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Pattern Testing the Belcarra Blouse – Take Two

April 23, 2014

Sew Well Belcarra Blouse

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.

Sew Well Belcarra Blouse

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.

Sew Well Belcarra Blouse

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.

Sew Well Belcarra Blouse

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.

Sew Well Belcarra Blouse

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.

Sew Well Belcarra Blouse

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!

32 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2014 7:03 am

    Aw, I just love the baby pictures! She’s so beautiful! You look lovely too, and this top is fantastic! I’ve been sewing with silk a lot lately, but recently I made a simple Scout out of cotton voile, and oh goodness, was that ever easy to sew. I forgot that sewing could be like that…

  2. Victoria permalink
    April 23, 2014 7:33 am

    The top looks fab and your daughter is beautiful! How do you manage to find the time? My little boy is 4 months old and I’m really struggling, infact I’ve taken up knitting in order to allow me some time to make items. (It’s easier to pick up knitting needles than it is to set up my sewing machine!) x

  3. April 23, 2014 7:54 am

    she’s adorable! lovely top. i would definitely stash the silk for a couple of years (unless you love washing – and i’m sure your washing pile is big enough as it is!)

  4. Judi permalink
    April 23, 2014 7:57 am

    Baby girl is getting soooooo big!!!! And adorable!!! Your top looks very nice on you. I agree with you…I like tops without darts too and I especially like raglan sleeves, so yes it’s a great pattern!

  5. April 23, 2014 8:09 am

    You look great! And so does baby girl :)

  6. April 23, 2014 8:14 am

    Awww. I love your new pretty blouse. That white/cream is so crisp and classic looking.

    And that fuzzy baby hair is so cute! :)

  7. Kelly permalink
    April 23, 2014 8:47 am

    This definitely seems like a great wardrobe staple! I wasn’t blown away by this pattern at first, but I am definitely coming around to it, I love simple shapes like this. I’ll bet it would be easy to lengthen it to a little dress as well! You seem like you are doing great with your little one, she certainly is adorable!!

  8. April 23, 2014 9:18 am

    The top looks fabulous and your little girl is precious. Nice to “see” you!

  9. April 23, 2014 9:46 am

    Perfect Top And Super Adorable.Girl!!!!

  10. April 23, 2014 10:32 am

    Your blouse looks great, and I love the pictures of you and your baby girl. =) She’s so adorable!

  11. April 23, 2014 11:26 am

    The blouse looks great on you! The perfect balance of casual and dressy. Definitely a wardrobe staple. Baby girl has grown so much! She’s adorable!

  12. April 23, 2014 3:28 pm

    The top looks great on you. I’m bookmarking this pattern. It looks a simple but versatile addition to a wardrobe – as others have said, can be dressed up or down. I can’t believe how big Baby Girl is now, and her lovely hair! Yay you for sewing and posting!

  13. April 23, 2014 6:47 pm

    Yay, I’m glad trial #2 worked out for you! Baby girl is already so much bigger than last month…incredible how babies grow!

  14. April 23, 2014 9:01 pm

    Great looking top Amy – classique!! And baby girl is definitely a lamb chop. So squeezable!

  15. April 23, 2014 9:18 pm

    you’re a gorgeous mama! still glowing! :) and your girl is so cute! Can you believe yet you’re a mom? :)

  16. April 24, 2014 12:00 am

    You look fabulous & your wee girl is adorable! I love your top, the raglan sleeves are really nice & it looks so classy in the crisp white. I wear my scout tees all the time – easy to throw on, ease of movement with baby, and machine washable are my main criteria now for sewing for me!

  17. April 24, 2014 12:57 am

    You outdo the shirt in fabulousness! Looking good. You have inspired me to dig out some fabric though. We have a long weekend here. Fingers crossed…

  18. April 24, 2014 4:37 am

    This looks lovely – nice and simple, but a step up from a tshirt! Your little girl is sweet! I can’t imagine any of my lot being that small any more (and it’s not that long ago!)

  19. April 24, 2014 6:21 am

    Oh look at the two of you!!!! So sweet!! Really great top, Amy! Such a classic, easy style. And as a huge proponent of ”all silk, all the time” I think a few of these in silky fabrics could still be baby-drool approved! Try crepe de chine – I swear, that fabric can do no wrong in my book! It’s easy to sew, easy to wash/care for, and loooovveeeelllly to wear!

  20. April 24, 2014 3:59 pm

    Too much cuteness in that photo. I would be sceptical of a tripod too if I was bub :-). It looks like a really great, and really practical top. I second Sallie, try crepe de chine….it is indestructible, and I find it even out washes and out lasts some cottons (in the regular washing machine!) – I make super-swishy skirts out of silk crepe de chine scraps for my middle-ballerina-girl and it has sold me on silk as an all day, everyday wear!

  21. April 24, 2014 8:23 pm

    This is a lovely top- so classic and chic! Your sweet girl is so, so cute!

  22. April 25, 2014 5:29 pm

    Your top looks great & your baby is adorable .- this coming from a first time Grandma of a baby girl :) how does this top compare to the Woven Scout by Grainline . I see the sleeves are different . Thanks

    • Alison permalink
      May 2, 2014 9:03 am

      That’s the question in my head too…

    • May 4, 2014 3:35 pm

      Oh! I thought I’d replied to this comment already. Sorry ME and Alison! The Belcarra blouse varies from the Grainline Woven Scout in that this one has raglan sleeves where as the Scout has traditional tshirt-style sleeves. Neither have any darts. I actually don’t know how the fit differs as I’ve never made the Woven Scout. The sleeves are likely the biggest difference between the two.

      • Alison permalink
        May 9, 2014 10:20 am

        Thanks Amy. Loving your blog.

  23. April 26, 2014 2:36 pm

    Beautiful! The top and that sweet baby. I love seeing her fuzzy hair in the light of the window :)

  24. April 26, 2014 6:45 pm

    Your top is lovely – I can’t wait for my pattern to arrive. I’m gonna make a few staples for the wardrobe.

  25. Dorothy permalink
    April 26, 2014 11:33 pm

    That style really suits you!

  26. April 28, 2014 4:35 am

    It’s a gorgeous blouse (top?) and so very flattering on you! If that isn’t a wardrobe staple right there, then I’ll give up sewing. Well, not really. But you should definitely be making more of them. And bubs doesn’t need to smile – she’s gorgeous just as she is. And growing so fast!!! Enjoy your time :)


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