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


40 Responses to “Completed: Another Alma Blouse”

  1. Tracy September 28, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    So cute Lauren!! The color and the fabric give it the perfect retro vibe.

  2. Jennifer September 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    such a cute blouse! I love the fabric / color combo and the fit is just right.

  3. Carolyn September 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    I love this blouse. It says “autumn” in a beautiful way. As if I needed more patterns, you are seriously tempting me to start a Sewaholic pattern stash.

  4. Jamie September 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    It looks great – I love the leaf buttons!

  5. CGCouture September 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    You look gorgeous in this blouse, as per usual. 🙂 I’m saddened about the metal invisible zip being crap…mostly because I had been keeping my eyes peeled for them hoping they would be better than the ubiquitous crappy plastic C&C ones. Though I have finally found a local place to buy YKK zips from as long as I never need one on a weekend. 😉

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      I don’t know, you might like them! I personally think they are a pain to sew in and they don’t zip as smoothly as a nylon zip. Plus, the metal is COLD! I love the YKK zips – they come in so many pretty colors, and they are actually cheaper than C&C here for some reason 😉

  6. Seraphinalina September 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Those are the perfect buttons for that fabric. Your finished blouse is great and it’s good to see another full busted Alma blouse. I probably would have passed along that fabric too. It looks beautiful on you and I love the way you leveraged the “wrong” side, but it’s not colours that I’m drawn to so I can understand Liz putting it into a swap pile.

  7. misscrayolacreepy September 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    I’m working on a short sleeve version of the Alma now. But you are making me wish I made a long sleeve!

  8. Janice September 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Well done!

  9. zilredloh September 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I would never have thought to make a cozy blouse with this fabric, but on second thought the drape of the fabric would make a great blouse. I’m glad you were able to make something totally and cute from it like the Alma blouse! It looks really splendid on you. 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Thank you again for the gifted fabric! Every time I wear it, I will always think of you (in a totally non-creepy way, ha) 🙂

  10. Lauren September 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    This is the most perfect blouse ever. I’m so jealous of your skills. Also… I kind of want to borrow this. FOREVER.

  11. Joan September 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I love the colours of this blouse and that the cuffs and collar are a solid orange.Well done,cant wait to make this blouse,but I’m due my second baby in two weeks so when I slim down a bit and find time I hope to be making loads of clothes creastions.

  12. Meg September 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    YAY!! So glad to see the blouse with that fabric – it’s totally gorgeous on you, all those fabulous orange splashes are genius. LOVE THE LEAVES. Totally impractical says who? I say totally rock star. Love the whole outfit, and you’ve definitely convinced me to give up the act and sew my own damn jeans already.

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      WHOOP!! Attagirl – I know you can do it!! 🙂

  13. Elise September 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Love this super cute blouse! And the jeans – perfect fit! I gotta have a go at making jeans, having the worst time finding a pair that fits these days… 🙂

  14. em September 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    I LOVE this. Wow. the orange and the sleeves and the floral and the buttons are all SO cute. thanks for sharing.

  15. Kerry September 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    A-dorable. What great fabric, a fab swap score. I want a double gauze Alma!

  16. Amanda September 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Lady, this looks awesome! It’s so perfect for autumn wearing and I must say the leaf buttons are all sorts of rad. Well done 😀

  17. Sarah W. September 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm #


  18. Fiona September 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    You HAVE to stop sewing up gorgeous versions of sewaholic patterns and making me want to buy them! When I have no money left I’m blaming you!!

  19. Linda September 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    I bought a raincoat made of this print and in these colors when I was in my freshman year of college, 1966. Bought a bright orange umbrella to go with. So . . . guess you could say this is a vintage print. Love it.

  20. nettie September 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    So, super cute!!! I am reaaally not supposed to buy more patterns, but this version of Alma makes me want it!

  21. Noelle September 28, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    That is freakin’ adorable! I love the fabric to bits…I want some! And those buttons are too cute.

  22. Miss Jade September 29, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    You look lovely, as usual. It’s a fabulous shirt. I also wanted to mention that I sew invisible zippers without a proper invisible zipper foot – I just use the regular one on my Pfaff – and the way I do that is by first ironing it out. This makes it possible to get closer to the zipper teeth without having to fight with it while I am sewing it. The zipper curls back up eventually so it does stay invisible despite my ironing. I mention this because it might be a good way to work with the metal zippers. It sounds like they are giving you problems with your zipper foot. Perhaps you could just iron and use your regular foot instead.

  23. ladykatza September 29, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    Ya know what? I think I’m about to start combing the interwebs for zip-up blouses, cause I think they are the answer to my fit problems with wovens and button holes.

  24. Lynne September 29, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    Gorgeous! I love the fabric, it so 70s, and the leaf buttons are fab. 🙂

  25. sallie September 29, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Dude – seriously cozy looking top! I love that the contrast collar and cuffs is just the wrong side of the fabric. Genius.

  26. Andrea September 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    This girl’s on a Sewaholic kick. Three in a row! Can’t blame ya though. I just made two Renfrews and have the Alma envelope whispering sweet nothings to me from across the sewing room.

  27. gingermakes September 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    How cute! I love the print and the orange contrast paired together– it looks great!

  28. poppykettle September 30, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Well that’s a bit lovely. And I couldn’t for the life of me see your zip at the side… a perfect zipping result!

  29. SuzySewing September 30, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    Gorgeous, and I do love the contrasting solid! I’m mid-way through an Alma also with contrasting cuffs and collar, but my fabrics are more boring and they are both solids.

  30. Handmade Jane September 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Gorgeous, so cosy and autumnal. I’ve got a soft spot for Peter Pan collar Alma blouses made from double gauze fabric! x

  31. Maddie Flanigan September 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Okay… I’m serious when I say this (because I probably have already)… out of everything you have EVERY made, this is my FAVORITE!

  32. Scruffybadger October 1, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    This is such a perfect autumn top, and how genius to use the reverse for the contrast. I’ve never sewn double fabric before, but it sounds as if it’s got all sorts of advantages. This fabric plus orange though equals awesome…one in a million 🙂

  33. missjoiedevivre October 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Hmm, my last comment ended up on the wrong post. I blame IE. I was half way through typing up my comment when the screen flickered, and when it finished my words were gone, just an empty comment box remained. Cursing mildly I retyped that sucker and posted, only to find that the flickering must have been IE reloading the previous page. Screw you IE! This is why I don’t use you at home! (Which leads me to admit that I’m writing this at work as your sewing is much more interesting than the document that I’m meant to be writing.) But you know what really gets my goat? I then typed out a comment very similar to this one, hit post, and THAT disappears – only to leave your page, and comments, still visble but rendered entirely in WINGDINGS! WTF? Anyway, hopefully that comment didn’t end up god-knows-where on your blog, and the point remains that this looks great on you. I’ve never had to work so hard to say something nice about a blouse. But you deserve it!

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2012 at 9:27 am #

      Hahah! Everything comment-wise seems to be ok on my end… but if it’s any consolation – I hate IE too! Boooo IE!! And thank you!! :3

  34. Sewing Sveta October 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    I like the print and the orange collar very much!

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