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Left over fabric to flowy blouse

Despite my dismal 1 post / month on average since November, I have been doing some sewing. I guess winter time is just not that sewing-inducing for me at all. I have started to get back into sewing in February, and I'm stash busting.

OK, actually I don't believe in stash busting at all, and have promptly ordered more fabric to offset the loss. I have lovely stuff that came from Mood to my friend's desk in California. More on that in the following months.

Today, I want to show you my second edition of the Belacarra:

This is all silk crepe, left over from my party dress from last year, and I obsessed over what to make with it for a long time until I settled on this pattern. It's Liberty silk crepe, and just as amazing to sew with as last time I used it. I got it at Truro fabrics but they no longer have this pattern - they have others though, this weight is the one called "Liberty crepe" (rather than crepe de chine or something else) . The brown contrast is crepe de chine, acquired from Britex. It's nice but nowhere near as nice as the Liberty one. :)

Truth be told, I'm not that enamored with the fit on this one. There are two main issues: first, there is a lot of extra fabric at the sleeve join, and the drape of the fabric makes this obvious. To be honest, I have NO idea how to fix this. The good news is that despite (or because?) the masses of fabric, it is quite comfortable to wear. I do wish someone knew how to fix.

The second issue is my own stupidity - I narrowed the hips without realizing when I did the sway back last time. This is of little consequence - it means the blouse looks a lot better tucked into my trousers, but it's still annoying as hell.

I do like the blousiness though, and I think this pattern is much better in this drapey fabric than my first version. If you're wondering what happened to that one, I managed to rip a hole in it when I was putting it on a few weeks back, so into the bin it went. Sad but true :0

Here's a side shot:

And dress form / hanger photos:

Construction wise, I used french seams everywhere. I find that I now have the patience to treat french seams properly - that is, sew right sides together, press, trim the seam, press open, then press together right-sides together, then sew, then press stitching, then press open. I never used to do that before, but I really love taking my time and doing this now. Especially with so much expensive fabric, it would be a let down to not do it properly.

I also did some edge stitching on the sleeves. I didn't follow construction instructions on the sleeves, as I thought that would result in raw edges on the inside. Instead, I did a regular cuff - press 5/8" in, stitch other side, fold / press / trim, baste pressed edge over stitched edge then edge stitch from the outside.

For the neckline, I followed instructions - it's just finished with bias (fold bias strip, sew raw edges together, trim and sew from outside):

Finally, I attached a tag:

I keep meaning to order custom-made tags, but yeah, it's lazyness inc at auxetically nowadays. So I got this paw ribbon instead.

So, what do you think of my new Belacarra? Yay or nay? Do you know what I should do to improve fit at the sleeves? Tell me, I love hearing from you!


  1. If your blouse sleeves have a center seam at the shoulders, you can adjust the fit from there either letting out the seam or taking it in before you do the French seams or whatever technique you choose. I cannot tell from he photos if you have square shoulders or narrow. Raglan sleeves don't do anyone any favors...they make narrow shoulders narrower and square shoulders wider. They also make a wad of fabric at the underarm which brings the eye downward making the bust seem droopy. You can take in the side seam under the arm to be closer to the body but at some point you have to stop or you will not be able to move your arms! Good luck in the future.

    1. I have narrow shoulders. I'll try to take in the underarm, see how it goes. I should be able to take in at the shoulder even after seeing the French seam, I think.

      I agree on the raglan sleeves, I think I'm done with this style for now...


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