Saturday, October 8, 2016

Because Bali is Always a Good Idea

While testing the Bali Blouse for New Horizons Designs I fell in love. It was the first real pattern I have tried where I could use either a woven or a knit, and the possibilities were endless. I really loved the open back as well, with and without a camisole was perfect for those hot summer days and sometimes cool nights.

A little about me, I started sewing over 7 years ago. Within the past year, however; I started sewing clothing for myself and children. I still consider myself a beginner when it comes to sewing clothes. Almost every time I test a pattern I learn a new technique, which makes the end result even more fulfilling and I wanted to show how even a beginner like myself can take one pattern, and with a slight modification make two shirts out of one. The open back on this pattern makes it one of my favorites, but I wanted something I could wear to work as well. Out came the sewing machine for this solution.

For simplicity sake, I used the same solid black knit and light weight opaque striped woven on both versions. I felt it would be easier to compare. Also, it shows how versatile this pattern really is using just about any fabric you can find.

My first version of the Bali Blouse was made just as Terra designed it. It was a slight challenge getting the woven back pieces and back knit bodice together without accidentally stretching out the knit. Thankfully I was able to take my time avoid this.
The only alteration I made to this original version of the pattern was made the sleeves a little slimmer, otherwise the knit was going to be incredibly baggy. This gave me the perfect amount of room. 

My second version of the Bali Blouse was modified just slightly. I was inspired by the closed back versions I had seen posted on the New Horizons Designs Facebook Group. I still loved the split back from the original design. There had to be a way to combine the two. 

The entire front and back yoke are exactly as designed, not one change. The back bodice was where I made a couple changes, but only a slight deviation from Terra's beautiful pattern. Instead of overlapping the bodice pieces on the back, I cut about 1-2 inches off where the slit was making them match up on the yoke instead. Then I took the original back bodice and cut one solid piece slightly larger than the back yoke. I did have to gather the back a little, as intended to keep the fullness at the hem. 

I almost forgot. I had intended on this shirt also having the 3/4 sleeve length but ran out of fabric. I used the short sleeve pattern, but did add a little length to the original design. 

Here is a side by side comparison.
The Front

The Back

I could not believe how easy it was to slightly modify an already perfect pattern into something even more my own. When I first started sewing clothes, I stopped grading sizes at first because I kept making small fit mistakes. This time I decided to go with the idea in my head, and took the leap and am very proud of what I accomplished. I could not have done this were it not for the easy to follow patterns created by Terra at New Horizons Designs. You will find all of her patterns simply stunning.

Here are my two original Bali Blouse. I absolutely love this pattern, and wear these often.

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