Simple Blouse Tutorial: Hex Color Blocking and Mandarin Collar

2:02 AM

This is one of my favorite variations.
The tutorial uses the simple blouse pattern available here.

More variations for the pattern: 

The pattern gives instructions for basic color blocking, but I wanted to add on to that with more advanced blocking and added a hexagon contrasting piece to the side seams.
I thought the hex cutting in from the sides would give a flattering illusion that I actually have a waist.
Not sure it does much, but looks interesting I think.

The neckline also uses the basic placket instructions from the pattern, but I added the short, standing mandarin collar on this blouse as well. 
What was fun was the contrasting gold fabric on the under lap and the inside of the collar to make it a little different.

This particular blouse is made with rayon challis
{which I LOVE!}
It's leftover fabric from my 10 Year Reunion Dress.
On to the tutorial!
I trace the pattern onto paper for the variation.
The hexagons need to end below the armpit and above the hem so they can come to a clean point.
I measured down 1.5", you could do less but at least give yourself the seam allowance.
I came in 3" from the side seams, then angled back to the corners.

It makes it easy to draft the back hexagon, just use your first draft to align it on the back, making sure the side seams will line up correctly.

To make the neckline higher for the collar, I came in:
 1" from shoulder seams
2" higher in front
1/2" higher in back

a.) Trace the hex pieces from pattern. Remember you just drafted finish lines, so add a 1/4" seam allowance beyond chalk lines.  You don't need any added on the side seam.
Also mark front vs back and I have an arrow point to the top to fit in correctly with the curve of the side seam.
b.) To be more precise, I chose to cut my front/ back pieces one layer at a time, not on the fold.
So I pinned and traced the fold line to help flip the pattern.
c.) To add seam allowance to front hex hole, I traced the sew line, and just added 1/4" beyond the disappearing ink.
**You could trace and add seam allowances to pattern pieces, rather than adding it to fabric, but I choose to do it this way to give me a precise sew line on the actual fabric to follow.**

For best results, you want to sew in the hexagon pieces in one continuous seam to avoid puckering.

I thought it would be easier to see it in a video:

From there you sew blouse according to standard instructions in the pattern.

To Add The Standing Collar:
To have the collar stand, the base should measure the circumference of the neckline.
Measure your blouse (add the placket according to pattern instructions) around the neckline, 5/8" from raw edge to get the final sew line circumference.
Cut the band with the same finished circumference at the base.
I added 1/4" seam allowance to top, you'll need 5/8" to the collar base and sides.
I added a slight curve in my collar, with the center being 1/2" higher than the edges, then curved between.  My collar is 3/4" tall, so measured 3/4" along curved base edge to get finished collar piece.
I draft the collar on the interfacing, then cut 2 from fabric.
My outside was the gray, and inside collar is gold.

Once interfacing is ironed on, sew collar pieces right sides together and trim the top seam allowance and snip corners.
Turn collar right side out and press.
Pin (right sides together) collar to blouse, matching up center back.  
Sew around with 5/8" seam allowance. 
Trim seam allowance, or snip to allow curve to shape.
Fold raw edge of inner collar under, on right side stitch in the ditch of seam to secure inner collar in place.

There's lots of other shapes you could block into your own designs, hopefully this method gives you ideas of where you could go with the concept!

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  1. That one is really beautiful. And the hex color blocking does give a nice waist...

  2. Very Cool. I love this technique. PS. This top makes your eyes look crazy pretty.

  3. LOVE! Thank you for sharing. I have been waiting for this tutorial. :)

  4. I love this variation!!! I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your tutorial:

  5. you ladies A MAZE ME!!! i finally printed out the pattern... i need!!! to sew some of these tops!!


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