Back with something… New? The sorta camas blouse.

Well, it is a new make. Actually, two new makes, but it’s based off a pattern that I have already made once (okay, okay, I’ve made it twice) and now modified, have made it twice more.

This is actually the second of the two tops that I made. But before I get to the top(s) I want to tell you about work. Well, not really work per say, but I happened to have been at work when I was inspired to make this top. I end up at a lot of networking events for work, which means I get to see a lot of different styles on a lot of different people. For someone like me, it’s certainly one of the perks of the job. So, I was at an event and there was a woman who was wearing a long sleeve top that had a very cool twisted front. This of course sent me down the rabbit hole of trying to mentally take it apart and figure out how it was made. To be honest, I might have missed a bit of the conversation that was happening as I was trying to figure out the construction order… But I covered my tracks well enough (in the conversation) and managed to work out a pattern hack I thought would work.

Enter the Thread Theory Camas Blouse. I made this top a few months ago so I can’t quite remember what I did to modify it, but I think I I just extended the front pieces and removed the neckline trim.

This was a meter of silk that I purchased for a dress but never ended up using, so I stuck this in the washer and dryer (tough love) and cut into it. This is actually the wrong side of the fabric, I wasn’t a big fan of the shine of the right side. As I mentioned, this is top two. The first one (seen below) was made of a polyester in a really great print. I loved it so much I decided I needed it in silk. Well, this silk was a beast to work with and it left me a bit jaded with the top itself. I have worn it a few times, but ended up having to hand sewing the front crossover closed. Ask me how I found out the front cross in a silk was too floaty to stay closed; work function.

This was the first one I sewed – I love it! The weight is just perfect; it’s not clingy or staticy, and the drape sits well with just a small stitch to keep the top closed where I want it to sit. I wear this for work, so I kept the neckline modest, but someone could have a lot of fun with this if wearing a bra wasn’t on your list of “things I need to do”.

Got any good pattern hacks? Spaced out in the middle of a conversation because you were trying just a little bit too hard to determine how to make something? Please tell me I’m not the only one…

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Camas Blouse: a Thread Theory Winner

When I was making jeans for my husband, and then myself, I looked at a few different companies to source the different notions I would need/want. One of these companies was Thread Theory, a wonderful company run from Vancouver Island, by an outdoorsy couple (who have an extremely cute pooch). As I was browsing and filling my online shopping cart with jeans kits, I was also adding to it the Jedediah Pants (for him) and the Camas Blouse (for her!). The Camas Blouse is, from what I can tell, the first women’s pattern put out by this company. I really liked the design details and I was interested to see how their patterns fit into my lifestyle.

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I love it.  The pattern, the design, the final product. It’s all very me.

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I actually started off using the most lux of fabrics; a cut of amazingly drapey, yet not see through, bamboo jersey (a lovely gift of a cut of fabric) and some black raw silk (for the yolk), and inky blue light weight silk (for the yolk lining).

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The pattern is a PDF, but I think well worth the hassle of printing, taping, and in my case, tracing. I actually traced the pattern out when I was in the middle of my jeans sewing bender and it was a refreshing change of pace from denim.

Based on shoulder measurements, I cut a straight size 8 and made no alterations (cue fanfare). I followed the directions right up until i got to the front placket. I’m sure the directions as written are great for this section, but I decided that I wanted to assemble the placket first, including trimming, notching and serging the edge of the band before I attached it to the shirt. That way there was a lot less bulk to deal with.

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I sewed the hem of the sleeves and the shirt with just a standard straight stitch. This worked well for me as the bottom is drapey, and the sleeves are loose enough to pull on without needing any stretch. If you like a more fitted sleeve I would recommend either a double needle, zigzag stitch or coverstitch machine as a finish.

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For the second version I used more of my Deer Head Dotty fabric (100% organic cotton) and a 100% Rayon Slub remnant that I think was from Girl Charlee Fabrics. There is a very subtle stripe in the slub that I loosely tried to match up.

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I did also have some fun with converting the gathers into pleats in the front and a box pleat in the back. I think Morgan mentioned doing a blog post about this so keep an eye on their blog.

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I really like the shirt with either the gathers or the pleats and see making this again. I would like to try it in a full woven and will likely play around with this in the next little while. Also something to note, I sewed the buttons right through the placket and didn’t bother to create button holes, so the buttons are completely for show. I find the neckline is more than generous to get this over my head comfortably. The buttons on my first top are from my local chain store, and beige buttons are from my Grandma’s stash that I inherited a few years ago.

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How do you like your tops? With a little deer here and there or straight up classy silks?