NOT SQUEE OR TWEE… JUST ME… Sewaholic Alma: View B

Sewaholic Alma - not squee or twee... just me

Sewaholic Alma – not squee or twee… just me

I’ve been in love with this fabric ever since I spied it in the deserted rayon fabric corner of Lincraft.

Sewaholic Alma: sneak peek

Sewaholic Alma fabric – I LOVE these birdies

I kept going back and stroking the roll… and not buying it… I eventually realised that I would always regret not buying it once it disappeared and I couldn’t visit it any more. I could only imagine it as a top – with very few seams or darts – so I purchased a metre to soothe the birdie craving.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to make another Alma and it occurred to me that the birdies might work. I love this Sewaholic pattern, I’m not much into fuss and the simplicity of this design really appeals to me, no buttons, no frills, no tucks just a blouse that sits beautifully. I adore my first Alma (how could I not with all the compliments I get when I wear it!) and the love affair looks set to continue!

1204 Sewaholic Alma Envelope Art

1204 Sewaholic Alma – a beautiful versatile blouse

I decided to make View B which is the Peter Pan collar version. It feels a little ‘sweet’ to me so I decided to add a black contrast collar to take down the ‘twee’ factor a notch.

This pattern is a cinch to sew but I took my time. As it is rayon it is a little more ‘flighty’ than an obedient voile or lawn. I cut it out carefully and did the best I could to line up those slightly wonky wires that the birdies are perched upon.

As with my first Alma, I french seamed the shoulders and non-zip side. I even managed to get the fabric lines to match up at the front and back darts.

Sewaholic Alma - the side zipper

Sewaholic Alma – the side zipper

I also used the trick I learnt when I made the MariaDenmark tshirt & Simplicity 1880 – setting in the sleeve flat. How much easier does that make setting in a sleeve!!!

I wore it to work today – paired with my Maria Denmark Yasmin Yoke skirt. This skirt is very simple to make/fit and even has two little pockets. It’s available as a PDF download, and the pattern itself is just 12 pages! I don’t tend to print out the instructions, I read them on Evernote on my iPhone or iPad as I sew to save paper. There is also the benefit of enlarging bits to read! Maria sent me this skirt when she released the pattern – and it’s just taken me ages to photograph it (sorry Maria!). I whipped up two of these skirts over two nights – and I made this black one from the leftovers from my Sewaholic Thurlows. It’s very easy to fit. You sew the front and back and then pin the sides together and take in as necessary before you sew the side seams.

Sewaholic Alma - work blouse

Sewaholic Alma – as a work blouse. I’ve paired this with Maria Denmark a-line Yasmin Yoke skirt! Photo by my daughter!

I’ve also made the Yasmin Yoke skirt in a burgundy ‘butter suede’ (whatever synthetic concoction that is!). So will need to photograph that too sooner or later! This skirt can be made in two lengths – as usual I favoured the ‘hussy’ length version 🙂

Slight Mishap

Despite being so careful in the making of this Alma, I botched the collar.

Like Sew {MM} when I added the facings to the neckline, I flipped them over to discover that the collar did not meet perfectly in the middle. I decided I could live with it. I even bought buttons to sew in the little gap to make it look deliberate.

Then we had a family trip to Sydney and on the way home I decided I could not live with it after all. I just felt as the collar was such a strong contrast to the rest of the top it was just too ‘obvious’ any attempt to disguise it would just look like a botched job.

Even though I had trimming back the neckline seam allowances, I unpicked about two-thirds of the front neckline. I ran a gathering stitch across the blouse body neckline I had unpicked. I used this to pull the neckline in just a tiny bit, re-basted the collar back onto the blouse, re-attached the facings and hey presto collar perfect! If I make this version of Alma again I will definitely be running that row of gathering stitches around the neckline before attaching the collar and facings.

I should have taken photos of the botched job but I had been sucked into a black hole of sewing pain & dilemma and could not think of anything else but my collar!! Sorry!

I’m really pleased with this ‘fix’ as you can’t tell that there is any gathering at all – it is very minor. And it saved the birdies from a fate worth than death… the rag bag!!


Sometimes it’s better to just get up and walk away from the sewing machine when something goes wrong. Leave it for a few days but don’t give up on a problem. Sometimes the solution will pop into your head when you least expect it. Just let it happen don’t let the frustration or disappointment overwhelm you. Remember it’s a hobby not a life/death scenario. 🙂


I’m really happy with this blouse. I feel like I’ve somehow blended ‘twee & squee’ and come up with something that is very ‘me’.

Sewaholic Alma - not squee or twee

Sewaholic Alma – not squee or twee. Picture taken late in the afternoon – light not so good!

Marie of A Sewing Odyssey
Alma Blouse: pattern from Sew Squirrel (no postage charge to Aussie stitchers!!). Fabric: rayon blend from Lincraft. Size 0
Maria Denmark Yasmin Yoke Skirt: Pattern available on Craftsy. Fabric from Lincraft – leftovers from my Sewaholic Thurlows.
Vogue 1247 skirt: Blogged about here.

Made-by-me family

Made-by-me family. Me in Vogue 1247 skirt & Alma blouse. LIttle Miss in her confirmation dress that I made/designed.


86 thoughts on “NOT SQUEE OR TWEE… JUST ME… Sewaholic Alma: View B

  1. Love this! Saw that fabric at Lincraft too but didn’t need to add to the stash.
    Cool that you figured out the collar… I didn’t fix mine but when I make another I’ll refer to this post. cheers for the shout out!

    • I made a size 0 with no alterations. I think the drape of this fabric makes the fit a breeze to. The b/w is very versatile. I’ve worn it with a casual denim skirt and a black work skirt.

  2. Love it and I love the Alma pattern too (despite messing up the sizing completely and making an enormous top that I can’t wear – I know it’s a winner because I want to make it again).

  3. I have major fabric envy! I wonder if I can find that fabric in a Melbourne lincraft store. Beautiful Alma, well done especially with the collar (and the patience to have a second go at it)

  4. Lovely top! Such a cute print, and the skirt looks like a great pattern too. I am thinking I might need an alma in my wardrobe.

  5. I love this version so much! The fabric is gorgeous – really simple but just… Perfect really! The collar is a great contrast and suits you.
    I love that photo of you and your daughter at the very end too.

    • I thought I might be overwhelmed with the collar but I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. I’ve worn it twice already!
      I love that picture too, just a random family moment.

  6. They look like magpies to me, love the print – and I am having a love affair with rayon at the moment. Great lining up of the wires, and I agree, walking away and taking a breather does wonders for your sewing!

  7. I’ve always found rayon to have a lovely drape and this beautiful blouse reinforces my finding. Fab work with matching up the telegraph wires! (Isn’t that what the birds are perching on?) And I really like the photo credit to your daughter – the angle is different from that on photos taken by your ELH, so we get a different appreciation. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rayon is definitely beautiful to work with. I’m in love with it but its quite hard to find unfortunately.
      I thought I should include Zoe’s picture, they usually end up blurry – however I’ve taught her to look through the viewfinder rather than the digital screen and that has steadied her hand a lot!

  8. The fabric is lovely, and is perfect for this blouse. I enjoyed your “what I learnt” too – remember it’s a hobby not a life/death scenario!! I am just starting out on my dressmaking adventure and find your blog very inspiring – thank you 🙂

    • So pleased you are starting out on a dressmaking adventure. I only started sewing again this year and I’ve found I’ve learnt a lot about myself (and sewing) in the process, it’s such a rewarding journey!

  9. My question about the Alma is – the sewaholic patterns say they’re designed for pear-shaped women, but I’m hourglass. So I am loath to try them and discover I have to do a major refit to get to fit my bust. Any feedback on that that might help me decide if it’s worth trying or not?

    Oh and by the way, I can totally understand why you had to get that fabric. And you’ve made such a lovely top from it!

    • I would check the sizing charts against your measurements. I’m not pear shaped really, more of a minute glass, but most Sewaholic designs suit me. I found the trousers more difficult to fit but with the dresses and tops, hips are not really an issue. If your bust is very different to your waist you could just grade between the sizes.
      Sewaholic patterns are really well drafted and I often think it’s the design and shapes that Tasia chooses that flatter a pear-shaped figure, ie drawing the eye upwards, creating a wider neckline, broadening the shoulders to minimize the look of the hips – if that makes sense.
      I’m making the Lonsdale dress next. I’m addicted to this pattern designer!

  10. The fabric is lovely…the blouse is so pretty. Sweet like you shared. I have been eyeing this pattern for awhile, but I’m holding off, until I make up my mind on what kind of blouses I want to make 🙂

  11. I love everything about this, the fabric, the style, and how it looks on you. Isn’t it great when everything comes together so well? I think no one will ever notice the collar, I didn’t, and have you actually ever bought anything RTW that didn’t have some eccentricities? Great job!

  12. OK…I think this is the top that just finally knocked me out of my two year sewing (unintended) sewing hiatus. I love it! and your wonderful blog too. I live in California, 20 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, and still you’ve got me fantasizing about packing up my Elna, the cat and my honey bunch and moving to Australia to sew. (I haven’t shared this little fantasy with the cat and the honey bunch, it would seriously freak them out 😉 )

    • LOL they might think it’s a fabulous idea!
      Alma is a great place to start sewing again, it’s easy to make up and I know some stitchers have omitted the zip, depends how much ease you have in the top. So glad you enjoy the blog, it’s lovely to get that feedback. 🙂 let me know how your sewing goes!

    • Come to think of it I’m pretty sure the inspiration came from you! I must update the post with that!! Isn’t it funny, you end up with so many patterns, fabrics and blog posts in your head you can’t remember where the original idea got started! 🙂

  13. This looks so cute on you! Birdies!! I’m glad you fixed the collar. I had the same issue with my Banksia top, and couldn’t quite stand to leave it, so I actually redrafted a new collar… which somehow ended up TOO BIG… so I redrafted ANOTHER collar. Perfection!

  14. I am so glad you bought that fabric. the blouse is gorgeous! 🙂 Love magpies and blackbirds! Really suits you and the lining up of the wires is very clever!
    I hope I find a similar black and white bird fabric here as it looks so nice with the contrast collar! 😀 and the three quarter lengths arms are perfect! yay for a big sewing win!

  15. I love this so, so much! The contrasting collar was definitely a good call. And your solution to the collar issue was simple and brilliant–one which I’m definitely going to keep in mind if I make this top.

  16. I usually don’t like Peter Pan collars, don’t really know why but just don’t. But you know what? I REALLY like yours! And I’m not just saying it either! I love the whole top. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a top with that sort of collar and actually thought “ooh, I’d quite like to own that”. Funny how one thing can change your view… It’s fabulous! And that fabric…

    • I’ll tell you a secret… I don’t usually like Peter Pan collars much either! I think why us ‘non Peter Pan people’ like about this top is the black collar and the neckline isn’t too high. Its more ‘grown up’. I once had a Peter Pan collar school uniform (pale blue dress with a white collar – hideous) I think that’s what put me off 🙂 I struggle with plaids for the same reason – remind me of my boarding school uniforms.
      I’m officially cured now!

  17. Just found you & jumped around a heap of your posts – what a talented sewer you are! I love this top, love the fabric design with the pattern style, great choices!

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