Little gingham peasant blouse

I’ve wanted to sew a peasant blouse for the entire summer. Wait, longer than that. It’s definitely been more than a year. Maybe make that two years. Okay whatever, as long as I’ve been sewing regularly, I’ve wanted to make peasant blouses. So this summer was finally The Time.

But boy, I never seemed to find the time to go to the store and procure 1/4″ wide elastic! Which sounds perfectly ridiculous since in the months I’ve been pining over a peasant blouse I could have ordered some online, but that’s besides the point. I didn’t have elastic, so I couldn’t sew a peasant blouse.

And thus within a day of finally getting my hands on elastic, I whipped up this blouse.

Little gingham peasant blouse

The fabric is a poly/cotton shirting from fabric.com (they’re out of the 1/4″ checks but have 1/8″ checks in stock and it’s probably the same fabric otherwise). Nothing special, but a nice lightweight fabric for summer. I’m definitely thinking of picking up some other color ginghams, I love gingham so much but have yet to sew anything in it until now!

Little gingham peasant blouse

I didn’t have a pattern, so I followed an older tutorial from Things of Cloth on how to make an adult-sized peasant blouse. Actually, that’s a lie. I definitely had at least one vintage pattern, but just felt like going ahead and drafting my own really basic one instead of fussing with a pattern. (Ever have those moments?!)

Although ‘drafting’ is using the term loosely, it was pretty simple. Here’s what the pieces look like. Yep, just a raglan sleeve and a bodice.

peasant blouse pattern pieces

You can see it’s a very basic shape. Perfect for tucking in, although it would be cute untucked with capris, perhaps!

blouse

(Sorry, my basement sewing area isn’t an exciting backdrop.)

If you check out the tutorial you’ll see my pattern piece shaping is pretty close to hers, but there’s one major caveat I didn’t consider until I had the sleeves attached to the body: I definitely need to fix the neckline shape as I had pointy bits at the center front of my bodice and sleeves. Which, if you look at my pieces, I’d obviously have. Duh. A fix for next time! (Although lopping it off the fabric worked just fine.)

Little gingham peasant blouse

flowers

peasant blouse

(Btw what the hell, I swear my feet shrank because all my clogs are now too big in the back. Or they always have been like that and I’m just now noticing. Either way, I don’t like this development, but it wont stop me from wearing them!)

Anyway, the tutorial is pretty easy to follow, although I had to improvise in a few spots that weren’t clear to me. I based the armhole depth and the body width on a vintage peasant blouse from my own closet, of course taking seam allowances into consideration.

With the neckline curve, there was absolutely no way I could have folded the neckline seam allowance in twice to make the casing for the elastic, as the tutorial suggests, so instead I used bias tape as the casing. Just as easy as it seems like it would be—you sew the tape to the right side, fold in, top stitch, and leave about an inch open to feed the elastic through with a pin. Then try it on and fiddle with it until you like how much it’s cinched up, and cut the elastic to that length. Sew the ends of the elastic together, and then sew shut the hole you left in the casing. I think I initially cut a piece of elastic about 28″ and cut off at least 6″ in the end.

neckline

Next time I’d make self bias tape instead of purchased as it’s a bit scratchy, but this was a quick and dirty project and a kind of wearable muslin of sorts. Also, because I used the tape right at the neckline edge, if the tape is made from your main fabric you wouldn’t see the very edge of it when the elastic cinches up. Which doesn’t matter since mine is white and one of the colors of the fabric, but word to the wise if you want to go with contrasting. (In that case you could always finish the neckline in a different way and put the casing a little lower, to give a slight ruffle above the elastic. That would actually be really cute!)

neckline2

I knew the neckline would likely be too high, but I wanted to just try the instructions first and then make further tweaks on future versions. Because let’s face it, I adore peasant blouses. They’re one of my favorite wardrobe staples. And I’m probably going to make an army of these!

Little gingham peasant blouse

Little gingham peasant blouse

To hem the sleeves and bodice, I went super simple. I serged the raw edge, folded up the hem and top stitched. For such a basic and light blouse, I don’t mind this treatment at all! I could have made the sleeves elasticized like the neckline, but I opted to leave them open. (I’m a fan of both variations.)

peasant blouse sleeve

And I must admit, while I didn’t do a very good job of matching the print at the raglan line (I only halfway tried, honestly), the side seams are nearly spot on! I didn’t try to match the actual checks, but just made sure the horizontal lines were matched.

side seam print matching

Incidentally, I’m trying out different glasses with my new hair color. My vintage frames look the best, but I’m discovering my 40s-styled frames that are nearly black usually look too harsh now! Every time I try them on, I make a sour face.

I do like this pair I’m wearing here, but they keep getting loose in spite of having them tightened, so I don’t wear them that much. So I still favor my vintage specs, although I’m really overdue for a new pair.

Little gingham peasant blouse

zinnias

Little gingham peasant blouse

Overall I’m very pleased about this simple little blouse! I know I’ll wear this a ton. Not only am I happy that it’s another peasant blouse in my closet, but I’m happy about the bigger picture: it knocks something off my sewing list that’s been on there for ages. I’ve wanted a good, basic peasant blouse pattern that I could tinker with endlessly, and now I have one.

Bring on the army of peasant blouses! What variations do you think I should try??

Little gingham peasant blouse

outfit details

peasant blouse – made by me
jeans – Freddies of Pinewoods
earrings – The Pink Bungaloo
shoes – Cape Clogs
Bakelite bangles – misc.
belt – Orion Leather Co.

Filed: Sewing, Vintage Wardrobe

Tagged: ,

Golly, 35 Comments!

  • This is so cute! I’m with you on drafting instead of using a pattern sometimes… It’s just faster, and you know it will fit you!

    Reply

  • Peasant blouses are so nice and easy to make!

    About your clogs, any chance your feet swell? I had to replace all of my shoes when I moved to Washington from California because they were all suddenly half a size too big! My feet always swell up when I go back to California, and I just never noticed it before because they were always like that.

    Reply

    • Hm, good thought! I’m not sure. I wear more clogs than just about anything, but I tried on a couple of pair of shoes I remember fitting quite tight and they still do. So it feels like the explanation must be that sadly, they’ve always been a tad long. But it’s possible sometimes my feet have swollen a bit and it’s more noticeable!

      Reply

      • If you bought the shoes in the afternoon or at the end of a long shopping trip, you probably got a slightly bigger size than you’d have gotten in the morning. Everyone’s feet swell depending on how much walking they’ve done and how much they’ve been on their feet and even the weather. The warmer the weather, the bigger the feet. This is why I always advocate for shoes with closures for my customers.

        Reply

        • We’re talking many pairs of shoes, and not purchased after a day or walking or shopping. lol Alas, I rarely wear closed back shoes (unless we’re talking oxfords or boots or something like that). But on the bright side I’d rather they be a little too large than a little too small!

          Reply

  • I love peasant blouses too – one summer I think I made 8 of them and wore them constantly. I did some in silky material for work and some in vintage sheets for play – some of the variations I did were different sleeve lengths, and different hem lengths and different scooped necklines. I did each one slightly different. One of my favorites was doing a low scooped neckline to wear with a camisole. Can’t wait to see what other options you create!

    Reply

    • I can totally see myself doing the same thing. Some with gathered sleeves, some plain, different necklines, some print, some solid, etc. There will definitely be more to follow!

      Reply

  • Ok so it’s like you were reading my mind in this post lol! Always wanted to make peasant blouses but have yet to do it, loved gingham in every size and color and peasant blouses of all neck and sleeve variations. It’s crazy simple but I just haven’t done it. After seeing how cute yours is I will now ha! Thanks for the push!

    Reply

    • I love gingham in every shape and size, too! I’d highly recommend making one if you haven’t done it yet. It was really a gratifying and short project!

      Reply

  • P. S. Bronze specs

    Reply

  • Looks great! That photo of it in your sewing studio- I noticed that US map behind it. Would you be able to take a photo of it? I’d love to see the whole thing? Is it embroidered? Maybe instagram or something? Thanks!

    Reply

    • I’ll try and get a photo of it sometime! It is indeed embroidered, I can’t recall where I picked it up, but an antique mall somewhere. I’d like to get it framed someday, but for now it’s pinned up above my ironing board. :)

      Reply

  • Super cute!

    And I just have to say again how fabulous you look with red hair!

    Reply

  • Love! Your sewing is inspirational. I’m flirting with the idea of learning to sew-you’re helping push me along! Also, your hair is so lovely you have motivated me to do a wet set, here’s to some pretty curls like yours later. Bronze specs, definitely! :)

    Reply

  • Your hair looks amazing next to that color blue I love your shirt you need new blue glasses you’re so cute the end.

    Reply

  • Hi,

    Love the peasant blouse, definitely something I need to make for my summer wardrobe. About your clogs no longer fitting you, I have also found that since I have lost weight my feet have also lost weight and some of my shoes are now roomer than they used to be. Could this be what has happened to you? as I know you have also lost some weight lately.

    Reply

    • I’m not sure, although it’s possible! Although it doesn’t explain why a few other non-clogs seem to fit as I remember them fitting. ‘Tis a mystery!

      Reply

  • Your blouse is lovely, I’m a fan of a peasant blouse too so shall be having a look at the tutorial. I like how you used the bias tape as facing for the elastic, and am wondering if it would work at the waist to make it more fitted?

    Reply

  • You definitely need more of these in your life! What about a green version next? I bet that would look so pretty with your new hair!

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  • Aaaw, how super cute and very versatile too! I think every girl needs a pretty gingham blouse in her wardrobe, myself included! Isn’t it funny that something like a bit of elastic can can delay a project by so long…I know how it is though…I’m a master of procrastination :o)

    Reply

  • I have recently made 2 from a NEWLOOK 6267 pattern. Their sizing was very generous. I have DD-E breasts, and they fit there. Every other place is huge! Neckline included. They have 2 long sleeve, and 2 short. The cut & sew portions were fast and simple. But, the one I made in linen was horrible to do the necklining. I finally just did 2 folds and a 1/4″ hem on! The damn neck removing took twice as long as cut&sew time. Other than my own silliness with el linen, I would highly recommend this pattern as a great starting point for a zillion shirts!

    Reply

  • Clogs can also stretch a tad too much from wearing socks. A great solution is to have a cobbler or jewelry making friend add a few more holes in the strap.
    I cannot even buy clogs due to my high arch and little bit wider than normal feet. If anyone has a line they know about, I’d appreciate.
    Your glasses are adorable. You would be fab having tons of pairs in complimentary colors!

    Reply

  • Such a pretty blouse, I would love to see one with a scoopier neck (is that a word?). I really must hone my dressmaking skills as I find tops the most difficult things to buy.

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  • Love it :) I know what you mean about the peasant blouses :) Maybe you need to look into some chicken scratch embroidery for some gingham fun!

    Reply

  • A fix for the vita get glasses always loosening, but you will have to always leave them open. Remove each screw (one at a time) almost all the way. Put a dab of clear nail polish on the threads, and screw back in. This will prevent them from loosening.

    Reply

  • Lovely blouse! Yay for gingham – it’s one of my favorites too. I bet your pattern would look great with an eyelet cotton, as well!

    Reply

  • Your gingham blouse is sure to be a great staple. Crazy about your shoes not fitting. Is it just b/c we’re having a cool summer and your summer feet are generally a tad larger with heat/humidity? I know that’s the case for mine as well as my hands.

    I’ve been soo loving our cool summer!

    Reply

  • Very cute! I have been wanting to make something with gingham for ages but I keep getting distracted by florals and novelty prints.

    I found you via Flashback Summer.

    Reply

  • Peasant blouses were one of my favorite things to make when I started sewing. I have one that’s looks like blue gingham but it is actually tiny white flowers and I sewed daisy trim to the neckline: http://vintageorbust.blogspot.com/2010/07/failsuccess-on-summer-essentials.html
    Maybe I’ll go dig it out and wear it today!

    Reply

  • […] cheaper than buy.  There is a draft-it-yourself affair here, which definitely works, as proven by Tasha, so I may actually have a go at that at some point – I’m definitely not having any luck […]

    Reply

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