Saturday, November 11, 2017

Rayon Challis Alma Blouse

  Ever since making this shirt for my mother's birthday last year, I wanted to make one for myself, and had some fabric set aside for it. I just kept putting it off because I needed to muslin it, but didn't have a fabric I wanted to use for that. Eventually, I decided to just make the changes I'd noted when I tried my mom's on and sew it up without a muslin. That wasn't a good decision.

  It's technically wearable, but that fit needs some work! I adjusted for a gaping neckline, which seemed like it worked okay, although I think I may have overdone the adjustment a bit. I should have widened the shoulders a tad. I raised the underarm seam, which I might do again, but a bit less, and I'd double-check the sleeve-to-armscye ratio, because it definitely wasn't right afterward! There's a ton of pooling at the lower back that would have been evident in a muslin.

  I added length, at the hem because I prefer a longer shirt but my torso length is average, but I didn't add any width to accommodate my hips. I made shorter sleeves with a cuff, but I made the cuff just a bit too slim, and I should have widened the sleeves by at least an inch. And the darts aren't right either! They are too wide-set, although the height is fine. And unfortunately unpicking and re-sewing in this fabric leaves holes. So yes, the fit needs work.

  I do really like how these fabrics look together! They are from Imagine Gnats sometime last year- I  think in their Black Friday sale. Both are rayon challis, although the solid is unpleasantly thin and shifty, and wrinkles with a glance, while the floral was much more manageable to sew with, and stays smooth a little better.

  I really love the look of the shorter sleeves with the cuffs! I definitely want to try that again- but wide enough. ;-) I used some cover buttons and the solid to button the cuffs- and I actually sewed buttonholes for them, since I had a cam for my buttonholer that fit the buttons!

  I under-stitched the neckline again, and it made a huge difference in how the collar sat. I also used a very light interfacing that played better with the hand of the challis than the lightweight Pellon stuff I usually have available. I've lost a few pounds since taking these photos, and the shirt fits a tiny bit better now, but aside from occasionally trying it on, I haven't worn it even once. I really should have made that muslin!

  The skirt turned out a bit better though! It's a half-circle knit skirt with the waistband from the free Mountain Pose Pants pattern, because who wouldn't want a cute overlapping waistband?

  I do wish I'd gone a size smaller with the waistband though, and interfaced the inside of it instead of the outside, as the knit interfacing stretches oddly. I might remove the waistband, overlap it more, and sew it back on the other way around at some point. This has still been worn a lot more than the shirt though!

  I used black 12oz cotton spandex knit from Nick of Time Textiles for this. It's a nice weight for this, and that's about all I have to say about the skirt! (I just noticed how much better the shirt looks tucked in than un-tucked. Maybe I should try wearing it that way.)

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. I love the Alma blouse! I've made it once but the fabric is so delicate that I'm afraid of ripping it each time I put it on or take it off.

    It's really too bad about the fit because the fabrics are gorgeous together and the style really suits you. I love the cuffs you added too.

    1. I love the style! I really need to try again with a proper muslin, and maybe a fitting buddy!

      I love the fabrics too- I wonder if I have enough to make another with the floral as the main and the purple as the accent. Thank you!