Elizabeth – The Lucky Blouse Pattern For Your Classic Wardrobe

Elizabeth – The Lucky Blouse Pattern For Your Classic Wardrobe

classic blouse pattern

Elizabeth – The lucky blouse for your classic wardrobe; believe me, this is true, it brings good luck to all who wear it. This classic blouse pattern is sure to become a permanent feature of your wardrobe, so stick it out to the end!

This classic blouse pattern is a wrap blouse designed to be for woven fabrics.

I have made the blouse with ties around the waist instead of buttons.

classic blouse pattern

Gathers at the top of the shoulder

blouse pattern

and darts at the front and back to allow you to fit the pattern to your body.

Many years ago when I was living in Panama, I was roommates with three girls all called Elizabeth. Elizabeth the first was a newly graduated accountant. To go to her first big job interview she borrowed my special blouse and a pair of pants. She managed to get the job and started the chain of coincidences involving these three and my special, now lucky, blouse.

Elizabeth the second was an exchange student from Hong Kong who was learning Spanish in Panama. Her real name was Yuh Line, but like many East Asian people living abroad adopted an English name. She ended up borrowing my lucky blouse to go to a wedding. At the wedding, she met the person who’d become her future spouse, and today they own a dental clinic together.

The third person who borrowed my blouse was the only one not named Elizabeth. Her name was Gisela and she also borrowed my blouse for a big interview. This time it was for getting a scholarship to Cornell University, which she succeeded in getting.

By now the reputation of my lucky blouse was well established, which is where the third Elizabeth comes in. Elizabeth III was the best friend of the owner of the apartment. She was an enigma to me, she did not work, nor study, but always managed to look great and well-dressed. Many times I would come home and find her dressed up all sharp and beautiful on her way out to some sort of fancy social occasion. However, she did have the annoying habit of going through my clothes and borrowing them without my permission, and this really started to cause some friction between the group.

One particular evening I’d laid out my lucky blouse in preparation for a big job interview I had the tomorrow morning. I left the apartment for an hour or so, and upon returning I found my lucky blouse was missing. Later that night I answered the front door finding Elizabeth III bringing home and a male friend to the apartment (which was already against our rules). As I opened the door I did not see him at first, instead noticing that she was wearing my lucky blouse.

“Why are you wearing my blouse? I was going to wear it tomorrow for my interview.” I asked in a not-so-friendly tone. This incident happened to end my stay in the apartment, as according to Elizabeth III I’d embarrassed her in front of who she later called “the man I was going to marry”. Well, I washed the blouse that night and wore it the next day. I did end up getting the job but I had to sleep on my brother’s couch until I could make other arrangements.

Anyways, I hope this little story helps explain why I think the classic blouse pattern, Elizabeth, might bring you luck too.


  • 1.6 to 2.2 yards of 56″ Cotton Sateen, linen, silk taffeta
  • Thread to match
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Seven strings, deco flat elastic, cord, or deco woven tape.


Fabric Recommendations

Sewing Skill: Intermediate

I do not recommend this blouse as your first project if you have never done a blouse before. Below are the skills necessary to be able to finish the blouse.

Body Measurements

There is a 4-inch ease on this pattern.

Size S M L XL 2XL
Bust 31 33 36 39 1/2 43 1/2
Waist 24 26 32 34 36
33 35 37 41 1/2 45 1/2

How To Download Your Lucky Blouse Pattern

We will continue using the new Payhip web store to distribute our patterns. 

Our patterns are still free, but now you have the option of making a small contribution if you like our work! We’d appreciate it, and it will help us keep going with new and fun designs like this. Even a dollar or two goes a long way.

Thanks so much in advance for helping us out.  You can use any credit card, and you don’t need a Paypal account, although you can use one if you have one.

Elizabeth The Lucky Blouse Pattern Layout

blouse pattern

How To Make Your Perfect Blouse

There is NO seam allowance in the pattern. I recommend you add a 5/8″, and I assume this is what you will be adding, so I will refer to that amount in my instructions.

Step One: Making And Tracing The Facings

Have you ever heard the phrase “do as I say not as I do”? Unfortunately, that applies to this part of the project as I am not using fusible interfacing in the facing, which is not ideal. If you read my post last week you would know that I have moved and all my sewing things are in a container, so I have to make do with what I have.

You may notice in the pictures that I have opted for stitching rows at the front to give this part of the blouse some rigidity. You can do the same or use bias tape instead of a facing. In fact, these would make it much easier, but I only just thought about that once I finished the blouse.

Apply fusible interfacing to the fabric from which you will cut the facings. This is a better system than fusing the interfacing after cutting because you avoid shrinkage and deformation of the facing.

Trace the facing neck and front. Sew at 5/6″, assuming you added this amount as a seam allowance. Put aside.

Step Two: Making The Cords

Here again, you can use deco tape, and it will save you at least two hours of work. You will need ten pieces 8″ long.

Cut a bias tape 24″ in length and 1″ in width this will make 3 pieces of cords. You will need 10 pieces.

Fold the bias strip in half, sew at 1/4″ from the fold.

blouse pattern

Use a loop turner to turn the loop.

Step Three: Sewing The Darts

Sew the front and back darts of the blouse. Press the darts.

Step Four: Pinning The Cords

You will need to place the cords before you put the blouse together. I have to warn you here, I will be talking about the sides of the body as supposed to what you see in the picture. This is a wrap blouse, the right side will be on top and you will see the ties on the left side of the body.

Pin three cords separated by two inches on the right side of the body.

On the same side, but on the inside pin two cords.

Do the opposite on the left side two cords on the top and three on the inside with the exception that the three cords need to be left on the outside of the blouse so you can tie them up.

NOTE: You know you have done it well when you match two cords in the inside tied together as in the picture above and three cords on top matching three cords on the side.

Step Five: Attaching The Front And Back Of The Blouse

Sew the shoulder seams, serge the seam allowance and press the seams open.

Sew the side seams, and be careful that the ties remained horizontal. Serger and press the seams.

Step Six: Attaching The Facing

Pin the facing to the blouse right sides facing each other at the shoulder seams, and pin the facing all over the front. Sew at 5/8″.

classic blouse pattern

Cut the facing side, and reduce it by half. Press towards the facing, fold and understitch.

Serge the edge of the facing and iron the facing.

It will be helpful for beginners to read this article.

Step Seven: Adding The Sleeves

Sew along the arm of the sleeve, serge and iron the seam.

Gather the cup of the sleeve.

blouse pattern
classic blouse pattern

Pin the center of the sleeve to the seam allowance; remember, the two notches indicate the sleeves’ back.

classic blouse pattern

Sew the sleeves to the arm holes.

Step Eight: Hemming The Blouse

blouse pattern

Serge the bottom edge of the blouse. Fold the facing and the hem 5/8 and sew using a medium stitch.

blouse pattern
classic blouse pattern

The original blouse has button loops instead of ties and has one button inside on the right side of the body at the tip of the bust dart. The blouse also had embroidered cuffs and a very large belt. Let me know in the comments below if this is something you would like to explore.

I was voted out of the apartment and landed on my brother’s couch for a few weeks until I moved to Europe. (another story for another day), I do not know if there is good or bad luck. I believe that when we wear something that makes us look good and feel confident, things tend to turn how we want. It is all on our mind; if we know the product and the companies and look and feel confident, the possibilities of things going our way are high. As Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind”.

Did you ever have a roommate who abused your wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below if you believe a piece of your wardrobe has brought you good luck.

Until next time! Let’s keep the world together one stitch at a time.

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Curvy Girl’s Perfect Jeans Blouse – A Two Hour Project

Curvy Girl’s Perfect Jeans Blouse – A Two Hour Project

Curvy girl's perfect jeans blouse

Today I’ll be sharing with you the curvy girl’s perfect jeans blouse. What makes it perfect, you might ask? Well, I recently got to put it to the test, making it only in a matter of hours before hopping on a flight to Europe. That trip, which I only just made it back from, is worth its own story (coming soon!). What I really needed was something easy to make, casual and chic at the same time, and I’m very happy to say this blouse delivered.

This week I’m sharing with you the same blouse as last week, just in larger sizes with some slight modifications. Thank you very much for all the feedback on the last post asking for larger sizes. I appreciate all of your feedback, so don’t be shy and leave a comment below.

The sewing instructions are the same as last week’s blouse. The characteristics of the blouse are the same as well.

Gathers at the shoulders,

Curvy girl's perfect jeans blouse

elastic at wrists,

Curvy girl's perfect jeans blouse

easy to apply bias tape at the collar,

perfect jeans blouse

and a high and low hemline.

jeans blouse


  • 2 1/2 to 3 yards of cotton Satine, batiste, silk back crepe, or jersey with 30% stretch.
  • Bias tape 1/2″ to 3/4″
  • Thread to match
  • 1 yard of 3/8″ to 1/2″ elastic


  • Sewing machine (ideal but Optional)
  • Serger
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Sewing needle 70 or 80

Fabric Recommendations From Amazon.com

Sewing Skill: Confident Beginner

Just like the original, this perfect jeans blouse is ideal for a beginner who has never made a blouse. You will practice the applications of bias tape and elastic, sewing a hem, and, more importantly, you will practice choosing the right size for your figure.

Take note that there is no seam allowance included with the pattern. I recommend a 5/8″ if using the french seam technique to finish the blouse or a 3/8″ if using a serger.

Body Measurements

Size 16 18 20 22
Bust 41 43 1/2 45 1/2 47
Waist 33 36 38 40
Hips 43 45 47 51

How To Download Your Curvy Girl’s Perfect Jeans Blouse Pattern

We will continue using the new Payhip web store to distribute our patterns. 

Our patterns are still free, but now you have the option of making a small contribution if you like our work! We’d appreciate it, and it will help us keep going with new and fun designs like this. Even a dollar or two goes a long way.

Thanks so much in advance for helping us out.  You can use any credit card, and you don’t need a Paypal account, although you can use one if you have one.

The Larger Perfect Jeans Blouse Pattern Layout

Curvy girl's perfect jeans blouse

How To Make Your Curvy Girl’s Perfect Jeans Blouse

The sewing instructions are the same for both blouses, even if you use knit fabric.

The only additional instructions would be the sleeves. I have added additional room at the shoulders for more gathers, fold the sleeves in half and mark the center of the sleeves, then gather the sleeves one inch on either side of the center mark.

Find The Step-By-Step Instructions Below

I am the kind of person, who before a trip packs the night before if I’m lucky. More likely it ends up being two hours before I have to leave for the airport. This terrible habit always lands me packing wrong for the trip.

On my last trip where I’d be gone for most of a month, I could only manage to pack three blouses, two pairs of jeans, and one pair of shoes. This was not completely by choice, but because most of my possessions were stored inside a 40′ container and have been trapped there since we’d moved. We have recently downsized our life by adding some land but shrinking the house. As a consequence unpacking has been slow and difficult due to the lack of space.

So when I was getting ready to pack my suitcase with opposite-season clothes, I was staring at the possibility of opening 200 boxes or more to find clothes suitable for the trip. Making this blouse literally became easier for me. So this is why I am sharing this curvy girl’s perfect jeans blouse with you. I hope you find it practical to make and wear as I did.

What type of packing do you do before a trip? Are you the kind who packs to the last detail weeks in advance, or are you like me, just throwing clothes in the suitcase and hoping to have something that will match on arrival? Let me know in the comments below. I am curious…

See you next week, And Until Next Time, Happy Sewing!

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The Placket Pattern & Tutorial – For The Tailored Shirt Look

The Placket Pattern & Tutorial – For The Tailored Shirt Look

placket pattern

This is the placket pattern & tutorial.  A placket is a detail often used in tailored shirts and blouses. This is one of the skills that will raise your sewing to the next level.

But first, let’s make sure everyone knows what we’re talking about.  According to Wikipedia:

placket (also spelled placquet) is an opening in the upper part of trousers or skirts, or at the neck or sleeve of a garment.[1] Plackets are almost always used to allow clothing to be put on or removed easily, but are sometimes used purely as a design element. Modern plackets often contain fabric facings or attached bands to surround and reinforce fasteners such as buttons, snaps, or zippers.

Yes, I think you know where I am going with this placket pattern & tutorial.  I just love these super simple techniques that make your projects look much more professional.  I have found the absolute easiest way to make a tailored placket for the crisp looking shirt that I will soon share with you.

You can use this placket pattern in just about any sleeve you wish to have buttons and cuffs.  A placket is always found in a tailored shirt of man and woman, but it is a bit tricky to sew so I am sharing with you an easy and fail-proof way.  While most sleeves patterns come with their placket pattern, you can use the pattern I am sharing with you in case you want to add a placket to a shirt you already have.


  • Fabric from the shirt or a contrasting one.
  • An erasable pen, or tailor’s chalk
  • An iron
  • A ruler

Pattern Download

Get the Pattern HERE

Once printed, transfer the placket pattern to your fabric using a tailor’s chalk, pencil or an erasable ink pen.  You might want to try a Frixion pen.

There are two pieces to the pattern:  The Overlap and the Underlap.  Place the fabric print sides together and cut out two pieces, two for each sleeve.  We will start folding the pieces, this is an important step so we do not sew the pieces on the wrong side of the sleeve.

How To Use This Placket Pattern Tutorial

This is the contemporary drafting and sewing technique of a placket pattern & tutorial for a man’s or woman’s shirt.  There are other ways to sew a placket but I have given you the universally know tailoring technique.

Note: this is not a mass-produced technique used in large factories.

Step One:  Preparing The Overlap

Fold the Overlap print sides together and

placket pattern

sew the edge at 1/4″ (A), trim the corner at a 90-degree angle (B),  Trim (C) and turn sharp triangle.

placket pattern

Turn the triangle right side out (D). Iron.placket pattern

Fold the 3/8″ line on the side where the triangle is located.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Fold the 1/4″ line on the opposite side of the triangle.placket pattern

placket pattern

placket pattern

The following pictures are going to be key to making the placket on the right side of the sleeve and in the correct order.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Step Two:  Preparing The Underlap

placket pattern

Fold 1/4″ on the side.

placket pattern

Then fold in both sides on the sides. placket pattern

You will use the creases as a sewing guide to attaching the underlap to the sleeve.

placket pattern

Here are both pieces of the pattern.  Overlap on top and Underlap at the bottom.

placket pattern

Step Three:  Placing The Pieces Of The Placket On The Sleeve

It is important to pay attention to this step since it will make or break your project.   Placing the pieces in the correct placement will ensure your success.

The Overlap is placed print side down on the wide side of the placement line or towards the front of the sleeve.placket pattern

placket pattern

Align the edges of the Underlap and Overlap on the placement line

placket pattern

Using the fold lines already made by the iron sew on each line next to the placement line stopping right at the end of the placket.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Cut in between the stitching lines or on the placement line.  Stop at 1/4″ and cut to the corner but not through.

placket pattern

placket patternStep Four:  Sewing The Underlap

Bring the Underlap from the wrong side of the sleeve to the right side and iron the stitching line.

placket pattern

Pin the Underlap over the stitching line and sew. Iron.

placket pattern

Step Five:  Sewing The Overlap

Turn the Overlap to the right side of the sleeve and iron the stitching line.

placket pattern

Fold the Overlap over the stitching line. You will find that the Overlap will do this naturally since it was folded previously using the iron.

placket pattern

Stitch close to the folded edge from 3/8″ of the Jog level to the end of the Overlap.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Now it is time to sew the Overlap Over the Underlap.

  1. Keeping the Underlap away from the Overlap sew the edge at 1/16″ from the end of the overlap to the first corner.placket pattern
  2. Slide the Underlap under the Overlap and sew from the corner to the tipplacket pattern
  3. From the tip to the left corner
  4. From the left corner join the stitching line with the previously stitched line.placket pattern
  5. Sew across the packet and create a rectangle catching this way the Underlap and the Overlap, you are now ready to sew the underarm stitch.placket pattern

Most of the commercial and Indy Patterns will include a placket pattern but not always a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to make one.  The Placket is a contemporary tailoring technique that is both feared and respected by fashion design students and newbie seamstresses alike.

This is one of the techniques that will move you from a beginner to intermediate-level sewists.  Take up the challenge and learn this technique so you can join me in making a special, tailored blouse coming soon.

placket pattern

placket pattern

Let me know what you think of this Placket tutorial in the comments below, also if you want to see more interesting techniques to take your sewing projects to the next level.


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Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern – A Transformation Made Easy…

Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern – A Transformation Made Easy…

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

This weekend we’ll be making a short sleeve mid-length kimono pattern using the Linen V-top Pattern I shared with you recently.  This is not the first kimono top I have shared with you.

On the previous one, the top actually crosses over and you can tie the top in the front if you wish to do that.  I happened to not like tying a top on my waist since I am short-waisted and it makes me look wider than I am.  So this is more my style.

This short sleeve mid-length kimono pattern is specially designed with the “apple” body shape figure.  This type of figure is very tricky to dress since a protruding stomach might be a bit challenging to hide.

For more thoughts on Tips to Make Your Style Match Your Figure, please check out this popular post.

Pay special attention to my fabric recommendations so you end up with a top that is both flattering and attractive no matter what your size.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

The trend this Autumn and Winter is going to be monochromatic outfits cinched at the waist.  As I always say; there’s no need to always chase the fashion trends to avoid becoming a fashion victim, the classics are always in style.

However, the monochromatic look is one that will notably add elegance and make your outfit look more expensive but we are not going to explore it today.  Rather, I am using very thin silk, super soft that I picked up years ago in Bangalore, India.  It is not the easiest thing to sew, and I choose not to use fusible interfacing because it would ruin the collar band. However, it does make for a questionable hanger appeal. I do need to steam the seams more, but I have identified the culprit of the bit of puckering in the fabric.  The thread is very tight.  So I will be taking the stitch out and loosening it a bit to avoid the puckered look at the front.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

I am keeping the sides open since the type of vent we are using adds fluidity to the top.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

The long neckline will also streamline your figure.

Soft fabric will follow the curves of your body without adding pounds.


  • 2.5 to 3 yards of fabric (depends on size) of silk, rayon, or 20% stretch knit
  • Thread to match
  • Fusible interfacing matching the length of the front-facing


Fabric Recommendations from Fabric.com

How to Get the Pattern

I am using the same pattern from the Linen V-Top, so download that pattern and follow me on how to transform it into this short sleeve mid-length Kimono pattern.

Linen V-Top Pattern HERE

You will only need the front and back pieces.

Experience Level

This project is for beginners who want to learn to do a simple pattern transformation.  At the end of this series, you will end up with 4 different looks.

Read the additional tutorials before cutting the fabric.

How To Make Your Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern

The first thing we will do is to make the opening at the front so the top can be worn open or crossover and tied with a belt.  Next, we will elongate the top, we will draft the sleeves, then we will be sewing the top.  The whole thing should take you no more than 4 hours to make.

Step One:  Transform the Front

Lay the front of the top on the table. Trace a straight line from the neckline to the hemline.  This straight line should be parallel to the grainline and to the sideline.

Cut off the front with your paper scissors.

Step Two:  Elongate the Top

Follow this tutorial to learn how to lengthen a top.  I am making mine 15″ longer, however, lengthen yours by however much you need.

Step Three:  Sew the Shoulders

Sew the front to the back at the shoulder seam.

Step Three:  Making the Collar and Sleeve

Measure from one side of the collar through the neckline to the end of the other side of the collar hem, plus 3/4″.  For example 89″ + 3/4″= 89 3/4″

Step Four:  Cut the Collar and Sleeves

Measure the armhole from the front notch to the back and add the seam allowance times two.  I go into detail on how to sew the armband or sleeve on STEP FOUR here.

Cut the collar and sleeves on a straight grain line.

Wrong sides together, fold both collar and the cuff of the sleeves in half lengthwise.

Step Five:  Sewing the Collar

Attach the collar starting at the hem leaving 3/8″ to fold the hem.  Pin the collar all the way to the other side of the top leaving the 3/8″ for the hem.

Step Six:  Sewing the Sleeve Cuff

The cuff is sewn in the same way as the Linen V-neck top, so follow that section well.

Ideally, you have already downloaded and made the first top, so this step will be just a breeze for you.  If you have not, it is important to read the instructions for the Linen V-Top and understand the sewing procedure.

With that done your Kimono is all finished!

Do you have another idea for transforming the original pattern?  The V-neck top pattern is very well suited for transformation and experimenting.  Did you like the transformation into a short sleeve mid-length kimono pattern, or would you rather download your own?  Do let me know in the comments section below.

A Quick Response To A Comment

I also wanted to take a moment to address a trend that has been happening in the USA and one that causes a bit of confusion for those of us who do not live in the USA and are not familiar with the Politically Correct movement.

Here is a comment I received from a reader on the first Kimono top pattern:  “I know you mean well, by calling a top kimono you are culturally appropriating it.”

I did not approve the comment, because where will we end up if we cannot appreciate the works and art of cultures different from our own?  Appropriation is such a politically charged word and is used to mean that what we are doing is disrespectful, I prefer to use adaptation, assimilation, or even just borrowing.  After all, it is how we learn and a great way to show our appreciation.

Adapting and assimilating is how we learn to write, sing, and dress.  In fact, nearly everything that we know, especially in the arts, has come from some other country, time period, or culture.  I believe by learning and adapting from other cultures is why today we have the advances in all fields that we enjoy today.  But that’s just my opinion, take a look at this young YouTuber on the subject of Americans wearing kimonos.

This is the opinion of the Japanese about a highly controversial and criticized concert that Katy Perry did in 2016.  (Personally, Katy Perry is not my cup of tea but I can appreciate artistically what she was going for.)  If you’re interested, watch the reaction from real Japanese people on the street about Americans wearing kimonos and the criticism by the media of the video.

I can say as a Panamanian, that I am proud when I see a foreigner wearing our national costume because I know that that woman took four hours to get dressed and she is wearing it with pride and she feels beautiful because people cannot stop admiring her.  We see it as the highest form of respect for our culture.

What do you think? I am very interested in your opinion on this subject please comment in the section below.

Anyways, Until Next Time, Happy Sewing!

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern
recycling old placemats
short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

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Kimono Top: an Alternative to Wearing Pajamas to Work…

Kimono Top: an Alternative to Wearing Pajamas to Work…

kimono top

About a year ago I began to see a disturbing trend on the streets.  Some of the young ladies were walking around in what to me resembled pajamas.  Now, I think when it comes to clothing, I am pretty opened minded.  If I see anyone at the 7/11 buying milk wearing pajamas, I think he or she really hates coffee without milk which is totally understandable.  However, walking under a scorching sun in the middle of a busy city street in what appears to be pajamas is a little odd, don’t you agree?  I thought one of the “kids” I saw like this probably felt they were young and cool and were trying to be noticed.  But, for the rest of the mortals like me, well, pajamas just won’t cut it to go anywhere other than to bed.

So I set about to come up with something much, much better.  I do love comfortable wearing clothing and I am happy to share an easy kimono top project for many occasions that won’t even require a serger.   A kimono design is functional and stylish.  It has all the comfortable and loose-fitting features of pajamas while looking elegant and professional enough for business or pleasure.

kimono top

The kimono top is the perfect alternative for a casual Friday at the office.  It is super easy to make and a great holiday gift.  You can also wear it over a swimsuit, a turtleneck, or a pretty tank top to add a layer to your outfit.  Also makes a good breastfeeding or maternity top.

Key Features:

  • Versatile uses, both professional and casual
  • Perfect beginner to intermediate project
  • Can be made in many different fabrics
kimono top



Pattern Download

You can find the complete pattern for this kimono top on our Payhip webstore where we distribute our patterns.

Our patterns are still free, but now you now have the option of making a small contribution if you like our work! We’d really appreciate it and it will help is keep going with new and fun designs like this. Even a dollar or two really goes a long way.

Thanks so much in advance for helping us out.  You can use any credit card and you don’t need a Paypal account, although you can use one if you have one.

Download the FREE Pattern HERE

Recommended Fabrics

 Pattern layout

Pattern Sizes

kimono top

Finished Garment Measurements

Step One: Preparing the material and supplies

There is not much to prepare other than cutting the pattern to the size you require.  Seam allowance is included and it is 5/8″.

Step Two: Sewing the shoulders

kimono top
kimono top

Pin the shoulders and sew the shoulder at 5/8″.

Pin into place. 

Iron the seam allowance open.  Fold each side of the seam allowance under and iron.  

This is how the kimono top side stitches will look.

Step Three:  tips for fitting your kimono top and sewing the sides.

Find a full-length mirror and place the kimono top over your shoulders.  Find the smallest part of your torso.  This is where the belt would go if you chose to use one.  

Kimono Top

We are not all built the same way.  I have a short torso and you are probably tall.  So my waist is not where yours is.  The best way to make sure the top is going to fit you well is to create a waistline even if you think you do not have one.  Find where you would normally wear a belt and mark it with a pin.  Take the top to the sewing machine and sew from that pin to the hem at 5/8″.  

If you are a true hourglass figure, meaning your chest and hips are about the same and your waist is considerably smaller than those measurements, then sew from notch provided on the pattern to the hem. 

Kimono Top

Cut the seam allowance straight to the stitching line but not through it.

Fold each seam allowance just like you did on the shoulder seam.

kimono top

Step Four: sewing the armbands

Measure where the side stitching ends and the armhole begins to the shoulder. 

kimono top

Cut a rectangle the same size as the measurement above plus 1/4″ by 5 1/4″ wide.

kimono top

 Fold this rectangle right side out and pin to the wrong side of the top.

Repeat the process with the other side of the top.  Sew at 5/8″.

Sew the armhole binding at 5/8″.

Cut the first two layers of the seam allowance closest to the main fabric.

Fold back the first layer of fabric and cut the other two.

Stitch close to the edge.

This is what your offcuts should look like. 

Fold and iron the other side of the seam allowance.  

Sew the bottom of the sleeve at 1/4″ and iron the seam open. 

Stitch each side to keep the seam flat.

Fold the sleeve up and repeat on the other side.

Step Five: making the kimono top neckline

Measure from the center back at the neckline, to the end of the front side.

kimono top

Use your pattern tracing paper and trace a rectangle that is the length of the measurement you just took by 2″ wide, in my case is 33″ in length and 2″ wide. 

Add the 5/8″ seam allowance on each side.  Draw the seam allowance at the end of the binding as well shown here as a vertical line. 

kimono top

Trace the cutting line from the center of the binding to the edge as shown in the photo creating a triangle at the end of the neck binding.

Erase the unnecessary lines and you are left with a triangle at the end that will match the shape of the front of the kimono top.  Mark the fold line, which is the middle of the neck binding.  This line will also act as the grain line. Cut on a bias.

kimono top
kimono top

At the end of this neck binding add 5/8″ for the seam allowance.  Label your pattern “Cut two” and remember to cut two of this neck binding.

Congratulations you have drafted your first collar, well at least on this site!

Step six: hemming the kimono top with a binding

Measure the bottom of the top.  Make a band of that length plus 1″ by 3 1/2″ wide.  Mine is 62″ so I am going to have to cut two strips and join them at the back.

Iron the seams open and cut half of the seam allowance.  Align the center of the band with the center back of the top.  Fold what is now a band in half.  This is basically just a big bias tape.  Pin the band 3/8″ from the corner of the top. If your band is longer than 3/8″ this is fine.  Just do not let it go beyond 5/8″ as it will be hard to fold.

Fold the end of neckband 3/8′. Fold the neck binding in half.

Topstitch all around the neck binding, starting on one end of the collar and finishing on the other end of the collar.
I have added a double stitching line as a decorative detail.  You can either use a double needle or just repeat the step.  Starting at the corner of the hem, sew to the next corner and pivot your work. Inside view.  I have added another stitching line to simulate a decorative detail.

If you want to have exactly the exact look in the feature image, I recommend that you add snaps to the sides of the top so that the garment stays closed without a belt.  You can measure yourself where you want to put these snaps depending on how tight you want the fit.

Alternatively, you can just use a belt to keep the kimono top closed.  In the picture below, cut a strap of fabric the color of the armbands the length of your waist plus 28 to 30″ by 5″.  Sew at 5/8″ leaving one end open to turn the belt inside out.  Close the belt using a double stitch to match the rest of the blouse finish.

kimono top

I hope you found this project easy to make.  I really love the print since it’s youthful and makes me feel young.

This top is a great overlayer.  You can wear it with a pencil skirt or skinny jeans, to the movies, a picnic or over your swimsuit.  This also makes a great breastfeeding or maternity top!

Leave your comments below.  I’d love to hear what you think.  Until next time!

kimono top

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