My Akita Blouse

I almost didn’t make Akita. The shirt as it appeared in Seamwork, didn’t look like my style of shirt. Most notably, the sleeves stuck out very wide, almost like wings. I try to avoid garments that add width to my already broad shoulders.

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Photo from Seamwork, September 2015

What changed my mind was all of the beautiful creations by other sewists. Thanks to them, I decided to try something new.

Akita is presented as a one hour, one pattern piece project. And yes, for some people it probably is only an hours worth of work (sewing, that is). If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll notice that it has taken me about a week, maybe a total of 6-7 hours. My Akita involved a lot of second guessing, double checking, and confusion over 1/4″ single fold bias tape.

All said: it is done, it looks good, and will be a unique addition to my spring wardrobe.

The Fabric:

On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon I visited Modern Domestic in the NE quad of the city. They are a Bernina dealer and I was looking for an invisible zipper foot. This fabric was the first thing that caught my eye when I walked in. A small bolt of the voile fabric sat on the floor, leaning agains the barrels of rolled fabrics. I love this color (the design was available in other colors, but the sea green is what called to me). The pattern is simple and somewhat random and organic in appearance. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I saw hundreds of tiny snowcapped mountains. Without a specific pattern in mind and I bought two yards so I would have enough for a blouse and maybe something else.

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Bound by April Rhodes: Coming Home Spring Voile

(If you like the design but want fabric a thicker textile, I think the design comes in a premium cotton, which I assume is quilting cotton thickness.)

The Pattern:

This is my first Seamwork project. I’ve been a subscriber since the beginning, but I had such a backlog of sewing projects that I never was in the “right place” to dive into the one-to-three hour sewing projects. In pushing pause on cosplay, I’ve been able to fast track a number of garments to the front of my sewing queue.

The Akita pattern is a single piece, placed on the center fold. There are two bust darts and side slits at the hem, otherwise there is no shaping. I started with the size 0, and graded the hips up to size 6.  I did have to grade the hips up three pattern sizes from the bust because I am pear-ish shaped. It was easy to cut out with a rotary cutter.

It took me a while to realize that even though I needed 1.5 yards for the pattern length, it was only about 10 inches wide. By folding the fabric so that the selvages met in the center, I saved plenty of fabric for a future project with this fabric that I adore so much. I might even be able to squeeze a dress out of it, if I really wanted to.

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Construction:

The illustrations and instructions are easy to follow, though I stumbled on the neckline.

I was a little befuddled that the pattern called for 1/4″ single fold bias tape, but then the instructions say to use a 1/4″ seam allowance, which would not have worked unless you were working with a 1/2″ single fold tape. Or am I missing something?

I tried using store-bought bias tape, but it proved to be too stiff. I might have also cut it too short and it caused the neckline to pucker. I really wanted to save as much of this fabric as possible so I selected some leftover silk/cotton from Mulan’s blouse. I made 1/2″ single fold tape.

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A tale of two bias tapes.
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Neckline with new silk-cotton bias tape.

The instructions call for the side seams to be finished and then pressed apart. I think if I were to do this again I would use french seams. I got lazy and didn’t finish the seam allowances as well as I could have.

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Another sewist noted that the method used to separate the sleeve and hem slit from the side seam is not as secure as she might prefer. I agree. I do understand that they were creating a pattern (and instructions) that could be completed in an hour and that could be approachable for newbie sewists. Going forward, I’ll take the time to double check the instructions to see if I want to make it a quick sew or if I want to do things differently.

Outfits:

This shirt is incredibly versatile! From casual to dressy!

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This will be a great shirt for casual summer weekends.
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I like the length and the neckline.

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Ready for “work”
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Work to date night!

I was very nervous about the shape of this shirt, or the lack thereof. However, the lightweight cotton voile easily fits under cardigans and tucks into skirts and pants. It drapes well enough, and would drape even better with other fabrics. I can’t wait for it to warm up so I can wear this!!

 

 

 

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One thought on “My Akita Blouse

  1. That colour is great on you! It’s got undertones of grey, which I know you love wearing! And I like seeing all the ways you’ve styled it – very versatile!

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