Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse


This is the Belcarra blouse from Sewaholics. It’s a very straight-foreward shirt to make, minus the fabric issues I’ll detail later. This fabric is a nice, lightweight cotton that I found in a remnants bin at Nuttal’s. It’s moderately sheer, has a great drape, and enough stretch for a pull over. 


To start, I added a full bust adjustment to the front pattern piece. The pattern size was determined using the high bust measurement, and the bust adjustment was determined by the difference between the high bust, and the full bust. In this case, the difference was 3 inches, but because the pattern represents one half of the body, the bust adjustment was created at one half also, at 1.5 inches.


This pattern did not have a side dart, so I incorporated the extra length created by the bust adjustment into a dart. Without the dart, the front pattern piece would become too long for the back pattern piece. I figured it would be easier, and look better, to add a side dart, rather than adjust the back piece of the pattern.

This pattern has a raglan sleeve, which fooled me when I made the original pattern alterations. I needed to find the bust point, but incorrectly measured from the top of the front pattern piece above, not realizing that the raglan sleeve added more length the overall garment. The result was a bust point that was way too low, and a side dart that was also too low. Luckily, I had enough fabric to make a second front with corrected dart placements.

To correct for this in the future, the length of the raglan sleeve needs to be accounted for, before measuring the bust point. Also, the measurements could be taken from the neckline, and center front, instead of the shoulder. For more information about the full bust adjustment, see my other page, Flannel With a Bust Adjustment

With the pattern alterations in place and the fabric cut (for a second time), the shirt sews together really quickly. I finished all my seams with the serger to keep everything light, and did minimal topstitching.

I got into trouble when it came time to finish the neck. Originally, I followed  the pattern directions, which makes typical folded neckline. I ran into problems with the fabric I was using, because it refused to lay flat.


In the picture above, you can see how the sides of the neck line stick up straight. Unfortunately, they continued to do so, even when ironed and worn. I must have been optimistic when I took the picture above, because I went ahead and serged the neck line on.


Serging is such a pain to unpick.

In the end, I made some bias tape for the neckline, which worked out great. Next time, I’ll skip the frustration, and go straight for the bias tape.


I was worried that I may have ruined the shirt after all the unpicking, and after having lost part of my seam allowance to the serger. Ultimately, the altered neck line was not too damaged, and some 1 inch, bias tape covered everything nicely.  For the next make, I will go straight for the bias tape, and skip any potential hassle.


Ignore the crease,  it just needs an iron.






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