Drafting and sewing a button back for the Sewaholic Alma blouse
I loved the button back on my Tilly And The Buttons Mathilde blouses, so decided to make a button back for the Sewaholic Alma blouse too. Although I used the Alma pattern, this would work on any pattern of a similar shape. Here's how I drafted and sewed it.
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Altering the Back pattern piece to create a button placket -
Take the back pattern piece and tape it to your cutting board, table etc. Tape a piece of tracing paper over the top, leaving at least 2 inches of paper to the left of the centre back edge. Re-trace the pattern piece, adding 1 3/8" inches to the left of the centre back edge. Trace the line for the original centre back, as this is now where the buttons and buttonholes will go. The 1 3/8" inches breaks down to:
5/8" in from edge is the seam allowance
3/4" between seam allowance and old centre back is half of the button placket. The other half of the placket is the first 3/4" inch to the right of the centre back, it's already there, so there's no need to think about it.
Trace the original centre back line, and the new button placket. This is on the left of the centre back line in the photo. Then draw a line 1 3/8" to the right of the original centre back line, and this is the facing piece.
Now, I appreciate that there are a lot of numbers in the photo, so I'm going to try and explain them. Everything to the left of the original centre back line is exactly the same as explained in creating the button placket above.
3/4" to the right of the centre back line is the other half of the button placket, so the whole placket measures 1 1/2" inches.
5/8" from the right edge in, is the inside edge of the facing. This will be folded and stitched later on.
The whole facing measures 2 3/4" inches.
Place the facing on top of the back piece, matching up the seam allowance edges (the edge of the left of the above photo), and mark two notches in the same place on each piece. This is so you know which is the seam allowance edge of the facing when the fabric is cut out.
Cut out the back pieces, and two facing pieces. The edge of the facing piece will be the grainline. Cut two pieces of interfacing using the facing pattern piece. Iron the interfacing to the wrong sides of the facing. Mark the original centre back lines on the back pieces with some chalk, these are the lines to use for the buttons and buttonholes.
1. Fold and press the un-notched edge over by 1/4".
2. Fold and press again by 1/4".
This is the right edge in the photo above, and refers to the bit I have marked "5/8" fold under". Now, I know that 1/4" plus 1/4" equals 1/2" (4/8"), I added the 1/8" in to allow for the fold.
The collar on the Alma pattern is two front pieces and one back piece, sewn together at the shoulders, and attached to the blouse in one piece. As you can see, my collar is attached in two separate pieces to allow for the back of the blouse to open completely.
Baste the collar to the neckline, matching the shoulder seams and the centre front. I appreciate this is very hard to see in the below photo, but the edges of the back of the collar won't meet the edges of the back of the blouse. But this is ok! It's supposed to be like that. I have marked where the collar edges finish with the arrows.
Sew up the side seams, and insert the sleeves as on the Alma pattern instructions. I made my buttonholes before hemming, so I could make sure the hem would be even. I didn't mark my buttonholes on the pattern pieces because I didn't have any buttons for it at that stage! Once I got my buttons, I spaced them out evenly, marked the buttonholes, and sewed them. Then I sewed on the buttons and hemmed it.