Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse *Tutorial*

I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it. I have a soft spot for peter pan collars! And I’m happy to say I also love the finished garment now I’ve sewn one up!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

It has a beautiful slightly large peter pan collar, slightly capped sleeves, and buttons down the back. There aren’t any darts to get flummoxed over; it’s quite a straightforward pattern. With this tutorial we’ll have you sewing one up for yourself in no time!

simple-sew-peter-pan-blouse-tutorial

I made a size 8, and needed less than 1m of fabric (Liberty cotton lawn, which I recommend due to the lovely drape).

First off, trace and cut your pattern pieces; there are just three! (Yes, I took a gamble and cut down to a size 8; I actually NEVER usually cut patterns but I was too excited!!)

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

With your fabric on the fold, cut your pieces as follows: top front cut one on the fold, top back cut two, collar cut four. (I cut two collar pieces, then removed the collar piece; pinned and cut two more).

Iron interfacing on to the wrong sides of two collar pieces (these will be on the reverse/underside of the collar). Pick an interfacing that is the same or lighter weight than your fabric (I used a lightweight one).

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

With right sides together, sew around the outside edges of each pair of collar pieces with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving the inner curve open. Clip and trim the edges; or cheat and use pinking shears!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Turn right side out and give each piece a really good press, rolling the seams slightly to the underside (which is the interfaced side). Set these aside.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew your top pieces together at the shoulders (two back pieces to the shoulders of the front piece) right sides together, with a 1cm seam allowance. Finish these seams in your desired way (I overcast them) and press either open or towards the back.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Lay the top right side up. Mark the centre front of the top. Place the collar pieces right side up (interfaced sides down) on top, matching raw edges. You want the collar to meet in the middle and slightly overlap about 1cm; this is so that when you sew the collar to the top with your 1cm seam allowance the collar will meet exactly in the middle – without crossing over and without having too much or a gap.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Pin in place and tack.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew the back pieces to the front piece at the sides. (With right sides together, so straight down with a 1cm seam allowance. Finish the seams in your desired way.)

Now you’re going to hem the sides of the back pieces. Fold and press over 5mm, then to the notch (20mm). Sew close to the inner folded edge.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Hem the bottom of the top (you can do this last but I just did it at this point as the fabric was fraying!) Turn the hem up 5mm then 1cm and sew close to the inner fold.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Now, bias binding. Make some or buy some! I made some 1” wide single fold (you could go smaller). In hindsight I should have made it in the same fabric, but I didn’t want to cut diagonally into it and waste it!!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew bias binding round the neckline, using a 1cm seam allowance, right sides together.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

When you get to the ends, tuck the ends of the bias binding in to create neat ends – and sew right to the edge.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Trim the curves, and cut notches. Or cheat and use pinking shears like me.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Flip the bias binding to the wrong side of the top, keeping the other edge of it folded. Sew close to that fold. This hides entire bias binding underneath the top. You could sew it so that it shows around the edge; like I did with the armholes. It’s personal preference.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew bias binding to the armholes in a similar way. Leave a gap of a few inches and a few inches of bias binding either side, so that you can join it in the middle. It’s really difficult for me to describe how to do this in text – if you need any help with bias binding there are some good videos on YouTube!!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Now, I tried to sew this bias binding the same way as I did the neckline but it didn’t work; it would have created too many puckers. So I sewed it so that the bias binding was folded a further time, then I handstitched it in place on the inside. This is where I wanted bias binding of the same fabric as the white doesn’t work very well… oh well, it could be worse!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Now on to the buttonholes. Mark these on to the left side of the back piece – starting 5mm from the top, and 1” in. Mark them every 10cm. Sew the buttonholes with your machine.

Use a pen or pin to mark through the centre of each buttonhole; this will be where you sew your buttons.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Sew your buttons on. I used some vintage buttons I’ve had stashed for far too long. They’re mismatched but I love them!

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Give it all a good press… and that’s it!!

Any questions, do ask.

Now here are a few more photos of my blouse. It’s sooo comfy, I really do love it.

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse
Beth x

 

My ‘Simple Sew’ Lottie Blouse

Hooray, I got round to making the Simple Sew Lottie Blouse from the pattern that came free with issue 2 of Love Sewing Magazine.

Love Sewing Issue 2

I wasn’t sure which fabric to use; I wanted something a bit floaty, so my usual choice of foolproof cotton was not an option. But I certainly didn’t want something that’s difficult to sew with – a chiffon or silk would have been beautiful but I am nowhere near ready for that level yet! So I chose this pretty vintage-look cotton modal, which has a nice drape and is lightweight, cool and breathable. But I can’t take the credit for it… I saw somebody else’s Lottie Blouse was made in it (and it looked fab!) so I copied!

lottie blouse finished

It’s a crinkly fabric, so stretches a bit when pulled, which made for an interesting sewing experience. I was surprised at how well I handled it, actually.

I’ve read a few write-ups about this blouse and people tend to agree that it is a simple sew, like the pattern’s name suggests. I also agree. It was quick and easy to put together. Of course that doesn’t mean I made the whole thing without making mistakes, though!

lottie 3

My first little problem came before I had even cut the pieces. There’s one horizontally long (necktie) piece that needs to be cut on the fold. My fabric wasn’t wide enough to fit it on. So I had to chop the pattern piece into two, cut them separately, and stitch them together to form the long strip. It was a pain, but not exactly difficult, so I survived it.

I sailed through the construction until I got to binding the neckline. I’m usually OK with binding but this was fiddly. The fabric stretched and the curve was tight to get around. I’m not very impressed with the end result; it looks uneven and lumpy… but it’s not bad enough to bother redoing it! The necktie mostly covers it so I just left it as it is.

lottie close

Then I went on to do the sleeves. All went swimmingly and I inserted the first one perfectly. Or so I thought – until I realised I had sewn it inside out!! Noooooo… This is what happens when I sew in the daytime!! I was so busy concentrating on getting the sleeve head to fit right that I totally ignored which way up I pinned the pieces together. I don’t think I will ever learn to check before I put things through the machine. This isn’t the first time and unfortunately I do think it won’t be the last.

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Of course on the second attempt I made some puckers and messed it up a bit really, which put my unpicker into overdrive. Typical. But finally I had both sleeves in, sitting lovely.

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The last issue was the insertion of the necktie. The instructions are vague. I’m pretty sure I did it correctly, but I don’t really like it. There’s a raw edge underneath the collar, on the outside. You can’t see it but I just feel it’s untidy. I would much prefer the edge to be tucked in between the collar/necktie pieces, and then the collar can be topstitched to secure it in place. I wonder why they suggest the method they do. I will try my made-up method if I make another of these blouses and see how it turns out!

lottie 2

So… Ta-da! My very first blouse!

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I wasn’t sure if I would actually wear it – I’m torn between thinking it looks old-lady-like or has that fashionable vintage look or is a bit grown-up and mature for me! But I wore it yesterday and even went out in it – go me! It’s so comfy and breezy in the lovely sunshine we’re having at the moment. I think it would look cute with a high-waisted skirt – of which I (quite shockingly) own none! Time to get started on the Lottie Skirt methinks!

Beth x