Summertime No Pattern Blouse Project

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!

Easy No Pattern Blouse Project

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!

taking measurements

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.  

cutting fabric

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.

Shoulder Strap

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!  

Summertime No Pattern Blouse