Another week, another tee shirt! Though this one is more of a blouse, I suppose…
Its a Sewaholic Belcarra, to be exact! I’ve been eyeing this pattern since it was released, but was a bit unsure about the style on me. But then Sewaholic had a 20% off sale, so I grabbed the PDF and headed to The Fabric Store for a wee look around. I was originally after a soft, drapey (thanks to everyone who offered opinions about the correct way to spell drapey, by the way!) fabric, preferably self patterned and white. I also wanted something easy to look after, cotton or a poly blend. Instead, I ended up with this pretty silk border print. Its soft and mostly white, but thats about all it has in common with my original list of requiments! I thought it was too pretty to pass up on though, so I bought two panels in the hope that I could squeeze my pattern onto it.
(I tried really hard to get a shot of the back, but this was as much of me as I managed to fit in the frame for some reason. After 5 similar shots, I gave up…)
The blouse was really easy to make up, I just made the plain version without the pintucks or pocket. It would have gone together in a few hours, except it was a nightmare to cut out! This is the first think I’ve made in a slippery silk, and I thought it would be ok as it was quite crisp feeling, but it still slipped and slithered and warped and just generally gave me hives as I was trying to lay out the pattern! I ended up weighing the pattern down as I usually do, then pinning it as well. I originally planned to cut it in a single layer, to minimise my fabric use, but this ended up helping me to keep everything square as well. It was with great relief that I cut out the final cuff band!
After that nightmare, I waited a few days to start sewing it together. I decided I would try to use french seams, since they always look so lovely, so it took a bit of number crunching to figure out how I should divide up my seam allowances! I’m rubbish at fractions, using imperial measurements makes my head hurt. Eventually I figured out that 1/4″ and 3/8″ made up 5/8″, so thats what I went with. Later I found the tutorial on The Grainline blog which spelt all of that out, so It was good to have my numbers confirmed! Then there was getting the general orientation of the pattern pieces right, wrong sides together first, then right sides…the only time I got it wrong was sewing up the shoulder seams, so at least they were only short lengths of stitching to unpick! I make it sound really difficult, but once I got my head around it it was all fine, and it looks lovely on the inside!
I also had a minor wrestle with the neck band, for some reason it ended up about an inch longer than the neckline. i think I must have stretched out the bias strip as I basted it together. In the end, I just trimmed it down and re-stitched it. I also decided to hand stitch the binding down, rather than top stitch it, which I think looks better on the silk.
I made two very minor changes to the instructions, otherwise its exactly as the pattern intended! I cut the cuff bands on grain instead of in the bias, as I wanted to use the border print, and I used a narrow rolled hem instead of folding and topstitching it up.
I really like the pattern, but I am slightly worried that this fabric (pretty as it is) makes it a bit…mature for me. I’m considering giving it to my mum, as it might be more age appropriate for her! What do you think? Or do you think it’ll look ok with shorts and sandals and bright jewellery for summer?