Thursday, 9 June 2011

Sencha blouse - The Construction

Colette Sencha Pattern in a gorgeous blouse pattern and I was immediately drawn to the keyhole version, as my fabric was very simple. I made a muslin for this as usually patterns are to big for me in the bodice and was pleasantly surprised as the fit was very good. The shoulders fit perfectly well, the waist was nice and snug without being tight and the bust part was ok. Not snug, but then the pattern is not meant to be snug at the bodice anyway. But somehow my final garment is not as well fitted as my muslin. I either made some mistake cutting (possible as fabric is slippery) or the fabric itself gave a different fit to it. It's not as snug at the waist and the back is very loose. With a belt I get round it but without it just hangs there.
I had the idea of using lace for this project as well, to add an extra especial touch and to "connect" with my Ginger. I originally constructed the ties pieces like the waistband. The main fabric in lower layer and lace on top. But the time came to use a easy loop turner and it was impossible to turn such thing. After a couple of frustrating hours I decided to do the ties in lace only with the downside that they are too fragile and I have to be careful not to pull them strongly (which has actually happened tonight). I also struggled to turn the facing and make it fall flat. It doesn't really, can you see all the bunching in photo below?
The pattern suggests using a catchstich invisibly and I couldn't, for the life of me, figure how to do it invisibly. It was my first time doing this hand stitch type and I followed this tutorial . The result is pretty but not invisible. Was I suppose to catchstick inside the facing?
For the back opening facing I decided to slipstich as it renders as invisible result but...not that invisible on the outside. I think due to fabric type. How do you manage invisible stitching on complicated fabrics? Can you truly render them invisible?
The buttonholes and buttons went smoothly, which was a relief, taken in consideration previous experiences. I fell in love with the leopard buttons and had to have them
Alteration to pattern instructions included finishing hem with bias binding. I quite like the contrast!

Have you done a Sencha? What are your experiences and what were your frustrations, if any? 


  1. I've made a couple of senchas and just wore one this week. I find it fits large (I made some alterations to my second one but probably could have just made a size smaller). I too made the keyhole version. It is one of the most enjoyable patterns I've ever worked on - the instructions were excellent. And I think you did the catch stitching just right. That's how I did it!

  2. Suzy, what fabric did you use? And I also think it makes difference how you finish the edge of the facing, turning it dow is somewhat bulkier which may have affected the quality of the catchstitch. Also, it is important not to make it too tight... but I am sure you know these things, I am just thinking what can help. I usually eliminate facings whenever I can, and if it's only one layer, or a layer with underlining I use bias tape to finish the edges.... But, you know what, I really like your blouse, it's a nice rich color!

  3. I shoudl add that I don't see where you had problems with the catchstitch ;-)

  4. Thank you ladies, glad to see the catchstitch is right :)

    Marina, it's a mystery fabric most probably a man made fiber similar to a medium weight crepe but smoother and a bit shinier. Excellent drape. I loved the colour and feel and at £1 per meter couldn't resist.

  5. Lovely color! For the facing, trim the seam allowances closely to the stitching line, using pinking shears. Too much bulk left there will make the facing hard to turn out flat. And catch stitching "invisibly" means so that you can't see stitch marks on the right side. Yours looks fine to me. :-)

  6. I think its the manmade fabric/pale colour that makes catchstitch/slipstitch slightly visible, but you are being a perfectionist as usual. I think the blouse looks wonderful and I love the colour. Another very stylish project! xxx

  7. I just finished a keyhole neck Sencha last night, and I too found the catchstitch a bit tricky. That is, not hard to sew, but impossible to make invisible. I do think it's the fabric -- when I made one for my little sister, I used a cotton print and the catchstitch was fine, but I used a very lightweight not-quite-sheer cotton for mine and found it impossible. (In the end, I decided to use a bright lime contrast thread, so as to highlight the stitches as a feature rather than a flaw. I don't know ... I like it okay, though I may pull it out and try again another day.)

    I do think yours is gorgeous, though! I really love the lace tie!



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