Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial

In this blog post I’m sharing the tutorial and free pattern (yay!) for the ever-classic lace blouse. This is an exciting moment for me because it’s my first ever full size (meaning not baby clothes) pattern that I’ve created for others and digitized. That means I’m a newbie and I would love your feedback of how it worked for you and how the fit turned out!

Sew your own lace blouse with this free pattern and tutorial. stitchesandsunflowers.com

 

I used eyelet lace, which made sewing up this blouse fairly straightforward. However, if you use true lace it will be a little trickier to sew, so just be aware of that if you’re a beginner.

The pattern for this blouse is only for one size, although the techniques I show you can be used for many blouse patterns. The measurements of the finished garment are as follows:

Bust: 39 1/2

Waist: 37

Hip: 40 1/2

*When measuring yourself to see if this will fit you don’t forget to add a couple inches to account for ease (the extra room in a garment to make it comfortable to wear).

Materials

Free Blouse Pattern

2 yards Lightweight apparel fabric (I used eyelet lace)

An invisible zipper (preferably matching, but all I could find with limited resources was grey)

 

Here’s How to Sew It:

Step one:

Cut out all your pattern pieces.

*I would provide a sample pattern layout, but I actually used a really small and randomly shaped piece of fabric to make this…haha. When it comes to sewing and diy my mantra is often, “Use what you have.” Do your best to save fabric while keeping all the pattern pieces in line with the grain of the fabric as marked.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step two:

Sew the darts.

  • Mark the dart point and the dart ends (I do this with pins) and then pin the dart flat with the dart ends together.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Sew the dart starting at the dart ends, but don’t make a straight line to the dart point. It helps the shaping of the blouse if you curve in earlier than you think and then slowly taper to the point. Pictures below.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

 

Step three:

Sew the shoulder seams, finishing them as you go. I used a French seam.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step four:

Prep the facing.

  • Sew the facing and interfacing together at the shoulder seams.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • If you are using fusible interfacing, iron it on now.
  • I used non-fusible interfacing. If you do this baste the interfacing to the facing fabric along the neck seam.

Step five:

Attach the facing.

  • Pin the facing to the neck hole of your blouse right sides together and sew the seam.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Clip the seam allowance and press right side out.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Now, finish the edge of your facing. I chose to turn it under and topstitch it onto the blouse and I like the results.
  • To do this, stitch along the edge of the facing with 1/4″ seam allowance. This will give a line from which to fold the fabric under and press.

Sew your own lace blouse with this free pattern and tutorial. stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • After it is pressed under, trim the interfacing to be 1/4″ smaller than the facing (if you are using non-fusible interfacing. If not, skip it).

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • After the edges are pressed under, pin the facing in place and topstitch around the edge.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Leave two-three inches on either side of the back/zipper opening.
  • You may also choose to simply serge this edge and topstitch it or leave it loose.

Step six:

Sew the side seams. I used a French seam to finish my edges here as well.

Step seven:

Sew the sleeves.

  • Sew the sleeve seam and finish it.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Baste (don’t backstitch!) from notch to notch along the top of the sleeve.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Pulling the bobbin thread, gather the fabric as tight as it will go.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com   Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Smooth the fabric back out. It should have a nice shoulder curve to it now.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step eight:

Attach the sleeves.

  • Flip the sleeves right side out and pin into the armholes right sides together.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Sew around the armhole and serge or zig-zag the edges (I don’t attempt French seams here)

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step nine:

Add the invisible zipper. Zippers are still so hard for me! I used this tutorial to help me remember the steps. Since I didn’t plan ahead enough to buy a zipper online, I bought a thrift store dress and picked out the zipper.

  • Iron out the roll in your invisible zipper. Notice how the two lines of stitching are visible in the photo because the zipper has been flattened out.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Unzip and pin one side right sides together on one edge of the back opening. The edge without teeth should be lined up the raw edge of the fabric. Make sure that the top part of the zipper is going to be sewn under the facing.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Use a zipper foot and sew along the teeth of the zipper, as close as you can. Stop when you get to the desired zipper length.
  • Zip up the zipper and mark where to sew on the other side. Mark any topstitching lines so that they match up.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Unzip and pin the right side of the other side of the zipper to the other back edge. Check and make sure that the zipper will zip up properly.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Sew this side close to the zipper teeth as well. Sew a zig-zag stitch along the edge of the zipper.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Fold the loose edge of the facing under and topstitch it onto the zipper. Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com
  • Zip up the zipper to check it all worked out.Starting about an inch above where your zipper ends, sew the rest of the seam down the back and finish it.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Cut and stitch across the end of the zipper if it’s too long.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step ten:

Hem.

  • Press up the bottom first 1/2″, then another 1/2″. Hem.
  • Press up the sleeve hems first 1″ then another 1″. Hem.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

And that’s how you sew your own blouse! If it’s your first, congratulations on finishing. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Sew your own lace blouse with this free pattern and tutorial. stitchesandsunflowers.com Sew your own lace blouse with this free pattern and tutorial. stitchesandsunflowers.com

Please also give me feedback on the success of the pattern. 🙂 I am always editing.

Love, Jess.

P.S. Go visit Made by You Monday  and Create Link Inspire to see some other fun tutorials.

 

 

The Worst Dressmaking Mistake I’ve Ever Made

A tragedy has just occurred. I made a super silly dressmaking mistake. One that I knew I should have avoided. Here’s how it happened.

A few years ago…

I took a pattern-making class and a sewing techniques class from an experienced professor who had working in both construction and pattern drafting for upwards of thirty years. It was so exciting to be growing towards my dreams of designing and making the perfect dresses that I could never find in stores.

I asked the professor to help me fit a pattern sloper (the base used to make all other patterns) to be a perfect fit to my body. Although I’d ordered the correct size for my body, and the measurements of the pattern were listed, she insisted that we measure the pattern itself to compare it to my measurements. “Never take the measurements for granted,” she told me. I kind of listened….but I didn’t really see the point.

Fast forward to this week.

I’ve had some cheap floral fabric (thrifted sheets or curtains, I think) in my stash for almost a year, and I’ve been dreaming up a vintage floral wrap dress for ages.

This week I finally got to work. I printed a free pattern, measured myself, cut out my fabric and took my sweet time sewing the best dress bodice I have yet to create. After I put the sleeves on I whisked that bodice into the bedroom to finally try it on, only to discover…

GASP!! The dress is tiny! It may be too small for even most twelve year olds. I look at the mirror in confusion and then it dawns on me. I didn’t measure the pattern. I assumed the sizing was the same as commercial dress sizes. I relied on a free pattern and a separate standard dress size chart! I took the measurements for granted! I died a little.

BUT, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and now I am learning from my mistakes. I hope you can too. I will never, ever, ever again cut out the dress pieces without measuring the pattern and comparing it to my measurements first. ESPECIALLY if the pattern itself doesn’t come with a size chart. But, oh the price of that knowledge. *tears*

The worst dressmaking mistake I've ever made, and how you can learn from it. stitchesandsunflowers.com

So, please, take the time to measure the pattern! It could save you a lot of trouble. However, that in itself isn’t the only lesson you should take away from this post.

I am such a perfectionist that when I make a mistake like this it can cripple me and I’ll stop sewing for fear of ruining another project.

Here’s a tip for all of us:

Learn from your mistakes! Embrace sewing errors as a way to evaluate and improve. One failed project doesn’t make you a failure.

So, what sewing mistakes have YOU made we can learn from? Come on, fess up. 😉

Love, Jess