Selfish Sewing Week: Belcarra Blouse

Argh! Selfish Sewing Week was last week – yes I realise! I did sew this top last week, I just couldn’t manage to get it photographed and blogged until today.

It’s the Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse – a pretty straightforward raglan sleeve top for woven fabrics. I used rayon for this version – I’m a big rayon fan, it’s not difficult to sew with, feels nice to wear and is easy to look after.

Belcarra 2

Belcarra 4

I made a few small changes to the pattern. I left off the sleeve cuff that comes with the pattern and instead used my narrow hem foot to finish. The pattern calls for a deep hem, but given my height (5’10”), I used a smaller 2cm hem. I also added about 3cms in length to the pattern when I cut it out – just to make sure it wouldn’t be too short.

This is a size 8 graded out to a 10 at the hips. I could have gone more fitted than this and I may do in future, especially for work tops. The floral fabric in this top makes it casual or dressy, so I think the looser fit is ok. There is a great sew-along on the Sewaholic website, including options to narrow the neckline if you don’t want to be worrying about your bra straps peeping out. If I was making this top purely for work, I think I would definitely go that route.

Belcarra 1

Belcarra 3

I love this fabric sooooo much! In fact I may have gone back to the fabric store and bought the rest of the bolt (another 3.5m). A whole wardrobe of floral on navy….. why not??!

Some outtakes with my trusty assistant.

Belcarra 7

Belcarra 5


Did you manage to blitz Selfish Sewing Week? I hope yours was more productive than mine!


My perfect dress – the Sewaholic Saltspring

Wow, this dress seems to have taken me forever. I have been dreaming and scheming for the last two months since this pattern was released and so many lovely versions of this dress have been popping up. I was taking this project pretty seriously, so I took my first visit to Tessuti fabrics in Melbourne – no discount fabric store for my beloved imaginary Saltspring! Of course, Tessuti did not disappoint and I came home with the fabric for not one but two Saltsprings – sooooo much beautiful fabric, impossible to stop at one! I took my inspiration from Kim’s version here, Beccy’s version here and of course Abbey’s 3 versions, one of which is here.

saltspring 1 saltspring 4

I love the swooshiness (is this a word??) of the voile, it screams summer to me. Of course I’m just a bit excited that summer is slowly but surely making it’s way to our part of the world and soon it will be warm enough to wear such light fabrics. I named this my perfect dress because I love maxis and this one has the perfect combination of dressiness and practicality (i’m a mum of small children after all)! The ‘perfect’ component of this dress is the lovely pattern – not my sewing!!

saltspring 3

Some details: the cotton/silk voile is called ‘Light Refreshments’, but it appears that Tessuti no longer have it in their online store. Due to the weight of the fabric, I lined both the bodice and the skirt in an off-white rayon. The pattern instructions cover lining the bodice, however, if you check out the Sew-Along on the Sewaholic website and there is a post on lining the skirt. The Sew Along is invaluable and is packed with photos and detailed instructions on each step of the dress’ construction. I sewed a size 10 as per my measurements and I added my usual 10cms or so to the length of the skirt (I’m 5’10”). I decided to leave the pockets off because my fabric is so light, however, I do love pockets so I’m not sure that that was the right decision!?!

I took the advice of Amy at Sew Well when she noted that she could easily get her dress on and off without the zipper. I chose to leave the zipper out and can easily get my dress on and off without it. I can also get the dress on and off without untying the straps, so if you are of the small bust persuasion like me and were thinking of making your straps as one piece instead of having ties then you can do that and still leave the zipper off.

If you want to leave the zipper off, you can cut your back bodice and skirt pieces on the fold, instead of as two pieces. If you do this, be sure to hang the pattern piece over the fold to the equivalent of the seam allowance which you don’t need (see the photo below).


One more photo of swooshiness – ahhhh this dress makes me very happy 🙂 Be sure to check back for version 2 coming soon!

saltspring 2