Patternless Blouses with Shirley Adams Sewing Connection

Patternless Blouses with Shirley Adams Sewing Connection


Piano Music Piano Music Hello Shirley Adams here with Patternless
Blouses, the last of this series. now the reason you might want to make a patternless blouse is of course because it’s pretty quick and easy but beyond that
here are some other reasons for one thing you might want to avoid breaking
up a large design into a lot of pieces with standard seams the blouse I’m
wearing is one of these patternless blouses and that’s such a huge design if
I had standard seams I’d have to worry about matching places that I really
would have liked to avoid matching I’d also like to avoid unsightly seams on
see-through fabrics such as this one is if I had seams going around the arms I
or any place it would be very hard to conceal them and they wouldn’t be all
that pretty and then also you want to use less fabric if it’s very expensive
or if you have a limited amount remember the blouse I made last week was
this one and there was a very limited amount all we had of this was the shawl
and that shawl wasn’t all that large so because of these limitations we had to
decide what to do I’ll see how large this shawl was it was only I see about
22 inches it was only 44 inches square so 44 inches square actually made a long
sleeve blouse in a medium size so it is possible with the small amount of fabric
now the reason this particular blouse was possible to make is because remember
I cut it on the bias that was the only way it could be done on the street it
wouldn’t have worked and the only thing I had left over by the way of this
fabric was this little bit here under the arm that I cut out would have been
like this I guess is how it fit but this was all that was wasted front and back
on all four sides just along here just that fabric so I have four layers of
this therefore we pretty well utilized this fabric and didn’t waste much of
anything so you can make a really nice blouse out of a very limited supply of
fabric and here’s kind of how you do it first of all you’re going to have to
know your measurements you’re going to have to know if it’s a long sleeve
blouse how much do you measure from one wrist up across your shoulders and
down to the other wrist. You need to know these
measurements and when you do then you can decide exactly how much fabric I
measure I think about a yard and 5/8 there from one risk to the other so I
could actually buy just a yard and 5/8 of fabric 45 inch with the usual for
blouse fabrics and I’d have enough to take me there now this one is even wider
but I’m going to show you kind of quickly on this how to cut it out this
one is perhaps about 60 inches wide so I’ll go ahead and cut it out with the
whole distance there well for the print part yes it is exactly 60 this is a knit
fabric that I have down here and I’m going to use the whole thing so when I
get through these are so quick and easy when I get through putting it together
if I have fabric that comes down here halfway over my hand I’ll trim some of
it off I’ll make a big hem whatever it takes but what I have done with this
fabric as it came from the bolt and you can see by the white area over here
where the selvage is what I have done with this is simply fold it in half and
fold it in half the other way so here is a fold here a double fold up at the top
and here is a fold over on the side so I have four thicknesses of fabric here
actually so it’s all folded in fourths and if I just put it down on the table
these are the decisions I’m going to make with the tape measure for one thing
it’s a knit fabric there will be some stretch in it how much am I going to
need not only around the wrist but it’s going to be a very casual fabric so
besides measuring my wrist and how much it takes to get over my hand it might be
a very good idea to measure this area up close to my elbow because it’s a casual
thing I’ll probably push those sleeves up I’m making this actually for me but
she will probably push these sleeves up so I find I want about 10 inches there
if they’re pushed up now because I’m going this is going to be the wrist out
here and this is going to be the neck up here and that’s going to be the body the
bodice of the blouse down there so out here at the wrist is what I’m measuring
first and I find that what I would really like to have is about 10 inches
around my wrist so half of that five inches because I have the fabric doubled
here so in two wrists so five inches on each of
these it’ll equal ten inches per wrist so I’ve already marked this just to give
me a little head start and what this marking is is not only the five inches I
want but also this is going to be very quickly made on the serger and I left a
seam allowance of about a quarter inch there so I would put a little mark here
or pins or whatever you want and then because I don’t know how big and him I’m
going to turn up a few inches above I want about the same marking but then I’m
going to start to curve because most of these are sort of battling type things
under the arm they do curve there nothing is very fitted there’s a lot of
ease in it so to get this curve I’ll gradually curve down but right about it
bust level about however far down I want to have it plenty wide it’s a big casual
outfit and I’m going to measure this including seams here at the bust
approximately 14 inches is what I have here so with this then it’s going to get
wider what this is actually going to be is a maternity top and so I’m going to
get it a little bit wider as I go down there just a big casual outfit and I
would probably look in the pattern books to see how wide exactly a maternity
outfits are around the bottom and I find that maybe they’re 60 inches wide okay
that would be 15 times 4 because remember I have 4 thicknesses here so
I’ll make this a little extra generous and I’ve made a mark here at 17 inches
so anyway I just have a few marks here so to cut this out it isn’t a terribly
big chore I’m just going to cut here and I’ll get a little bit wider now as I go
down under the arm into the bust area and then I’m going to swing out here and
flare it somewhat and I have my blouse all cut out quick okay not too much of a
chore I have something else here that I can do with perhaps we’ll see at another
time what those scraps will make but here we have the blouse now all we need
is to sew up the side seams and we’ll be finished except it’s going to have to be
put over your head we’re going to have to have a neck of some sort well this is
going to kind of a boatneck on it I decided so
I’ll cut a little bit out for the neck and maybe to the center of my neck out
to oh about here in my on my shoulder about that wide measure that much how
much is it and that’s about five inches so if I would measure five inches there
and I already have I see and I’ve made a mark so I’m just going to cut through
this and I’ll cut it around a little bit and I will have a neckline
now you wouldn’t do this on everything but this is a big casual thing this is
going to be a big neckline I am going to put some ribbing around there because
it’s knit so that ribbing will bring it up a little bit closer now it’s a good
idea to cut cautiously at first not knowing exactly how big this is going to
come out so if you want to be cautious now this is a wide neck if you wanted to
be cautious cut a little narrow or neck in the first place see if it’ll pull
over your head if it won’t cut it a little bit larger sometimes you don’t
need to pull it over your head and here’s the same t-shirt actually this
one was done the same way this one is simply a smaller tee and it has bands
both at the neck and also at the lower edge this one just comes down to the
waist but it’s kind of the same thing it was just folded in fourths and then
it was cut around the neck and cut under the arm so another very simple styling
well because I am going to add a band to this around the neck it will bring it in
a little bit closer so I purposely cut it slightly larger I’m just going to hem
the bottom of it and the sleeves and probably because it’s cutting the Flair
I’ll have to later even at him a little bit also have to curve it up on the edge
so that’s a possibility later that I may get to now a couple of them that you saw
in a previous program were also patternless blouses and they were done
the same way these were on a show dealing with metallics and notice with
these that all that has happened is the fabric was folded in fourths that way
and with it folded in fourths the sleeves the neck I’ll turn this around
so that you see it exactly the way that I had the other blouse that I just cut
out but you can see this is the same thing so what I did here also is
measured the wrist measure how long and measure how wide the hips are and
how wide it takes how much fabric it takes how much width to get over the bus
because it’s going to pull on now with this one it has a high tight neckline
and so all I needed here was I’m not going to get that over my head because
your neck is smaller than your head so what I needed here is to have an opening
besides and to cut that opening to decide exactly how large it was going to
have to be what I did was just cut a little slit in the fabric see if it had
pull over my head if it didn’t cut this little a little bit longer and when it’s
long enough that what it will actually go over your head then that’s enough and
you’re ready to finish the neckline and put on a facing now the easy way to
decide these necklines if they aren’t those big boat necks is like this I’ve
made myself a little template so it isn’t completely patternless maybe this
is my little template that I use and this is my pattern this is all I need in
order to do that I have two of them here and I’ll show you where I got these so I
just keep these with my supplies and anytime I want to make a pattern less
blouse I get out one or the other this one is for a tee neck a t-shirt type
neck it’s a little bit wider and a little bit shallower this one’s for a
blouse neck I’ll to show you here with my magic t-shirt pattern exactly where
that came from and how I made that template I have the back and the and the
front here and I don’t have the shoulders together because I’m not
concerned with that I’m only concerned with the neckline shape and measurement
therefore I just want to overlap these two the stitching line which would be
about here the 5/8 line that would be about here on each one so I’m going to
put those two points together and then let them down flat to overlap and I just
want to make sure that this is a straight line down the center back on
the center front and if that’s a straight line I put some paper
underneath this and I trace around this opening I don’t have it quite open
enough there I simply trace around this opening and that’s where I got my little
template and while it was still down here on the table then I marked right
here where the shoulder is so you can see a little s here for shoulder right
here I marked a B for back so I know that’s the center back
right here is an F for front so this is the center front
and with this little template the back the front the shoulders notice something
else that’s always true about blouses or anything that you wear your front neck
comes down lower than the back so here’s the midpoint the Front’s down lower the
backs up higher now what this means is if I’d be cutting out a new piece of
fabric that I hadn’t already cut I’ll just fold this in a different way what
this means after I had this folded and I’ve cut out the rest of the blouse that
right here I’d probably want to make a little clip with my scissors and what
that little clip would be would be the shoulders in the center front and center
back and so that little clip right here I would want to as I open it up I would
want to put this template right in that place so that the the little mark I have
here that intersects the shoulders in the front that’s where I want to have at
that very center point and then I could after I have this laid out flat just a
flat piece of fabric and I’ll bring another piece of fabric up here so that
I can just hold it up flat with that flat piece of fabric and let’s say this
is where I mark the neckline right here with that I would put this neckline
right in that spot just right there and then I would be able to cut this around
now this is not going to fit my neck this is the cutting line 5/8 out bigger
than that all the way around is my actual neckline that’s the stitching
line so this works beautifully I got my other pattern in the very same way this
blouse neck pattern the different shape here this was from taking the front and
back bodice of a blouse and cutting it out the same way so that’s why it’s a
slightly different shape so cut yourself a couple of little templates and
something else I did to help me out is on the back of this so I don’t have to
measure every time I have written some numbers here I have written 31 inches
out two wrist and that includes my hem and I’ve written 17 inches down to the
waist so if I make a short top I know how big that is or how long it is if I
make a long top I know I want beyond 17 so that helps enormously and I have that
on both of them so this is a big help now after I have this cut out or while
I’m cutting it out sometimes I find something just really awful which is, the
fact that I don’t have enough fabric. it
doesn’t quite work and I found with this one that I’m wearing I had plenty of
fabric on one sleeve but on the other one I ran out I have a seam here it
isn’t too easy to see hopefully because I did match it but I’d like to show you
how to match that because that does happen from time to time so right here
there is a seam and I’m going to show you how to get around that if you need
to match something because you’ve run out of fabric okay let’s say that this
is the end of my fabric I need a little bit more here and tough luck I’m out of
it so hopefully I have some scraps that I haven’t used coz what I’m going to do
on this is just press under a 5/8 inch seam allowance and after I have that
pressed under iron wasn’t really set on cotton and I’m using cotton here after I
have that pressed under I go to an uncut piece of fabric that I haven’t done
anything to and I just find the same flower or whatever it is that matches
and in this case it’s right up here here’s the same flower and if I move
this up high enough it’s going to exactly match when I get right to this
point right here it matches exactly you can do this same thing with drapery
fabrics as your matching panels and I use this a lot and when you’re finished
you’ll never know it up here I’ve got to move just a slight bit okay so what I’m
going to do is put a piece of tape across there that real lightweight pink
hair setting tape works even better because it is so supple and then I’m
going to on the machine just stitch right in that little groove that I’ve
made with the iron right here if I just stitch a straight line there to get them
all together no one will ever know I had to piece this fabric this is a nice
little thing to know because it happens to you from time to time
and the bigger garments are flared skirts and so on the bigger they are the
more problems you’re likely to run into because of
running out of fabric in some corner so I’ll just do a little bit here and show
you how it looks when it’s opened up and once it’s opened up and everything works
out just right I’ll pull off the tape which I slightly stitched in the seam so
be careful that you don’t do that but you can see when it’s all out straight
that is going to make just one piece of fabric and nobody will ever know that
there is a piecing there so this is a little tip that you need to remember
when you come to this I’d like to show you some variations in the blouses that
I have here because you can use these pattern les blouses for so many
different things here’s one that is the very same thing just a pattern les
blouse when I cut this out I put a little blip out here on one side and
that’s because this is worn over pants and it just ties here at the side waist
so I cut it out the same old way whoops this is really tied in several knots
it’s going to stay securely at that waist but see how I’m even though on the
one side I cut a straight seam out on the other side I cut this extra wing
here so that it could be tied but other than that it’s the very same thing and
then it buttons down the front and you simply bind those edges if that is to
your liking and you could have buttons on the sleeves or you could have them
large enough that they just go over without any problem here’s one where I
had less fabric but that’s alright I was going to wear it in the summer anyway so
I simply made shorter sleeves this is above the elbow length and that works
out if this is probably about a yard of fabric uh-huh about a yard is what this
measures so that works out just fine as long as you don’t have very much fabric
if you don’t have enough length to tuck in your skirt then you do something of
this sort add a band to it and this band can be either straight or shaped but
this band is going to extend it so now it’s an over blouse because I didn’t
have quite enough to put to tuck in to put under another one is this is just a
huge thing and it goes over another dress but same pattern less blouse and
this is extra large with elastic at the waist and at the bottoms and this
buttons on then to another dress that’s worn under it so these buttons just
coincide with the button on that dress so another little quick change that you
can make if you’re traveling and need a whole lot of outfits this is one of my
favorite ones and this is the one that I showed you the fabric that I showed you
at first is that see-through fabric so I wanted to avoid and he seems if I
possibly could now what was kind of fun about this one
is the fact that as I cut this out here was the end of the fabric this was kind
of narrow fabric and this was the fold of the fabric as it came off the bolt as
they always are all these patternless blouses this is the fold here on the
shoulder and down here was the selvage well there wasn’t enough to come below
the waist at all it only came to the waist and that was it
but as I cut this out look what I have here this semicircle this semicircle if
you can picture it has been turned upside down and it is now this peplum
down here at the bottom of the blouse and then I’ve just as I stitched the two
together I just made an elastic casing and it’s covered up by a little belt but
it makes makes a nice evening blouse and every bit of fabric is used what I cut
out of there I put down for the peplum and nothing went to waste some other
blouses now you realize that when you see these blouses on that they kind of
fall on the shoulders unless you wear shoulder pads because remember they’re
cut straight out so sometimes you want to do a little something extra as I’ve
done here on the blouse that I’m wearing you want to change the shoulder a little
bit so that it does pick up so that it doesn’t just droop as frankly those two
metallic and embellished ones they droop a little bit they don’t really do as
they should they droop so to avoid that if you would like to here are some
things you can do and I’ll just bring them over here to show you this one is a
striped fabric so because of its stripes notice how it looks like puffed setting
sleeves when it’s worn but it actually is this patternless blouse what I’ve
done around the neck is do all these lines of stitching I’ve stitched out the
gray stripes and just have the blue stripe showing before I then put a neck
piece in and because those stripes brought it up too short here again
you put something at the waist some band so you can wear it as an over blouse so
this is one way to bring the shoulder so they’re straight here instead of big
wrinkles drooping down this one does droop down but it’s such a soft fabric
it didn’t make a bit of difference this one also has a band here’s a way the
sleeves can fasten I folded up a big hem and within a couple of Lowell folds I’ve
put loop buttonholes and they go over to fasten the wrist tightly so that might
be something you want to do on the wrist that I’m wearing I have another type of
opening this one instead of the little loops this one I actually just made a
fold here and then made buttonholes so another way of doing it think through
what is to your liking what this does besides just folding over and fastening
into a tight wrist it also makes a little pleat here and when it’s being
worn it it actually looks like there’s a big cuff here so none separately it
doesn’t look like it’s all one piece of fabric which it actually is another
summer blouse this one with an exterior facing is what provides that stripe
that’s going the contrasting direction this big boat neckline the stripe the
horizontal stripe here was simply put inside stitched against it and then
flipped to the outside to make the facing on the outside and finish the
neck edge all in one piece and that facing just goes on all the way out to
the edge of the sleeves so think through what your fabrics will do and how
they’ll work out now as far as getting those shoulders up
the way the blouses that I’m wearing here’s one that shows you more easily
how this can be done this is a summer boss it was cut the same way but it’s a
summer blouse so it has shorter sleeves there above the elbow and kind of little
butterfly sleeves well originally they came right up here straight but what I
did on this to make it stay up on the shoulders nicely what I did on this was
to take my t-shirt pattern or a blouse pattern which I put down here on my very
low table down there I put this down on the fabric and I marked it exactly where
the shoulders should be I mark the fabric here on the front and also on the
back and then with those markings in place notice how the shoulders have this
little pleat in it I had those marking lines and I simply
brought those markings then to the center and pinned them in place and
stitched them around here top stitch them all in place as you see there’s top
stitching and that’s what makes this blouse fit nicely without shoulder pads
to hold it up it just fits my shoulders I have a natural shoulder line on it
then I’ve done the same thing on the blouse I’m wearing but notice how I
brought these tucks to the outside instead so instead of being a seam down
on the inside as the summer blouse is on this blouse that I’m wearing I have them
on the outside as a decorative feature but it accomplishes the same purpose it
picks the blouse up so I don’t have big wrinkles here so it doesn’t group and
that stitching keeps it up in shape and it makes kind of a little pleat that
joins the pleat down here so it makes a nice feature
now the blouse I’m wearing I did use that template from the blouse not the
t-shirt I used the blouse neck template so it’s just a high-standard jewel
neckline and then I simply put a straight band around for the Mandarin
the stand-up collar another thing I did on this and I do on many blouses is at
times there is a blouse that it’s a big print that you really don’t want to
destroy that you really want to match so I’m going to show you another little
matching trick I’ll just put that one back this is not a pattern las’ blouse
I’m showing but this is the matching that I would like to show you because
this is something that nobody seems to do a couple of big-name designers do it
and they’re things cost thousands of dollars the average manufacturer will
never bother with this and what it is is the fact that I have an opening here but
notice how this design and I just pulled this blouse even though it isn’t a
patternless one because this illustrates it so easily with its big design I like
to see that match now what you ordinarily see anytime a manufacturer
has done it or looked through the pattern books and you’ll see it off also
they won’t have it exactly matched they always look a little bit like this okay
see how it repeats it doesn’t blend in exactly it’s a little bit off about a
half inch off is what you always see and the reason for this is that they
are trying to match this outer edge this fold on an earlier program I told you
about extensions that’s the distance from the center front out to that fold
you don’t need to allow that extension so I’ll do a little demo up here and
show you how to do this here is one miniature blouse front that
I’ve already cut off I’ve already cut out so I use this small half size
pattern and I’ve cut this blouse out so that I have a prominent tulip right here
upside down flowers on this fabric window every which way so I’ve cut it
out with that tulip showing now hmm typically I’m afraid what every
manufacturer is doing is as I said matching this outside fold what is
important is that center front line so with this pattern opened up I’m going to
make a little clip or make a mark with the marker it’s just that this fabric
I’m using is so the design is just so big and dark and you can’t see a little
mark on it so I’m making a clip here I’m going to make another clip at the bottom
right on the center front so that I know exactly where this Center front is and
then with these two clips I have and you can see here’s a clip there’s an opening
right there and here’s another clip down here I’m going to on an uncut piece of
fabric that I haven’t done anything with I’m going to put this cut piece down so
that it just folds or just works in it can’t be seen at all I find it’s right
here I’m going to then where the clip is put a pin here I’m going to put a pin
right here at the top where the clip is I’m going to take my pattern piece and
turn it over because now I want a left front and I’m going to put it down with
the center front at these two pins cut out the second side and it’s going to
turn out perfectly every time well I’ve really enjoyed bringing you this series
but there are dozens of subjects we didn’t even have time to touch the
answer is of course another series sometimes in the future if there are
some details or techniques you especially like to see, drop me a line
and try to include them. in the meantime I
wish you a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction in your sewing your
connection to the world of fashion but translated into your terms. Piano Music

1 thought on “Patternless Blouses with Shirley Adams Sewing Connection

  1. I am so glad to be able to see these videos again. I watched the Sewing Connection series on PBS a long time ago and I was disappointed to see it was not available anymore. So many clever tips and tricks revealed. Thanks for showing them again. I hope other 'sewists' can take advantage of all these hidden techniques. Thanks Again. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *