The ladies Elia is one of my most favorite style of shirts. It’s comfortable, stylish and flattering with a good pair of skinny jeans. I adore the Elia pattern so much that I wanted to try it in a woven even though the tutorial was written for knits.
This pattern is definitely one that looks better with more drape so I recommend sewing it with only light-weight fabrics including, but not limited to, lawn, voile, rayon, sheers, apparel fabrics, etc
The construction for the shirt is the exact same. In fact, the only thing I did different is alter my pattern pieces and a few seam allowances. The original Elia pattern is drafted to be a very relaxed fitting top that fits at the fullest part of the bust and drapes down beautifully from that point. The nice thing about this style is that the fit isn’t as precise, however, I advise making a muslin before using your good material. Often times when sewing for ourselves we as women need to make a few personal adjustments for the exact fit we are hoping for.
Woven Pattern Adjustments
When printing the pattern, print the size you would wear in the original knit version. In addition, also check the layers box to print the next two sizes up as well. If you are larger than a c cup you may choose to print your original size as well as the next three sizes in width.
Because woven doesn’t have stretch, we basically need to add more ease everywhere. When adjusting your pattern pieces, do not stress about it being absolutely perfect. Naturally connect the points we will be changing and mimic the original curves as much as you can.
Highlight the side bodice lines of the width you will be cutting out. My original size was a 6 so I also printed the 8 and 10. I am going to use the side bodice lines of the size 10.
The Arm Curve:
The underarm point of the arm curve needs to be dropped 1” on both the front and back bodice pieces. Measure down 1” from the underarm point of the width you just highlighted and make a new mark.
Although we need more width in the top, the outer shoulder point shouldn’t change. Mark the outer shoulder point of your original size, but raise that point up onto the size that you used for width. For example, my outer shoulder will be the same width as my original size 6 but will be the height of a size 10. Try to follow the original curve, as much as possible, and connect the new underarm point to the outer shoulder point you just made. Simply connect this outer shoulder point to the inner shoulder by drawing a line across on the existing shoulder line.
Both the front and back neckline need to be dropped 1”. Measure down 1” and make a mark. Try to follow the original curve, as much as possible, and connect the inner shoulder point to the new neckline point you just made.
At this point there is only one more thing to consider with the bodice. You may want to eliminate the tapering in of the bodice. Because it is woven, it can make it harder to put the top on and on over the chest (and for some not possible at all) unless that opening is the same as chest width. If you are an A or B cup you may just need to decrease the taper. I’ve showed this in pink on the pattern.
Because we changed the arm curve, we also need to change the sleeve. Choose the sleeve size that corresponds with the width size you used. For example, I used a 10 sleeve, since I used the 10 bodice width. Extend the outer edge (not on the fold) out 1/2".
In addition, raise the cap of the sleeve 1/2" and redraw the curve.
You are now ready to cut out your pieces according to the original directions and start sewing
Preparing the Sleeve
The steps for attaching the bias to the arm curve are the same. The only thing you need to do differently is to fold the raw edge of the bias under. As shown in the pictures below, so there isn’t a raw edge visible.
First pull the away from the sleeve.
Fold it into the seam.
Fold it over one more time to the wrong side of the sleeve and topstitch.
Changes in Seam Allowance
Follow the original directions, but reduce the seam allowance at these steps.
1. When sewing at the shoulders – reduce the seam allowance to 1/4".
2. Sew the sides of the bodice and the sleeves – reduce the seam allowance to 1/4".
When you have figure out what changes work for you and your body, you can continue to play with the pattern. Add a keyhole in the back, extend the sleeve length and finish it with an elastic casing, hem the sleeve instead of adding a ruffle. The options are limitless. Can’t wait to see what you create!