black lace belcarra blouse

Yeah, look at that alliteration in the post title! I have a bit of a backlog of garments I want to post about, so I did a really chilly photoshoot outside my apartment today. I think this Belcarra blouse is the oldest, judging by my instagram feed I finished this in mid-August. I remember wearing it tons right after finishing it, and being very pleased with it. Which I still am!

Black belcarra blouse (4)Check out my new glasses! I’m really pleased with them. They are the Tame Cat pair from Bergen-based company Kaibosh.

Fabric: Soft bamboo twill and lace in black, both from Stoff og Stil. I don’t see either fabric on their webpages, but I think I saw them both in the store last time I was at the Bergen location (for any locals looking for it!). Also black bias tape from the depths of my stash. It’s probably vintage by now.
Pattern: Belcarra Blouse from Sewaholic Patterns, view A. Size 0 at the hips, and size 2 pretty much everywhere else. I did bring the neckline in, roughly following the size 4 markings, graded to nothing at center front and back. Also, a 1,5″ FBA resulting in a bust dart.
Techniques: Raglan sleeves, bias binding, handpicked understitching.

Black belcarra blouse (2)

I made the most rookiest of mistakes in preparing for this blouse – I didn’t check the test square when I printed out my pdf pattern. I never have my printer set to scale anything, so I simply didn’t bother to check until after I had assembled and cut the pattern, and yes! It was 10% smaller than it was supposed to be. Ha! After some careful pattern measuring, and realizing I barely had enough left of this bamboo twill to make the smaller size anyways, I decided to not re-print the pattern. A quick muslin showed I needed more room at the waist, and to narrow the neckline. I’d seen several people mention the width of the neckline, so I was prepared for that regardless.

Black belcarra blouse (3)

Despite being a smaller than intended size, I still didn’t have enough fabric without piecing the back! I made it curved to look a little more intentional, and even shaved off some length in the middle to make a sort of sway-back adjustment while I was at it. It doesn’t bother me too much to have a seam across the back – but then again, I can’t even see it when I wear the blouse!

Black belcarra blouse detail

I sewed on the bias binding by hand. I could have done that by machine of course, but the width of the bias tape had me worried about terrible stretching. Also, by handsewing I could turn this into a portable project, like knitting! I actually did most of this while visiting a friend and drinking tea. I pickstitched to function as understitching (because I love understitching and it makes everything prettier), and then sewed the bottom edge down as invisibly as I could. I hemmed the bodice in the same way – well, I overlocked, then turned up and slipstitched.

Black belcarra blouse (1)

So there it is! Success! And yes, it wrinkles, and yes, the bamboo twill is a little stiff, but it’s also a little shiny, so it’s forgiven. And yes, the black fabrics are two different kinds of black, and yes, I have some small adjustments like lowering the bust dart and taking out a wedge from the apex towards the raglan sleeve seam, but I use this top lots, and I like the way it looks. I’m thinking of doing the version with the pintucked sleeve next!

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14 thoughts on “black lace belcarra blouse”

  1. I love the lace raglan sleeves. It’s such a versatile pattern and looks like a great fit. I hope you enjoyed your visit to London. It was great to meet you.

    1. Thank you Rachel! I had a lovely time in London, and it was a lovley time at the meet-up, and it was great to meet you too! I still think your Dahlia looked great, and you look awesome in pink! :)

  2. Ooh I love this! The combination of the bamboo twill and lace looks lovely & I really like the raglan sleeves. I made a dress with bamboo cotton once and it felt so lovely and soft – you’ve reminded me I should get some more!

    1. I was very curious about the bamboo! I originally used it for a costume where I made a double circle skirt (as in, two circle skirts attached next to each other so the width was crazy) and it had a soft but crisp shape. I thought the fabric would soften more than it did when I washed it, but I still like the crisp hand and the sheen. The sheen is lovely!

  3. Great combination. This version of the Belcarra makes me want to make one (first time).
    Those glasses rock. Finding cool glasses that aren’t too much for everyday wear can be hard.

    1. I think it’s a good pattern! I’m anticipating tweaking to get the fit just right, because then I can just make lots of them with no fit preparation! I like too that the sleeves allow for combining fabrics. Thanks for the glasses-compliment! I’m very pleased with them! Few people in my daily life have even noticed them, but I’m deciding that is because they suit me so well. Haha! :)

    1. Thank you Alessa! I was really pleased I was able to make it look less like “I totally didn’t have enough fabric” and more like “I totally meant to do that all along.” Glad you approve! ;)

  4. What a beautiful top! I have made the Belcarra blouse myself this spring and was just thinking about making another version with lace sleeves. It suits you wonderfully so its hope for me too then ;-)

    1. Thank you Anne! I really like the lace sleeves, so I think you should do it too! ;) I was pleasantly surprised how it doesn’t feel too sheer or see-through with the lace – I think bright red bra straps would show through, but both pale and black straps are pretty much invisible!

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