How I created a pattern from a garment and enlarged it too!

A while ago I shared a post on Social media about a vintage blouse that I’d owned for years but which had fallen apart in places and was beyond repair.

1960s blouse fabric

I had kept this blouse because I really loved it and eventually (20 odd years later) the idea hit me to unpick it and make a pattern from it so that I could reproduce it in as many colours or patterns as I wanted.

All good so far. It was relatively easy to make up and I was so pleased with it. I actually made it up in my Skylon print and made binding for the armholes and the top of the pockets from my Modesto print. It looked fantastic until I tried it on and realised that I had last worn the said blouse well over 20 years ago and had neglected to consider the fact that I may have expanded a little since then!

fitted 1960s blouse with pockets
back darts in 60s blouse
flat collar 1950s blouse
bias bound sleeve edging

It fits my daughter really well but is not really her style so it is now residing unworn in my wardrobe.
Seeing these photos again I now realise I really do need to get on with making myself a bigger version in this print for the summer.
Anyway once I had gotten over my disappointment I decided to have a look at pattern resizing. I had never tried resizing anything before and had only ever made minor adjustments to anything I’d sewn.

I read a few online articles and then settled on this one from Melly Sews

The blouse needed a good 2 inches adding but after reading the article a few times I realised that with 2 vertical cuts on each front pattern piece and the same on the back I would only need to add an eighth of an inch to each cut to give the size increase I needed.

I redrew the new spaced out pattern and to be on the safe side (in case it didn’t work) made it up in a beige cotton that I had lying around and edged the pockets and armholes with black bias binding (again that was just lying around) and I think it has turned out really well for a first attempt. Next time I will add a bit more length, just a couple of inches so the pockets don’t sit on the bottom hem, and increase the bust and hip area a bit more. I don’t like the way it splays out at the front bottom hem.
Not very flattering photos I’m afraid and I think it might need a bit more work but at least I can get into this one!

enlarging a fitted blouse
darted blouse back view
cap sleeve with bound edge
lay flat 50s collar

To sum up I was encouraged to discover how simple the process was, although I didn’t get this quite right first time I feel as if I have learned a lot from the experience.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *