As I brainstormed essentials for a (kind-of) minimal wardrobe, a lace blouse was at the top of the list. I love how classy and neutral, yet feminine they are! I could shop for one, but I had some eyelet lace in my stash that was just enough for this blouse, so of course I had to add it to my list of things to sew. Thanks to this blog and the fact that I’m moving soon, I finished it!
In this blog post I’m sharing the tutorial and free pattern (yay!) so that you can make one too. 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!
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
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).
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:
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.
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.
- 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.
Sew the shoulder seams, finishing them as you go. I used a French seam.
Prep the facing.
- Sew the facing and interfacing together at the shoulder seams.
- 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.
Attach the facing.
- Pin the facing to the neck hole of your blouse right sides together and sew the seam.
- Clip the seam allowance and press right side out.
- 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.
- 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).
- After the edges are pressed under, pin the facing in place and topstitch around the edge.
- 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.
Sew the side seams. I used a French seam to finish my edges here as well.
Sew the sleeves.
- Sew the sleeve seam and finish it.
- Baste (don’t backstitch!) from notch to notch along the top of the sleeve.
- Pulling the bobbin thread, gather the fabric as tight as it will go.
- Smooth the fabric back out. It should have a nice shoulder curve to it now.
Attach the sleeves.
- Flip the sleeves right side out and pin into the armholes right sides together.
- Sew around the armhole and serge or zig-zag the edges (I don’t attempt French seams here)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sew this side close to the zipper teeth as well. Sew a zig-zag stitch along the edge of the zipper.
- Fold the loose edge of the facing under and topstitch it onto the zipper.
- 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.
- Cut and stitch across the end of the zipper if it’s too long.
- Press up the bottom first 1/2″, then another 1/2″. Hem.
- Press up the sleeve hems first 1″ then another 1″. Hem.
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!
Please also give me feedback on the success of the pattern. 🙂 I am always editing.