In which yours truly gives some pointers on the path to completing the Sencha blouse

Hey all!  Last week I showed you my new Sencha blouse so this week I thought I might share with you some ideas for getting the Sencha Top pattern from Colette Patterns to fit.  Additionally if you would like to use your muslin as a pattern and/or add French Seams throughout (great for very light fabrics), I’ve covered those as well.  Now this could make for a very dull post indeed (particularly if you have no intention of making a Sencha blouse) so I’m sharing my tips with you in a pdf document!


**Edit:  French Seaming this blouse is not totally straightforward- but it can be done with a little rearrangement of the steps.  If you’d like to French Seam your Sencha then do grab a copy of the tips and tricks document- there’s a step by step section right in there.**


Grey Sencha Blouse from Colette Patterns side view

“When I started fitting my Sencha using a muslin I was a bit stymied.  I turned to sewing blogs to help and encountered similar fit problems to my own muslin’s- my fit problems were:

  • A very high neckline- this is part of the beauty of the blouse but it needed to be more comfy around my throat!
  • vertical fabric lines dropping down the back- an indication of too much room at the back
  • horizontal fabric crease lines across the bust- an indication of too little room in the front around the arms and/or bust
  • the armholes just felt too tight”

You can click here to grab your own copy  of Tips for Sewing Your Sencha Top

So guys, since this is a first for us let’s just say I’d really welcome kind feedback- feel free to drop me a line!

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In Which A Bit of an Enthusiast Engages in Social Sewing

Hello chickens!  It’s Monday but here in the UK we’re lucky to have a holiday, hurrah!  So we’re celebrating with friends, a roast din din and pie.  The start of the weekend was pretty good too- my sister in law and I cooked up a plan to get her new-but-mostly-untried sewing machine in action by making a beginners’ skirt pattern by her, for her, with guidance from yours truly.  I was so proud of her!  She went to the fabric shop and got everything she needed after a flurry of messages about what to get, how to ask etc.  Which made me all the more aware of how handy Tilly’s tips in her book about going into fabric joints are!  That lovely book may well be winging its way to Anna at some point…

Well, my devious plan to get her interested in garment sewing seems to be a success!  A full day of measuring, cutting, marking, sewing, pressing, pressing and more pressing (got to get those important details in, right?) and we finally finished late but happy.  The smiles wreathing her face as we neared the finish line were truly wonderful.  Such a great feeling helping others learn a skill!  I found it really interesting seeing how confidently she was machining by the end and- and!- I received a message and piccy the following day: “Hem is complete and pressed (obviously ;0)), thank you soooo much, I had such a great day!”.  Well now!  The pressing message clearly got through hahaha.  Do we have a convert???

Here’s my muslin.  Not terribly interesting but it was a good exercise to practice before I trialled it on someone else!

Sewaholic Hollyburn Muslin

The pattern: the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt (my muslin)

Here we are with smiles and the finished article (without hem quite yet although it has acquired one since).  And POCKETS!

Finished Hollyburn Skirt


You still with me?   Because last weekend I did the opposite- I was the student at a lovely class I was so very lucky to receive from my mumma as a gift.  That lady is an enabler!!  Well, she bought me a class with the legendary Chinelo (from Sewing Bee).  It was the Maxi Dress free cutting class in Canning Town- and I loved it!  I must say I do love meeting groups of people so this is my sort of thing but add into that some sewing and I was in seventh heaven.

I adored the experience of learning a bit of free cutting- this is a technique where you use measurements and make the garment in your head into reality without the use of a pattern.  No draping involved, no paper, just your bod, your tape measure, scissors, chalk, iron and machine.  It was really freeing not needing all the paraphenalia that we associate with a sewing hobby.  This is simple stuff- you need to learn it for it to become simple- but I really enjoyed it.

Maybe one day I’ll find a course and learn the ins and outs properly as I would put this class in the category of taster sesh- I replicated the bodice based on my notes and memory but I wouldn’t be able to just throw my scissors at fabric and make some of the awesome creations Chinelo manages quite yet!  She really is smart- I loved the whole experience.  Thank you to Chinelo and the other lovely participants I met- please ladies start some micro blogging so we can keep in touch hehe!   I’m still working on mine- I decided to line the bodice and add some straps and am still working on it around several other projects (but of course!).


Free Cutting with Chinelo Bally


Have you been on any sewing courses you really loved?  Do tell- I may be catching the bug!