I love following along with the #BHMPatternDesigners Challenge on Instagram. There are so many neat makes rolling in, and lots on info about new and upcoming black pattern designers. It's so great to see people creating and sharing so many new designs. The organizers of the challenge have the perfect mix between info, rules and relaxed making.
This Khaliah Ali pattern, Simplicity 2230, was my first pick for my #BHMPatternDesigners challenge make this year. I've been wanting to make this top for ages. I was lucky to find this pretty rayon challis in my stash to make it from, and as it happens I was also able to find all the bias tape and elastic I needed in my stash as well. Hurrah!
I really enjoyed making this top once I got to it. I ironed the challis with a bit of Best Press to give it a bit more body to help me cut it out smoothly. I made View B, the florally yellow one in the middle.
It was a pretty easy sew overall, despite the challis. The front and back went together smoothly, but you do have to make sure you have all your matching points clearly marked -- the centre panel matches up quite a way down the side panels, since you are then going to sew in a wide neckband piece. Once the front and back are together, the pattern has you sew in the interfaced neckband piece, and then attach the facing to that separately. I imagine you could sew the two together first if you'd prefer.
Now, some of the comments I've seen in reviews of this pattern is that it runs really large, and that the neck facing is huge. Of course that is for the caftan style views, not this one. But I was watching for size and size matching issues, so when I started to pin on the neckband I thought, what the heck? This is way smaller than the blouse! I'm going to have to gather the blouse or take in the front seams, or recut the neckband, or..... Wait. Don't sew when you are tired. I was pinning the smaller inside curve to the outer neckband area. Doh!! Thankfully I realized it before doing anything drastic to my pattern.
So I carefully repinned the correct edge to the blouse and surprise, it was a perfect match. Sewed on the facing, topstitched it down to cover the inner seam, put the sleeve together and finished the elastic hem, and last step, attatched the sleeves. They do not have much gathering at all, so they are just eased in while you're sewing. They are a smooth fit and went in without any issues.
I love this! It's light and flowy, but not overly loose or gapey in the chest. I can lean over safely in it ;) The fabric is a perfect fit for the design, and I think it will match with a lot of things in my current wardrobe as well as some items in my to-be-sewn piles. While it's the only item on my #BHMPatternDesigners list that I finished this month, I really enjoyed making it, and still plan on getting to the other items someday.
Thanks to @OneSewSweet and @SewNaturalDane for hosting this great challenge again this year!