With this week’s tutorial we wanted to teach you how to sew Nola, a simple gathered long-sleeve blouse and to show a creative way to play around with stripes.
We all love stripes as they add a tinge of fun and flair to any outfit. However, some of us try to avoid sewing with stripes as matching them might be quite a challenge. It’s true that those lines require some extra attention but not with this blouse!
The best part about it is that you won’t be matching anything at all, quite on the contrary. By intentionally mis-matching and playing around with the direction of the stripes, we wanted to add a fun look to a simple garment.
1.5 yards of IL045 865 STRIPES – 100% Linen – Middle Weight
Matching sewing thread
Pattern paper, scissors, pins, ruler, chalk, fabric marker, measuring tape, seam ripper, contrasting color sewing thread (for gathering), sewing machine
You can access the multi-sized printable PDF blouse pattern by following this link HERE.
Remember that the design calls for stripes mismatching so make sure that your fabric is placed in the right direction when you pin your pattern pieces: horizontal stripes for upper front/back panels, vertical stripes for lower front/back panels and the two sleeves.
Note that you’ll also need to cut three bands of fabric 1,5″ (4 cm) wide on the bias for the neckline binding. For detailed instructions on how to cut your bias tape please follow this tutorial.
Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry in room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.
1. First, you need to gather the bottom fabric to the length of the top panel (both for the back and the front of your blouse). HERE is a step-by-step tutorial on how to gather your fabric. Be sure to use a contrast color thread and to secure your gathers once you’ve checked that the two panels match. As for the spacing of your gathers, we recommend to leave the sides ungathered to avoid bulk and distribute the rest evenly.
2. Pin the gathered bottom panel to the top panel right sides together.
3. Sew at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance between the two stitch lines that you used for gathering.
4. Remove the gather stitches using your seam ripper. This is why it is recommended to use a contrasting color thread – so that you don’t make a mistake and rip out wrong stitches. Trim the fabric and serge or zigzag the raw edges together to prevent them from fraying in the future.
5. Press the seams flat folding the serged/zigzagged edges towards the bottom panel.
6. Repeat steps 1-6 for the back panels.
7. The next step is to assemble the front and the back together by pinning the shoulder seams right sides together.
8. Sew your shoulder seams at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance. Trim, serge or zigzag the raw edges together to prevent them from fraying in the future.
9. Press the seams flat folding the serged/zigzagged edges towards the back of your blouse.
10. Bind the neckline following this tutorial. Make sure that when you attach the binding, the serged/zigzagged shoulder seam edges are folded towards the back of your blouse.
It’s time to attach the sleeves.
11. Match the center point of your sleeves (fold it in half to mark the center) to the shoulder seams, pin along the whole width of the sleeve panel with right sides together.
12. Stitch along the pinned edge at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance. Trim, serge or zigzag the raw edges together to prevent them from fraying in the future. Press the seams flat folding the serged/zigzagged edges towards the sleeve panel.
13. Now pin together the side seams of the sleeves and the bodice with wrong sides facing outwards.
14. Sew along the pinned edges making sure to carefully stitch the armhole. Trim, serge or zigzag the raw edges together to prevent them from fraying in the future. Press the seams flat folding the serged/zigzagged edges towards the back.
15. Now finish the sleeve openings with a rolled hem. Fold the raw edges 3/8″ (1 cm) to the wrong side. Press. Then fold another 1/2″ (1,25 cm), press and pin.
16. Topstitch over the folded edges and press again.
17. Repeat steps 15-16 to finish the bottom hem of your bodice and give it a good press.