It seems the thing to do on sewing blogs is present your creation on your body, the way it actually looks in real life, rather than the garment lying flat on a table or hung up against a wall. That way, the purpose for which it was created can be seen, and appropriate suggestions/criticisms/ideas/likes/dislikes/tips/tricks can be shared. The idea is to upload photos of your attempt at a particular garment, talk about how you went with it, and things you liked etc, and tag the pattern name so other people who have made the same pattern can see your version (and hopefully be inspired or leave some thoughtful suggestions or compliments. Feel free to shower me in compliments…) So here, Internet, this is what I look like. Excuse the weird faces in any/all of these photos – I’m yet to perfect the whole “looking natural whilst clearly posing in front of a camera” thing.
However. That is not the point of this post. This is all about the Belcarra Blouse.
There is a thing called a Sewalong (kind of like an online workshop in which a pattern is followed step by step over a number of days/weeks, allowing people to ask questions and share triumphs and disasters) happening at the moment, hosted by Caroline over at Sewaholic, but as soon as I bought the pattern I got so excited that I went and made the blouse (twice) before the sewing part of this Sewalong actually happened.
Things of note:
- Rayon, although it has a lovely feel and a nice drape, is a) slippery when cutting and easily stretches along the bias, and b) very easily wrinkled. The creases in the front of my top are just from sitting at my desk for ten minutes before the photos were taken.
- I think the neckline should be stay-stitched before attaching the neck binding, because I found that once I’d been wearing the top for ten minutes, the weight of the sleeves stretched the neckline out a bit and caused the binding to wrinkle.
- Speaking of which, the pattern instructions call for a kind of strange technique for attaching the neck binding, which I struggled with in my first attempt at this pattern (the pink shirt below). In this green top, I carefully attached the neck binding the same way you would bind a quilt with bias tape. Slower, but definitely neater.
- Next time, I’m going to try to cut the sleeves so that the pin tucks run along the grainline, as they appear to have stretched along the bias when I sewed them. Although, that could just be the slipperiness/stretchiness of the rayon.
- Next time, I will make it a bit longer so it can stay tucked in. I actually wore this top out last night, and the whole night I was constantly pushing the back and the front of it back inside my jeans (I think it looks better tucked in).
Let’s just focus on one thing there for a second: I WORE THIS TOP OUT LAST NIGHT. This is a thing, guys! This is officially the first article of clothing that I have sewn myself and been comfortable enough in to wear out in front of people. I even got complimented on it, which was lovely. 🙂
So, all in all, I’m pleased with this and can happily say I will be wearing this soft, comfy top to work.
In my first attempt, I managed to scrape the whole blouse out of one fat quarter (the sleeves and pocket) and one yard of fabric (everything else) but I don’t think I will be wearing this one in public, at least not without fixing up the neckline. It’s also a super stiff fabric so kind of juts out in weird places. I did add some darts in the front piece, but it didn’t really help. Sorry, you don’t get a photo of me in this one 😉
Regardless, it was good as a practice run. I think I will make one more of these, in some cute, printed, soft, drapey fabric, and make it trump all previous attempts!