Pattern Testing: Bellini - Capital Chic Patterns


It's been almost a week since Capital Chic Patterns exploded onto the scene and I'm excited to finally show you my Bellini blouse, which I was lucky enough to pattern test! If you've been living under a rock for a week, you can read my interview with Sally here and enter her generous giveaway before the end of tomorrow. 

 


Bellini is a loose fitting, cap sleeve blouse with two different collar options to choose from. Predictably, I went for the scalloped version to satisfy my inner granny. I also chose to work with a beautiful misty-coloured, peachskin crepe, which was a serious pain in the butt! People, there's a lot of pressing required during the making of this sweet blouse, so my advice: pick a fabric that presses well!

Troubling fabric choices aside, Bellini is all about the collar for me. It can be made in a contrasting print or even an edgy fabric like leather, but I decided to go demure and subtle with some delicate bead-work. If you like what you see, tune in tomorrow for a tutorial on embellishing your collar.  


Although Capital Chic Patterns are aimed at the more experienced stitcher, I have no doubt that a confident beginner can happily tackle the Bellini blouse. It's a simple design, so if you're confident with buttonholes, the rest of the instructions and diagrams are super clear. You learn some lovely finishing touches along the way too, like bias-bound armholes, a machine rolled hem and French seams throughout.  




Now, you may be wondering why I'm not modelling my beautiful Bellini and why you haven't seen a back shot yet. Well, I made some rookie mistakes, but before I go into them I want to hold my hands up and admit that they were entirely of my own making.

The reason I'm not modelling my Bellini is because it's too snug. During pattern testing the turnaround is relatively quick, so I don't often get to make a muslin. In this instance, because Bellini is billed as a loose fit, I went with vanity sizing (12) instead the size that best corresponded to my actual measurements (14). And I'm paying for it now, because I'd love nothing more than to wear this blouse! Oh, well...I'll just have to make another one pronto!

The reason I haven't shown the back yet is a little more complicated. When I came to attaching my collar, it was too wide and overlapped significant notches. I couldn't bear to start again - due to the bead-work and my tricky fabric choice - so I slightly gathered the back to make it fit. This does mean that I didn't get to try the pattern's clever method of finishing the collar and I had to draft a new facing for the back part. I know Sally's made some improvements to the pattern since I tested it, but I suspect this was never a drafting problem in the first place. I think the fact that I neglected to stay-stitch my curved edges, coupled with manhandling my collar pieces during the bead-work, is what caused this. The moral here is that it never hurts to just line everything up before you finish constructing your collar, whatever pattern you're using.



Although this tale has a particularly sad end, I really love my Bellini and I'm so pleased with my embellished collar. I seriously recommend this pattern to anyone interested in filling their wardrobe with fun and versatile blouses, which are also a breeze to make!

36 comments:

  1. Beautiful blouse! I love the pearls!. What are you going to do with the blouse? It would look perfect for somebody going to a job interview, don't you think? Would you consider donate it?

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    1. Aaaw thanks Raquel! I never thought of donating it to be honest...I think I'd be too paranoid about someone else scrutinising my stitching up close ;o)

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  2. it's beautiful marie! i love the beaded collar! could you take the collar off and add to something else?

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    1. I'm contemplating it, cause I love the collar!

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  3. Ahhh Marie... so sad that you didn't manage to get a wearable blouse out of this project :-(
    If it's any consolation, the colour is beautiful (even if the fabric was tricky) and I love your bead work, it's gorgeous. Your armholes and your french seams look spot on.
    If you wanted to fix it... it looks like you have a good inch between where the collar joins the left and right blouse fronts. Both these points should be at the centre front (the collar should touch in the centre), so you have a bit of space if you wanted to unpick the collar and remove the gathers. Hope that helps.
    All the best and thanks for helping me out with the testing!

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    1. What?!? Have I made a mistake? Much as I love collars, I seem to be jinxed when it comes to stitching them up...will bear this in mind for next time then! Thanks again for the fun opportunity to test this ;o)

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  4. Pretty idea for the beaded collar and such a lovely shade of blue. Good tips to learn from too.

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    1. Thanks Linda, glad you think so!

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  5. I love this shirt, the collar is just gorgeous! I'm looking forward to your post on how to embellish collars x

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    1. Thanks Georgia...hope my 'how to' post lived up to your expectations!

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  6. Sorry to hear that you're unable to wear this as it really is lovely. The collar is wonderful and I'm looking forward to seeing how you did it.

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  7. This was my favourite from all the designs and your versions is great.

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  8. It's lovely, and the beaded collar is gorgeous - such a shame it doesn't fit you! The Bellini is definitely on my to-sew list!

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    1. Thanks Ruth, it's a lovely pattern!

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  9. i love everything about your design: the lovely pastel blue, the scallops, the amazing beading... So sad it doesn't fit properly :(

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    1. Thanks Irena...it's a sad story in the end :o(

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  10. It's still very lovely, and then you can take it as a practice version for the amazing one you'll make in no time! I love the beading you made on the collar!
    The Capital Chic patterns are really pretty, I love the business and trendy edge they have.

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    1. Thanks Pauline, and yes, CCP is a great new venture :o)

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  11. This is so pretty, the beading on the collar is perfect. Such a shame it doesn't quite fit - I think we've all done that at one time or another!

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    1. I guess it wouldn't be so much of a learning journey if we didn't make mistakes now and again :o)

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  12. Oh what a beautiful blouse! Those pearls are a great detail!

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  13. Can you save it by adding an inset piece or gore into the side seams?

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    1. Not without a lot of work :o(

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  14. How neat and dandy with some great techniques. it is always a pain when it doesn't quite go to plan. Jo x

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  15. Such a beautiful blouse! Too bad, you won't be able to wear it! I love this pattern and hopefully get around to making my own Bellini soon! Love the beadwork - such an amazing detail.

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    1. Oh yes, do! It's a lovely little pattern!

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  16. Gorgeous! I love that kiss of retro you gave it.

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    1. Hehe, I just can't help myself - I tend to accidentally give everything a granny/retro kiss ;o)

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  17. That collar is just gorgeous! You could always reuse the collar as a removable collar by added a beaded clasp at the middle :)

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    1. This could be a very, very great idea! Thanks so much for the inspiration...I love removable collars!

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