I made this beautiful pattern up in straight Colette size 2 and I only made two teeny alterations to it.
Firstly I lowered the neckline 2cm (I get a bit claustrophobic with high necklines for some reason!) and because I have a long body I shortened the tucks by 1.5 cm as otherwise they kind of came up to an odd point on me. I made the version with the plain neck and the put buttons up the back.
I LOVE this pattern. It is so, so comfortable, not restricting at all and tucks into waisted skirts and trousers beautifully. It is rated by Colette as a beginners pattern and that definitely seems right to me.
The instructions are clear and simple and it really has very few steps. No set-in sleeves to worry about and no zip and if buttonholes aren't your forte one of the versions has poppers/snaps up the back instead.
I chose to make it up in some navy blue polka dot silk twill- yes I did just shamelessly copy one of the versions on the Colette website (blushes).
I had the fabric in my stash and every time I looked at it I couldn't help but see the Sencha blouse. I would normally try and be a little more individual I promise!
I underlined the entire blouse with the finest, lightest weight silk cotton blend that I bought from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road in London for £4 a metre.
It's one of their staples so I pick some up whenever I go as I actually underline pretty much every lightweight garment I make with it.
The silk twill I used is a good medium weight silk and not at all see through or flimsy but I still wanted to underline it as it makes getting a beautifully smooth finish on the outside of the garment so much easier (definitely not quicker, but easier!)
For those of you who aren't too familiar with the concept and/or benefits of underlining there is a fantastic article on the threads magazine website that explains all the wonderful advantages of this sewing technique.
In a nutshell you cut a duplicate of your pattern pieces in a very lightweight fabric, baste both fabrics together and then work with them as if they are one.
In the case of my silk Sencha I mainly chose to do it because I wanted to use the underlining to conceal all the hand finishing I planned to do on the blouse. Silk twill is a highly fraying fabric and I detest using my overlocker on such delicate fabrics as it just seems so inappropriate.
Instead I pressed the seam allowance open and then folded under each side separately and stitched the folded edges down to the underlining fabric only. This gives a nice flat seam and completely encloses all the raw edges, I did the same for all the facings and the hem.
Obviously this adds quite a bit of hand sewing time to the project but I just love the finish it gives so much. It also stops your garment creasing so easily. I first started doing it with Liberty tana lawns as the ones with pale backgrounds can be a little bit see through and I cannot bear seeing seams or facings through a garment. Pedantic much? Oh yep!
For the buttons I chose to use white pearl buttons, I thought they complemented the little white polka dots perfectly. Plus I have a real weakness for these buttons and tend to try and put them on anything I possibly can!
I know I say this about everything I make but its just always true- I plan to make this up in some other colours. As soon as I have completed a project I just can't help but imagine it in different fabrics.
I think this would be perfect in a floral print cotton lawn or a solid silk satin as it's such a classic and simple blouse. I'm also super keen to make up the version with the pretty little neck tie!
For the full review and more photos of my completed Sencha blouse please visit my sewing blog The Little Tailoress.