Camas Blouse

I loved this pattern as soon as I saw it, and bought it immediately–well over a year ago, according to my email records. I even printed it out and put the pdf together right away. But I lost momentum and sort of forgot about the pattern for two reasons: first, I wasn’t sure what would be the best way to adjust the pattern to fit me, and second, I wasn’t confident enough in my sewing and was pretty sure I’d screw up the placket.

Thread Theory Camas Blouse

I pulled the pattern out again last month when Thread Theory hosted a Camas Sew-Along. I didn’t actually manage the “sew-along” part, but I read all of the tutorials and found they addressed all of my concerns with the pattern. And now that I’ve finally finished this shirt, I love it. It’s definitely not perfect, but I still think this is probably the nicest thing I’ve sewn for myself so far.

Thread Theory Camas Blouse

(By the way, the tank top I’m wearing under my Camas in these picks is super “grabby” so the shirt doesn’t look as sleek as it can. I have a much nicer cami that I’ve worn under this when I’ve worn it to work that results in a much smoother look, but it was in the laundry due to an unfortunate Moroccan Stew dribbling incident. Regardless, the neckline of this shirt is pretty low, although the sew-along has instructions for raising the neckline if desired.)

For this shirt, I started with the size 16 and blended out to an 18 for the hips. Then I added an inch of length to both the body and the sleeves.  I also did an FBA following the method described in the sew-along, adding an inch of width to the fronts in the middle of the section that would be gathered into the yokes. This adjustment was really easy to make and works nicely to maintain the silhouette of the shirt. I think 1″ is about the upper limit of what I would add to this pattern–the fronts were pretty densely gathered for me, and I suspect that adding much more width through this method might result in some unflattering “poofing” under the yokes. Also, be careful not to keep the gathering outside of the placket seam allowance. My gathering got caught in the placket seamline on one side and that side doesn’t lay as nicely (although that’s not going to keep me from wearing this).

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The actual pattern instructions are very clear, but the nice thing about the sew-along is that it gives a couple of different options for constructing different part of the shirt. I constructed the placket following the steps in the pattern instructions, but next time, I think I’ll try the second, more streamlined method described in the sew-along. The construction of the shirt is quick and straight-forward up to the placket. I was worried that the placket would be difficult, but it really just takes a bit of time and care.

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The fabric I used is Dakota Stretch Rayon in Plum. I bought it from Fabric.com, but I don’t think this particular color is available any more. It’s a fluid, drapey fabric so it works well for the gathering details. I used knit interfacing for the yokes and placket, but only interfaced the top layer. My button placket is also fake–I just sewed the buttons through both layers of the placket. The fabric is more than stretchy enough for me to just pull this on, so it didn’t seem worth it to mess around with buttonholes.

Thread Theory Camas Blouse

I’ve got more of this fabric in black and am already planning to use it to make another Camas before the fall semester starts. I love that pattern combines the comfort of knits with some interesting design and construction details. I wish there were more patterns like this.

Jalie 2921

I finished this project a few months ago—either at the end of February or the beginning of March—but it’s clearly taken me a long time to actually get pictures of it. I think part of the reason it took me so long to take photos was because I wasn’t sure how I felt about the style. Honestly, I’m still not completely convinced that this is a style I like on me.

Jalie 2921

(Clearly I have given up on smiling in blog pictures. It’s awkward enough to take modeled shots of the stuff I make. I’m not going to make things more complicated by fighting my resting bitch face.)

The pattern is Jalie 2921, which was very easy to make. I like working with Jalie patterns because so far I’ve found that they are relatively simple to fit to my body. I made this up using some Dakota Stretch Rayon Jersey from Fabric.com that is very soft and drapey, but that has nice recovery so it doesn’t bag out like some rayon jerseys. It’s actually the same base as the fabric I used for my Faded Stripes top, and I just ordered another length of this fabric in a different color.

Jalie 2921 As far as size goes, I started with the size appropriate for my high bust—AA—then blended out two sizes at the armscye to size CC and then blended out to size DD for the hip. I also experimented with doing a length-only FBA, where you add length just to the front piece and then ease the excess length into the back at bust level. It worked okay for this top, and definitely gave me the extra fabric that I need at the front, but I don’t know that I would do it again. I found the easing a bit tricky and I feel like I have to sort of “arrange” the shirt when I first put it on or I end up with weird wrinkles from the bust up.

Jalie 2921

Like I said, I’m still not completely sold on this style. It’s a style that I like in general and like when I see it on other people, but I’m just not sure how I feel about it on me. I know that I definitely will not be tying the scarf part into a bow—I hated the way that it looked on me. I guess I feel like maybe the scarf front is a bit girly or a bit too retro for me? When I first finished it, I thought: okay, maybe this will grow on me. And overtime, that feeling transformed into: ugh, what was I thinking? Why did I make this? But then I tried it on for Aidan and he liked it, and that’s brought me back to feeling like it might grow on me. To be fair, I haven’t really worn this out and about since I finished teaching in April and I default to ultra-casual in my day-to-day. So this won’t get the full test run until I start teaching again in the fall, when I’ll actually need to wear it because my professional wardrobe is shamefully small.

feminist scholar

Maybe if I just try to channel Kathleen Hanna as feminist scholar, then I’ll really start to love it. We’ll see.