I am going to give a quick spoiler and say I love the Belcarra Blouse by Sewaholic! Continue reading my Belcarra Blouse Review to see why…
This blouse has a similar look to a blouse I purchased and really like (but it is slightly too big, and made from a kind of weird polyester that is not comfy when it’s super hot out – which North Carolina is HOT in the summer). Originally, I was going to try to trace the pattern and make it smaller, but honestly – that was not going to happen anytime soon and I wanted a shirt to wear this summer. So, when I saw this blouse came in a PDF, and was on sale for just under $10, I had to go for it!
Pattern: Belcarra Blouse by Sewaholic. I used the PDF version of the pattern and I made view A.
Fabric: lightweight 100% cotton
Sizing: I discovered from this pattern that I am not a pear shape, which is what Sewaholic designs for.
I was a 16 in the bust, 12 in the waist, and 10 in the hip. I had seen an awesome Madras version on Meg’s blog where she mentioned she went down a size and used the finished measurements to find the size that gave her 2 inches of ease. I made the same choice, and cut a straight size 14. The fit looks pretty good in the chest and waist, but I did take it in around the hips – probably to about a 12.
I must admit that about halfway through making this shirt, I had one of those making moments when you question every decision you’ve made associated with a project. As in, maybe I should have made a muslin? Did I cut out the right size? Why did I make this with good fabric that cost $15 a yard? In my case, I had a major doubt about what size I cut out. I actually took the shirt with only the shoulder seams sewn into the bathroom, where I was pinching the seams to try and tell if it would fit around my chest or not. Thankfully, the finished sizes on the pattern were correct, and my chest did fit into the shirt!
Fabric Used: According to the pattern, a size 14 View A shirt should take between 2-2 1/4 yards of fabric (depending on width). I was able to cut it out of less than 1.5 yards. I did piece together the neck binding, but that doesn’t show so I didn’t care that it had an extra seam. Maybe it’s my quilting background that makes me a ninja at maximizing fabric usage?
Instructions: This blouse is fairly simply to construct, but any questions I would have had were answered in the sew-along. The instructions and photos in the sew-along made this easy. The finishes on this project are awesome. I felt like an amazing seamstress while I was making this. The pattern pieces have the seam allowance printed on them, which is a nice touch.
Pattern Issues: I had a little bit of odd fabric that had to be eased in when sewing the sleeves to the front piece. It was not excessive, and that edge is on the bias, so it is possible it stretched (but I was super careful not to move that fabric, so who knows?) The neck is also wide. Bra choice will have to be considered when I wear this.
Fabric Choice: This pattern recommends lightweight cotton, which is what I used, and it is great. It is going to be so comfortable to wear this summer.
Finished Product: I love how this shirt turned out! It is going to be in heavy rotation this summer.
Using as scrap – wearable inside the house – wearable outside the house – wearing outside the house and will proudly say I made it
Husband’s opinion: The first thing my husband said when he saw it (about halfway through construction) was that it didn’t look handmade, which I take as a compliment 🙂
Final Thoughts: I may try narrowing the neck on my next version because it does occasionally show my braw strap. I will definitely grade down to a 12 in the hips. I’m still debating whether or not to try doing a 12 with a FBA. I think it could potentially fit slightly better, but this one fits fine. We’ll see how motivated I get before I make my next one… and there will be a next one!
Linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, and Sewing Saturdays at Simple Simon & Co.
I also entered this in the New to Me Indie Pattern Contest at The Monthly Stitch.