Blouse sewing - a walk-through

18. März 2007
finished3In spite of what you might think I haven´t been THAT lazy all week.
I did some garden work and also managed to finally get a small step-by-step instruction for a blouse done, which I promised to make (months ago) for a dear friend who seems to be afraid to sew a blouse and to cut her treasured fabrics.

Hope you will forgive me this extra-long posting ;)
burda blouseI chose a pattern from an old Burda (issue 2/2005), because I love the puffed sleeves and the piping details. But, Burda may call this blouse "fitted", I dare to call it "too small around the bust, dear!"
01 - paper pattern pieces

First, trace and cut pattern pieces.
(You didn´t need me to tell you that, right?!)
02 - mark

Pin tissue pattern pieces to fabric, mark all lines (don´t forget to add seam allowance to Burda-patterns!) and notches, repeat with all pattern pieces that require an interfacing, cut.

Cut pieces...
I also cut some bias band to make the piping (see checkered fabric in foreground).
04 - make piping

As I lacked "real" piping cord I used twisted cotton cord - this will work well for the blouse, as I don´t need much stand or volume within the piping.
A very good tutorial on making you own bias band and piping can be found here.
05 - seam

Sew vertical front- and back seams.
As this pattern requires to press SAs to one side and topstitch, I serged the raw edges as one.
06 - topstitch

Topstitch and fix seam allowances.
Usually I would topstitch close to the edge - about 2 mm, but this time I used my patchwork foot, so this is topstitched 1/8 inch away from seamline.
07 - baste piping

Machine or hand baste piping to upper body pieces.
How to get around the edges can also be seen on this page.
08 - topstitch  piping

Sew piped parts to body.
Press SAs up, topstitch.
I trimmed SAs afterwards.
22 - hem and button tabClose side and shoulder seams. Press.
Sew hem.
With right sides facing, stitch button tabs to front.
Press SAs into tabs, fold tabs, press and baste, fix tab with topstitching.
Picture shows inside and outside of tab/hem.
This usually is the point where your machine begins to skip stitches. *sigh*
It´s like: Oh, she´s doing long, plain seams. Begin to skip stitches!
09 - collar

Sew collar (except lower side), cut back SAs. Turn collar, press.
I pretty much like this tutorial to get neat edges ;)
10 - roll collar

As the collar will "roll", I like to adjust the lower collar.
I simply roll the pieces around my hand and pin along the roll line.
12 - trim undercollar

Here you can see that the lower collar can be 2 mm smaller than the upper collar piece, so I just cut the excess.
13 - assemble collar

Pin or baste collar between collar stands, aligning notches.
14 - clip SAS

Sew upper edge.
Clip seam allowances.
Turn and topstitch.
Worst part DONE!
16 - sew collar to blouse

Sew outer collar stand to neckline of blouse.
17 - completed collar

Baste inner collar stand to seamline.
Topstitch from outside, fixing the collar.
18 - prepare cuffs

I´ve added some piping to the cuffs, then closed the seams.
19 - sew cuff to gathered sleeve

Gather lower side of sleeve, sew to cuff.
20 - completed sleeve

Fold cuff to inside, fold in SA, baste to seamline.
Fix cuff with topstitching.
21 - set in sleevesGather sleevecaps and pin to body, aligning notches.
Set in sleeves, giving ease to sleeve.
I prefer to set in the sleeves with the armscye facing the transport of my machine, which makes it easier to avoid tucks and puckers, though the "good way" would be with armscye facing you...
Again, I just serged the SAs of the sleeve as one.
23 - button placement

Check button placement on finished blouse.
Sometimes (don´t know why...) the marks for the buttons won´t match up after sewing, so it´s better to double-check ;)


I´ve added some of the checkered fabric to the buttons. It will fray with each washing... I think this is a nice design feature for those plain snap buttons.
DH calls it "yeehaw", but I like "I shot the sheriff" better. Maybe I should have pictured myself with my felt gun?

finished-front1 finished-back

Get your machines ready for some plain, no-think, no-fuss Burda pattern sewing!


  1. This blouse is on my andless to-sew-list since, hmm 2/2005... Not as colorful, of course. Although your version looks great, especially with your haircolor :-)

    Aaah, I really need a dicionary next to my computer....

  2. kristin La Flamme19:59

    So cute, and just in time for spring! You know, I don't have much around the bust, so if there's a reject blouse out there somewhere......

  3. I love your blouse! Thank you for wonderful step-by-step instructions :)

  4. LOVE your blouse!!! It's so cute! Also your tutorial is great! Congratulations!

  5. Very kind of you, ladies :)

    @schwarzes - hätte ich auch nicht gedacht, daß ich mal was "hell-buntes mit BLÜMCHEN" nähe... aber ehrlich, es gefällt mir eigentlich ganz gut so... die stoffe fielen mir in die hand und ich dachte - oh, die passen ja sogar! *gg*

  6. SWEET! No black, no skull.. flowers! Dear Maddy, that's quite a new sight. ;)
    I love the piping, looks perfect.

    A little hint for the collar, dont't sew the corners too pointed. Stop a little bit before the corner, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn 45°. Then make one or two stitches, turn again and sew ahead.
    The corner will get turned more easily and look more pointy!

  7. cute! like the piping detail - something about little trims like that which are so subtle that really make something look fabulous and classy (great hint Kerstin)

  8. You make it looks so easy! That is an adorable stylish little blouse. *envy!*

  9. thanks, please do more of this. if you can a lined jacket. pleeeeaaasseee!!! i am ging to make use of the blouse tutorial.

  10. Ich bin entzueckt und sage tausendmal Danke, Katrin!
    I am so delighted! Your blouse is super sweet and suits you very well - such cute photos... :-)
    I almost missed this great tutorial (again, bloglines didn't tell me you've written a new post) and am happy to have found it just now.
    Fabulous! Everything. Especially you, being such a dear friend and taking my "fear to sew a blouse" so seriously.
    Thank you so much!

  11. Absolutely gorgeous blouse! I've had a similar pattern waiting for me to make somthing for, oh, 2 years now. This might be my year :)

  12. Your blouse is wonderful! I like your fabric choice, and I like the checked contrast.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Btw, there's no need to be afraid of smocking, lol. You should try it sometime!

  13. hey, die bluse kenn ich doch! :)
    klasse geworden!


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