HOW TO MAKE A PADDED BLOUSE PATTERN(USING PRINCESS SEAM/DART)

Hi Sew lovers!
I want to thank everyone of you that joined me on the journey called “Crafty May”. All through May(in case you are joining us here for the first time, we got crafty;made a lot of stuffs ranging from leather handbags to Ankara handbags. Even though we didn’t get to do all that we planned to do before the month’s end, we did some. Hopefully at intervals through our regular Monday tutorials, we will do the rest of them which include, makeup purses, hats and possibly wallets. So thank you all once again for being a part of it and for leaving your comments(although I wished there were more).
But now it’s time to get back to sewing and I have so much to show you guys. But first, on today’s tutorial, I’m going to explain with illustrations on how to make the above blouse pattern(a basic blouse with Princess seam). Let me begin by explaining what a pattern is and what a princess dart is for those who don’t have the slightest clue or know them by a different name.

A ‘pattern‘ means in this context, a rough sheet of paper, scrap fabric, newspaper/magazine used to construct the design we want to see on our fabric. So rather than go straight to cutting out our design or style on our fabric, we begin first with our scrap paper, fabric or newspaper. This is because we do not want to end up wasting our fabrics due to mistakes or imperfections. So making a pattern helps you straight out all you want to straighten out and also help you decide which design you want to make before you trace and cut them out from your fabric.

Princess seam: Have you ever wanted to make a padded blouse and didn’t have the faintest idea how to begin? Well this is where Princess dart/seam comes in. A princess seam/dart is a long rounded seam sewn into women’s blouses, shirts or jackets, to add shaping or a tailored fit to closely follow a woman’s shape. They are sewn into the front and/or back of a shirt, blouse or gown and usually extend from the waist up to the arms. They are slightly different from the regular darts we know because they run continuously from either the top of the blouse or arm region of the blouse to the end of it.

There are several ways to construct a princess seam/dart. It could be either from the (1)armhole region,(2)neck or (3)from the shoulders. Some are cut through completely and then joined back to the garment or are nipped through.

 

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Requirements:

1. Scrap paper/fabric/newspaper/cardboard e.t.c: If you are beginner, please use any one of the items listed, because this is just a pattern, like earlier mentioned. So we are not going to be using our fabric of choice.
2. Ruler
3. Scissors
4. Pen/pencil/marker
5. Measuring tape and Tracing wheel
6. Already-made T-shirt or blouse to trace

Now that we have all that we need, let’s begin

Procedures:

1. Making the Front Piece: Fold one of your scrap paper/fabric/newspaper/brown paper into equal halves. Like this:

Then, fold your already-made blouse(with sleeves tucked or cut off) into equal halves also. Place it on your scrap paper and trace 1.5 inches away from the folded area. The 1.5 inches is to accommodate for seam and stitch allowance. When done, remove your already-made blouse and your scrap paper would look like this:
With the following dimensions:
Shoulder-Bust= 8inches;
Bust-Body=7inches;
Body-Waist= 5inches;
Waist-Hip= 5 inches.
When you open your front piece, it will look like this:

2. Making the Back pieces: Fold your second scrap paper into equal halves and then place your front piece(which should be folded back into equal halves) 1.5” away from the folded area. Unlike the front piece, the 1.5 inches is to accommodate for zip allowance, since this pattern is for a non-stretch fabric. When done, remove your front piece and your second scrap paper will look like this:

Cut through the folded area and you’ll have two pieces, representing the back pieces and they will look like these:
3. Making the Princess Seam/Dart:To make the princess seam,fold your front piece back into equal halves and measure using your measuring tape 4.25 inches(this however depends on the size of your bust. Mine is 34 inches. So when you divide 34 inches by 8 inches, we’ll have 4.25) from the folded area and mark, like this:
Next, measure the same 4.25″ from the arm hole and mark, like this:

 

Then draw a line connecting the mark at the armhole and the bust together and draw a line downwards from the dart point on the bust, like this:
Make sure however to curve the point of intersection at the bust region.
Repeat, the process for the other side. However, if you have a tracing wheel, simply trace the line and it will reflect at the other end. So when you open up your front piece, it will look like this:
Cut through the dotted lines and your front piece will be divided into three parts, like these:
For the back pieces, you can choose to do the same or make a regular dart by simply folding them together into equal halves and measure your 4.25″ from the zip allowance and mark. Next, measure two inches upwards from the original dart point and mark. This is because the darts of a female blouse at the back pieces are usually higher than the front piece. Like this:
Next, with your ruler, draw a straight line from the new dart point to the bottom of the blouse, like this:
With your tracing wheel, trace the line to the other piece(if however you have none, repeat the process on the other piece) and your back pieces will look like these:
So that’s basically it darlings, pattern for a blouse using Princess seam/dart or in otherwords, pattern for making a padded blouse.

 


I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial? If however, you have any questions, kindly leave them on the comment box below and I’ll respond to them as soon as I see them. Don’t forget that you can also reach me through my regular channels(see below) with any question or query you may have.

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 So till next time…have a fabulous week ahead.

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15 thoughts on “HOW TO MAKE A PADDED BLOUSE PATTERN(USING PRINCESS SEAM/DART)”

  1. Hi Ngozi. Thanks so much for your question. first mark out where your darts are supposed to begin which is the bust region. At the bust region, measure (your bust length divided by 8 inches)from the folded area of your blouse and mark. Measure that same value from under your arm hole and mark. Then join the points together as illustrated in. the tutorial above.

  2. This is the most comprehensive sewing tutorials I’ve read online. Please why divide by eight instead of four.

    1. Hello Rey.
      Thank you for your question. Usually a bust measurement is divided by four when you want to mark it out on each piece of your bodice. but in the case of a princess seam, it is assumed you are folding each piece of your bodice further into equal halves. Thus, 4 x 2 = 8

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