How to make…. A Blouse with a Bow

Hello and Happy October!

Before the weather turns cold, I wanted to make one last light-weight cotton blouse.  I chose Lekala 4452 for it’s vintage style and simplicity. There are only 5 pattern pieces, and no zipper, buttons, or facings. Easy as pie!

1781_small_image_122501781_technical_drawing_12120From my stash, I used a piece of light-weight vintage fabric left over from a dress I made a few years ago. I like to try all patterns out in muslin or in an inexpensive fabric the first time I make them. Then I can fine-tune the fit and resolve any issues before I make it in quality fabric.

IMG_1847My favorite way to receive Lekala Patterns is to order the copy shop size and have them printed on large paper. The line drawings turn out so nicely and the paper is quite sturdy. It only cost me around $4.00 or $5.oo to have a print made. A copy shop that has a large format printer used for architect drafts is a good choice.


I cut out the patterns along the outside lines of the seam allowance. Then I fold my fabric right sides together so that I can trace any darts or marks onto the wrong side. I lay the pattern out and hold it in place with weights.

IMG_1832 I cut and mark one piece at a time so that each piece fits on my cutting mat. Then I use a rotary cutter to cut around the edges and scissors to nip into the marks.


I use tracing paper and a tracing wheel to mark the darts on the upper layer, remove the pattern and trace through the markings on the fabric so that the layer underneath is also marked.


This blouse has a Peter Pan style collar that is all one piece and meets just off-center front. There is no facing, so one side of the collar is sewn right-sides together to the neckline and the inside edge is turned under and topstitched very close to the seam line. When you sew the collar right sides together, end your stitching at the seam line, so that you can turn the front edges neatly under before you topstitch.


You’ll notice that the bust dart is designed to be pressed upwards. This  is not how I usually sew bust darts, but it works just fine.


I actually cut four sleeves instead of two so that I could underline them. Each section is sewn together, then two sleeves are pinned right-sides together, then sewn along the sleeve edge. I then turn and press the sleeves, baste them together along the top edge, and make a gathering stitch for adjusting ease. Next, I pin and sew the sleeves into the blouse.


I first sew all the seams at a 2.5 stitch length, then serge them. I chose to use a safety pin to attach the bow. That way I can take it off when I wash it. You may want to make your bow a little longer if you want it to look more like the one on the model.


I’m super delighted with how it turned out and how quick and easy it was to make. Just be patient when you attach the collar. Make sure you clip into curves. Sew a guide stitch along the inside edge so that you can press it precisely to the measurement.


I hope you try Lekala 4452 and post your final looks to our Lekala FaceBook Page and to


Happy Sewing!


About SeamQueen

Seamstress, Sewist, Artist, Fashionista, Quilter, Upcycler, Textile Obsessed!
This entry was posted in Blogging, Customizable Sewing Patterns, DIY, Dressmaking, Fashion, Lekala, photography, Sewing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How to make…. A Blouse with a Bow

  1. Colesworth says:

    cute top. I love it when there is a copy shop option for print at home patterns – thanks for showing how it looks. I must try a Lekala pattern.


  2. Just the pattern I have been looking for. I love bow blouses but the necklines can be a little choking. That is a great tip for the sleeves. I have been sewing forever and never thought how much nicer a finish that would make. Thx, Barbara!


  3. cwild says:

    Hi, lovely blouse in a very pretty fabric. I was surprised that there are no zips or buttons – how easy is it to put on and off?


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