Always keen to embrace a trend, we decided to use a gingham fabric when bringing this gorgeous design to life. Featuring a flattering tie belt that will cinch you in at the waist and statement armholes that promise to keep you cool, this offering from Posner & Posner won’t just be a joy to wear, it will also act as a masterclass in stitching buttonholes, working with bias strips, and creating hems.
- Fabric, 1.5m (130cm)
- Fusible interfacing, 25cm
- Buttons, 15mm, eight
- Lightweight wovens, such as cotton poplin, chambray and seersucker
- Back: cut one on the fold
- Front: cut two on the fold
- Back neck facing: cut one on the fold from fabric and one on the fold from interfacing
- Front neck facing: cut two on the fold from fabric and two on the fold from interfacing
- Casing: cut one on the fold
- Tie belt: cut two on the fold
- Bias strips: cut two, 2.5cm x 46cm
- 1cm seam allowance used throughout, unless otherwise stated.
1 Download the templates, then print and follow the cutting guide. Snip two pieces of fusible interfacing, 4.5cm wide and the same length as the centre front, then apply to the centre front on the wrong side. Press under a narrow turning along the raw edge of the front band and stitch close to the edge. Fold each front along the fold line towards the wrong side to create the button band. Press the fold, but don’t stitch.
2 Press a 5mm turning on to the wrong side of both the long edges of the casing. Repeat this process at each of the short ends of the casing and stitch close to the edge. Pin the casing in place along the lines marked on the back of the blouse and stitch close to the edge at the top and bottom of the casing, but not the sides. With right sides together, pin the front and back at the shoulder and stitch. Neaten the edge and press the seam towards the back.
3 Press a 5mm turning on the long edges of the bias strips. Pin the unpressed edge of the bias strips to each armhole, right sides together, and stitch in place with a 5mm seam allowance. Press the bias strip away from the armhole. With right sides together, pin the back and front at the side seam, leaving a gap at the position marked for the casing. Sew the side seam from the hem to the bottom of the casing and the top of the casing to the armhole, stitching through the ends of the bias strip. Trim the seam and any extra bias strip, then neaten the edges and press the side seam towards the back. Fold in the raw edges of the side seam at the gap for the casing and slip-stitch to secure.
4 Fold the bias strip to the wrong side of the armhole so that the pressed edge meets the stitching line. Hand or machine stitch in place and press. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong sides of the front and back neck facing pieces. Pin the facings right sides together at the shoulder edge and stitch. Trim the seam and neaten the edge. Press the seam open. Neaten around the outside edge of the facing by turning under a small hem or overlocking.
5 With right sides together, pin the facing to the neck edge of the blouse. At the centre front, fold the pressed front band back on itself so that the right sides are together and pin the front facing over the top. Stitch around the neck edge leaving a 5mm seam allowance. Snip around the curve and trim the seam. Press the facing away from the neck edge and fold towards the wrong side. Trim any excess facing at the front edge so that the front band lies flat. The facing can be understitched to help achieve a neat, folded edge around the neckline. Secure the facing with slipstitches at the shoulder seams and hand-stitch the top of the front band where it meets the facing.
6 Fold the front band back on itself at the hem edge so that the right sides are together and stitch across the bottom of the band 2cm from the bottom of the blouse hem edge. Trim any excess fabric and fold the band back into position, then press. Press a 1cm wide hem around the bottom of the blouse, turn under again and press, Stitch the hem in place. Make buttonholes at the marked positions running down the front band and attach the buttons to match.
7 With right sides together, pin and stitch the short ends of the tie belt together to make one long belt. Press the seam open. Fold the belt in half lengthways, then pin and sew, leaving a gap for turning. Stitch diagonally across the ends of the belt. Turn the belt to the right side through the gap in the stitching. Press along the edge and push out the points at the diagonal end of the belt. Sew the gap closed. Thread the belt from the front side seam, through the casing and round to the other side of the front, then adjust to fit.