Thread Theory | Camas Blouse

I’m sure you are all familiar with Thread Theory by now. Even though they have a clear menswear focus, they decided to throw us ladies a bone and put out a women’s blouse pattern! Since my name is in the tester pool, Morgan and Matt asked for some willing participants to sew up the Camas Blouse (from the finished pattern, I did not test it prior to release) and post about it. My hand shot up pretty quickly, as this is undoubtedly a pattern I would have purchased anyway. You all know I love a good button-up, and I’ve always had a weakness for the “V-necked with little gathers” variety.

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This blouse is designed for knit fabrics, and I used a rayon jersey I picked up from fabric.com on their black Friday sale (pretty sure it sold out). I had this blouse in mind when I ordered it, so I was super pleased that it was the exact weight and drape that I wanted. That doesn’t usually happen! Then I searched my scraps for a coordinating contrast fabric, and came up with leftovers from a recently made (though not yet blogged…) dress. It’s actually not a perfect match, but the floral has so many shades of blue that it just kinda goes together. The blouse is loose fitting, so it wasn’t a problem to mix a woven fabric in for the yoke pieces.

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I picked a size 8 based on my bust measurement, then graded out at the waist and hip by 1/4″ (1″ all around). I was in between the 8 and 10 for my waist and hip, so I wanted to make sure it didn’t end up too clingy. The sizing was perfect, and I’m very pleased with the fit!

Aside from size adjustments, I made a few tweaks to the pattern.

  • Added 1″ in length to the hem—I’m high waisted, but also tall-ish, so I just tacked on length instead of splitting it at the “shorten/lengthen” line.
  • In the back—I took 1″ off the bottom of the yoke, and added the inch to the top of the back piece. Visually, I prefer a narrow yoke, and since I was using a woven for the yoke, I wanted to make sure I didn’t end up with it being too tight across the back.
  • Neckline—I raised the neckline by 1″. I have a high bust and quite often run into the problem of unintentionally plunging necklines.

Altering the neckline was a little tricky to do since I had to make sure the neckband and blouse front would match around the V-neck curve. Since I was only raising it by an inch I didn’t alter the yoke piece any, just changed the angle from the yoke seam and down. If I were to raise it any further, I’d have to start the adjustment higher.

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Construction was pretty much a breeze, until I got to the button placket, which was very tedious. I suppose it was the wide (5/8″) SA’s that made things tricky. Trying to sew opposing curves between the button placket and blouse front with a wide SA is just a frustrating (and often inaccurate) experience. I did make sure to stay stitch and clip the most extreme curves, but next time around I’ll narrow the SA to begin with. Because the finished placket is so narrow, you have to aggressively trim down and grade the SA’s anyways.

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I do like how the inner placket isn’t turned under, but simply left as is, more like a facing. Then, instead of top stitching the placket, I stitched in the ditch at the placket seam line, catching the facing. When I finished the inner edge of the placket on my serger (before stitching it down), i trimmed off about 1/4″ to keep the facing nice and narrow.

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Lastly, this pattern suggests interfacing the yoke pieces as well as both outer and inner placket. I skipped interfacing the yoke pieces since I was using a woven, and I skipped interfacing the inner placket to keep the placket from becoming too stiff. So, all I bothered to fuse was the outer button placket piece. This worked out just fine for my fabric, but you’ll want to evaluate how much interfacing to use based on your own fabric choices.

I did make functioning buttonholes, even though they are totally unnecessary, as the blouse slips easily over my head. Fortunately my otherwise unremarkable sewing machine does not put up a fuss when it’s time to make buttonholes, even in knit fabrics!

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Overall, I am truly, honestly in love with this pattern. It was fun to construct a knit blouse that ends up both comfortable and a little more dressed up than your average tee. I know this will quickly become a staple in my wardrobe!

lisa g.

*This pattern was a freebie in exchange for a blog post*

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project dump

I totally failed on blogging all my makes this year, so I’m just going to dump them all in one post! Here are 20 projects that I either photographed and never blogged, or only posted on IG. All the photos are numbered and you can scroll down to the bottom for pattern info. Also, if you click on a photo you can scroll through them all easily.

Pattern Info:

  1. (Burda 08/2011 #146) I made these back in January and they’ve been worn a lot! They’re getting too small now and have a hole in the knee, but these were a definite favorite. He calls them his “truck butt” pants because of the fancy back pocket stitching.
  2. (Anywhere Dress) This is a great simple pattern. My oldest daughter is taller on the charts than she is wide, so I added several inches in length. I also swapped the facing for regular t-shirt neck binding. Huge winner! She receives many compliments whenever she wears it.
  3. (Self-drafted, used the Flashback Skinny Tee as a start) Again, for my oldest daughter. I used the topstitch function on the serger to finish the hems.
  4. (Anywhere Dress) This was for daughter #2. The floral print was very stiff and painted on, but it worked great as a shift dress. I altered the shoulder for a small kimono sleeve and color-blocked with some navy cotton spandex. She wears this dress all. the. time.
  5. (Tiny Pocket Tank) I was determined to get this pattern perfected because I love these tanks! This is a rayon challis, which is a perfect fabric for this style.
  6. (Tiny Pocket Tank) Also in rayon challis, with a few fitting tweaks. Still not perfect, but very close. I wear both tanks frequently, as they layer nicely with blazers and cardigans.
  7. (Hemlock Tee dress) This is the second Hemlock dress I made (first here, with a short tutorial), and both were big winners this year. Love this style for casual wear!
  8. (Saltspring) I really like this dress, but it’s a bit of a fail in terms of my lining choice. The lining is too stiff, and so it only got worn a couple times. I plan to take it apart and re-line it in a rayon challis so it will drape nicer. I like it too much to let it languish in the closet!
  9. (McCalls 6919) Love this little dress on my daughter! The top is denim, and the bottom is a cotton batik. Mccalls kids patterns seem to run huge in the chest, so it’s not perfect fit-wise. No matter, she wore this constantly during the summer.
  10. (McCalls 6833) I like this dress in theory more than in practice. It’s super cute, fits perfectly, and is fun to wear! However, it’s a little revealing at the neckline and the straps need adjusted to cover my bra straps. I’ll re-visit strap placement in the spring, and maybe even get a babysitter since it would be great for a date night in the summer!
  11. (Flashback Skinny Tee) I use this pattern a lot for t-shirts and t-shirt variations. Here I cut the bodice short and added a gathered skirt. Now that it’s winter, she layers long sleeve shirts and tights underneath.
  12. (Hemlock Tee) This is a thin drape-y rayon jersey. I wear this every single time it comes out of the wash. I love the color, the floral print, and it works well with a cardigan.
  13. (Scout Tee) I picked up this really fab chambray stripe fabric when I was in Austin, TX. It is lightweight and breezy and soft and just generally a really awesome fabric!
  14. (Burda 08/2012 #152) My son just loves button up shirts, so I picked up this shirting from Joanns. It’s a teeny-tiny stripe, which was super annoying to sew! But, this is another frequently-worn shirt, and he looks so sharp in it! Great pattern too, btw.
  15. (Jalie 2919) I love Jalie. You get a huge bang for your buck with their patterns. This cardigan is for my oldest daughter, and she practically lives in it. I adjusted the design by moving the shoulder seam forward, and ditching the stitched pleats in favor of gathers. I want one just like it for me!
  16. (Hudson Pants) I have nothing to say about this pattern that hasn’t already been said. I love these pants and wear them always! I used ribbing for the waistband (and so cut the waistband several inches smaller so it wouldn’t be gathered), and a cotton/spandex french terry for the pant. They’re kind of an ugly color, but the black contrast makes it work for me. NEED MOAR HUDSONS.
  17. (Burda 10/2010 #147b) I made this for my oldest daughter out of a chambray floral print from Joanns. I lengthened the hem so she can wear it with tights and left off the waist casing in favor of a self-fabric skinny belt. I rounded off the collar and cuff and used pearl snaps. Love, love, love this dress!
  18. (Flashback Skinny Tee) Another dress variation, this time with a cowl neck. Hands down, this is her current favorite dress.
  19. (Simplicity 1366//Grainline Alder) To be blogged…
  20. (Simplicity 1366//Grainline Hemlock) Also to be blogged…

I’ll update the Grainline Studio links when her shop is back up.

I know there are still a few things that didn’t make it to the blog… some tees, leggings, a dress another pair of kid pants… but this list at least appeases my repressed OCD about getting all my makes on the blog.

Happy 2015 everyone!

—lisa g.