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Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing
This sweet blouse is figure-flattering and amazingly versatile. Make it in a cotton eyelet and pair it with shorts in the summer. In wool jersey, it’s a great wintertime layering piece with a pencil skirt and cardigan. And it’s absolutely smashing in a drapey silk satin for a glam evening look. There are very few fabrics this design won’t work in! I would just avoid anything that’s too stiff (like taffeta, for instance), as it won’t provide a flattering drape. The length of the blouse is relatively short, so add length at the hem if you like your tops on the longer side.

My sample blouse is made up in a dotted silk charmeuse. Charmeuse is known for its luxurious feel and signature sheen. It’s also known for being fussy to work with because it’s so slippery. The two best tips I can give you are:
1) Put weights on your pattern pieces when cutting out, and cut with a rotary blade. This keeps the silk from shifting as you cut it because it remains flat on the table.
2) Hand-baste your darts and seams together before stitching on the machine. This may seem like overkill,
but it makes working with charmeuse a snap, rather than a nightmare. Plus, on a small project like this one, there aren’t too many seams to baste. Remember to remove your basting before pressing!

Posted by Abrams Published See Abrams's 43 projects »
  • Gerties_BrandedPattern_FINAL.pdf 7.42 MB [ Download ]
© 2022 Gretchen Hirsch / Abrams · Reproduced with permission. · Photograph by Jody Rogac; copyright © Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing by Gretchen Hirsch, published by STC Craft | Melanie Falick Books, 2012..
  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 1
    Step 1

    This neckline needs to be stabilized well so that it won’t gape. Stay-stitch 1⁄2" (1.3 cm) from top edge, or use one of the other methods described on page 77 (A).

  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 2
    Step 2

    Stitch front-bust darts, and press them (B).

  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 3
    Step 3

    Stitch dart tucks on front and back pattern pieces by bringing the two lines together and stitching. Backstitch at beginning and end of the tucks. Press tucks to the center of each piece (C).

  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 4
    Step 4

    Stitch blouse front and back together at the shoulder seams. Press open (D).

  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 5
    Step 5

    Stitch front and back together at side seams, starting at upper notch and leaving left side open under lower notch for zipper. Press seams open, clipping into seam allowance at waistline to allow seam to lie flat (E).

  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 6
    Step 6

    Apply interfacing to your facings. For my sample blouse, I used silk charmeuse as sew-in interfacing, but you can also use a fusible in a weight to match your fashion fabric. Tip: You can match your interfacing to your skin tone to avoid show-through of your facings on light-colored or slightly sheer fabrics.

  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 7
    Step 7

    Stitch facings together at shoulder seams (G).

  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 8
    Step 8

    Pin facings to neckline, right sides together. Stitch facings to blouse. Trim, grade, and clip seam allowances. Press and turn facings to the inside. Understitch facings by hand using a pick stitch (H). Finish outer edge of your neckline facings by pinking, zigzagging, or hand-overcasting. Tack facings to shoulder seams.

  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 9
    Step 9

    Hem sleeves, using one of the two methods in sidebar below. For both methods, clip upper side seam notch almost to line of stitching so sleeve hem can lie flat (I).

  • Step 10

    Hem bottom of blouse as you did for sleeves.

  • How to make a blouse. The Portrait Blouse - Step 11
    Step 11

    Insert side-hand-picked lapped zipper (J). (Your zipper will go in
    upside down in a blouse, so zipper pull hangs just below hem of blouse when closed.) Turn back zipper opening seam allowance under 1⁄2" (1.3 cm) and press. Pin this pressed fold over zipper tape, pinning as close to zipper teeth as possible. Match zipper stop to lower edge of blouse hem. Conceal top of zipper tape by turning it under and stitching or trimming it with pinking shears. With a zipper foot, stitch next to zipper teeth to secure it.

  • Step 12

    On front side of zipper opening, turn seam allowance under 5⁄8" (1.5 cm) and press. Close zipper and pin right seam allowance so that fold covers zipper teeth. Hand-pick zipper in place on right side, using a double strand of beeswax- coated thread. (Press the thread in a press cloth first to melt the beeswax.)

Made this project? Share your version »


Ashley V.
Ashley V. · Houston, Texas, US
I ABSOLUTELY love Gerties fabric!! Cute shirt Happy
Do you know how I print this PDF to get he pattern to scale? I assume it can't be on a4 paper as it looks too small.
Benita B.
Benita B.
to bag not full size pattern Happy

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