The Power of Three {Rosa, Alma and McCalls 6696}

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The perfect button up shirt pattern. I’d been on the hunt for one for quite some time. Does it exist? Will I ever find it? Truth be told, I was being a bit fussy with my prerequisites.

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Stuff I wanted:

Legit collar and collar stand so I could button it all the way up, all hipster-like.

Minimal seams and yokes and other fussy bits so I didn’t have to cut through my busy prints like some kind of animal.

But some shaping (darts) is necessary. No one wants to wear a sack. I’m not a monster.

No gaping of buttons. I know I have boobs and a waist, but is this really such a big ask?

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I’d browsed the pattern books, I’d looked online at the indie companies. But no one had exactly what I wanted. It was either loose fitting men’s style shirts or yoked and princess-seamed women’s numbers. NO. I was feeling a bit foot stompy.

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Then it occurred to me. What if I just mash up the patterns I already have? Can I create some kind of shirty Frankenstein monster?

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Yes I can, you guys. Yes I bloody can. Not gonna lie, had no idea what I was doing and was quite sure it was going to end up disastrous. Turns out though, I ended up with the best fit I’ve had from a shirt. Ever.

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To make the monster, I used:

Tilly and the Buttons Rosa neckline and collar, because those are the shiz. Rosa is a rad pattern, but has two yokes and front and back princess seams. I didn’t want to chop my foxes.

McCalls 6696 for the bust dart and all round bust fit, as well as the armscye and sleeves. That dress never lets me down at the bust, but you know, it’s a dress.

Sewaholic’s Alma blouse for the length and front and back waist darts, as well as the shaping in at the waist. Delicious.

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And there she is, folks. Look at that fit! No gaping at the bust. Those buttons aren’t going anywhere. Ever. My only consideration for next time is that neck and collar region. I think it could be smaller. But I’m not sure where to start with that so maybe I’ll just leave it. It’s so close to perfect.

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Ooh fabric is Cotton and Steel from Hawthorne Threads (it looks to be out of stock, sorry!). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make more of these babies. They are a tip top work shirt. Professional, yet not.

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A Piping Good Time {Sewaholic Alma Blouse}

A month or so ago, I sewed up two pairs of Closet Case Files Carolyn PJs. The first a flannelette pair without piping and the second a quilting cotton pair with piping. I was putting off the piping version because (like all things new to me) I was nervous and whiney and a bit lazy about it. Turns out that it was actually pretty simple and piping makes shit look rad. It’s true. Gives it a bit of something.

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Fast forward to yesterday when I was ummming and uhhhhing over the best way to use my delightful Liberty fabric. Yes, Liberty. Fancy as heck. Actually when it first arrived I wasn’t sure what the big deal was, but after a wash and a press it is so lovely and soft and really nice to sew with. I was contemplating yet another Sudley, but decided in the end that it would be really nice as a Sewaholic Alma and I hadn’t made one in a while. But what would I wear with it, besides jeans? All my skirts are prints. Wardrobe gap! Decided to make what I’d been putting off for a while (because, plain black and maths – yawwwwwn), a box pleated skirt in black sateen. Oh yes.

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Details here:

Sewaholic Alma Blouse from Sew Squirrel

Liberty Lawn from The Remnant Warehouse

Black Sateen from East Coast Fabrics

Piping on rolls was an op shop score.

The skirt was really basic – I just played with pleat width until I could fit the skirt panels into the waistband (15cms x 3). There’s a side zip and a side seam pocket on one side. I made it a couple of inches longer than normal so I can wear it when I’m working. I added piping to the top and bottom of the waistband. web-3185After a tip from one of my FB sewing buddies, I enclosed the raw edge of the waistband facing in satin bias binding instead of folding it under. Not the neatest finish, but a nifty way of getting rid of bulk and not having to worry about catching both sides of the waistband when stitching from one side.

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I’ve made a few Almas, they go together as per the pattern except for a couple of changes – I add an inch or so to the hem as I tend to wear them with jeans and like the extra length and I also omit the zipper because I don’t need it. This time of course, I added the piping and I’m freaking proud of that collar. All the practice is paying off. Oh and the sleeves on this baby are different too, I stole them from a dress pattern. I love that little pleat.

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Hot tips:

A zipper foot works brilliantly for piping.

Pull a bit of cord out of the piping so you can keep it out of your seam allowances. Your sewing machine will thank me.

Pinkers are really great for trimming the seam allowances of the collar to get it turning really nicely.

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All done. I was going to add a little cuff underneath the piping on the sleeves, but I wasn’t sure if it would make it look too much like PJs. Not sure without either, really. I might go back and add it.

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Ok so maybe together they’re a bit matchy, but I love both anyway. And they’re super comfy!

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