Blouse Pattern Hack

I recently ordered a knit border-print top from a catalog.  Total cost including shipping was about $50.  It fits great and I’d like some more tops just like it for work.  When it arrived, I noticed it’s only two pieces of fabric joined at the shoulders and sides.  TWO…that’s it…for $40 plus shipping.  My cheapness crept in.


I bounced over to and did some searching and came up with a pretty navy and lime green knit patterned fabric on sale for $5.95 a yard.  Now we’re talking.

I turned the original blouse inside out, folded it in half, and then rough-traced around the top making sure to add notes of where extra fabric allowance would be needed for a hem.  The paper is a roll of special velum I got from Sure Fit Designs but any old paper will do.  I’ve been known to raid the printer now and again armed with a roll of scotch tape.


Then I cleaned up the rough sketch using a French curve ruler for the curvy parts and labeled the pieces so I can use them again.



The top went together in an afternoon.  I did an overlock stitch on the shoulders and sides. I unnecessarily did the neck and sleeves too on this piece.  What was I thinking?


And then my darling Janome Coverstitch Pro did her thing on the neckline, sleeves and lower hems.  That machine does the nice double row of stitching on the top and covers the raw edge on the back all at the same time just like ready-to-wear.  The success here is pressing up the hems first and using Steam-a-Seam to glue them in place.  That trick prevents ripples and stretches where they are not wanted and encourages the hem to lay perfectly flat as it goes through the machine.



I got lazy and just coverstitched over my label as I added it in.  Bad girl.


In all, I love this top!  It fits just like the other one and was so simple to make.  You should give a try to a pattern hack sometime.  If you’re new to it, I do not advise anything with set in sleeves, woven fabric, darts, or heaven forbid Princess seams.  Keep it simple.



Power Tools With Thread

Sewing nerd who is absolutely determined to perfect this insanely fun hobby.

3 Responses

  1. sewchet says:

    I often make copies of clothes like this myself if they’re simple enough. Love your choice of fabric. I really should think about a cover stitch machine myself, especially with all the knits I do.

    • Sounds like a good Mother’s Day/Birthday/Christmas gift! I don’t use this machine often because I’m quilting most of the time, but when the situation calls for it, I’d never go back to a double needle. If you do get one, definitely get a clear presser foot. However, I’ve found the seam guide that screws on to the base of the machine really isn’t needed. I have one and have found that a short pad of sticky notes works better than the fancy attachment.

  2. Very pretty! I love the fabric, and your pattern hack worked perfectly.

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