Women have a variety of clothing choices, but it is not always easy to find items that have a perfect fit. Even simple blouses can prove troublesome to find in just the right size. Some women make their own clothing, but patterns can be expensive and difficult to use. With a few materials, it is easy to make a blouse at home, no pattern required.
Measure your bust, waist, and around your shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Also measure from the point the collar should rest to the point the tail of the shirt should end, at or below your hips, and the length from your shoulder to your wrist. Write down your measurements to make sure you don't forget them.
Cut pieces of fabric for the sleeves, adding 2.5 cm (1 inch) to your shoulder measurements at one end, tapering to 2.5 cm (1 inch) more than your wrist measurements at the other end. If you prefer short sleeves, shorten them to the desired length. The shoulders should be cut at an angle so that they are slightly rounded and the fabric will cover the top of the shoulder, but draws inward as it approaches the underarm.
Cut a piece of fabric for the back of the shirt, using the measurements you took for the top to bottom length of the shirt, and half the measurements of your bust and waist, adding 5 cm (2 inches) to each.
Cut a piece of fabric for the front of your shirt, or two pieces if you want to make a button-down shirt. If you need only one piece, use the other half of the measurements of your waist and bust. If you're using two pieces, split this cut in half. The sleeves should be slightly rounded at the shoulders, similar to how a shell top blouse is cut.
Create a neckline for your shirt after you decide on what design you want. Some examples are boat neck and split neck blouse. Check out designs on line or favourite pieces in your wardrobe to help you decide.
Pin the pieces for the front and back of the blouse together so that the inside is facing out and then sew the pieces together along the parts that will fit over your shoulders, using a flat seam.
Lay the pieces so that the only pieces that are touching are the shoulders. They should look like mirror images of each other, with the back of the fabric facing up. Fit the sleeves (also with the back facing up) against the shoulders, and pin them on before using a needle and thread to sew them using a flat seam.
Place the backs of the sleeve fabric together and pin it before sewing it together using a flat seam.
Place the backs of the fabric for the trunk of the shirt together and pin the sides before sewing them together using a flat seam.
Turn the entire garment inside out and iron it. Fold about 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) of fabric outward, bit by bit, placing pins in the fold to keep it in place until you can sew the hem into place.
Place buttonholes and buttons in their desired spots. You can place them down the front of your blouse and on the sleeves, if you like.
Once everything is hemmed, and buttons and buttonholes are added, you can place a collar and cuffs on your blouse. Run an iron over the garment and your customised blouse is ready to wear.
When angling the shoulders of your sleeves, cut a little fabric off at a time, fitting them over your arms to make sure you are not taking off too much. You will need a narrower needle for flimsy fabrics. Use scraps of fabric to practice hemming and seams before you try to tackle a whole garment.
It is much easier to take in garments than it is to let them out. Cut a little more fabric than you think you will need. Your first blouse may not be perfect. Keep practicing and the clothing you create will get better and better.
Tips and warnings
- When angling the shoulders of your sleeves, cut a little fabric off at a time, fitting them over your arms to make sure you are not taking off too much.
- You will need a narrower needle for flimsy fabrics.
- Use scraps of fabric to practice hemming and seams before you try to tackle a whole garment.
- It is much easier to take in garments than it is to let them out. Cut a little more fabric than you think you will need.
- Your first blouse may not be perfect. Keep practicing and the clothing you create will get better and better.