Making Fibr & Cloth’s ZW Iris blouse

It’s rare that I sew something for myself that’s not part of work, but I was a bit taken with Fibr & Cloth Studio’s Iris blouse. I liked the soft tie neck and the long sleeves.

Iris blouse in gingham with elastic cuffs.
Alexis Bailey, the pattern’s designer, wearing an Iris blouse. Photo source.

Iris is essentially a classic square-cut shirt, with a choice of cuff finishes. There are also instructions for turning the blouse into a dress.

Iris blouse in white with cuffs.
Cuffed sleeve version – I made this one. Photo source.

The pattern pieces are rectangles with a template for the neckline.

Zero waste Iris blouse pattern sketch back and front
The size range is impressive, to fit from a 28″ to a 66″ bust. I fell in between sizes – an A was too small but a B looked like it might be too flowy, so I cut an A+!
I recommend (for any pattern you make) to take a few moments to check the body width, length, bicep, sleeve length and anything else.
I made the body length a bit longer.

It was fairly quick to make. I cut it out one evening while I was keeping an eye on dinner, and easily got it sewn the next day.

The pattern is designed for light to medium weight fabrics, and I think soft fabrics would work best.

Zero waste Iris blouse scraps
I used a soft floral which came from our late neighbour’s late wife’s stash. It looks old, however it’s 140cm wide which is unusual for old fabrics. There was just enough, and all that was left were the trimmings from the ends to straighten them up.

It turned out that my fabric frayed A LOT. I consider myself fairly gentle at handling fabric, but halfway through I had to overlock around all the pieces lest they disappear into a mass of threads. Then I sewed on with confidence!

I made a somewhat major tweak with this blouse, and that was to make the tie narrower. I cut it as per the pattern, then cut it in half longways and made a centre back seam. So it’s half the width and double the length. I did this partly to give a bigger bow, and partly because I wanted a winter blouse with a more closed-in neckline.

The original tie is quite wide, and you can see from the designer’s photos that the neckline is wide too so that the tie fits inside. So now that I had a narrower tie, I didn’t need a wider neckline.

To change the neckline, I sewed a pleat at the centre back to make it smaller.
Here it is with the front.
Iris blouse - interior view of pleat
On the finished blouse, it’s an inverted pleat opening out below the back facing.
Iris blouse - back view of pleat
Here’s the outside of the back. I quite like the pleat feature.

Given the fabric’s fraying situation, I was nervous about the top neck/tie junction, so I structurally re-engineered it with a strip of lightweight fusing topped with a piece of bias binding.

Up-close view of the placket top/tie junction, with bias binding to reinforce the neck edge.

The cuffs are button-and-loop fastened. The vent is simply an opening in the sleeve seam, which I like very much because my wrist isn’t sitting on a row of buttons when I write.

Cuff, showing the buttons and loops
Cuff detail
Iris blouse worn by Liz
Iris blouse: close-up of the bow.

I like this blouse very much! I’m wearing it today for Me-Made-May with a vest on top.

Iris blouse worn for Me Made May with a rust coloured vest over the top.



  1. Michelle Shaffer on May 24, 2022 at 12:21 am

    I liked the idea of using a small pleat in the back to make the neckline smaller. I will be using it in the future!

    • lizhaywood on May 24, 2022 at 9:20 am

      Cheers Michelle 🙂 It makes the back look interesting too.

  2. Carol in Denver on May 24, 2022 at 3:12 am

    Your blouse is lovely. I can see using a Mandarin collar instead of a bow (personal preference) but don’t know how that would affect the ZW aspect.

    • lizhaywood on May 24, 2022 at 9:15 am

      Cheers, Carol 🙂 Changing the collar would affect the zw but it would still be very economical on fabric and create minimal waste. You could transpose any neckline/collar onto it.

  3. Michelle Cahill on May 24, 2022 at 6:36 am

    I really like this blouse. It’s quite pretty! Looks like a fun and quick project.

    • lizhaywood on May 24, 2022 at 9:13 am

      Thanks Michelle! I think I might have found my new favourite blouse pattern.

  4. Alexis | Fibr & Cloth Studio on June 4, 2022 at 6:49 am

    I LOVE this blouse Liz, such a pleasure and an honor to have you make one of my designs! Will definitely be trying this modification myself for the neckline. 🙂 Thanks so much babe!

    • lizhaywood on June 4, 2022 at 2:57 pm

      It was a pleasure to make, Alexis!

  5. Lorraine on November 24, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Very clever! Thank you for showing how to did your changes.

    • lizhaywood on November 24, 2022 at 4:50 pm

      Cheers, Lorraine. Alexis has since made an update to this pattern with similar changes and a dress version which looks excellent.

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