Hello and welcome to another instalment of Hideous Colour-Blocking from Refashioned Clothes—with your host, Jana! Incidentally, this is also the next episode of Erring on the Side of Overexposure. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Morgan from Thread Theory offered to send me this pattern for free in return for a review. I wasn’t interested in that at first because I wasn’t sure the pattern was very “me” and I don’t like to read blog hops and pattern tours and such myself, so I didn’t want to participate in anything like that. I enjoy genuine pattern testing where my feedback actually improves the final pattern for everyone else, but this was a different thing. When I told Morgan all that, however, she made it quite clear that she wasn’t looking for people to write ads for her new pattern, she basically wanted us to do whatever we would usually do with a pattern we had bought, and post about the experience. Without a strict deadline. I thought that I would scare her away with my ideas of what I’d do, but she said that she was fine with any pattern hacking or whatever I wanted to do. I kinda had to prove to her that I would totally do weird things with her pattern, so here goes …
Okay, now that that is out of the way, let me tell you what I think about this pattern, and my version of it.
The pattern has quite a few pattern pieces for a knit top, but it’s also more interesting than Your Basic T-Shirt. It was fun to put together, everything matched up nicely and the instructions were delightfully easy to follow. Yes, I’m a bit of a Thread Theory fangirl. I don’t like all of their styles (as I said, I don’t really like this one as drafted), but they seem to put a lot of effort into their patterns and instructions, the overall design is lovely and Morgan and Matt are delightful people and very responsive to questions and feedback.
What about the result? Well. I do think that I like it better than I expected to when I first saw the pattern. (Keep in mind that I made some design changes, as detailed below.) I love the back view, and I also really like the sleeves, for some reason. I do not love the front view. I have detailed below what I would change for the next version, if I were to make one. I’m pretty happy with the fit overall, particularly since I haven’t made any fit adjustments at all, but I think that there’s some excess ease around the bust (which is hardly surprising).
This is Thread Theory’s first women’s pattern, the Camas Blouse, in a size 4, graded to a size 6 for the hips.
Once upon a time, there was a huge refashion pile, and on that refashion pile, there were a lot of T-shirts in different sizes and colours. Three of them got together and decided to become a new blouse: one from my boyfriend for the front, one from my brother for the back, and one from my mum for the sleeves.
- I am allergic to gathers, so yeah, it was a little silly to agree to make this pattern in the first place. I did mention my allergy to Morgan, however, and she was totally fine with my changing the most distinct feature of her pattern, so … I changed both the front and back yoke gathers to pleats. I love how the back looks now, but I kinda hate the front pleats, they look all wrong.
I took some of the gathering width out of the centre back because the T-shirt I cut the back piece from wasn’t wide enough for the full piece cut on the fold. I was a little sad about this because a deeper pleat would have been fun, but I was determined not to buy any fabric for this experiment, and this was the largest T-shirt I had on hand.
As mentioned above, I made a size 4, but graded to the size 6 for the hips. My measurement is in between the two sizes, but I hate it when tops are tight around my derrière, so I wanted to make sure this blouse would have enough ease. My T-shirt fabrics don’t have a lot of stretch.
I had to piece together the front plackets. I could have cut them in one piece from the red T-shirt, but I didn’t want the front to be red. The black T-shirts were smaller, so I decided I’d rather piece the plackets at the yoke seam than have red plackets.
I attached the front to the back using the burrito method, as presented in the Grainline Archer Sew-Along. I really don’t like stitching in the ditch.
Having said that, I stitched in the ditch around the plackets rather than topstitching the folded edge. I wanted that topstitching even less than I wanted to stitch in the ditch. It went pretty well, actually, and the result is rather inconspicuous, which is what I was going for.
This isn’t really an adjustment, but I needed a place to mention that I switched the thread colour for the hem. Look at that pretty hem curve!
What I struggled with
I found it a little hard to cut out my size, to be honest, because some of the lines were so close together that I couldn’t tell for sure which was mine. I’m generally a huge fan of PDF patterns and nested sizes are usually a good thing, but for some of the pattern pieces on the Camas Blouse, I would have preferred fewer size lines all on top of each other.
Attaching the plackets was a bit of a pain. I’m not very good at being accurate on knits. The result isn’t perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it.
What I want to do differently next time
I’m not yet sure whether I will make another Camas Blouse, but if I did, I would definitely make some more changes.
I wouldn’t do the front pleats the same way again, they don’t work at all on me. I think that the front would actually look a lot better if it lay flat on my small bust. Next time, I would probably remove the excess width from the front piece so it’s the same width as the front yoke.
I don’t like the curved V-neck on me. I like V-necks, but I prefer them straight. I would have to hack the neckline somehow, and probably also make it a little less deep because as it is … it doesn’t quite work with all of my underwear.
I would attach the front plackets before hemming the blouse, just like I would sew a shirt. I really didn’t like the way the bottom corners were finished in the instructions, they’re not as neat as they should be.
My boyfriend suggested I make a version without the plackets. It would definitely be less work to sew, but if I remove all of the gathers, remove the excess width from the front piece, change the neckline and remove the plackets, there will be nothing left of the original pattern! (:
Somehow I’m tempted to make a version from a woven fabric, either sleeveless or with redrafted sleeves, or probably with frankenpatterned armholes and sleeves from another blouse pattern. I could totally hack this pattern beyond recognition!
Detail photos taken by my mum, with lighting by my dad.