Alma Blouse and April Outfit

This outfit-a-month thing is working well for me. I made a blouse to go with the spring pants I showed a while ago. It’s been a heck of a week for me – I was hoping to have this finished a good while ago – but that’s how things go.

The weather has finally warmed up enough to make wearing the pants an option some days now. They have pros and cons: they’re amazingly comfortable and pliable (you can see that they already look a bit looser from having been worn a few times), but they wrinkle and tend to pick up fluff. As for the blouse, here are the details!

Pattern: Alma blouse by Sewaholic.

Fabric: Cotton poplin from Murphy Sheehy’s. I used about 2m because I wanted the full-length sleeves. The trim I got from Rubanesque. The total cost was somewhere in the region of €20-25. I didn’t have to use the trim but I think it’s nice and was happy to pay for something unique.

I made a few modifications. I (thankfully!) made a muslin first, cutting a size 2. The fit at the neckline and shoulders was great but too fitted throughout the body. It was only a bit – I could still squeeze in and out without needing a zip – so when I cut my actual fabric, I cut 2 for the neckline and collar, and 4 for everything else, including the armholes. This was a good adjustment.

Putting the trim was a pain. At first I wanted to use some piping because that’s what I had to hand and I thought it would be nice. It was but I didn’t really know what I was doing. In a desperate attempt to smooth out lumps, I trimmed my seam allowance too closely. Then in an attempt to salvage that, I topstitched the whole thing. It was a mess. Thankfully I had just enough fabric left over to cut another collar. Then, using this excellent tutorial on applying trim to a peter pan collar, I carefully got my new trim to behave itself. It wasn’t that hard.

As you can see, the collar lies pretty well. I have had all sorts of nightmares with peter pan collars. I think they are so pretty but my narrow shoulders don’t work well with something so curved.

The only other thing I think is worthy of mention is the cuffs. The instructions for the placket and cuffs is pretty limited. It’s fine if you’ve sewn them before, but if not, watch out! Look up a youtube video before progressing. It’s not particularly difficult but the diagrams are not at all clear. I discovered when I finished that I don’t even need to open the cuffs to get my hand through so if I make another long-sleeved version of this, I will probably leave off the cuffs altogether. Nice to have the option though.

I love to see how blouses with collars lie underneath a top layer such as a cardigan or pullover. Such photos are hard to come by so I thought I’d start the ball rolling maybe! Here is a very typical I’m-a-piano-teacher outfit.

So, two thumbs up for the Alma pattern! I’m looking forward to sewing up some other variations.

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