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.
Good 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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, Linda Baldwin, Mary Ann Huguele, Mary 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