Another day, another shirt. Four more episodes of Buffy. Today, I present my first version of Colette’s Sencha! I wasn’t so sure about this shirt, thinking that it might not be the most flattering cut for me. I like the finished product, though, and will definitely add to the rotation (with a few tweaks, of course…) Without further ado, here’s the shirt, worn with a denim skirt, boots and cable-knit knee socks. Probably how I’ll wear it the most, although it looks cute with jeans, too!
Changes I made…
For this version I really, REALLY tried to follow the pattern. I did. The shirt is meant to be a sample for the shop where I work. As such I didn’t want to make many changes. But I made a few.
I sewed from a knit
…even though it’s not one of the recommended fabrics, I used a nice interlock knit for my Sencha. I wanted to sew a straight size 18, and wasn’t sure how the fit around the waist and hips would be, so I thought if I made with a knit, it’d be OK if it was a bit snug. Verdict? Love the knit, and will be making more in knits – although for future knit-senchas, I’ll drop the center back seam and just pull it on over my head.
Skipped facings, finished with bias binding
…I finished the edges of the collar and the keyhole neckline with a piece of coordinating knit cut on the cross-grain instead facing like the pattern called for. I’m not a huge fan of facings, especially in knits AND I wanted to add a bit of contrast. I like the look!
Lowered the neckline
…the keyhole neckline on my sencha is about an inch lower than it should be – I realized after I had sewn everything together that I had accidentally cut a little slit where I shouldn’t have! Boo. I cut about an inch or so lower.
…I interfaced the back button placket with some stretchy tricot fusible interfacing. I was concerned that the knit fabric would be too stretchy without something to firm it up. The interfacing worked great, and I just wish I had interfaced around the keyhole neckline, which is really more stretchy than I’d like. For those considering their own stretch-Senchas, I suggest doing one of the other necklines.
While I love, love, love the shaping of the front of the shirt, the back was a little plain for me. I used some funky orange snaps. Also, I had to add one invisible snap at the very top – the snap placement was sort of funky, although that may have been partially due to the lack of facings. And I’m not a huge fan of how the pattern’s button placement leaves a big split in the back.
The cut of the shirt is different from what I normally wear – there are no shoulder seams at all, the sleeves are cut as part of the bodice. I think this provides a nice balance to my extra-wide hips. The shirt is great for tucking, since the tuck darts make the bottom half of the shirt less bulky and easier to tuck.
The Sencha and a full bust
I’ll definitely be exploring this more, but as with all Colette patterns, the Sencha is defintely drafted for a larger bust. I didn’t do a FBA on the shirt – the size 18 bust measurement on the envelope is the same as my actual bust measurement. I’ve heard that Colette patterns are drafted for a C cup, I’m a double D. I’d probably benefit a bit from choosing a smaller size, then doing an FBA so that the shoulders fit better, but A) I’m lazy and B) since the Sencha doesn’t have a seam where the sleeve attaches, I didn’t see the point. Also, please review A.
For myself, I try to stay away from high necklines, as they make me look saggy, saggy, saggy. There’s a bit of that going on with this shirt, and I might try to address in future versions. Also, I stopped sewing the tuck darts exactly where the pattern indicated that I should, but I think I could have dropped the points a bit to and created some optical perkiness illusion! All in all, it’s a great first try, another heap of fun to sew straight out of the box (no pattern alterations) and I think it’s a great looking shirt! Here it is in its natural habitat – untucked over a nice slim skirt!