Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Alma ~ Sewaholic

Ah, a beautiful Alma, all for myself!  I took a break from kid sewing to make a little something for myself.  I actually have 1 thing planned for K this next go around and the rest is all for me! :D  Yes! (I updated my to-do list tab at the top if you are interested in seeing what I have lined up for myself)

Back to the Alma.
I've admired every one of these cute tops that popped up on patternreview.com
I figured I'd give it a go because I'm totally a pear shaped gal and Sewaholic tailors to my shape.

The Alma came in a cute envelope with very nice instructions on white paper.  I liked that I could see the words without resorting to my glasses.  Am I too used to Burda and Ottobre that I forgot how thin the pattern tissue paper is? Holy cow I was so terrified I was going to rip it the whole time I traced it.

The instructions are clearly laid out and only on the back side of the sheet so you think it is fast and easy.  Don't be fooled though!   There are multiple things to do within each step. I was very disappointed in the zipper explanation "sew invisible zipper on left side." Um. ok. new to me and that is all I get?  I resorted to using my "Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing" from like 1974 or something.  It was perfect in picture and explanation.  I did have to unpick the zipper two freaking times before getting it right.  Honestly, I didn't know to iron/push over the coils on the darn zipper before sewing it.  It was my first time! but after I tried to zip it to no avail, it was like a light bulb.  Once I knew how the thing worked I understood what I was doing wrong.

It comes with sizes 0-16. My measurements put me exactly at a 10 (shocking that I wasn't in between sizes!).  I cut and sewed an 8 because others on PR were saying it was a little large.   I used 2 yards of 44" wide fabric for View A.  Pattern calls for exactly that. I also used a 12'-14" invisible zipper - it was all wal-mart had and shortened it.  I'm sure I ended up with a 12" zipper in the end.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to use the belt or not.  With the floral fabric the belt gets a bit lost but in this picture below I kind of like it

(my funny stiff pose and the 3 onlooking stuffed animals in the back.  It was washing day for them so they are hanging out on the freezer to air dry - K sleeps with all of them... sigh and 4 mami's *blankets*)


I followed all directions.  I like how things were laid out.  I did change the interfacing/facing though.  I used this cute technique here where you sew the interfacing on to the facing right sides together (fusible side up), and then flip it and then iron it on.  It makes such a nice neat edge!


Also, Step 11, make sure to catch the ends of the sleeve caps in when you first sew the binding on; I also clipped the binding raw edge before flipping it inside after trimming the seam.  Other changes: square shoulder adjustment to front/back bodice as well then as to the facings.  Added 1" in length to the bodices.  Sloped 1/2" out of back bodice and facing because I hate back neck gaping.

(inside view - see nice clean neck facing)

Fabric: 2 yards of a cute floral I have no idea when/where I got it.  I know it's cotton - it is soft but not lawn or voile.  I think it *might* have been a Mill End find for $3.95/yard.

(inside view at sleeves)

Outcome: LOVE IT! So cute.  This is unlike anything in my closet.  I usually wear knits so I like how different it is.  The sleeve caps are a tad restricting but it is manageable. I would like to try it in a cotton with a bit of stretch, maybe even a sateen? I'm thinking cobalt blue with the belt added on too.  I'd also like to try it in a seersucker and/or lawn. Oh the possibilities!

(is there a zipper in there?)  

 (yes there is!)

Changes for next time:
 figure out why there are folds from bust to side of hip.  Maybe too tight on hip? Maybe from swayback pooling in back?
address the swayback - can't ignore it in this shirt.

(address swayback)

(bust to side of hip folds)

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~


  1. This is soo pretty! I really do love a simple cotton blouse and this one has nice details as well as a nice shape. I'm not an expert (ha!) but I wonder if only darts would solve the "folds" in the lower front bodice. I bet if it was looser at the hips, the pooling would disappear (I say that because it seems you could get rid of it by pulling down on the fabric.) Although a fisheye dart-type removal (as in a swayback adjustment) would probably remove it, too.

    Anyway, I do think it looks good as is!

    1. Joy! you are so smart :) When I pull down, those lines do disappear. I actually kept doing it in the mirror before pictures. I will just have to make another one with bigger hip room ;-) I also will keep in mind the dart-only as well.

  2. Your top is really cute and in a very relaxing color!

    1. Thank you Dorothy! I love the relaxing colors :-)

  3. The top is so cute and the fabric is really pretty!! Great job on the zipper too!

  4. I love the fabric you used--it's so soft and feminine looking!

    1. Thanks Shirley Ann :) It is not my typical look lol.

  5. Really flattering on you! Thanks for linking up!

  6. Your new top is sooo pretty. Lovely pattern and fabric combination!

  7. I love your idea of sewing the interfacing and then flipping it to create a nice edge--gathering up tips before I embark on my own Alma! (Very lovely shirt, too!)

    1. Thanks Nicole! I can't wait to see yours :D I've already ordered 2 more pieces of fabric for 2 more of these... addicting!

  8. I am having the hardest time with my zipper in this shirt! I ended up shortening it to the point on the blouse where the curve goes back out from the waist. When I had it the full length, sewing in that curve was not looking very smooth. Maybe my fabric is too light with the heavier zipper? I can still slip it on with the very short zipper, but I'm disappointed that I couldn't manage it the way it is supposed to be. Of course I have yet to put in the sleeves, so I hope that isn't a game changer where I won't be able to put it on at all.

    1. Oh Shirley :( That stinks. I'm trying to remember if I had issues or not. I made this twice now and I remember it was easier to put into the stiffer cotton woven here - the challis version I made, the zipper was a bit wavy in the seam. I did use interfacing each time when putting it in and maybe that helped?
      I had a fun time popping my shoulder out each time I tried my muslin on with no zipper at all! I sure hope you can still get it on with the zipper.
      Be careful with the sleeves if you do the cap ones - follow the marks. :D I had to unpick the whole darn thing on both sides with my challis one because they were off kilter. Sigh.
      I sure wish we lived closer sometimes - it would be so much easier to help each other in person!! (Plus we seem to sew a lot of the same things!) lol. Good luck Shirley!

    2. Thanks Kristin. My fabric is super light weight, so it probably doesn't help. It was given to me and so beautiful. I tried making a muslin first, but didn't put the zipper in it because I just pinched the side seam closed once I had it on. Maybe that wasn't the brightest idea. I have done zippers in muslin and it is a pain to rip it back out. I guess I was feeling time restricted. I'll have to definitely interface the seam before putting the zipper in...thanks! I was making the short sleeved version, which won't help getting it on any better with the snug fit. My husband told me to finish it (I was going to trash it--ha ha) but maybe after my final surgery, it will fit better I hope. I shouldn't be trying to make fitted tops right now anyway, but I'm growing impatient with that. LOL

    3. Oh, and I have already thought the same thing!! If only we lived closer, wouldn't that be fun! Our kids are nearly the same age. I have never lived near anyone who sewed, not even family. That was the reason I started my blog and because of boredom and isolation of living in a foreign country and being home alone mostly. LOL It gave me a connection with people who do the same thing. It really has been a lot of fun.


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