How I Modified My Sencha

Sencha button

I took a few photos of my Sencha pattern to show you how many different sizes and tucks and cuts it took to get that fit.

Take a look at the front:

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

The shoulder, sleeve and waist has been sliced and turned under to size 6.

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

The hip area is sliced and folded to size 10 and I cut the fabric at the size 18 length. I’m 5’7″ and I don’t think I have a particularly long torso, but most sewing patterns are too short in the bodice for me.

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

I’ve mentioned my dislike of super high necklines before. To make mine slightly lower, without cutting the pattern, I folded the tucks and drew in a new neckline with pencil. As evidenced by my pencil line, precision is not my forte, lol

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

I unfolded the pattern and copied the new neckline onto tracing paper. I used that copy to re-cut the neckline after the front was cut from the original pattern piece.

Onto the back piece:

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

For the back, I cut the shoulder, sleeve and waist the same size as the front. The first time I made this, I cut the facings and left the upper back the original width. I ended up making the facings extra wide to account for the excess fabric I ended up with. This time I folded out a small section and did not cut the facings.

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

The lower back is smaller than the lower front. I tapered out to size 8, instead of 10, here. With the new facings, the back is ultimately much smaller than the front. This has a similar result as the swayback alteration I make for my pencil skirts. When the back and front are the same on my tops I end up with too much fabric in the lower back section.

Red, rayon, polka dot Sencha’s guts.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

For the zipper placket, I ironed strips of lightweight fusible interfacing onto the wrong side and used that width as a guide to press the placket sections down. I wish I could say there was a formula for deciding what that width would be. The truth is, I tried it on and guesstimated how much would give me a good fit. I double serged the edges and stitched a seam down the pressed line up to the point where I wanted to start the zipper. I used basting stitches for the rest of the seam. I applied the zipper (nearly painlessly!!) and removed the basted stitches with my seam ripper. I always do zippers this way.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

You can just see from these pics that I also left off the neckline facing. It is cut generously wide and with the interfacing I used on my first one, it was very uncomfortable. Here, I also serged the raw edge twice, which gave the floppy challis some stability, and then pressed it under before stitching it down with two rows of stitching.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

I serged the raw edges of the sleeve, pressed and stitched. I admit, I tried the lazy machine stitch way out to finish them and it looked terrible. I busted out my Colette Sewing Handbook to check the catch stitch instructions. I undid the seams, pressed and redid them by hand. I am much more satisfied with this result! It held up well, too.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

In this, slightly blurry, pic you can sort of see the baby hem (and the blue streak in the back of my hair!) at the bottom. I double serged the raw edge again and pressed before machine stitching it. The top and bottom edge of the facings are caught in the hems.

Well. That’s all, folks! I hope this helps someone!!


5 thoughts on “How I Modified My Sencha

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