My Blouses

Several of my readers has asked me where I buy my blouses.  Except for my knit tops and sweaters (which are mostly from JC Penney’s), I made all the blouses you’ve seen on Rapunzel’s Resource.

The fabrics for my blouses have come from lots of different stores, both online and brick-and-mortar.  My preferred fabric is cotton lawn or a lighter-weight broadcloth.

The patterns I’ve used in the past are now out of print, but I didn’t like them that much anyway. Last year, I drafted my own from a blouse that I really liked from Penny’s (it was princes-seamed, by the way). There are some tutorials on the web and books with how to trace of a finished garment, but they didn’t work very well so I developed my own technique and started over. Here’s what I did.

  1. Get something see-through that you can write on with a pencil. I opened up a commercial pattern I had in stash and found a big chunk of tissue that wasn’t part of one of the pieces.
  2. Lay the shirt flat on an ironing board making one section as flat as possible. Pin the paper over it and trace the seams with a pencil. Repeat for each section.
  3. Add seam allowances to the tracings, make it up in muslin, and see what you get. I adjusted the original, made a new copy with the adjustments, tweaked the new one, and called it good. For fitting, this article is really helpful.  http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4483/to-get-the-right-armhole-fit-the-bodice
  4. If you want, make two versions– one with darts and one with princess seams. To switch a pattern back and forth, I use this tutorial ( “french lining” is 1940s for princess seams). http://www.vintagesewing.info/1940s/42-mpd/mpd-03.html#origin
  5. The next step is to draft yourself some sleeves.  I have never used a commercial sleeve pattern since I read this article! http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/sleeve_drafting_tutorial/

For construction, I really like Anna’s blouse that she made here. I skipped the seam binding on the armscye, but other than that, I pretty much followed it exactly for the pink blouse. I haven’t needed to line the others.  http://annasews.blogspot.com/2008/09/trellis-blouse.html

Once you’re comfortable with the basic pattern, you can do anything with it. For some ideas, Shannon has a lovely article here.  http://thoughtsandthimbles.blogspot.com/2009/08/building-pattern-wardrobe-part-3.html I have even drafted a skirt onto the basic pattern to make dress patterns.

I hope this article inspires you to make your own patterns and try you hand at making blouses!

Have a lovely day!

Joyfully,
Elizabeth

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3 Comments

3 thoughts on “My Blouses

  1. Thanks! I have never liked doing blouses only because they are really hard.. However, hopefully I can make one now! Thanks for sharing!!

    In Christ Alone,
    Sarah

  2. Great ideas!!! I’ve altered patterns for other things (my little sister’s Regency dress was an adventure!!) but I’ve yet to try a blouse! Thanks for the inspiration 😀

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