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hot weather blouse pattern search

cottonbets | Posted in Patterns on

I am looking for a cool summer blouse pattern. I’d be happy with a shell, scoop or v-neck. I’d just like to have bra straps covered (call me old fashioned), some shaping would be nice, but COOL is the highest priority. I’d like to use a woven fabric.



  1. sewfar | | #1

    I have several knit tops with a scoop neck and very short raglan sleeves that I just love. I think that they may be called ballet style.  I hope I can duplicate the look in a woven fabric like a light linen but without the gathers as in the peasant top style.  I first have to find time to redraw and adjust the bust area.  My patterns are for knits but I hope I can  adjust them for for wovens.  What do you think ?  I visualize them with tucks or pleats in the front. 

    1. cottonbets | | #2

      I don't think that converting from knit to woven is easy for something as close fitting as a top. There has to be shaping somewhere to prevent arm hole gaps and a sloppy neckline yet not have a tent shape dropping from the bust.   Sorry if this sounds too particular, but I've created too many blah tops! Thanks for the input.

    2. User avater
      Becky-book | | #6

      Knit to woven conversion... be very careful! knit patterns to slip on over the head may not work in wovens which do not 'give' enough to get over the head, or if they do stretch then they won't lay flat once on the body! You may need to add a small 'key-hole' opening at the back neck with a small button to close it.

      If you turn the elastic neck of a peasant blouse into tucks you may have the same trouble, just make sure it will fit over head before making it permanent.

      Hope this helps,


      1. sewfar | | #7

        Thanksl for the advice.  I had the same thoughts on neck openings and tucks versus gathers like the peasant tops but I have a feeling that no matter what manner of gathering I would use for shaping it would look like a glorified maternity top or a nicely tucked in balloon due to my bust.  I get nostalgic for fashions I wore in my flatter chested youth but the days when I could wear almost any style are gone for good.  Thank you all for the input.  Especially before I got serious and wasted too much energy on a disappointing outcome.

          I think some of the best sewing advice I have gotten of late was to go to a store and try on a style before you consider sewing it.  Even if the store fit is not perfect, it helps me a lot to see if it is something I would actually wear versus something I wish I could wear. 

        1. User avater
          Becky-book | | #11

          Another tool for determining if a style will look good on you is discussed in Threads #125 July 2006 Discover the Best Proportions & Styles for You (pg 51). It involves a digital camera (to photograph your body silhouette), tracing paper, and just a little sketching skill.


      2. thehat | | #23

        hi it has been a long time but here is a thought lacingin the front and sides as tight as you want or loose and it gives a little statment

  2. sewnel65 | | #3

    Hi there Cottonbets,

    I'm planning on making a cool summer blouse out of some crinkley cotton I have (blk and wht check) useing Stretch and  Sew 339 (Par9is Blouse).  It's got princess shaping and no sleeves.  I'll let you  know how it goes.....if I ever get to it!!

  3. User avater
    purduemom | | #4

    Take a look at Vogue 2851.  I just made the top up in linen and really like it.  The pattern is designed for wovens -  the princess seams together with the center front and back seams provide a nice fit.  I made up a muslin first and had little difficulty making my usual adjustments to bust seaming and length.  As I type, there is a pretty piece of black eyelet on the cutting table pinned and waiting to be cut from this Vogue pattern!


    1. Josefly | | #5

      Pretty pattern. The black eyelet will look nice, too. I like the short jacket, too. Lots of vertical lines. :>)

    2. cottonbets | | #9

      Thanks to all of you for your ideas. I'm going to hop out of this discussion and hunt for the patterns you mentioned. I promise to post results...when I get to the blouse.

    3. cottonbets | | #22

      That looks perfect~ a simple silhouette BUT with pretty seaming to give it shape. I missed that when looking through the pattern catalogue. I don't think it was in "tops". Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. ineedaserger329 | | #8

       I have this patter I love, but have yet to make. I got it on sale two weeks ago for $.99.....It's McCall's M5271. It has several versions in it, giving you sleeveless, short-sleeved and long sleeved options as well as 3 necklines. I've lookes at lots of their patterns and they usually have several similar styles in one pattern envelope....You might be able to find them on sale like I did, I got several patterns that day, there was a 5-pattern limit per person, so I took two people with me....lol. good luck and happy hunting


  5. ctirish | | #10

    Martha Pullen's site and magazine - Sew Beautiful has had a couple of different blouses or tops that are perfect summer attire. She uses a lot of cotton batiste and other light weight fabrics. Her magazines have patterns and directions and she even has some kits at times. She had a beautiful kit for a summer blouse but I can't remember the name of it or the issue it was in. If you go to her site, magazine or store you may find something you will like. Good luck, jane

    1. cottonbets | | #12

      I've never tried anything by Martha Pullen. I'll check it out. Thanks!

  6. jane4878 | | #13

    I haven't tried this pattern yet--but the price is right!  It's a free download from http://burdamode.com.  (it's under downloads)  They're cute empire waist-sleeveless tops and mini-dresses.  I'm itching to try one.  Empire waist designs are very flattering on most figure types.



    1. cottonbets | | #14

      And you can get the instructions in Czechoslovakian. Unbelievable! I have to finish one project before I get to the blouse, but thanks for the lead.


  7. Teaf5 | | #15

    My current hot-weather top is readymade, but I'm going to trace a pattern of it and duplicate it in other fabrics because it's working so well: it's a Carole Little 3/4 sleeve, collared shirt of very thin 100% cotton, crinkled. The collar and sleeves make it appropriate for the office, and the crinkling effect is very flattering, even with my full bust; the lightweight, slightly loose fabric makes it cool. (We have 100-plus days here all summer.)It has thin vertical darts in the front and back but is slightly oversized; the washing instructions are to wash in cool water and then twist lengthwise, secure with rubberbands and allow to dry. This morning, I touched up the collar and front button band with a warm iron to give it a little shape, and I get compliments every time I wear it.I'm thinking of trying this crinkly effect with Simplicity 4180; I've found that Simplicity tops seemed sized for my full bust, mature figure. Good luck, and let us know if you find any other good ones!

    1. cottonbets | | #16

      Thanks, I'll check out the pattern.

    2. Josefly | | #20

      That's a pretty pattern. As you work on the pattern with the crinkled cotton, will you let us know how you decide to hem it, and how you treat the neckline edge? I love that fabric - it's so cool and practical, with no or little ironing, for summer. But I've not been willing to try it because I don't understand how you keep the crinkles from stretching flat while sewing. Or are you planning to use a flat lightweight cotton and crinkle it after finishing the blouse?I suppose a basting tape could be used on the seams to hold the crinkles. Isn't there one that dissolves in water after sewing?Just want to add, Carole Little is one of my favorites. Her designs are so simple and wearable, often with just one detail that makes it really special.

      Edited 5/30/2007 8:20 pm ET by Josefly

      1. Teaf5 | | #21

        I will make the garment flat, pressing as usual during construction, and then crinkle it. The commercial garment doesn't have permanent crinkles, either, and if I tumble it dry by mistake, it comes out looking like a regular cotton blouse. At that point, I re-wet it, twist it vertically and secure with rubber bands and either tumble it dry on low or let it hang to dry.I'm looking forward to taking these crinkle cotton blouses on vacation as I love 100% cotton but never have access to an iron and wouldn't want to spend vacation time ironing anyway. Plus, they'll be easy to pack all bunched up. I love this first one because I can throw it on at the last minute and look pulled together. It has a black polka dot pattern, and I'm thinking that a subtle overall pattern in other colors might work just as well. Will have to wait till school ends to sew up my new ones, though!

  8. solosmocker | | #17

    I just made McCalls 5138, view B, in ecru eyelet. It went together very quickly and I love it. I am definitely making this pattern again. Being petite, I will scale back the collar by a 1/4 of an inch but other than that I love it. I think it makes a great summer shirt and got several compliments when wearing it this past weekend. Does anyone know why I can't post a link in a thread? It just happened with this post and also happened to me last week as well. Thanks.

    1. Cherrypops | | #18


      Here is a link to the shirt pattern. McCalls 5138.

      Thanks for the review. I was looking at this pattern recently.


      What did you do to post the link? I opened up McCalls webpage searched for the pattern number. Then copied and pasted that mccalls webpage address into the reply screen here. and posted this message the usual way.




      Edited 5/29/2007 11:53 pm by Cherrypops

      1. solosmocker | | #19

        That's exactly what I did, three times. It happened to me about a week ago as well but later that day I was able to post a link. Sounds like an internal issue on my side. Thanks for the help.

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