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!
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.
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!