A few months ago Capital Chic released their first collection. The Bellini blouse was one of the patterns I really liked (along with the Champagne and Manhattan skirts), this blouse has a really clean simple design with no darts to break up prints at the front. I was very tempted to make one as I have tried a number of patterns for woven tops this summer – Belcarra, Sorbetto and Mimi, but life and making other things got in the way so I didn’t get round to it.
Then Sally started a sew-along for the Bellini and after seeing the posts start to come up in my reader I had visions of a lovely crisp blouse and I decided to download the pattern and get cracking.
I got lucky with fabric in Abakhan and I picked up two pieces. The first was a fairly lightweight white cotton with an overprinted white border. The border pattern isn’t very obvious in the pictures (which had to be taken indoors in artificial light due to time constraints and aren’t brilliant…) so you will just have to take my word for it that I matched it up pretty well along the front!
I also got a slightly thicker blue cotton with thin white stripes and I am very proud of the matching across the collar and down the button band. This fabric looks suspiciously similar to the blue and white print cotton Sally used for the sew-slong but I prefer to think of it as inspired by rather than copied in a weird stalker way! I thought one fabric could be a muslin but in fact the first attempt fit perfectly so I now have two very lovely versions.
I was going to cut a size 12 at the bust grading to a 14 at the waist but as my measurements were kind of inbetween I went for a 14 all over and I think that was the right decision as it fits pretty well across the chest and a 12 might have been a little snug.
I found the written instructions were clear but brief and the sew along instructions were incredibly detailed – lots of pictures and videos – so much help on things like sewing french seams and pressing seams. Attaching the collar and facings is a bit tricky as you have lots of layers to line up and the sew-along went through this step by step which was really easy to follow. I have done a few collars and facings now and I went very slowly and carefully on these bits to get everything looking even on both sides – I have some wonky collars on previous makes and I think that getting those details wrong can really make something look obviously home-made. The pattern is beautifully drafted and comes together exactly as the instructions suggest (so your rolled hem really does match the bottom edge of the facing when it is finished and the collar does end up in the right spot)
I am so pleased with my two finished tops and I think they will get a lot of wear – Sally used the Bellini for OWOP and it really is a versatile top.
Have you tried any Capital Chic patterns yet and have you joined the sew-along?