Melissa Lim reviews the lovely pattern Sencha by local pattern maker Colette Patterns. I made this blouse the same weekend as Melissa, out at the beach, and found it also to be terrific and straight forward. I did the suggested hand sewing by machine, using a blind hem stitch, and it came out nearly invisible.
I spent last weekend's rainy Sunday sewing up the Sencha blouse, one of five new patterns from local company Colette Patterns. I had previously sewn up the Parfait dress, and I'm happy to say that this top has the same easy-to-follow directions.
The pattern still comes in a charming booklet format but with more of a modern look and includes instructions, a glossary, a space for notes, and the tissue pattern tucked in the back. There are three variations of this blouse: version one snaps in the back, version two has neck tucks and buttons up the back, and version three has a keyhole neck with ties and also buttons up the back. All three versions have deep tucks in the front and back that provide flattering shaping and make the blouse look good tucked in or not.
I chose to make version three and I used the Baby Bouquet voile from the Little Folks collection by Anna Maria Horner. This blouse is a great project for beginners–as I mentioned earlier, the directions are very clear and easy-to-follow–and reinforces the use of basic sewing skills. The most time-consuming parts were pinning and sewing the tucks and handsewing the hems of the sleeves and the button plackets. Of course, you could just machine sew the sleeves and plackets, but I think the handsewing adds a nice vintage touch to the overall look.
I didn't make any modifications to the pattern. The only thing to note is that in version three, when you are attaching the ties, the directions say to center them over the small circles above the keyhole neck. However, there were no circles marked on that front pattern piece. It was easy enough to just center each tie on the straight edges of the neckline.
I love the retro styling of the blouse and how it closes in the back. The pattern is simple enough that you can easily add your own embellishments to customize it. I'm already plotting to make another version of this blouse using one of the pretty new Liberty prints that just arrived at Bolt.