LOOK AT THIS TOP:
This beauty is the Soho blouse from See Kate Sew. I first saw the Soho in person (specifically on Indiesew Allie Olson’s gorgeous person) and it was love at first sight. It’s just the prettiest top ever: so flowy and summery with amazing little details that make it special. Allie also happened to have a knockout navy rayon border print in stock, so I used that to accentuate the skirt and sleeves in the pattern. If you haven’t sewn with a border print yet, you should. It’s so much fun, and it lets you incorporate prints into your design in a less obtrusive way.
The thing I liked best about the Soho blouse is that it’s such a bang for your buck and your time. This is one of the most satisfying patterns I’ve ever sewn up. If you’ve sewn set-in sleeves before, nothing in it is especially difficult or tricky (with one exception I’ll get into below). The bodice is completely lined so there’s no binding at the neckline or sleeves, which are my sewing Kryptonite, and no zippers or button plackets or anything complicated. There is an option to add ruching at the sleeves, but if you don’t feel comfortable sewing an elastic strip down the top of each sleeve, it’s not a necessary step (and looks good both ways).
Allie did warn me before I took on this blouse that sometimes people have experienced “cupping” of the skirt below the point on the front bodice, particularly with silky and drapey fabrics like the rayon. Instead of hanging straight down, there can be a little pool of fabric that collects at the center top of the skirt. She had a couple of suggestions for minimizing this: first, stay-stitch the bias edges of the bodice to prevent any stretching; second, try to place one of the skirt gathers right on the point. I did both of these things, and I think my results turned out well. The back point hangs a bit better than the front (as is my luck, always), but overall I’m really pleased. I had the usual challenges with rayon; it’s slick and slippery, and it made the sleeves the biggest challenge of the whole thing. But the end result is worth it in the end.
The pattern is designed for a B-cup, though See Kate Sew wisely provides instructions for a full-bust adjustment for the lucky ladies among us. (Can I just say that I really appreciate designers who are inclusive of all women’s bodies in their patterns? You guys rock.) Always an overachiever, however, I am an A, and I think this resulted in the finished garment being wider in the bust than I needed. There was a lot of extra fabric under the arms, which might just be the looser style but also could have been a bust that was just a bit big. As a shorty, I don’t like extra width on top if I can avoid it. I decided to modify the blouse after the fact by pulling a couple of the drapes together on each side and securing them with bar tacks. I would have taken the time to actually modify the pattern if it had been a different style, but I think the “aftermarket” mod really works with this drapey look.
Overall, I LOVE how my Soho blouse turned out. I’m actually wearing this top as I write, and I’m going to wear it out to dinner tonight, and I imagine it will be one of my favorite pieces as we head into late summer and fall. I can’t wait to match it up with some cowboy boots.
As an Indiesew blogger team member, I am provided with patterns in exchange for an honest review. I was also provided with fabric for this post. All opinions are my own.