Vintage Sewing

Drafting a Peasant Blouse?

April 8, 2011

I’ve been trying to figure out how to draft a peasant blouse like these ones…I have a basic bodice foundation pattern and a basic sleeve foundation and i was wondering how do i got about creating a peasant blouse like the one in the picture?….I’d ideally like to make the long sleeve version and I think i can find instructions for sleeves but not the bodice.

can someone give  me some advice?

 Allison : )

  1. I think the best advice would be to get a good pattern drafting book. To create fullness, you need to cut and spread the bodice pattern and sleeve. I presume this is a maygar blouse, which means the sleeves are cut in one with the bodice. Do you have a picture of the back of the pattern envelope, as that would be helpful in showing you the flat pattern pieces? Here's a link to a maygar bodice pattern:
    You would need to adapt this for the fullness by slashing and spreading at the neckline.

  2. hi Claire,
    thanks for replying..

    so do you think i need to just slash the neck line in several places and spread it evenly the way i would to add pleats? sorry I'm really bad at visualizing lately. thanks again!


  3. I pretty much live in these in the summer. There's a bunch of widely available patterns:

    They are perhaps the easiest thing ever to construct. I haven't used an actual pattern since my second one (I have about 8 now). It's just 4 basic pattern pieces, back, front, 2 sleeves, and gathering at the neck with elastic or a drawstring.

    I'd suggest getting one of the patterns and modifying it to your needs.

  4. I think yes, Allison, you would just widen the whole pattern at the neck, as you would to add pleats but then gathering it instead. The pattern back says it all – the bodice has been widened and so has the sleeve, and then the fullness is gathered into a band at neck and cuffs and then into the peplum at waist. I think you could easily manage without buying a pattern, though the ones Cricket suggested look good.

    Look forward to seeing it :)!

  5. There was an article about self-drafting peasant blouses in the "Teach Yourself to Sew" magazine put out by Threads not that long ago (I think it's still available, I picked it up at Fred Meyer's about a month ago for an article on interfacing)

  6. thank you everyone! I have always wanted to wear these blouses like these…I will post on sew retro when I'm all finished (although i suspect I may be making a trial run first! )

    cheer 🙂

  7. I found a pattern in one of my 1970s Burda magazines for one, so if you are struggling then do let me know and I'll trace it for you and send it just for cost of postage (though I'm very much doubting you'll need it!)

  8. Right – slash and spread. But the spreading is only at the neck. It you slash all the way down the bodice and spread the pieces evenly, e.g. two inches apart, you'll wind up with too much bust fullness. Not that that's a bad thing, it just tends not to be so complementary. Also slash and spread the bottom hem – a sloper has so ease there. Only the bust measurement should remain close to what it was. For the sleeves you would slash and spread evenly all the way down. If the sleeves and bodice are one piece, you'll probably need a seam in the back. Or maybe not, depending on the slashing. Front seams are bad.

  9. thanks so much!! I just checked this post again and read your reply and it makes perfect sense.

    can't wait to give it a go!

    thanks !!!

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