As I was so happy with my first Sewaholic Belcarra blouse, it wasn’t long before I made a second one:
This time I used cotton lawn (from Goldhawk Road), so it doesn’t drape as much as my first viscose version but it still looks ok and is great to wear in the hot weather we’ve been having in London lately.
While shopping for the fabric, I was choosing between a few lovely (but very colourful and busy) cotton lawn prints and so decided to step out of the shop for a little breather while I debated the look I wanted. But then as I was leaving the shop, I noticed this fabric by the door – pretty unassuming in comparison to the others, but I was drawn to it (and it didn’t hurt that it was a lot cheaper!). I decided to go for this one as a trial run since I wasn’t sure how much I’d like the look of the top in cotton. However, I’m now very glad I went with this simple print as it is so easy to wear. I’ve also noticed that I don’t have many light coloured tops, so this is a welcome addition to my wardrobe.
Must try to remember to give plain and simple fabrics fair consideration on future fabric shopping trips!
Since it is a simple print I thought it would be a good one to try out the shoulder pin tucks of view B. I like how this detail adds a bit more interest to the top.
Adjustments wise, I narrowed the neckline and broadened the shoulders as with my first Belcarra and I shortened the front by 1.5cm (gently curving to meet the original hem line in the back) so it sits better on me.
Not too much to say about the construction as it was straightforward the second time around. There was a bit of unpicking when I realised I’d folded to a seam notch instead of a tuck notch on my first shoulder, but luckily the holes from the incorrect stitching line pretty much disappeared with a bit of steam pressing . As with my first version I found the cuffs a bit tricky to insert, but this is definitely getting easier with practice.
My first two Belcarras are getting a good amount of wear, so there could be another one soon…
When I made a toile of the Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse the fit was pretty good, the only niggle I had was that it felt too tight across the shoulders – it was a bit uncomfortable when moving my arms and the neckline was being pulled wider.
Here’s how I adjusted the shoulders: (note – I don’t know if this is the “correct” way to do this kind of adjustment, but I was happy with the results (see my first finished Belcarra here) so thought I’d share in case it is useful to anyone else)
In the pictures, the blue pen shows the markings traced from the pattern, the red pen shows the adjustments.
- Measure 1.5cm (the seam allowance) in around the corner of the seam that connects to the blouse front (or back – you need to adjust both shoulder pieces) and the underarm seam, mark point A where the stitching lines here meet
- Draw a line from the centre of the shoulder seam notch going through point A, to the edge
- Cut along this line from each edge towards point A, do not cut all the way along – you want to leave point A as a pivot point
- Tape one side of the cut edge to some additional paper (I’ve just used standard tracing paper)
- At the shoulder seam, measure from the edge of your taped down side and mark a short line B to indicate how much you want to lengthen the shoulder seam by (I lengthened by 1.5cm)
- Pivot the free side such that the shoulder seam meets line B and tape in place
- You’ll see that the shoulder seam now has a step where you’ve broken the line. Fix this by using a French curve or go free hand to draw a new line from the lower part of the sleeve to the neckline. (You have now both lengthened the shoulder and added a bit of extra width)
- Make sure your notch is clearly visible
- If you are making view A or C of the blouse, that’s it, you just need to cut out your new shoulder piece and repeat these steps on the back shoulder
- If you are making view B, extend the tuck lines to the edge of the piece so that you have straight lines again. Repeat adjustments on back shoulder
Do you know of a different, perhaps better, way to adjust raglan sleeves for broader shoulders?
I LOVE this top! I’ve been admiring Sewaholic‘s designs for a while and am tempted by pretty much all of Tasia’s patterns. When I saw the Belcarra (beginner friendly) released and heard about the sew-along I knew this was the next top I wanted to try.
Was pretty happy when I tried on my toile as the fit was generally good without any changes. The only problem was that it felt too tight across the shoulders to the point that I’d be unlikely to wear it. I searched for raglan sleeve broad should adjustments, but didn’t find anything helpful so I made a guess at what to do (you can see what I did here). I think it turned out quite well, the top certainly feels comfortable, although that could be due to the softer/drapier fabric used in the final version. I also narrowed the neckline by 1cm as per the instructions here.
The fabric is a lovely soft viscose from Goldhawk Road. I brought this fabric on the recent NYlon meet up, it seemed to be one of the fabrics of the day as I meet quite a few other sewists who’d brought it too, look forward to seeing what they create with it!
This was my first time sewing with viscose and I love it. Needs a little more care than cotton, but I love the softness and drape, definitely think it has worked well for this top.
The top is quite straight forward to sew up, good instructions and the sew-along provides more details/photos. I did find the cuffs a bit tricky, so on the final version I hand basted them in place before sewing and was much happier with the result. I used French seams throughout, which even though there are curved seams worked well.
Please excuse the creases in the photos, I’d been wearing the top for a few hours before they were taken, will have to remember to think about that for future blog photos!
I’ll definitely be making some more versions of this top, just what I need for extending my summer wardrobe. So happy with this top that I couldn’t resist a jumping photo!
Things I learnt:
- Sewing raglan sleeves
- Sewing with viscose
- Using a bias strip as a binding
- Sewing cuffs