Try this Easy Peasy Super Fast sewing Idea!
I LOVE to sew, but I’m a busy girl (6 kids, 3 dogs, 1 husband LOL) and I never have as much time for sewing as I like. So I love a project that comes together quickly and still looks adorable. It certainly helps that I have a house full of adorable models who love most anything that I make for them!
I also love a project that doesn’t need a fancy shmancy pattern. Who has time for cutting out all those pieces and reading all those complicated instructions! I mostly taught myself to sew, so pretty often I just dive in and make things up as I go along. Sometimes it’s a total disaster, but sometimes I get lucky, like with this lovely little make!
I made this blouse loosely on the idea of a pillowcase dress. Not including the time it took to pre-wash/pre-shrink the fabric, the whole project only took about 30 minutes! EASY! I used an Indonesian Batik cotton fabric that I let my daughter pick out. It’s a deep purple with a batik pattern of dolphins jumping through waves. If you love this print, you can find it here in my shop!
First step was to take a measurement for how much fabric I needed for the circumference of the shirt. I had my daughter keep her arms at her sides and I measured all the way around. This fabric doesn’t have any stretch so we would need a little wiggle room for it to slide on easily and for it to gather in the front and back. So that’s why I measured around her arms and not just around her chest. At this time, she is at about 34 inches. I added a couple of extra inches for good measure and rounded it up to a full yard.
I also measured from her shoulder down to just above her hip where I wanted her shirt bottom to sit, which was about 20 inches. I added 2 inches for the fold at the neckline where I would be threading the strap through.
For the body of the blouse, I ended up with a piece of fabric that was 36 inches by 22 inches. I cut a yard off of the bolt and then cut the fabric in half, right at the fold line. By the way, my model is 8 years old and wears a size 8/10. This blouse also fit my 12 year old daughter, who wears a size 12. It just didn’t hang as low because she is taller.
Next, I folded the fabric in half with the good sides together, lining up the 22 inch sides. I have a Singer 9960. This machine was quite a splurge a few years ago when I bought it. I loved all the different stitches that were built in. My favorite is the overlock stitch. I don’t have a serger, but this machine gives me a pretty good substitute. If I were making something fancier, I’d probably do a french seam, but remember this is supposed to be an EASY project!
Look at the neat and lovely overlock stitch below! After sewing together the tube of the shirt, I laid the fabric flat and centered the seam at what would be the back of the shirt. I put in a couple of pins so I wouldn’t lose the center spot while I did the next step.
I used one of my girls tank tops to trace out the arm hole curve of the shirt. I moved the shirt down 2 inches from the top to allow for the fold over pocket for the strap to slide into. Cut out your curve.
After cutting the curve, I used my overlock stitch again to sew across the top of the shirt, both front and back, and around each arm hole. This was a super easy way to finish the edges. It is a busy print and I used a thread that was a very good color match, so you hardly notice the stitching at all.
Next, I folded over the top of the shirt (both front and back) down 2 inches to make the pocket that the shoulder strap would slide into. At this point, I pinned it down and then tried to on my daughter to make sure the arm holes would not hang to deep. If they had been too deep, I could have made the fold wider or double folded it. Or if I needed to, I could have made the fold smaller to provide a bit more room under the arms. When I had it adjusted correctly, I stitched it down with a straight stitch across the back and front of the shirt.
When I had it adjusted correctly, I stitched down the front and back necklines with a straight stitch. Finally, I made the strap for the neckline. I cut a piece of fabric that was 36 inches long and 6 inches wide. I folded the rough edges into the center and then folded the whole thing in half. I tucked in the ends and top stitched all the way around the strap.
I ran the strap through the back of the shirt neckline and then the front. After evening up the 2 ends and gathering up the neckline a bit, I tried it on my daughter and tied it off at the shoulder.
The final step is to find an adorable model who LOVES to show off the things you sew! I have the perfect one at my house. Below are a few more poses from our photo shoot. If you decide to make your own No Pattern Blouse this summer, be sure to send me a photo!