron on interfacing for the placket
  • Matching thread
  • 6/7 buttons depending on your view
Nepheline Blouse by Vivian Shao Chen - Pattern Review -

Sizing & Fit

B and D cup options supplied as default

I find it really frustrating when patterns are supplied as separate items (double prices)  for different size ranges and so it is refreshing that the Nepheline is supplied with both B and D cup options as standard,

The sizing is pretty inclusive ranging from 32 – 60″ /81-152cm bust and 34-62″ / 86-157cm hip.

I have found the fit of the patterns to be really great straight off the pattern. I have made no adjustments in either of my blouses, getting a really great fit across the shoulders. I have lost some weight recently and now the size of the blue version is a little on the big size and you can see this in the photos, but this is not the fault of the pattern.

I have personally found the A-Line shape to be quite voluminous and I think at some point I will reduce the angle of the shape a little just to bring it in a bit. That being said, I made my second version just the same as although I do find it voluminous I have enjoyed wearing it.

Nepheline Blouse by Vivian Shao Chen - Pattern Review -

Sewing it up

A beautiful blouse that is easy to sew.

One of the great things about this blouse is how quick and easy it is to sew. With no collar and a folded placket the main construction is very straightforward.

I must say I found the instructions of the sleeve pleats strange and I didn’t follow them. The insructions have you sew the pleats once the long sleeve seam is sewn. This made no sense to me as it is much easier to sew them and mark them straight when the piece is flat. I think this is an area where the instructions aren’t great for a less experienced sewist as there could be better fold lines on the pattern piece. I think the next time I make this up I will take photos as a resource and share them here.

Because the shape is so voluminous, once you have a good fit on your shoulder area, there is not much else needed with this one when it comes to fitting and sleeve pleat instructions aside, it’s a great blouse if this is your first ‘shirt’ style project. 

Nepheline Blouse Pattern

What I love about this

For me the sleeves really are the best thing about this pattern. As I have made them in the colder months in NZ, I have enjoyed wearing them under a vest, where the sleevs really can stand out, and the A-Line shape is more controlled with a tuck in!


Those sleeves – sewing instructions aside, they really are everything. I like the fact that the sleeve head is not gathered or puffed as it stops them from being too girly and floofy.


The simple clean lines of the neckline is easy to sew and very flattering too. I may make a (non-ruffled) scoop neck for the spring.


The D Cup options being provided saved me the hassle of an FBA – big tick here!

What I would change about this

There are a couple of things that I think could be better though, or changes just to my tastes.


The sleeves could be made so much easier to sew. I have sewn lots of pleats and tucks like these before so had some experience to fall back on. The fold lines should be marked on the pattern and I feel that the instructions should have you sewing these flat – not adding the tucks once the sleeve is sewn. 


As I have mentioned above, the A Line shape is strong and I may make this a more gentle taper in the future. 

Sewing the Nepheline Blouse

I have really enjoyed both sewing and wearing my Nepheline Blouses and if you are keen on giving it a try, here are a few links for the pattern and more inspo.

Buying the pattern 

You can get the Nepheline Blouse pattern in PDF format from the following stores:

Nepheline Blouse from Vivian Shao Chen’s Store

Nepheline Blouse at The Fold Line

Fabric Used

Both of mine have been sewin in cotton. The white is a lightweight cotton Voile which has a burn-out style pattern on it. The light fabric is a great match for this pattern. The blue version is a heavier weight swiss dot cotton. 

Nepheline Blouse Inspo

I always look to other sewists makes for inspo on Instagram. You can find some beautiful examples of the Nepheline here:


Nepheline Blouse
Nepheline Blouse
Nepheline Blouse


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