Hello readers! Some types of garments seem to cycle in and out of fashion every few years: skinny jeans, bomber jackets, and maxi-dresses are a few examples of this sort of trend recycling that we’ve seen in recent years. Another garment trend that seems to be on its way back into fashion is the 70’s-inspired peasant blouse.
What’s not to love about a peasant blouse? They can look chic or boho depending on the fabric and tend to be both easy-to-fit and easy-to-sew. I fell in love with HotPatterns Refined Peasant Blouse as soon as it was released, about a year and a half ago. It took me a while to decided on a fabric pairing for this pattern, but I’ve now made this pattern twice in recent months and love these new additions to my wardrobe.
I first made up this pattern last summer, using a cotton double gauze fabric, purchased from Miss Matatabi:
I absolutely love this version and have had it in regular rotation in my wardrobe ever since I finished it. Feeling confident about this pattern, I decided to go with a super-drapey silk double georgette from FabricMart for my next version. (The fabric that I used sold out a while ago, but FabricMart has other similar fabrics available.)
I think that both fabrics are appropriate for this pattern, but wow, you can see what a difference it makes to use a different fabric. They’re both nice, but I like my original double gauze version better.
I did go all-out with the silk version, from a construction standpoint and finished all of the inner seams with French seams:
Because of the camera angle, you can’t really see all of the gathering that the silk handled absolutely beautifully. You can see the details better with the garment lying flat:
Pattern name: HotPatterns 1169: Classix Nouveau Refined Peasant Blouse
Size range (with measurements): This pattern is available in HotPatterns sizes 6-26 (32″-52″ or 81.3-132cm bust).
What size did you make?
This pattern is very generously sized. I sewed a size 18 with a 1″ FBA rotated into the neckline gathers. I know that a HotPatterns size 18 fits my neck/shoulders well, so I always use that as my base size for their tops and dresses and then flat-measure the pattern to figure out where to go from there.
What are your measurements, height, and body type? (If reviewing a top or dress, bra size is very helpful for our readers.)
My weight has been fluctuating a lot lately, but my bust has been in roughly the 50″-52″ range in recent months with a high bust of 44″. I’m 5’2″ tall and consider myself to have a busty rectangle body type.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
For my first version, I was concerned that the top would ride up in front if I didn’t do an FBA, so I did a 1″ FBA and rotated the dart into the neckline gathers (see Dart Splitting and Rotation). I also shortened the sleeves by 2″.
For my second version, I’d been finding the wrist cuffs a bit snug, so I increased the circumference of those by 1″. They’re much more comfortable on the second version.
Notice in the photos that by using a drapier fabric in the second version, I could have omitted the FBA. You can see some excess fabric between my breasts that wasn’t present in the first version. With the drapey silk that I used, I can’t imagine that this blouse would have ridden up in front even without the FBA. So basically, you can probably omit the FBA on this one, even if you’re very large-busted.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
The construction process is pretty straightforward. The most difficult step is getting all of those neckline gathers even and positioned the way that you like. (There are notches to help guide you, but I wound up distributing my gathers a little differently because of the FBA.) I also complicated things with the silk version by choosing a difficult fabric to work with.
I thought that the instructions are fine. HotPatterns don’t tend to have the most detailed written instructions (but they’re more detailed and have more illustrations than StyleArc), but this is a simple enough garment that I think most sewists with some garment experience will be okay. If you need extra help, HotPatterns has posted a Youtube video with a tutorial for some of the construction steps:
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
Outside of over-FBA’ing the silk version, I love the fit of this blouse. It’s easy and breezy without feeling like a tent. I do like the design for my body shape–it’s very friendly to a large bust and/or large tummy but doesn’t look like a maternity top.
I do think that fabric choice is key for this top. You’ll want a fabric that’s thin enough to handle the neckline gathers but need a fabric that’s drapey enough to avoid a tent look. I wouldn’t go with anything thicker or less drapey than double gauze.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I don’t need a ton of these, but I would like at least one more version in a print, since my first two versions are in solids. I love the double gauze version so much that I bought a double gauze print for my print version, which I’ll probably make in the coming months. I don’t see myself making any further fit or design changes.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
You can very, very likely skip the FBA with this blouse! Also, if you’re unfamiliar with HotPatterns sizing, please make a muslin from a cheapo rayon or silky poly or similar fabric before cutting your good fabric–you’ll probably want to size down a couple of sizes from your full bust measurement on the size chart for this pattern, but once you get the sizing dialed in, you will love your new peasant blouse.
If you have any questions, I highly encourage you to join HotPatterns’ Facebook group. It’s very active and both Trudy and the members will be happy to answer your questions there–whether about pattern sizing, fabric choices, or technical sewing questions.
Size Range (1-5): 4.5 (The size range is very inclusive, and even if you’re above the size range, this pattern should still work for you.)
Instructions (1-5): 4 (The instructions aren’t bad but aren’t anything special. They’ll get you where you need to go. I’m adding a point for the YouTube video tutorial, which could be a big help for people who prefer more visual instruction.)
Construction Process (1-5): 5 (No complaints about the construction process or drafting.)
Final Fit (1-5): 4.5 (Docking a half point because the pattern does run large, which could be an issue if you’re new to HotPatterns and not familiar with their sizing.)
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation: 4.5 (Average of the individual ratings.)