My Monthly Make-The SOHO & MANHATTAN Blouse
I'm so excited to bring you another beautiful monthly make! Like many of my previous makes this one was a bit of a challenge, but in the end I absolutely love it!
Part of the reason I started doing a monthly make was to allow myself time to make more things just for me. I've had this pattern for two years and only just now actually made something with it! I know, crazy, right? It's what I love most about this project. I'm finally checking things off my to-make list and it feels so good.
The SOHO and MANHATTAN blouses by See Kate Sew were the perfect project for May since we are starting to have some warmer weather. I love this little mommy and me set. Luckily even though I bought the pattern pack two years ago the Manhattan blouse comes in so many sizes that I was still able to make one for Emerson.
I ordered the fabric from Fabric.com and chose a cute polka dot chambray for the top half and a yellow eyelet for the bottom. When I first saw the yellow after it arrived, it was a bit brighter than expected and I wasn't sure I would like it. Now that the tops are made I think the combo works perfectly.
I made Emerson's top a size 6 and it fits her really well. I knew I would be making an XL, but after reading through the pattern and comparing my measurements to the chart, I was worried it would end up too small. I decided to make some modifications in hopes that it would fit me.
I cut the top and the bottom pieces an extra 3/4" away from the fold. Then I made the sleeves about two inches wider since my upper arms are pretty thick.
Construction went along smoothly until it was time to attach the sleeves. I think I attached and ripped out the sleeves and side seams at least four times before I figured out how to get it right. First I tried to sew them on using the extra width I added, but when I put it on it looked too big and kind of frumpy.
When I tried to sew the sleeves on without using the extra width, it was so tight around my arms that it was puckering and pulling and was very uncomfortable. It also made it really tough to put on and take off.
After taking the sleeves off a few times I really started to look at the top and realized that when I had it on it fit around me but kind of felt loose and looked big in the middle. I worried that I jumped the gun by adding the extra fabric in the middle when I cut the pieces out so I ended up taking apart the whole front and recutting the top pieces.
I decided to leave the extra fabric on the top by the shoulders seams and just cut off the extra fabric around the arm hold. My hope was that this would give me some extra room in the arm so the sleeve would fit better.
I left the bottom with the extra fabric and it looks good, but I think next time I would cut the front, back and bottom pieces as the pattern calls for and just adjust the arm opening and sleeves. I have plans to try this pattern again and when I do I will update this post with any new modifications I made.
After taking a break for a few days I finally decided that I would have to attach the sleeves to the body so that I was using the whole width of the sleeve and making the opening larger.
You can see here how I attached the sleeve farther in from the edge of the arm opening to accommodate the extra width of the sleeve.
Finally it fit! While it is far from perfect and took me way longer than expected I'm so thrilled with how this project turned out.
We had a lot of fun taking pictures around town in our matching tops and even stopped at the candy store as a little treat for Emerson since she was such a good model.
I highly recommend using this pattern. Kate has a ton of really beautiful patterns and a few other mommy and me sets available in her shop. I'm definitely planning to make some more SOHO tops for myself and now I know exactly how I can adjust it to make it fit. You can find the SOHO blouse pattern here, the MANHATTAN blouse pattern here or the Mommy & Me set here.