Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Peasant Blouse (Burda)


Good grief, that’s such a not-inspired title…. So let’s cut to the chase and get on with the sewing.

I actually, really and truly, bought a peasant blouse top from a real live shop and loved its gathers, floatiness and ease of wearing. I decided that I definitely needed another one in another colour. I searched for a similar pattern on the Big 4, Bootstrap and all the other indies without success.  I ended up flicking through my old Burda magazines and settled on  01-2012 number 426B.

downloadGood old tracing methodology employed in achieving this pattern – understanding, reading and following the maze of interconnecting coloured lines and sizes on Sheet A, B or C – anyways, I got a workable paper pattern in the end. This can be a tunic as well as a blouse: follow the directions below for the blouse.

This magazine is Burda Plus, for larger sizes. I traced size 44 when I would usually wear a 42 but didn’t worry much as it’s a loose top with not too much fitting necessary.

The original pattern is for a tunic so I just ‘lost’ the piece below the waist. There was still a bit of fiddling to do but it was the closest pattern I could find to meet my original idea.45feb6e2a271dad08607fd37690f2881--xl

Raglan sleeves, elasticated neckline with working ties; gathered and elasticated hem finish;  same for the sleeve hems.  The very fine fabric I used is slightly transparent and I would like a lining, so, a double layer at front and back saves the day!

The fabric came from Sherwoods. A beautifully soft cotton/silk crepe in a range of colours.


I used Kiwi, second from top of the pile.


The RTW version I have has a lining and this lining is cut slightly shorter than the outside layer. I tried to replicate this to achieve the blouson effect and to add that extra layer for opaqueness. The sleeves are single layer.


Now, bear with me on my rather clumsy explanation of how to achieve this….I forgot to take photographs along the way – apologies. Usual construction is that you start at the top of any garment and work your way down to finish at the bottom, in this method the hem is the first thing you do.

Cut 2 fronts and 2 backs. Shorten 1 of the fronts and 1 of the backs by about 1 – 1.5″ (3cm-5cm).

Right sides together, sew around the hem – front to front, back to back.

Measure some picot or thin knicker elastic around yourself where the sewn hem will sit. Zig-zag this to the seam allowances of the hems, stretching evenly as you go. Trim off the excess seam allowance to keep things neat and reduce bulk.

Flip the fronts and backs back wrong side together and hold in place with some pins. The hem is now enclosed but remember it is ‘inside’  and not at the edge. Continue to construct as normal using French seaming on the sides and raglan sleeves.


For the neckline I cut a bias strip and added this as a casing, hand slip stitching it over the raw edges. Elastic was then inserted with the good old safety pin method, pull it a little tight depending on how low or high you’d like to wear the blouse and secure the ends of the elastic with some machine stitching.



Make a cross grain strip which will become the ties at the front, so determine what length you want these – short or long. Mine are medium. Cut the strip in two and sew to the ends of the neckline. Turn under any raw edges or insert the ends of the ties into the ends of the casing.

Finally, add a bit of flair by threading some beads to the ties. Use knots to hold the beads in place and knot the ties at the ends, as these will fray over time.

This inside hem creates a lovely gathered look without the elastic showing on the outside – almost looking like it’s ‘tucked in’ .


The sleeve hems are simply turned under and more picot zig-zagged in place.

Must use more Burda patterns……



I had a little green silk/cotton left over fabric and it just happened to match a striped jersey in stash. I saw a girl on the bus the other day and she was wearing an indigo T-shirt with a wrap over front and ruffle trim. I somewhat copied it.


Take a bog standard T-shirt pattern and cut an extra front. Cut the extra front in a shape that pleases you. Sew the extra front into the right hand side seam and finish the edges with a narrow hem. I sewed a few pearl buttons along the ‘wrap’.


To make the ruffle, cut strips about 2.5″, fold lengthwise, press and gather with a large machine stitch along the fold line. Stitch to the edges of your T-shirt, press down and let fray at will.

Hello to Lyn, Kim,  segerskog@webspeed.dkLinda BaldwinMary Ann HugueleMary Ann Huguele, and anyone else who thought this sewing diary might be worthwhile spending your precious time reading. Thank you and please join in with critical comments and personal opinions – there are no boundaries here and I hope you find something useful. Rxx

48 thoughts on “Peasant Blouse (Burda)

  1. Very, very nice. I wish I could wear peasant blouses, but unfortunately, being peasant shaped, it’s not a good look. I now need some of this fabric. STOP IT I haven’t even finished marking yet!

  2. Great job – love love the color !!

  3. I love that peasant top – and the colour is divine! I’m loving Burda patterns these days, too…. there’s just too many to sew up….

  4. Such lovely tops! Love love the colors! Great job on the pattern hacks. Genius.

  5. I love peasant blouses – especially with embroidery on them. This one is a cut above. Very lovely work as ever Ruth. And I have been meaning to say I love your new hair cut too.

  6. Wow! I was a little uncertain with the title of the post, but the peasant blouse is wonderful on you! Great choice of fabric – both the color and weight/drape factor.

  7. I really admire how well you choose colors and styles that work so well for you…you certainly know how to style your outfits and photo shoots.

  8. Nicely done👍❤️😍

  9. I pulled a peasant blouse pattern out of my stash a year ago and it’s been sitting on a dresser, waiting since then. It’s part of a costume set. Remember to look at the costume section of the pattern catalogues! Your version is lovely. The fabric is fabulous. What about those trousers — are those your “not-banana-yellow” pair, or something else?

    • Hi Felicia. The green jeans are a rub off from a pair of Armani. I followed Kenneth D King’s Craftsy class Jeanius to get the pattern. Well worth it as I’ve made about 6 pairs. Thank you.

  10. Like D. Fairy I can’t wear this shape, but you wear it well, Ruth. Fabric looks lovely – never heard of this company before. Not keen on PDFs, but these are far more preferable to tracing Burda patterns. If I see anything in the Burda magazine I’ll always buy them in this format.

    • Sheree, I detest tracing Burda patterns and loath tiling PDFs but when there’s no other choice, I just have to buckle down and do it. Give me a tissue pattern any day. Thank you

  11. I always read your blog and get inspired by what you make! Love you in lime.

  12. Ah, this is lovely, and one of my favourite colours on you! And I understood your very well explained construction method.

    I made a top which whilst not peasant has a similar ‘blouson’ bodice. It fits so well but I made the sleeve cuffs ugly with papery interfacing so I don’t wear it. Maybe I should cut off the cuffs and just gather with elastic like the bodice?

    All in all an inspiring make and the T Shirt is cute too.

  13. Wow you are a prolific sewer and I love your blog; it’s sooo inspiring. You are so clever with the use of leftover fabric too. As a long time Burda fan I love to go through my old issues and often find what I need. It’s winter here in Australia and very cold; I’m looking forward to warmer weather and living vicariously through your blog.

    • Thanks Ingrid. Some of these things were made a little while ago and I’m just getting round to updating the blog.
      I do the same thing with the Australian blogs – I plan for winter.

  14. Lovely work on this blouse, and my favourite colour outfit.
    Wear it with joy!

  15. Your peasant blouse is really lovely. Great colour on you and the perfect match of fabric weight to pattern style. You really know what works for you in terms of styles and colours!

    • Thank you Dagmar. Green always seems ‘fresh’ to me and I’m slowly getting there in terms of personal style – mind you, it’s taken years and years…..

  16. You’ve convinced me that a peasant blouse is in my future – and in that color! Gorgeous!!

  17. I love your peasant blouse, but the second top stole my heart! Love it!

  18. Both tops are fabulous, well done!

  19. As soon as I saw you – a vision in green, I thought of the Kermit song ‘Rainbow Connection’! Its a great colour on you and nb – the advantages of not too large chesticles means you can wear blouson styles without looking like you’re hiding a baby bump! x

  20. I love that colour and you can wear it, but definitely not one for everyone. That neckline also really suits you. To be honest I wouldn’t have gone for a peasant blouse, I think it reminds me too much of ones I used to wear, but I really do like this on you, I think it’s because you’ve worn it with trousers rather than a skirt. X

  21. This is fabulous! I love a peasant blouse, and this colour is fabulous. I too have hunted for the perfect peasant blouse pattern, I’ve had success with a peasant style dress (McCalls 7116) and have high hope for Charm Patterns peasant blouse when it’s out.

  22. Sorry to say this…but the top looks better on you than on the model! Who wore it best? You did!

  23. Fabulous colour Ruth, and the method of ‘blousing’ the hem would prevent my perennial problem of no suitable belt.
    However, do thank that lady on the bus. I LOVE the t-shirt!

  24. That peasant blouse is SO cute on you and I love the vibrant color!

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