Peasant Tops

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Three years ago in July, I left my job. Suddenly I no longer had a need for suit jackets and nice blouses. I realized I had pretty much nothing for casual tops, so I went to the mall, tried on about 20 things, and came home with three new blouses — all peasant tops. I like the style on me, and I like woven, loose tops for comfort in hot weather.

When I started sewing clothing again the following Spring, I naturally selected a peasant blouse pattern for my first top. I wasn’t sure what pattern size I wore then, because it had been quite a while since I had made a shirt for myself, and I figured a peasant blouse would be simple to fit. (It was.) And I didn’t want to have to worry about buttonholes, darts, or anything hard. I came home with New Look 6179.

I made a size 14 right out of the envelope with no modifications. It fits pretty good, but it pools up a little bit around my hips in the back. I am short-waisted, so I think the problem is the pattern narrows just as I am widening out.

First version

I made the top again this summer, this time cutting a size 12, raising the waist 1″ and cutting the total length by about 3″. I wanted the blouse to match a few patchwork skirts, and I wanted it short enough to show off the pocket details on my Sew Serendipity skirt.

Shortened version

Other suggestions:

1. I made a strip of bias tape from the fabric instead of buying packaged bias tape for the neckline.

2. You can omit the elastic part at the neck and make the whole drawstring out of fabric.

3. You can omit the placket entirely and just use elastic in the neck. Or you can use a drawstring, but place buttonholes in the neckline instead of the placket.

4. I have thin arms, and I find the elastic on the sleeves to be just a touch tight and annoying. Check the length of your elastic first.

5. Try using lawn or a thin cotton for a more drapey, less stiff look.

I like this top, and think it’s very comfortable. I’m not sure it looks great with skirts, but I like it with capris. I plan to make a long-sleeve version for fall.

Fun with the self-timer

With a skirt

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2 responses »

  1. I remember commenting on the print version at KK at the beginning of the summer! I like the plain version too. I’ve started to realize that I need to focus on less busy prints or semi solids (like yarn) if I plan on making my sewn garments really wearable.

    • Thank you! Yes, I agree about making things to “jailbreak” the rest of your wardrobe. I have several busy print skirts, and I just needed that plain white top in order to be able to wear them. Happy crafting.

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