Tag Archives: Alma blouse

Completed: Another Alma Blouse

28 Sep

I’m still wearing those damn Thurlow jeans, btw. SORRY FOR NOT BEING SORRY.

But, hey, look, new blouse!

Alma blouse

This blouse is extra-special to me because the fabric actually came from Liz – can you believe she dumped this in the swap pile!? I certainly couldn’t! I snatched it up with visions of an Alma floating in my head. I almost felt like I needed to save the fabric for something more, I dunno, substantial – like a dress. But I’m pretty happy with the end result & I think it will get a lot more wear in it’s blouse-form. So there!

Alma blouse
This fabric is pretty amazing, at any rate. It’s actually a double fabric (I’m guessing double-gauze? Maybe? Help me out here.), fused together. Which mean it’s super warm and actually kind of heavy when sewn up into a blouse. Almost like a lil’ non-knit sweater! So obviously, long sleeves were in order. And a peter pan collar because, c’mon.

Alma blouse
I knew I wanted the collar & cuffs to contrast (although I love the look of a solid print on everything, I think this fabric was just a little too much!), but I couldn’t find a suitable match in my stash and I REALLY didn’t want to tromp back to the fabric store after spending so much at Vogue while I was in Chicago. Then I had a no-shit-Sherlock moment when I realized I could just flip the fabric over for the perfect orangy contrast! That’s right – all the orange accents you see here are actually the wrong side of the fabric. I’m so brilliant, durrp.

Alma blouse
There is totally an invisible zipper right in that side seam. Oh, you can’t see it? Neither can I!

Alma blouse
I just think this pattern is drafted so beautifully. The collar pieces include separate under collar pieces, so there is no fug seam ruining my beautiful collar line.

Alma blouse
Really sorry these pictures are so cruddy, by the way. It’s overcast today and I guess my camera is on strike or some shit.

Alma blouse
Since this fabric is so thick, I separated the two pieces for the collar & facing, then interfaced the single layers.

Alma blouse
I actually ran out of interfacing while I was cutting out the pattern, and rather than wait for more to arrive in the post, I kept the cuffs at their double-layer status & just sewed as normal without interfacing. I’m not sure if I’m totally thrilled with the end result, they don’t exactly sit right. Oh well – they have leaf buttons! LEAVES, you guys!

Alma blouse
The fit on this guy is a little different than my previous Alma blouse – I wanted it to be a little more loose-fitting, like a cozy sweater. I did have to shorten the sleeves about an inch, and take about 1/4″ out of the sleeve seams.

Alma blouse
I love the little leaf buttons, as impractical as they are.

Alma blouse

Alma blouse
Thought I’d have a little fun with the different fabrics – surprise undercollar!

Alma blouse
The inside of the shirt is actually quite orange, just the facing matches the outside fabric :) Since this is a double-layer, I was able to catch-stitch the facing down so it doesn’t pop out.

Alma blouse
And here is proof that there actually is an invisible zipper in that side seam. Haha! I’m quite proud of this zipper insertion – it’s a metal invisible zipper, which is probably one of the most wtf sewing notions ever. Seriously, these things suck! They don’t fit in my invisible zipper foot, so I have to use a regular zipper foot & push the needle waaaay over. The teeth don’t press down, so sewing it in is a matter of pushing the teeth down with your fingers & praying that the needle doesn’t sew through something it shouldn’t. And apparently there’s a really fine line between “invisible” and “this shit won’t zip up.” I bought these stupid things at the flea market, and I can’t say I’m surprised that they don’t appear to be manufactured anymore.

The end result is pretty good, though, and yes I’m tootin’ my own horn ;) Deal with it.

Alma blouse

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Pattern Testing: The Alma Blouse

2 Aug

I actually finished this blouse almost 2 months ago ago & I have been DYING to share it with you guys! This is Sewaholic’s newest pattern, the Alma Blouse. I got to be one of the pattern tester’s for this. I LOVE being a pattern tester, by the way – something about being able to not only see a pattern before the rest of the world, but even sew it up?! Count me in! It doesn’t hurt when the pattern in question is something totally awesome that I absolutely would have bought anyway. Double yay!

Alma Blouse
Am I right, though? This blouse is totally cute – and I love that it’s a woven top that is *not* a button-up. Those kinds of options are few & far in between. This is version A, with the cap sleeves & notched neckline.

I did make a few changes to the pattern – you’ll notice that it is much more form-fitting than Tasia’s sample photos. I did originally cut it in a straight size 4, but the muslin was a bit more blousey than what I am comfortable wearing. The final piece is a size 4 at the bust, tapered to a 0 at the waist & a 2 at the shoulders & hips. I did not do any sort of FBA besides grading the pattern sizes. I did take about 1/4″ out of the center back seam, but the end result is a little snug so I’ll probably slap that back in for future Almas (and yes, there will be future Almas). I pinched about 1/4″ out of the sleeves because they originally stuck out too far – I have small shoulders, though, and this is a pretty typical alteration for me.

Alma Blouse
One thing that I love about this pattern is that it closes with a side invisible zipper – which makes it possible to be so form-fitting (yet still be able to get it on).

Alma Blouse
Man, I love those tiny cap sleeves. They are super flattering!

Alma Blouse
Also, I can personally vouch that this pattern is suitable for plaids – everything matched up beautifully! And since there aren’t a lot of pieces involved, the process of cutting/matching isn’t really much of a horror story.

Alma Blouse

Alma Blouse
Look at how much shorter my hair is in these pictures! Haha! I took these about 2 months ago :)

Alma Blouse
The only design changes I made were actually post-construction – I felt like the notched collar was getting lost in the plaid, so I added a row of rick-rack 1″ from the edge. I also cut a tiny pocket on the bias, because tiny pockets are adorable.

Alma Blouse
I love the waist tie! I think that might be what sets this blouse over the top – of course, it looks great without the tie, but one of my favorite ways to wear it is tucked in to a high-waisted skirt with the tie as a belt. Of course, it looks great untucked too!

Alma Blouse
Sorry the lighting in this picture is so bad! The fabric is a light cotton/poly plaid seersucker, one of the many that my mom picked up at a yard sale for me a few months ago :) Thanks, mom!

Alma Blouse
The pocket is really simple to make – I sketched until I had a shape that I liked, then traced it onto a cardboard template. When I cut the fabric, I added my seam allowance & used the cardboard template to press the seam allowance back so everything would be crisp & even. I figured out the placement by putting the shirt on & holding the pocket up until I was happy with the way it looked. Easy!

Final words: I’m totally happy with this pattern, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a way to make tops with wovens that don’t involve a bunch of button holes front & center. There are several options in the pattern, which is great since that makes it work for all seasons :) Thinking about making a long sleeved version next – with embroidery on the peter pan collar! Ooh la la!

Alma Blouse
Now run – don’t walk – over to the pattern store & pick up your own copy!

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