Archive for August, 2009

IMG_4810The only trouble with this top is that I think it works better to have a lining on the other side of the embroidery to keep it from being scratchy. A wants me to make her some camisoles, too, so that should solve that problem.



I used French seams on these tops, seaming 1/4 inch with wrong sides together, pressing, then seaming 3/8 inch with right sides together. I like the neat finish it gives to the inside, plus it uses much less thread than a zigzag overcast.


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Well, I had a length of lovely, creamy yellow cotton so I decided to make another peasant top for A.  I wanted to do a different front closure, some different kind of placket, and I hunted through my old patterns until I found a pattern with the placket in the center front to use as a guide.  I did the machine embroidery in white, but the fabric was too light to let the stitching show very well.  I was wondering how to make the design show up better and got the idea to use paint to fill in the embroidery.


Here’s a closeup showing the stitching and the painting filling in the design.

IMG_4841Today the placket goes in , then all that is left are the side seams and hems.

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Here’s the blouse with the elastic inserted into the sleeve casings, photographed in the early morning light.IMG_4810This pattern has small darts at the top of the sleeves (one in the center of each sleeve top) that give the shoulder line nice shape, and the sleeves drape over the shoulders in an attractive way.

Meanwhile, I have been looking for embroidery patterns that would fit around the front neckline opening. The McCalls pattern photo shows a machine-embroidered design that could be ordered for embroidery machines (which I don’t have), but the design is not included in the pattern.

IMG_4826This design looks Eastern European in origin and would look very nice done in satin stitch.

IMG_4827 I drew this design myself using as inspiration a small photo of a peasant blouse I found online somewhere. This kind of blouse looks lovely done in multi-color embroidery, but it also looks striking with single-color embroidery. I have seen blouses with blue embroidery on white fabric, which is gorgeous, and red on white, also wonderful. And white stitching on dark colors is always terrific.

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White Peasant Blouse

IMG_4810This is a wearable muslin of McCall’s 3919 to see how A likes this style. I took in the sides a little and just did a little machine embellishment using the cams on my Elna SU and added a small piece of white crocheted hairpin lace I made decades ago. The lace was yellowed but I just washed the blouse in a load of towels using some bleach, and it looks fine now. I haven’t yet put the elastic in the sleeve casings, because of the bleaching, but as soon as I do, the blouse will be done. Even if the style is not her favorite, the blouse will still be useful for wearing around the house.



It is a simple raglan style, and I put a bias binding around the neck instead of using the facing patterns. I think it would also work to have contrasting facings turned to the right side and stitched down with embroidery.

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The peasant blouse will have 3/4 length sleeves, so I thought I would put elastic at the bottom edge for the first version.  I recall buying (on special order) many packages of special non-latex elastic to use for anything I sew with elastic for the younger daughter, but where oh where did I put it.  I remembered that I had put all the packages together in one place, but I couldn’t find it anywhere in the sewing room.  Finally, I was ironing something and glanced up, and there was the elastic hanging from the thread rack. IMG_4815

Today I plan to cut out the blouse and start sewing it up.  This one will be the test garment (muslin) so I won’t do the embroidery until I know it will fit.

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New Peasant Tops


My younger daughter wants some embroidered blouses, but she wants a top that is more fitted than the traditional Mexican peasant blouse.  I am going to try McCalls 3919 with embroidery at the neck opening.  I found an older pattern with an interesting embroidery design at the neck:


I drew out the embroidery pattern and will use it to practice free-motion machine embroidery.  First I have to make a quick version of the top so my daughter can try it on and see if she likes it.  I am changing the sleeves a little to 3/4 length with either elastic or a small cuff.


I have an older book of embroidery transfers and found this design that would also work:


It is time to go dig through the fabric stash and find some fabrics that might work for this top.

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