Monday, March 14, 2016

Akita Blouse Ambivalence

It’s fairly obvious that I’m a big fan of the monthly Seamwork patterns. Their Aberdeen Tunic is one of my all-time favorite patterns. I have limited time to sew, so I really value quick, fun patterns when it comes to garment sewing. Back in January, I caught the garment sewing bug again and decided that the Akita Blouse would be just the thing for stash busting. I was really intrigued by the fact that it only had one pattern piece. I grabbed a black lawn from my stash and set to work.

I’ve been known to sew what I think my size is, rather than what my actual size is, so this time I carefully measured myself and compared my measurements with the size chart. Based on my measurements, I graded the pattern from a 10 at the bust to a 14 at the waist, and then a 16 at the hem so that I could omit the split hem detail. That’s a significant amount of grading, so I was worried that it wouldn’t come out right. However, when I tried it on after sewing the side seams (using French seams, of course), I was pleasantly surprised. It fit, and it looked cute! The bust dart was a little low, but on such a loose top, that didn’t really matter. It was one of those joyful, confidence boosting moments that makes sewing your own clothes so rewarding. I happily finished the black Akita Blouse and whipped up another one out of flannel right away. Then I proceeded to wear the heck out of both of my new shirts.

Several weeks later, I noticed something troubling. Under the armholes, my black lawn Akita Blouse was fraying and my flannel Akita Blouse was ripped! The way the sleeves are constructed, you clip the seam allowance in order to hem the sleeves and then go back and stitch the side seam allowance in place across the bottom of the armhole. Therefore, where the armhole meets the side seem is essentially unfinished. I used my amateur mending skills to “fix” the flannel Akita, and decided the fraying on the black Akita wasn’t that bad. Still, I was disappointed. When I make a garment by hand, I expect to get a lot of wear out of it. I had planned on making a bunch more Akita Blouses, but now I’m not so sure. I may go back and try to draft a better sleeve/side seam intersection, or I may not. Time will tell.


  1. I actually read several others on IG that commented about that unfinished or odd seam juncture. Such a shame because it is super cute on you. Might be worth figuring out a different fix. Is it something you could cover with bias tape in that area in order to "finish" the seam?

  2. I agree - super cute on you! Bummer about that one detail tho.

  3. I don't know that I can quite picture what you're talking about. Do you have a picture?