Monday, March 25, 2013

Peasant Blouse + Elastic Smocking Technique

Abigail needed a white blouse to wear until summer, under all her pretty dresses. I took my trusty peasant dress pattern (Sweet Little Dress by Leila & Ben) and adapted the 2T size into a blouse/tunic top for her.  No sense buying more patterns!

I used a remnant of dotted cotton voile that I found last week - I bought 4 remnants for $3.80, so this is a really cheap top!   These were my mods.  I held the body and sleeve pattern pieces against Abigail to see how long I wanted each to be and made a new pattern piece. I tapered the sleeve down a little instead of just drawing lines straight down to a cuff.


Then I sewed the raglan seams and finished the neck edge.  I did a rolled hem on my serger at the neck.  I tried the "normal" way to shirr with elastic thread, but somehow the top thread kept getting sewn through the elastic thread, so it was not possible to adjust the fullness at all.  So instead I zigzagged over the elastic thread with a narrow, long stitch length and normal thread.  I did three rows on the neck, about 3/4" in from the hemmed edge.  Then I sewed the underarm seams, finished the sleeve edges and hem of the blouse, and smocked the sleeve.  Here are some more detailed photos of the elastic shirring on the sleeves:

I used an erasable marker to mark in from the sleeve edge 6" every few inches.  I took the flatbed attachment off my sewing machine so I could fit the sleeve over it, then started zigzagging over the elastic thread, being careful not to catch it in my stitches.  When I came back around the sleeve to where I'd started, I jogged over and continued a second row 1/4" away from the first row.  Altogether I sewed three rounds, then tapered the last little bit back in toward the last row. I tied off the threads in the inside, and then pulled up the elastic to adjust the shirring evenly.  After tying the ends of the elastic thread together, I trimmed the ends to 1/2".

I was afraid it would be too "blousey", so I did two rows of smocking at the waist too.  This summer as she grows, I will trim the sleeves off an inch below the smocking and then it can be a summer blouse!

1 comment:

  1. I am always so impressed by how you can do all these great changes! Awesome!