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couture blouse patterns

user-407234 | Posted in Patterns on

I have checked most of the current web sites available, and can find little to choose from in couture blouse patterns. Most of the patterns are either too simplistic/boxy/asymetrical. What happened to tailored,intricate and feminine? I do not have any drafting skills, but I can make some changes to the pattern to make it more original, but I would prefer to use a pattern. Does anyone have any sources?


  1. rekha | | #1

    If you wish intricate try the Victorian patterns from http://www.pastpatterns.com/. I hope this helps

  2. ShannonG4d | | #2

    What kinds of details do you seek?  Do you want different collar/cuff shapes?  More fitted silhouette? 


  3. SewNancy | | #3

    Have you tried Marfy or Burda magazine patterns?


    1. SJ | | #14

      How do you use those burda patterns? I was thinking to just photocopy the whole pattern page in A2 and cut it out and add seam allow but they all blend in togeather


      1. ma7 | | #15

        I got a good laugh with Burda patterns since I have taught a class using their swing coat.  Just use a product called Pattern-eze(sp?) which is usually found where interfacings are kept in the fabric stores.  It's inexpensive and you can trace your pattern and write with ballpoint so you can make all the pattern markings and notes to yourself.  It's sturdy so just cut it out and use it as you use a pattern piece.  My Burda pattern had the 5/8" seam added so I didn't have to figure that in.  But be careful to read your pattern regarding the seam allowances.  Have fun, M A

      2. SewNancy | | #16

        I use tracing paper, I have large rolls of it for my landscape design business.  In the instuctions, there is the page letter and numbers and the color of the pattern pieces.  Along the bottom of the pattern sheets, there are the numbers in the color indicated.  Just look up above the number and find the pattern piece.  They do not have sas, but are in multiple sizes.  just trace your size or sizes.  Sometimes I just tape the pattern pieces together and try them on or put them on my manniquin.  Then I add the seam allowances to the fabric.  Or, you can leave extra paper around the edges and use tracing paper and a double tracing wheel and mark both the seam line and the allowance.  It is easy and cheap and I like the magazine.  The fashions tend to be more fashion foward.  You end up with lots of pieces to mix and match if you are so inclined.


        p.s. I don't use the instuctions, but rather, read through and if I need help find it in Sandra Betzina's books or back issues of Threads.  I plan my own order of construction as I don't find their sequencing to be the best.

      3. Lizothelake | | #17

        Hi Saj,

        I have just seen your query about using Burda Patterns.

        The ones in the Magazine are different from those sold as actual individual patterns.

        The Individual patterns are mainly MULTI-SIZED; you will get 4 or so sizes in each packet, each size being printed on the same sheet of paper and with the CF/CB/Grain lines matching, so you can easily see how the pattern piece varies in shape between two different sizes; very handy if you have a top that is one size and a bottom that is another. Personally I never cut the patterns apart but use paper and trace over the lines for my size. Especially with Childrens patterns this means a great saving as a basic garment such as PJ's or a Cotton Dress can be used with variations for many years by simply re-drawing to the next size. These patterns do have SEAM ALLOWANCES ADDED. Read the instructions to see how much and where.

        The patterns in the Burda Mode Magazines are different. They DO NOT HAVE SEAM ALLOWANCES ! On each huge sheet of paper, which comes folded inside the magazine, there are the patterns for each 'Model' shown in the magazine, and usually in more than one size. Some will be in smaller/fashion sizes, some in normal sizes, and always a couple in Plus sizes. There is also a 4 times a year edition just for Larger Women, and also editions of High Fashion too.

        The trick with these patterns is to take a coloured Highliter Pen and trace over the markings for the size and pattern you want. Then lay your tracing paper on top and mark the lines. I use Wax Paper as it is cheap and readily available, others use the rolls of paper used in Clinics to cover examination Tables; it is wider, tracing paper, a special sort of 'fabric' that is very like non-woven interfacing (Red Dot) or other things, even Tyvek House Wrap! 

        Instead of drawing with a pencil I use a special double wheeled tracing wheel so that my seam allowance is automatically drawn as I mark the seam lines. You can get these so that they make a pair of perforated lines, or that leave two 'chalk' or 'pencil' lines.

        Burda patterns are cut for a different shape of person to the 'shape' used by Simplicity and other American Pattern Makers. Somewhat plumper and solid rather than sporty and super tall. Their actual fashions range from the avant-garde to quite 'old fashioned'; plus they always have a superb set of "Carnival Costumes" quite unlike the American Halloween "Cartoon Characters" or "Historical Clothes".

        One problem I have found, over the years, is that a dress will be in the magazine then turn up in the catalogue the next year, or vica-versa; and since the magazine has up to 30 or more garments in it, you soon have a very large collection of patterns to choose from. I actually stopped getting it some years back because I had so many old issues that I could window shop and find what I wanted in my own collection.

        Hope this helps, Fivecats


        1. eauinaz | | #18

          I like to use examining room paper for Burda patterns. It's not as brittle as tracing paper and is plenty transparent--translucent? What I do is highlight the lines for my size with a yellow marker, make marks for any changes I'll do the the pattern, then use a seam guide--the little ruler thing-- pulled out for a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I scratch out the pattern with the point of the seam guide which is usually clear enough to use to cut out the pattern, or of course, you could go over the mark with a pen.

          1. GreyKat | | #19

            I agree with the members who cited Burda Mode magazine--they're great. The styles are very Euro--and would be somewhat odd for American tastes. But if I wanted what everyone else was wearing I wouldn't bother sewing! ;-) The styles are definitely more fitted than the standard American patterns I've worked with, which are boxier and tend to look "home made." Also, the instructions are spare and sketchy; they presume you already know what you're doing. But anyone with a few sewing books, and/or access to a library and the internet should have no problem. It also helps to work out a tricky pattern on a toile or fitting muslin first (actually, I usually use old bed sheets).I also second the member who wrote in about Pattern-eze. It's more fabric-like than any tracing paper, and won't tear as easily as normal tracing paper. It also crinkles less and lays more flat when pinning to fabric. It's great.Good luck!

          2. SewNancy | | #20

            One of the nice things about having Burda mag patterns is that you have all those pieces to put together and make it yours without having to pay a fortune for more than one pattern just so that you can combine them.  I don't bother with their instructions, I read them through and then choose my source, ie books or past Threads articles, if I need some help with construction techniques.  I like to look at the fashion magazines and then adjust a likely pattern or group of patterns to get the look that I want.


          3. kjp | | #21

            Nancy, you mentioned using a double tracing wheel to trace off your patterns.  I don't think I've ever seen one - but now I have to have one!  It would save me so much time as I'm using primarily Burda mag patterns.  Do you know the manufacturer or where to find one? 

            In the meantime, I'll try searching online.  Thanks!  Karin

          4. SewNancy | | #22

            It is a clover.  I probably got it at a local store.

          5. kjp | | #24

            Thanks Nancy & Elizabeth!  I have ordered it from the sewing place.  I needed to stock up on shoulderpads and stay tape anyway, so time for an order!


          6. SewNancy | | #25

            Isn't this a great site?  They have the best shaped shoulder pads of any one.  Also the most choices on petersham ribbons.

            Any one shopping for fabric should check out http://www.emmaonesock.com.  I have bought several pieces from her on sale and the values are excellent and so are the fabrics.  Fast service.

          7. kjp | | #26

            I love both sites!  I bought a bundle of mesh & buttermilk fabrics from emmaonesock.com on sale - what fun to get surprise fabrics!  Not sure what I'll do with them all, but a few have enough yardage for some summer tshirts.  I also ordered a couple of mesh fabrics.  When will I find time to sew them all??!!

            As for the sewing place's shoulderpads - I love the $1.50 small ones.  I used to make mine from scratch, as I didn't like the mass marketed ones available in our fabric stores.  Not any more!  Unfortunately, my order for the double tracing wheel ended up being $50.  :-)  Is there a fabricaholics anonymous group?


          8. SewNancy | | #27

            Laugh laugh I could certainly use one.  I also used to make my own shoulder pads till I found these small petal shaped pads.  I still have to modify my right side but that is still so much easier than making my own.  Also, I had bought shoulder pads in the city, but they are just too big for my narrow shoulders.

            I have not bought any of the buttermilk or mesh stretch yet, I don't know what buttermilk is, I try to make pants and buy tops as I am hard  to fit on the bottom.  I think that other websites should take a look at Emma onesock her photos really show how the fabric drapes and the size of the photo gives a much better  representation.  I just bought some linen and lycra fabric that is fab.  She also has very complete care instructions on the site.  All in all a great site.


  4. carolfresia | | #4

    Some of the prettiest blouse patterns I've seen have been vintage ones, on eBay. Even though these date back sometimes to the 30s, 40s, and 50s, many of them could work just fine today.


  5. SewSandi | | #5

    While perusing the patterns available through Waechter's Silk Shop website, I found a section on Folkwear Sewing Patterns.  If you scroll down past the ethnic fashions, you can find some styles such as the "Gibson Girl" blouse and many others.  Here's a link to the page:



    Hope you find something of interest to you.

    Edited 2/2/2005 4:19 pm ET by Sandi

    1. user-407234 | | #6

      Thank you for your reply. I have looked at these patterns,however they are not quite what I am looking for.

      1. Bettefan | | #7

        What about Vogue 7903? This is a pretty blouse by Sandra Betzina. There are collar choices and lots of darts...also a choice of sleeve length and cuff...I haven't gotten around to it yet, but look forward to making this one!

        1. TJSEWS | | #9

          I agree with you about the Vogue 7903 blouse pattern by Sandra Betzina.  I did try it out and it turned out to be my favorite and best blouse yet!  I look forward to making more blouses from this pattern. 

          It is a flattering, modern feminine style while it is also a classic in my opinion.  It is not boxy or assymetrical.  I highly recommend it!

        2. Merryll | | #10

          Let me just add that I've seen this pattern of Sandra's made up by her in silk charmuse with short sleeves.  It was slightly different than the pattern jacket and was stunning.


      2. SewNancy | | #8

        What are you looking for exactly?


  6. susanna | | #11

    Happy Valentine's Day

    Maybe you'd like some of Martha Pullen's fancyschmancy designs, too. Just google her.

  7. jandheurle | | #12

    What about Clair Shaeffer's blouse pattern for Vogue? I believe it has been discontinued, but you could probably get one from her at her website. All of her patterns include couture instructions.

  8. SJ | | #13

    To Deb, I understand your situation. However there are methods of pattern making such as Accumark on the computer, or mannualy by using the flat patternmaking technique. Granted alot of patternmaking books lack style and advanced designs. But I recenctly purchased a book called patternmaking for fashion design. It contains many styles from simple designs to more complex, teaching how to draft your own patterns.

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