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.
So 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?