Pattern Testing the Belcarra Blouse – Take Two
Finally! I’m pleased to present my first finished garment of 2014 – a simple cotton/linen blend Belcarra blouse, the most recent addition to the Sewaholic Patterns line. My new top is a perfect classic white top to wear with just about anything, and I foresee it becoming a wardrobe staple.
This pattern is super easy to sew up since there are no darts or fiddly bits – just fronts and backs and sleeves and bindings. But, it’s not fool proof. My first attempt was out of a much loved silk, and I totally screwed up the bias neck binding and the French seams around the sleeves. I plan to have another go with silk since the lack of darts make this pattern a perfect candidate for a tricksy fabric like charmeuse, but next time I’ll try taking advantage of fabric starch to get nice French seams – I’ve heard good things about that tip lately.
My silk version was supposed to be a test of the pattern for Tasia. But, as the testing deadline neared and the silk continued to be uncooperative, I realized I was only going to be able to send written feedback, no pictures of a lovely finished garment. Disappointed, I vowed to try again. But, this time instead of continuing to struggle with silk, I turned instead to a very forgiving cotton/linen blend I have had in my stash ever since my big trip to FabMo. Version two came together in no time.
For this version I neatened each seam with my serger and took my time with the bias neck binding even though the cotton/linen blend was so much easier to work with than the silk. I sewed the binding to the neckline, trimmed the seam allowances, turned the binding inward, pressed everything over a tailor’s ham, pin basted, and then sewed again. Tasia provides lots of markings that help make sure the bias binding is perfectly aligned around the neck, but I still got a few subtle twists where I must have gotten things just ever so slightly off.
The hemline is just an edge-stitched double fold.
It should be no surprise that I love Sewaholic Patterns. I’d own them all if money were no object. Yet, even still, this top has to be one of my favorites. It can be dressed up or down depending on the fabric and the styling. The raglan sleeves allow for lots of fun fabric combinations. I’d love to try one where the entire top was made in a sheer, but the front and back were lined in something opaque.
So far this white blouse is turning out to be a good mommy top. And, the bonus lesson from having to make two versions before getting one right is that the cotton/linen blend is much more forgiving than the silk would have been. That said, I don’t seem to be taking that lesson much to heart though as I have so many silk tops planned for this summer!
It turns out baby girl is very skeptical of the tripod and wouldn’t smile for the camera no matter what I tried, but I promise this top has her drool seal of approval.
Look at how big she’s gotten! I just can’t get enough of her!