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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Friday, June 5, 2015

Sewaholic pattern Alma Blouse








I've had this pattern for a while, as this is one that I thought I must have a while back, purchased it, and promptly filed it in my stash.  Argh. Why don't I have a better system? I'll come up with one, I hope!

This is a very simple, semi-fitted pull over blouse with neckline and sleeve variations.  There are a lot of variations with this top, so if you love sewing with woven fabrics, this is for you!


Sewaholic patterns are made for pear-shaped women.  That translates into a smaller bust but wider hips.  Well, I am typically an hourglass or borderline rectangle which means that I have to make some modifications to the fit.  :)








I started with a size 14 but made an FBA as well as taking this in at the waistline and hips. Both of these alterations didn't surprise me in the least so I was well-prepared to make quite a few adjustments to the top prior to taking photos for this blog and more importantly, wearing in public!



I made the body of view C, with modified sleeves of B which I shortened by about 4 inches sans the belt.  I tweaked the fit quite a bit which I'll detail.  Can you see my invisible zip?  I am very proud of how well I put it in!  SCORE!!!  Hint, it's on the side I have facing the camera on the above photo!


My high bust measurement is about 36.5 inches.  In the past, I'd use my full bust to make a garment and would swim in it!  It is MUCH easier to make an FBA and I highly recommend it!  I typically use two resources for this: The first is a Craftsy class I took with Kathleen Cheetam (hope I spelled that right!) called Adjusting the bust and the second it a book called Fitting for Real People.  Both are equally helpful when it comes to making an FBA and both have similar methods.  One thing that I figured out is that I only need the adjustment in the bust not lengthened to the waist as a lot of classes and books recommend.  So, my FBA stops at the waistline.


I have been working to rid my sewing of facings, that is if I can without compromising on style or function so with this blouse, I used Lynda Maynard's book on Sewing with Couture Techniques to make banded neckline.  The technique has you measure the length you need, add four inches, and press the fabric to allow for shrinkage.  You also figure out the width of the band by adding the seam allowances, multiplying by two and adding an inch.  Don't gasp when you think of how wide this is, see how small mine ended up?  This is a great ratio!  Just make sure you staystitch the neckline before applying the band so nothing stretches out of shape.  I ended up making a double row of topstitching at the neckline to keep the seamline stay put, plus I like how it looks on the outside of the finished top.


Typically I lower the bust apex by an inch on the big four patterns and did this on this top but I was so wrong in assuming that I needed it!  I had to resew the darts to a higher apex placement, which is very unusual for me!


With the sleeve length, I like the length of the elbow, but wanted one shorter as it was so stinking humid today that I needed some breathing room--if you know what I mean!  I do think I will make a straight-up view B soon as I love the collar and sleeve length.


I used this super pretty linen-blend fabric from Hancocks.  It washed beautifully, pressed well and was on sale, so this was a very economical top to sew.  I had leftover fabric from the 1.5 yards I purchased so this is a top that you could splurge on some very nice fabric if you felt like it!

The invisible zipper was the most challenging part of the top and I spent the most time working on perfecting it.  I purposely used an ivory color just to show you that if applied correctly, you don't have to have a perfect color-match.  I used the newest issue of Threads Magazine for tips on how to insert this without ripples or having it show.  The only thing I will invest in is some nail polish the same color as the top so I can paint the zipper pull so it doesn't stand out so much!  Can you see it below?  If you insert an invisible zip correctly, you shouldn't be able to!




All in all, I like this top.  I most likely will sew again, especially since I spent so much time fitting it and fiddling with the details.  I am very pleased with the color as it beautifully coordinates with this lovely scarf my son and daughter-in-law gifted to me!

Thanks so much for reading!!!
Sue



15 comments:

  1. I love this! I have completely stayed away from Sewaholic tops because SO not a pear. But like you I've got a 36" UB and definitely need an FBA and always have to lower darts 1". So you make me interested in trying this!

    The color is just beautiful!

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  2. Love it! I am not pear shaped, but this pattern worked well for me!

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  3. This top and colour look very nice on you. Isn't it fun to sew a woven with all the details after many knits? Another great aspect of sewing, switching back and forth between quick projects and more detailed ones.

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    1. Yes! I agree Jenny, you definitely need simple interspersed with more difficult! Happy seeing!

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  4. Pretty blouse and you have adjusted the fit perfectly. Very impressed with your invisible zip.

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    1. Thanks Jean! I really love it with the scarf my DIN1 purchased!

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  5. So many great tips & references for information - thanks so much . I love the color, fit & style of this very pretty top. Yes your invisible zipper is amazing also. I've only done them in skirts .

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    1. Oh MaryEllen, try the invisible zip with tops too! The instructions in the June issue of Threads is amazing!

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  6. Very pretty, Sue! Great job on the zipper and love the scarf you are wearing too!

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    1. Thank you Ann! Daughter-in-law 1 has great taste and I just love the scarf she purchased for me! I am glad I have a top worthy of wearing with it!

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Judy!!! You are always so kind!

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  8. Your top makes me want to get my pattern back out and rework it with an FBA. I originally made it about 3 years ago, before I knew what adjustments I needed!

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