Meg (who’s blog is Made by Meg) has prepared her second guest blog post for us and it is filled with great tips! If you are contemplating sewing the Camas Blouse in a thicker knit, this post will be a great chance for you to study up on useful techniques:
Hello there, Meg here! We have gotten some questions since the release of the Camas Blouse about whether it can be sewn up in a thicker fabric. I’m a chronic rule-breaker, so my answer is, Of course! Thicker fabrics can be easier to sew, are warmer for those of you still stuck in winter, and give the blouse a whole new look. To demonstrate, I’ve sewn up my blouse in a medium-weight black ponte. Here is what I learned about sewing the Camas with thicker fabric.
Pleats: The first thing I did was convert the gathering at the front and back to pleats. Gathering can look bunchy and bulky in thick fabric, so pleats hang much better on this blouse. For my version, I did two pleats on each side of the front and four in the center back.
Yoke: If your fabric is particularly thick and stable, I would consider replacing the double layered yoke with a single layer. A more stable fabric is better able to support the weight of the garment, and reducing the yoke to a single layer will reduce bulk. This is especially true at the neckline, where you sew two layers of the neckband to the yoke, which could add up to four layers in total, plus seam allowances!
Neckband: To further reduce bulk along the neckband, I pressed the seams open instead of serging them together. This distributed the seam allowances on either side of the seam instead of to one side. To further eliminate excess fabric, you might also consider grading the seams so that one is shorter than the other.
Button Placket: I decided to create a faux opening for my shirt with buttons stitched closed through both layers. My knit was stable enough that I skipped the interfacing and simply sewed the buttons through the overlapping plackets to close the shirt. Because it’s a knit, it still slips on easily over my head without the need for functioning buttons. If you do plan on using real buttonholes, however, I would recommend a lightweight knit fusible interfacing to keep your buttonholes tidy.
Hems: While the pattern instructs you to turn the hems under twice and stitch down, on this version I only turned the hems under once. Knits do not ravel so the raw edges can be left unfinished, and only turning under the hem once reduced the bulk of the seam. To get a nice clean finish, I turned the hem up the recommended amount, stitched, and cut away the excess. Alternately, you could turn the hem under twice, press, and flatten the hem with a clapper or a wooden kitchen utensil to really press the seam.
Have you made one up in thicker fabric? Show us and tell us what tricks you used!
Hi I’m Meg! Making clothes is my creative outlet, and I started sewing and knitting in school when I realized I couldn’t wear a thesis or embellish my reports. Along the way, my sewing adventures have led me to knit scarves in the Peruvian Andes and refashion traditional dresses in Mexico City. I love to make things up as I go, mixing patterns and making changes on the fly. Professionally, I’m a researcher who loves presenting data visually in formats that are easy to understand. I hope you’ll follow along as I present inspiration and tutorials from Thread Theory patterns! You can also find me at megmadethis.blogspot.com.
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March 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm
I tried to make the camas blouse the first time round with a thicker knit (I had on hand). But the neckline looks TERRIBLE! Standing up instead of laying flat against the body. Where did I do wrong? 😦
March 19, 2015 at 6:39 am
Hi Rosey, Oh dear! I hope you can fix your neckline! It sounds as though you may have sewn either one or both layers of the placket onto the blouse backwards (this is quite easy to do!). The curved placket seems to fit onto the blouse with the curve matching but it is actually the longest edge of the placket that should be sewn onto the blouse. The placket will require easing and some clipping to fit onto the curved neckline. Here are a few blog posts that contain details about sewing on the placket! I hope they are helpful to you!
March 19, 2015 at 10:47 am
March 15, 2015 at 3:18 pm
Looks great! I’ve got this pattern and need to make one soon.
March 13, 2015 at 6:14 pm
Great tips! I think the Camas Blouse looks great in ponte.
March 13, 2015 at 12:42 pm
Nice – almost a cardi!
March 13, 2015 at 1:28 pm
You know, I’ve been thinking about doing that as well!