Thread Theory Camas Blouse; knit and woven

Thread Theory Camas Blouse pattern review and altering for woven fabrics

For this month's #wardrobebuilder project I decided to try to make two blouses from one pattern (stash busting featuring strongly in this decision). I came across the Thread Theory Camas Blouse whilst I was doing one of my mammoth searches for a specific type of pattern. What I was looking for was a blouse or top that some kind of yoke detailing but that wasn't a buttoned shirt. I had bought a beautiful flowered chiffon fabric that I thought would make a nice 'going out' top, especially with some contrast features. The Camas blouse ticked most of my key design features, with the added bonus that it could be made out of knit and woven fabrics. At the moment I'm also trying to enhance my casual wardrobe so working this blouse in a knit was an appealing idea.

Fabrics


I haven't made this in the flowery chiffon I originally had in mind. For my first make I used some cotton jersey I had bought from The Village Haberdashery stall at the Knitting and Stitching show. I had two grey colours; one pale marl and one darker, slightly stiffer grey. I used the darker grey for the main colour as it had a little more body to it and felt like it would make a more substantial casual top for autumn/spring time. I always find jersey slightly trickier to cut out than cotton lawn, but managed it with few problems. Both fabrics offered little in the way of surprise in cutting and construction, and have worn well. They have made this a very comfy top. 

Thread Theory Camas Blouse pattern review
For the woven version of this top I chose to use an ivory crepe that I had left over from another project, along with an ivory georgette for the contrast yoke. Both fabrics were from Truro Fabrics, who I have to say deliver really quickly. The crepe was about £12 pm and the georgette was £9 pm. You can order by the half metre here which helped to bring down the cost of this top (I ordered half a metre for the yoke). Converting the pattern to work for woven fabrics wasn't too difficult (see below), but my choice of fabrics did mean that I was going to have to French seam some sections which used georgette, as this really did want to fray. The crepe is really lovely. It has a silky feel to it and isn't too heavy. It is a little see through so something is still needed underneath. I'm not convinced that the two different fabrics works in this top though. Once the georgette is doubled over you can't really see a contrast.

Thread Theory Camas Blouse in woven fabrics

Pattern and Instructions


Thread Theory present their printed patterns in cool envelopes with sew in tags and booklets as well as the pattern itself. However, as we all know pdfs are a lot cheaper, and this time around I was trying to keep my sewing spend minimal, so went with the pdf version from Backstitch (who have both, but pdf is £6 instead of £14). Cue the usual printing, cutting and sticking of the pdf pattern....luckily it didn't have too many pages to stick together. I am very much tempted by the printed package so might invest in one of these the next time I buy a Thread Theory pattern.

Thread Theory Camas Blouse pattern review

The instruction booklet has lots of measurements to guide size selection. I was fairly sure a size 10 would do it. In the first Camas I was working with stretch fabric so reckoned this would be a lot more forgiving if I was out with sizing. There are a lot of finished garment measurements, if you are into that kind of thing.

The instructions themselves are written clearly and the diagrams are helpful in illustrating what you are meant to do. I really needed this to get my head around the yoke construction - the shoulder and back pieces are all double layered. There is a sewalong on the Thread Theory website which has lots of photographs and other pieces of advice which I would recommend having a look at too. Here is where you can find out how to alter your blouse for woven fabrics and how to attach the neckband in different ways too. I chose to make a faux placket as I thought it would fit over my head without needed to be undone, and I didn't want to interface the fabrics for button holes. The neckband has quite a lot of layers as it is and I would definitely recommend you factor this in. 

Alterations


One alteration I made to both versions was to change the centre back gathers to a box pleat. I saw it on this blog post that I came to through The Fold Line's pattern reviews and liked it. I cut the pattern pieces exactly the same but arranged a pleat around what I had marked as the centre point. First time around I had the pleat on the outside, same as the 'In a manner of sewing' post. 

Thread Theory Camas Blouse alterations
For the second make I switched and sewed the pleat on the inside. 


The other key alteration I made was to make the blouse in both knit and woven fabrics. The sewalong recommends a few different ways that you can do this - the key feature that requires attention is the sleeves. The blouse is designed to have a loose fit which means that you don't have to factor in stretch or negative ease. I made my knit version first to see what the fit was like, and didn't alter the sleeves at all for the woven version. They fit just fine, which makes me wonder if I should have used a smaller size.

Conclusions

This was quite a straightforward sew, and didn't require much unpicking. You do have to keep track of the yoke pieces (right side/wrong side/inside/outside) but it's not really that complicated (unless you decide to factor in French seams). The sleeve insert technique is nice and straightforward too. I didn't time how long this took but it certainly wasn't more than a day.

What I like about this pattern - I like how clear the instructions are, and how much guidance there is on creating different variations. I love that you can use both knit and woven fabrics. I think you could create a really nice top out of a faux silk, or a slinky jersey too.
It's quite a loose top and it can be worn tucked in or not as it has a shaped hem. 

What I'm not sure about - The neckband/placket is thick. It creates a lot of bulk and weight on what could otherwise be a more delicate top.

Thread Theory Camas Blouse pattern review and altering for woven fabrics



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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking and delicious food.
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