Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cotton Blouse - mark darts as you fit

I have had this piece of fabric since last year, I really likes the design but I only bought  half of a meter. (these cotton prints are so expensive) So I was thinking what can I make?

I decided to just get on with it and make a blouse, hopefully with sleeves if there is enough.  I cut around a button up blouse I have leaving quite a large seam allowance to allow for mistakes. Then it looked like enough left for sleeves and bit of facing for neck so I cut these out as well.
I then sew the shoulder and side seams and try it on, it is usually a bit big when I do this but it doesn't matter I pin where the darts will go, in this case I did some across the top of the bust as well as down the front as it was bulging a bit there. I also noticed it was stuck out a bit on the shoulder blades so I put some horizontal ones there as well.  I straighten them all up and make sure they are evenly spaced when I lay it down flat.
I tried it with the sleeves sewn in and decided to shorten them a little, I did a pleat at the shoulder and also at the bottom of the sleeve then added a button. 
My overlocker has been broken for a while so the inside seams are zig zig stitched, I faced the neck line then hand stitched it invisibly on the inside, the sleeves and hem are machine stitched. (looking at my picture I need to iron the sleeve and dart seems a bit more)
I had hardly any fabric bits left so I really did just have enough for this top, I didn't do a side zip or vent but you could do this to make getting it on easier. I just pull it over my head and it is fine, no room for weight gain though.
I had these buttons in my sewing box, I'm getting through my stuff that I have collected over the years I will have to start replenishing them soon.  I always pick the buttons off things that are no longer any use, I also save all the spares you get with things.
Unfortunately the horses heads and bodies get a bit disfigured during the fitting!

So that is another item finished and no need of any patterns, it really annoys me what they charge for patterns and that people buy them as they think it is the easiest.  It is better to take something apart and look at it and have a go. You can buy  more fabric with the £7 or £8 pound you will save.  


  1. That's lovely, I'm trying to teach myself dressmaking at the moment and wouldn't have thought to put darts in to make it fit. (yes that's how little I know) My mum was a tailor and dressmaker so I never bothered to learn. I now regret not letting her teach me, but at the time I was not interested in any form of sewing! I have just made a dress for my granddaughter from a pattern, with help from google and youtube, and I am now attempting to make a blouse by taking apart an old blouse and drawing around the pieces. Not an exact science!! I also love your 'reinventing' old clothes, so will be taking the sleeves out of an old dress and shortening it to make a tunic. Well that's the plan anyway. Thank you for your inspiration

  2. I'm pleased you are trying things out, taking things apart is the best way to learn. Sometimes patterns can over complicate things and if you learn by de-constructing the instructions on future patterns will make more sense. Try on as you go and make it a little bigger to begin with you can adjust fit when you have some basic seams run up. Good luck and let me know how you get on. x


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