Belcarra and the weirdness of flowers

 Belcarra side

When Sewaholic released the Belcarra pattern I wasn’t that interested at first and I didn’t rush to order it. But it did stick in my mind and I saw versions that I liked here and here and as I was thinking about building up more separates that work together it kept coming back to me as an ideal woven top. Then it became available as a PDF and I went for it – I donwloaded it almost immediately and set to work!

I chose a lovely viscose print at Abakhan – it is no longer on the website but this one is a good alternative. It feels like a very lightweight and super drapey lawn, it is very soft but not too slippery when I sewed it up. I went for a size 4 for the top – grading out to a 6 below the waistline. As it was a loose fitting top I didn’t bother to muslin and cut straight into my lovely new fabric.


I decided to use a flat fell seam for the shoulder seam lines to make them stand out a little bit – you can just see the seam above. My first attempt was shockingly wonky but they got better! I used french seams for the sides and shoulders. I found attaching the cuff to the sleeve quite fiddly and I didn’t get it completely right – since then I have seen the sewalong instructions for this step which make it a lot clearer.

Once I was ready to hem I decided that it was actually a bit longer than I wanted – I don’t tend to wear tops that have that mid-hip length – I either go for tunics which are below hip level or tops that end above hip level. So I cut about three inches off the bottom and did a (not very) narrow hem.

belcarrafrontSo how was my first attempt? I found the neckline was slightly wider than I was comfortable with – when I have worn it I have found myself adjusting it a lot over my bra straps. After I had made it I found that Caroline had posted a way to make the neckline  narrower as part of the sewalong. I also think I could have gone down a size or that alternatively I could try an SBA – an FBA is covered in detail in the sewalong and the notes refer to a really useful tutorial which Christine Haynes posted for the Emery sewalong.  I have found this adjustment has really helped on a couple of recent makes. When I compare the fit I have to other completed versions then I feel as if I have a small amount of excess fabric at the bust.


Finally – and most weird reaction of all – although I absolutely love the print, it has really taken some getting used to! When I worked through Wardrobe Architect I idenitifed that I wear a lot of solid colours – although I do like to wear prints they tend to be larger abstract prints and usually as a print skirt with a solid top. I just don’t go for flowery prints on tops and I actually felt a bit odd wearing it at first. I love the colours so much though that I am wearing it a lot anyway and getting used to the flowery print!


I have now made another a size smaller in a slightly less drapey cotton print and I have plans for a third in a pale grey mystery fabric – I can see this being a real TNT pattern.

Has anyone else tried this pattern and how did you find it?




7 Comments Add yours

  1. Carolyn says:

    This looks great! I love the seam detailing, and I think the flower print looks nice on you! It’s good to step out of your comfort zone sometimes. If you wear it a few times and decide it’s just not for you, at least you learned something in the process. 🙂


    1. mrszandstra says:

      Thank-you! I found it really odd that I had such a reaction, I love the print so much – the colours are really vibrant but I felt uneasy when I first wore it and it took me a little while to work out why. It’s such a great basic top though that I have been wearing it a lot – its good for work and weekends. I’m actually making another floral blouse now so I must be getting acclimatised!


  2. Sarah says:

    Love your blouse and so good to meet you in person at Minerva’s do! Hope you & your sister had a good time. Sarah @ Sew Drastic


    1. mrszandstra says:

      Thank-you! It was really good to meet you too – how are you getting on with all the fabric you got that day?



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