Alma Number One:
Please, don’t be distracted by how fabulous that butt looks. I know. It’s my cross to bear.
I went with View A all the way, because it looked so unique. I really wanted to break into wearing woven tops (all my rtw tops are knit, except maybe one button-down), but button-down tops tend to gape (see, that’s why there was only one of ’em). The Alma gave a really nice option for a woven blouse, and View A is still casual enough to look like something I would wear (is that a weird way to think? ‘would Kristi wear this?’ ‘gee, I don’t know, Kristi, you tell me’. Oh good, I’m sharing crazy-people conversations I have with myself online, now).
ANYWAY, the notched collar, cap sleeves, and bow are all adorable. This was actually my muslin, made out of a sheet (I mentioned this fact here). Here’s the thing about muslins: I sew them with contrasting thread, in big basting stitches. I didn’t expect to love this sucker right off the bat. I even love the contrasting thread; it looks sporty or something. But you know what I couldn’t be bothered with fixing, once I realized I was going to keep wearing it? ANYTHING.
The seams are all unfinished, the darts pull apart because the stitches are too wide and loose, the hem is all kinds of frayed, and I just don’t even care. I love this thing, and will wear it to death.
Alma Number Two:
The only difference between this one and the previous is that I made the sleeves a little bigger (I just graded out a size at the armscye to accomodate the next size up sleeves); I actually interfaced the neck facing and belt; and also I paid money for this fabric.
Interfacing the bow definitely gave it more structure and helps it stand up way better than Alma Number One’s. Plus this fabric is just more densely-woven, so it has more body.
Interfacing the facing really helps the neckline hold it’s notched shape, too. So definitely don’t skip that part, guys.
I had just bought some rayon seam binding from Sunni’s shop for the first time (eventually I will have ALLTHECOLORS, guys), and wanted to try it out, so I finished the facing’s raw edge in it. And then didn’t finish any other seams, not even by pinking them.
I know, I suck. This blouse isn’t dead, yet, though, because I don’t wear it nearly as often as Number One. I kinda hate it, actually. It’s a wee bit too pink, and polka dotty, and short. Bearing that in mind…
Alma Number Three:
I made this one longer! Oh, but yeah, it’s STILL the same view. Sorry, guys, I like to perfect things before I move on, I guess? (Definitely a lie.)
This. Is. My. Favorite! Let me tell you about this fabric. It’s SO drapey, just unbelievable. And it’s a color I NEVER wear, and never would’ve thought about wearing if I’d seen it in a store or something. But I got it from Goodwill (I know, I know, I live there, hush), BUTTTT (haha butt), it was NOT a sheet or a table cloth (le GASP!).
I know! It was actually a sarong, and when I was hunting through the sheets and stuff, this sexy slinky little bit of fabric just completely seduced me. There wasn’t much of it (a sarong is basically a rectangle you tie around your lower half as a swimsuit cover up), so it couldn’t be anything but a top for me. And let me just say, that I wear the SHIT outta this baby.
Remember my corduroy skirt? Lookee what I was wearing with it! (Sorry about the smug face and the opposite-of-a-myspace-angle, I’m just feeding my superiority complex, I guess.)
Unfortunately, I once again didn’t bother with properly finishing seams. I did pink all my seams, here, but you sure couldn’t tell that after the first wash it went through! Fabric has to be sturdy and firmly-woven in order for pinking to work. This one…was not.
Everything is fraying so badly that I think this top might be legally dead. The above pic on the left is the belt. It actually frayed enough to come out of the seam. Womp womp =(
Aaaand that is a side seam on the actual blouse. I’ve been cheating by just tucking it into my corduroy skirt and pretending like it isn’t falling apart, but it’s kinda like Miss Emily pretending Homer is still alive in A Rose For Emily. Any day now, people are going to start sprinkling lime around my poor dead top while I cuddle with it, everyone too polite to tell me to just throw it away.
Alma Number Four:
Hey, look, a different view! This is view B, and unless I redraft some mofo’in sleeves, it’ll be the last view B! They’re on the tight side, which I am definitely not a fan of.
That collar is fucking adorable though, right? This is my first time owning anything with a peter pan collar.
But the facing makes this whole thing just weird. The top is constructed so that you end up having a blouse-collar-facing sandwich that you’re supposed to flip over and everything is miraculous and perfect. Ugh, not even. For whatever reason, the facing feels like it’s too big to completely sit inside the shirt, and it keeps puffing up in front of my neck to be like “oh hai, I’m shirt-guts”. I feel like that’s gross, for some reason. I made number 5 (my Emma Pillsbury bow-collar version) not have a facing because of this. I serged it and folded it under, and it worked out a lot better than this bad boy.
Speaking of shirt guts, here’s the non-gross way to show off shirt guts! (wtf? don’t ask me.)
Once it was all put together, and all I had left to do was stitch the facing on and hem this sucker, I chanced upon a miracle.
GOODWILL HAD A SERGER. For $40. Clouds parted, angels sang, and my heart leapt out of my chest and plastered itself to this serger with a squishy squelch.
Sorry. I’m terrible at eloquence.
But anyways, you can see that I immediately (after testing it out on a piece of scrap fabric, obviously) used it to serge the edge of my icky facing, and the hem of the top. But the side seams are all still unfinshed, ha! I’m such a mess.
So there, we’re up to speed on my almas, and now I have a nice little space to reflect on what made my almas wearable.
First, LENGTH. I hate the length of numbers one and two, so I fixed that for three and four. (And five, incidentally.)
Secondly, DRAPE. I LOVE numbers one and three for the fabric used. They feel good, and are just generally my most wearable Almas (until I give my number three the viking funeral it deserves, I mean).
Thirdly, FINISHING SOME MO-FO’ING SEAMS. Whether serging, binding, french, whatever, the thing that will save my future almas will be finishing those damn seams. Especially given that I prefer the drapey, not-so-tightly-woven fabrics which are prone to fraying.
As annoying as it might be, I’m most definitely going to be making some more of these things. Warmer weather is on its way, and I’m excited!!