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!


40 Responses to “Pattern Testing: The Alma Blouse”

  1. punkmik August 2, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    This is so cute! I just saw Tasia’s versions too and this pattern looks like it could be a staple top! I am currently trying the thurlows and although they are a challenge, i am getting there. Muslin made, real thing tomorrow. 😛
    Tempted to order this pattern now! Love the ric rac addition! Too cute! you are such an inspiration in how you make patterns fit your personality! 😀

  2. Crafting A Rainbow August 2, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Oh, it’s so cute! I ordered the pattern as soon as it was posted, but I’ve been waiting for the pattern tester posts to go up to get really inspired! Tasia’s version are great examples of the pattern as-is, but I LOVE seeing what people have done to make it personalised. Your’s doesn’t disappoint! It’s really great!

  3. Kerry August 2, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Very cute, I love the notched neckline and the rick rack you added to set it off.

    Think this might have to go on my list of patterns to buy (and the only other one on the list is another Sewaholic pattern too 🙂 )

    • LLADYBIRD August 2, 2012 at 10:47 am #

      I am a Sewaholic convert, forreal. I feel like some kind of weird, unpaid brand ambassador lol 🙂

  4. mancunianvintage August 2, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Gorgeous! You’re a clever sewer aren’t ya?! 🙂

  5. Seraphinalina August 2, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I am really glad to see your version. I’m not all that pear shaped and while I love Renfrew and I’ve bought Pendrell (not sewn it yet), it’s sure nice to see a fuller bust in Alma to know it works. I thought it would be great based on Tasia’s versions and the line drawings but it is still nice to see it on a body first. Thanks for posting!

  6. oonaballoona August 2, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    that is SUPER cute on you. i love the added rick rack, totally highlights that neckline!

  7. annaintechnicolor August 2, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Adorable! Love the plaid with the pocket on the bias.

  8. Zoe August 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Super cute!! I love the pocket and ric arc additions you made, they really set it off and make it extra special. xxx

  9. jennysews2 August 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I love tops with cap sleeves ~ again, you’ve done a great job. I’m heading over to see Tasia’s site…

  10. Molly August 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Yours is so cute! Thanks for reminding me that I have procrastinated taking pictures of my blouse for two months, wow I am lazy.

    • LLADYBIRD August 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

      Pictures NOW! I want to see yours! 🙂

  11. Didyoumakethat August 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Love it! Isn’t it amazing how different our versions are? I love the crispness of your fabric, the pocket and the ric rac. You’re so inspired!

    • LLADYBIRD August 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

      Yes! Yours turned out awesome, now I really want to try it in a drapey rayon.

  12. sometimessewist August 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    After I got the email about Alma being released this morning, I wondered if you had been a pattern tester. And – voila – you were! Such a cute top! Love the plaid, too.

  13. Jen August 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    ADORABLE. It’s the rickrack that puts it over the top and makes it perfect.

    ❤ jen @ stuff jen did

  14. Funnygrrl August 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Very nice version! I can’t wait to see all the others. The rick-rack is very nice for the collar. Perfect solution to “lost” design details.
    This looks great!

  15. theknittingarchaeologist August 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Nice job! I don’t know that I would have been as gung-ho to make this had I not seen your version, and had I not just made the best fitting, unaltered dress by Sewaholic. This woman must have snuck in and measured me before she drafted Cambie! I am now also a convert.

  16. Sarah August 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    Awww it’s cute as a button! Great job with the alterations and fabric choice.

  17. symondezyn August 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Wow, really pretty! I wasn’t entirely sure if this pattern was for me yet but then I saw your more fitted version, realized it could work both fitted as well as more relaxed, and thought “yes… i like this a lot!” I like the idea of the side zip too, that’s brilliant; buttons for those of us blessed with chest are not always our friends LOL.

  18. Jo August 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Soo pretty, I’m a big sucker for bows 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing all the versions that will be popping up! This is so cute 🙂

  19. Marie August 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    I’ve totally not been sold on this View until your cute as a button version! It’s so lovely Lauren, good work! I tested the peter pan collar one and can’t wait to reveal it tomorrow!

  20. Tiffany August 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    It’s so cute! Love your version- the ric rac is adorable! And great to see it so fitted. I was a little hesitant since I don’t really love the blouse look, but yours is very flattering and fits so well I’m gonna have to give it a chance.

  21. Lynne August 3, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    This is gorgeous!! I love the little capped sleeves, and version with the Peter Pan collar is fab. I have to get me this pattern!! 🙂

  22. sewbusylizzy August 3, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    I love the plaid!

  23. ShanniLoves... August 3, 2012 at 7:13 am #

    Very cute top! The ric rac is just the perfect touch!

  24. gingermakes August 3, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Really cute! I love the plaid!

  25. Andrea August 3, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Ooh, I really love it. Great alterations!

  26. Ally August 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Wow that fits like a glove. Awesome!

  27. Lynnette August 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Have to say that i love your blog! Gotta love that we both have a Pfaff 7570! mine came from my grandma that passed away, and I love using it. Great work!

  28. Scruffybadger August 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Oh my….your version has stayed in my imagination ever since I saw it on bus home via crappy smartphone that I can’t comment with…..totally have to get this pattern, it is too pretty for words. How on earth can I have so many blouse patterns, yet nothing like this? Tasia has an amazing talent…can’t wait to snaffle up my own ( next month though…like you I’m supposed to be rationing myself!)

  29. Janice August 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    It looks really cute! The only one I’ve liked so far from Sewholic was Renfrew, but I definitely like this one.

  30. Cuckoo Chanel August 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Such a sweet version of Alma. I love the ric rac!! I just got my first two Sewaholic patterns yesterday, including this one, and I can see why you’re a fan. Wow. The directions are so clear. Absolutely can’t wait to rock this with the peter pan collar. This is going to be a fall staple for sure. Thanks as always for the inspiration.

  31. Elena Cresci August 10, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    Absolutely love your version of this. The red rickrack works so well with the plaid, nice one!

  32. Debbie August 25, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    Great Alma blouse. I love to see how different each one is using the same pattern. Lovely fabric choice too!

  33. Kristian September 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Being a pattern tester does seem cool. Love that shirt at any rate~

  34. Alice September 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    This is soooo cute! It makes me want to buy this pattern!


  1. Sewaholic Alma Blouse and Megan Nielsen Kelly skirt « SewSquirrel - August 3, 2012

    […] Lladybird did a more fitted style, and added some rick rack and a pocket for detail. […]

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