Easy Summer Blouse Tutorial

So I had a great print from Michael Miller- 1 yard to be exact, and wanted to make a summer top. I was inspired by A Beautiful Mess Blog, but I wanted a more finished look, so this tutorial was born!

Time: Rougly 90 minutes
Cost: $8
Yardage: 1 yard

First, measure your hips. Divide number in half and add 3 inches.
Then, measure the length you want. I wanted this to be bubble-top esq that I could tuck in. If you want it longer, you will need a yard and a half.

So, I'm a size 10, it equalled: 40/2+3= 23 X 22.5 (yardage folded in half, so that was nice.
Cut 2 rectangles that size.

With yardage left over, cut 2 2.5X45 inch strips.

Ok. Lets get started.

With each of the thin strips, fold in half with right sides facing each other. Sew up one end and the length of the other. Once you've done that, go back and sew a zig-zag along the edge to prevent fraying.

Top: Ironed, bottom: not.
Next turn the strips inside-out. To do this, I used a paintbrush handle, but a capped pen could make it easy as well. When you've successfully done this, iron out the strips, being careful to stretch the seam where you sewed as you iron, so it lays flat.

When ironed, simply fold in the end roughly 1/4th an inch and sew the ends. Straps? Done!

Next, take your 2 rectangles. Layed right side to right side, measure roughly 8.25 inches down for arm holes. Pin on each side.

zigzag stitch
Then sew from the pin to the bottom of your shirt on each side. Re-inforce (as always) with azig-zag along the edge to prevent fraying.

Ok. So now you need to make the arm holes. Time to iron! Iron roughly 1/4 of an inch into the fabric when flipped inside out (poor wording- see pic).

Then stitch the armholes [NOT TOGETHER, just where you folded]. Start from the top of the left panel, stitch down to where the closed seam begins, lift the foot and turn the corner to make a right angle. Stitch across to the right panel and once you have reached an equal distance from the center of the seam, lift the foot and turn the corner again to stitch up the front panel. Repeat on other side.

Topstitched armhole
To make the shirt look more finished, topstitch each arm hole.  There's a great tutorial on topstitching here. It is great to do on any garment for finishing and strengthening any seam.
Zigzag along bottom

Ok. So now we hem. (oh! I know you love hemming!). To prevent fraying, zigzag along the bottom. The fold over 1/4 inch, iron and sew.
Folded over again, before 2nd sewing
Once those are both done, iron over the hem again and then sew. AND done with that!

Now for our last step- the neckline!

Fold over an iron a 1/4 inch seam. Sew that. THEN fold over again 3/4 of an inch. Iron. This will make the tube for the straps to go through. Sew the neckline again.

Before you're done, I recommend top-stitching the neckline to both finish and reinforce the neckline. Once that is done, take a safety pin, attach it to one of the straps, and lace through the neckline.

Do with both the front and back- and done!

Next time I'm going to make a longer one like a tunic!! Must remember to buy more yardage....


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