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Oh my! I can tuck this one in (aka The Finished Belacarra Blouse)

It is done! Well, it has been done since Saturday, but it took me forever to get pictures out of the camera. Without great ado, here's the finished product:

Pretty neat, no? Thank you Google Plus for that "auto-awesome" image.

The main fabric is a cotton/silk mix I picked up during Rachel's meetup in May last year. It's pretty nice to work with but I had a terrible time with thread tension. It's pretty-see through, meaning this top needs to be worn with proper undergarments. The contrast fabric has been in the scraps basket since 2010 - I bought it I think at Harts in Santa Cruz, and I used it to make a dress which I then proceeded to never ever wear. It some sort of cotton voile.

I am quite happy with the blouse - but that was really only a result of wearing it on Tuesday, because when I was done with it last weekend I never wanted to see it again.

In fact, it is a miracle I didn't throw it away during construction. I made every possible mistake on this make, most of them beginner mistakes or "you're not paying attention mistakes". Out of my scarred memories: stitching the back together correctly but attaching the front sleeve to the front wrong-sides together, then having to make fake flat felled seams on the outside:

Attaching one of the back pieces the other way around and wondering why I had to ease it in. Stitching the silk organza selvage I used as a neck stay on the right side. I also noticed most mistakes after I trimmed seams, so I had the extra effort of seam allowances not matching, sob. No wonder I didn't want to see it again. But Mr T liked it so I thought I'd give it a try.

Regarding fit (post here), the bib effect is gone, and the back also looks good, which is what makes this a win. However, I somehow messed up the shoulder seam because now it's all in the back. I also feel there is just too much fabric around the join before the front and the front sleeve.  I'm thinking to put the pattern together again, using my underbust measurement, then do an FBA. What do you think, is that likely to work? Or am I crazy and that's what raglan sleeves are supposed to look like and I should just keep using the current version?

Now, I'm not a person who tucks things in - I never did that, I'm part of the everything on top generation, but I'm quite glad to say I wore this for a whole day tucked in and it worked out pretty great: I guess I like the "blouse" effect.

I also tried to wear it over my lower-ish rise jeans whose band hits at the high hip: that didn't work quite as well - it felt as if there wasn't enough ease in there to go over jeans. I have this same problem with a silk dress that I cut up to blouse length: I can wear it tucked in and it feels fine, but not any other way. I think that says more about jeans than anything else. Either way, beware, if you don't plan to tuck this one in you might need to blend to a bigger size at the hip.

Finally, about the pattern. I can't really say much about how it's drafted, because I don't know about that stuff. I have my usual swayback / bib problem, but that's just me. I didn't need a FBA. For reference, the neck binding was too long - I was really careful, so I didn't think I stretched it while handling. It's easy to put together. I think it would work for beginners.

Overall a good make, but as Mr T commented, it's very "for work" (well, software engineer work; it's not exactly "corporate").


  1. I like your Belcarra. I have the same folds, and they sort of bug me, but if you look at all the versions out there, everyone has them - except the people who have their hands on their hips! I haven't worn mine yet - I am just finishing it - and got pretty nervous with it too - whilst I was trimming the beck, I chopped into the back neck and ended up having to lower it / have very narrow binding there! And the cuffs really harassed me. No beginner here, but I didn't find this such a simple pattern. I prefer Alma!
    I am waiting to see how it feels on before I decide about the folds. If they bug me too much, I shan't make another one.

    1. Thanks. I'm not sure about the folds, I don't think they should be there, but yes I looked at the round up posts of the sew along and almost everyone is the same. It's either that these sleeves are meant to look like this (not according to the internets), or there's something wrong with the pattern. I'll try to overlay my sloper over it and see.

      I'm sorry to hear about the back - I did the same with a sleeve on a recent make, it was very annoying. I ended up having to piece together a recut top side because I didn't have enough fabric for a full sleeve.


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