Friday, 13 April 2018

Tie Neck Blouse How To

I thought I would share today how I hack my existing clothes to make new ones, removing the need for patterns and ensuring a good fit.  Warning this post contains a lot of pictures today and I hope they are clear enough to be helpful if you want to have a go at doing something similar  for yourself.  Below is the finished blouse...
This type of blouse was one that I had on my to do list for this year, as all tops follow pretty much the same shape however I didn't want to buy a pattern for it.  I had seen an image for it which I shared in a previous post and I put this on my notepad...
So my first job was to get one of my existing tops that has no stretch in it, the reason for this being my fabric is non stretch and I want this blouse to just pull on with no need for a zip or buttons.

From here on are the steps to making this blouse.

I lay the blouse on the fabric, this one has some gathering at the bottom I arranged the fabric of the blouse so that this would not make my pieces too wide.  I then cut around it leaving a good inch all the way around, you can take in but can't put back once it's been cut so allow more if you are cautious.
Fold in the sleeve so that you can see where to cut for the armhole,  of course if you have an old top you may want to just take it apart to make a pattern.  I do it this way because this is a top |I still wear.

Cut around the neck and along the shoulder, I cut back and front together then lowered front neck line after.
Fold your front piece in half and cut where you want your neckline to lie.  Don't worry if it is not spot on you can take more off later if you need to.
Then I cut a V shape notch to one side where I want the blouse to tie, I also cut two small pieces to face inside the V but no interfacing as the fabric is quite floaty and I don't want it unnaturally stiff there.

Fold fabric in half, double again to make two sleeves, lay on sleeve of blouse to get an idea of armhole shape then fold back so you can see to cut.  You may want to mark the line with chalk.
You will now have this sleeve shape, now measure your arm from shoulder to wrist to see what length you will need for the arm.  Add on 2cm for the hem and 1.5cm for the shoulder seam.
Now cut up the side tapering it  a little .

Now cut two long strips for your tie pieces, about 4cm wide, it will be folded then folded again so if you want a wider more obvious tie on your blouse then make your pieces wider than that.  Now to put it all together.

Put your front piece on the machine right side up, fold one of your little facing pieces in half then stitch down one side of the V.  Take the other piece and repeat on the other side.
Then turn them through to the wrong side and cut a little v there.
Then pin it in place and topstitch on the right side. Neaten the inside by trimming, folding under and hand stitching on the inside.

Now you can sew front piece to back piece at the shoulder.
Then take your sleeves and fold them in half, make a little notch at centre sleeve where it will meet the shoulder, open the shoulder seem right sides facing up, lay sleeve right side facing down match notch to shoulder seem then pin in place easing sleeve to arm hole gently but don't force it.  If it hangs over a little you can trim that off. Sew in place.
When both sides are done fold blouse over and stitch down side seems and up along arms, match the under arms and pin before you do this and ensure the fabric doesn't slip.

Try on to check that the neck is where you like it, if not lower it a bit, or reshape if needed.

Join both tie pieces then fold in half lengthways, make a small cut centre back neck then start sewing you tie band on from the centre cut matching the centre join of tie piece.  Raw edge of tie to raw edge of neck.  sew down one side then the other this will ensure even tie on each side.

Then starting from one side fold the tie piece in half again tucking the ends under, sew all around the neck trying to stay in last line of stitching.  If you find this tricky pin it first then work from the right side to ensure neat topstitching.  Make sure you overlap it a bit on the inside if you do it that way so that you catch it in.

Before you go any further now you may want to try it on to check the fit, take your pins with you!  Make it as fitted as you can while still pulling it over your head easily, just pin on the outside and try it you can always move the pins after. Check the sleeve length is ok.
Now you can just hem the sleeves, I chose a thin elastic, zig zag or overlock first, measure around your wrist with elastic then sew it together. place on the bottom of the sleeve and pull as you hem around leaving it to move loosely inside.

All that is left is to hem the bottom and neaten up those inside seams, I always do this after now when I am happy with the overall fit it saves wasting time.
I've done a curved hem so it can be worn out or tucked in, you can just make it straight if you want.
It is purple but on a very gloomy day!
I hope this has been of some use and inspired you to have a go at winging it without a pattern, my apologies to any purists out there who do things differently or like to stick to the book.  Patterns can be expensive and I know there will be many people who want to make new styles but can't afford all the latest patterns.  For those people I hope this is helpful, if any of the steps are unclear just leave a comment and I will answer it.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Oh my you are 'sew' good at doing this type of sewing. It is a triumph. Jo x

  2. You make it look so easy. A great job.


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