Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tutorial for the Between Seasons Vintage-Inspired Blouse

As promised, I've got a tutorial for you so you can make your own little between-the-seasons-blouse! (I really need a shorter name for this one, what do you think?) I think i will make myself one as well during Selfish Sewing Week (see my sidebar for the link to that). 

Before we even start with the tutorial, I feel the need for a disclaimer: I'm not a professional seamstress or designer so there are probably better ways to do what I did but I've made everything as simple to do and understand so that even a beginning sewist could create a similar look. Ok- now let's have some fun!

An explanation about the pattern pieces: I used a bodice pattern I keep on hand for making tops for my daughter. I simply traced it and doubled the width of one shoulder to allow for pleats then I flipped the pattern right across to the other side and traced the bodice to make the other side to complete the front piece.

When I traced the bodice for the back pieces, I increased the width at the neck (or center back) by 1" to allow for a placket for buttons. Make sure you cut two separate pieces. I normally cut it on the fold and then use my rotary cutter to make a straight cut up the center. If using a light weight fabric, interfacing should be used at the placket to stabilize it. 

The sleeves are cut longer so they end around her elbows. Measure your wearer to get a good idea of how long you'll need them to be. 

All right, now your pieces are cut and you can start putting it together!

We'll start with making the pleats in the shoulder.

When you fold your pleats down, make sure they stay aligned with the original cut of the shoulder so that once all pleats are in place, the seam/edge looks just like the other shoulder.

Set the front bodice aside and let's work on the back pieces.

Don't forget to finish your seams and then press them!

Confession: I do bias tape the lazy way. It works, so why not? It achieves the same look in half the time so don't judge! =)

Sorry- it's hard to read the above picture but it just states for a fact that I did not use twill tape to encase my elastic. Instead, I sewed down the seam to create a casing for it instead. It works and it was the exact spot that I wanted to use it.

Whew- you made it this far??? Congrats! Time for buttons! 

My snap buttons were placed 2 inches apart and I ended up putting 4 of them in.

And it's done! I'd pair this blouse with skirts, leggings, shorts, skinny jeans...endless possibilities! 

By the way, if I was unclear about any of the instructions, don't hesitate to point it out to me in the comments below and I will attempt to correct it immediately. 

I plan to make more variations of this blouse and will feature them when I do. There are so many other things I want to do with it so the bulk of K's fall wardrobe will probably come from just this one pattern. 

And just one last look! I love how it tricks you into believing she's wearing a dress! And a super duper cute vintagey one at that! 


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