Sewaholic Alma

30 Nov

Sewaholic Alma blouse

Pattern: Alma blouse from Sewaholic patterns

Fabric: Rayon challis and cotton poplin


I must confess that I love Peter Pan collars.  I don’t wear them often because I fear looking a bit too twee, but I still adore them!  I knew when I saw the Alma blouse pattern that I wanted to make it, but I didn’t want it to be too adorable.

I bought this fabric from Fabric Mart (now sold out!) and immediately loved the pretty watercolor flowers.  It’s a medium weight challis, which is the weight I would recommend for my version of the blouse.

I actually made two major changes to the pattern:

1. I lengthened the pattern by 4 inches at the hem.  I could tell from other completed projects that this shirt would be too short for me.  I have what could be called a long torso – it’s only now that tunics are in style that I can find shirts in stores that don’t appear cropped!

Sewaholic’s patterns are drafted for the pear shaped.  I measure larger in the hips than the bust, but I’m not a true pear.  I have a short waist and a long torso (according to Trinny and Susannah I’m a skittle, which I believe is a type of bowling pin.  We are indeed separated by a common language, because I had no idea what that was!)

I prefer tops to either be tucked in or hit me at this length.

2. I redrafted the sleeves. I wanted long sleeves for winter, but I don’t like sleeves with cuffs.  Bishop sleeves are in style this year, so I hit on the idea of widening the sleeve.  I basically turned the sleeve piece into an A shape, keeping the same cap shape.  After sewing them in place I folded under 1/2 inch to make a casing and threaded through 1/4″ elastic (it measured 1 inch longer than my wrist.)  I really love them – I think they work really well with my fabric and look elegant!

Pattern review:

I thought the pattern was very well drafted.  It included helpful bits like corners that actually match up, rather than expecting you to match triangles at (for example) the shoulder seams.   The instructions were fine, and the illustrations were clear.

The only issue I ran into was with the collar:
Peter pan collar

I made the collar with a navy/white pindot poplin.  It’s fairly light weight though not as light as the challis.  I thought it would hold the shape better and it does.  The pattern calls for interfacing the collar, which I did, using a lightweight fusible (pro sheer elegance.)

The interior is finished with a facing, and that’s the only place where I had trouble.  I don’t, as a rule, like facings.  I leave them off whenever I can, but in this case I chose to use the facing pieces.  You interface the facing pieces and then sew them together.  Here is where it was a little confusing – you must baste the collar to the neckline with both RS facing you.  Then you put the facing on top of the collar and blouse, RS together, and sew.  You’re supposed to then trim, clip and understitch.  I did all that, but I’m still not happy with the facing.  It makes for a lot of layers around the neckline, and even though I secured it to the shoulders it tends to stick out when I put on the blouse.  Once it’s on they stay in place, but I think there’s probably another way of securing the collar that I would prefer.    Suggestions are welcome!

I made a size 4.  I wanted it a little oversized, but I would go down a size if making a more fitted version.  I love the shaped darts (even though I always hate sewing them!)
I love this blouse!  I would absolutely recommend the pattern.  I will probably make it again someday!  This is the first Sewaholic pattern I’ve tried, and I was very impressed with how professional everything was.  I’ve already ordered her new pattern, the Cordova jacket.  It has a peplum, another trend that I am not yet over!
Sewaholic alma

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11 Responses to “Sewaholic Alma”

  1. Sam November 30, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    I really like your version of Alma! The longer length and gathered sleeves look perfect for this time of year.

    I haven’t yet tried a Sewaholic pattern myself, but this one looks more and more tempting.

  2. Carolyn November 30, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    I like the changes you’ve made to the pattern to make it your own…especially the sleeves. They are fantastic!

  3. Victoria November 30, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Cute blouse! Like the colors and style:)

  4. Heather November 30, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    I love the fabric and your changes to the sleeves. And I think the photo editing does a great job of showcasing the top.

  5. Tapetum November 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Nice! I love your style, though unfortunately as a Goblet (again according to Trinny and Susanna) almost all of it would look terrible on me. At least I can enjoy it on you.

  6. November 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    tres cute!

  7. Tiffany November 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    It looks great! Amazing how a couple of small changes can make it look like a totally different top!

  8. leuinda December 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    I love the fabric combination. And the photo! Did you use an app for the black &white / color effect?

  9. Erin Cumming December 8, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I’ve been considering the Alma for a while, and you may have tipped me over the edge. My main concern was fit and how it would flatter. I really love your version, and at first quick glance, there’s a brush stroke in the pattern of your fabric that made me look twice. I thought it was a peplum top! I love your sleeve variation too. I tend to make this type of sleeve a lot – so easy with the elastic at the wrist.

  10. Amanda December 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    This looks fantastic and I love the alterations. Bishop’s sleeves are fantastic and super winter snuggly. Well played!

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