Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pattern Review: Sencha!

So I finally got around to doing what every other person with a sewing machine has done, make a Sencha, heck, make any Colette pattern! I was worried about Sencha. To my eye it can be a really cute take on a 20s/30s shirt, but it can also turn into hospital scrubs. I wanted mine to err on the side of cute.

For the fabric I chose a black-and-white lightweight cotton voile from Gorgeous Fabrics. I've decided I need to sew clothes that are washable, no more of this dry cleaning shizz, and the fabric perfectly fit that bill along with being a lot of fun. The print is super cute, and when you actually see the fabric, there are little raised white dots that catch the light. Its almost like having two prints interlaced with each other. It irons like. a. dream. Let's just say I had a disaster project recently and to make matters worse, the fabric didn't take the iron very well. Grrrrrrrrrr.

For the pattern sizing I fell between two sizes and the pattern says to pick the larger size, so I did. The instructions were easy to follow, here are some changes I made on the way.
  • Made the shoulder seam a french seam. I can't stand raw edges and the seam adapted really well to the french seam process.
  • Pulled my hair out trying to figure out a way to finish the side seams. Its different because in the side seam, there's a ninety-degree angle so a french seam or serging is out. I decided to use my regular machine on a narrow zig-zag. Its not the most elegant, but its clean and won't unravel. I know I could pink both these seams, but pinking makes me twitch. Like all over twitching, I do no like pinking.
  • Interfaced the buttons and buttonholes.
Couple things I wish were different and will change next time.
  • There is no fold line for the sleeve. I didn't realize this was going to be a problem until it was. See, you have to fold the sleeve over after sewing everything together and folding a proper straight line after the fabric is twisted and sewn is not easy. Just quickly marking a straight line before making the arm hole would save a little grief. I could be getting a little crazy about the straightness of my armhole fold, who knows....
  • Whoopsie-balls. I put my buttonholes a bit further away from the center edge than the pattern calls for. But then again, the pattern didn't make this clear, I found this out of the Sencha forum on the Coletterie.
  • I started the first buttonhole at the neck too far down.
Now the real problem. This shirt was wayyyy tooooo bigggg for me.  I decided this pattern would be pretty easy to alter after the fact which is why I didn't make a muslin and went ahead and finished the whole thing before thinking of any changes. It fit well across the bust, back, and shoulders, but was too wide for my waist and veered into scrubs territory. Removing most of the back tucks and then extending them up to the top of my waist as darts made for an easy change and a great fit!

Great fit at the back, but that first button is way too low.

I really really love this shirt and I can see more fitting well into my wardrobe. I've already tried it with a bunch of clothes already in wardrobe rotation and it even transitions well into fall so I can wear it for a long time! Woohoo! New shirt! Great shirt!

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