June 17, 2012

Knit Peasant Blouse and Gingham Capris Tutorial

You will need- (or maybe I should say what I used LOL)

1 1/2 yds of knit

2 yds  of gingham (or fabric of your choice)

1 1/2 yds lace  or ribbon (if you want to do the empire waist)

3/4 in. elastic for waistband of capris

1/4 in. elastic for neck of blouse (also for the sleeves if you want them fitted)

A little note about sewing with knits, it's a good idea to pull slightly as you are sewing. That seems to prevent the wavy lines knit can get. Also, you will need a ball point needle for your sewing machine.

Step 1- You will need to decide how long you want your blouse. Since I am using gingham for the capris I wanted the blouse to be long enough to cover my back side (gingham is thin.... LOL). I just measure from my shoulder down to where I wanted the blouse to be and marked it with a pin. Then I folded the fabric over and cut. Set the left overs to the side for your sleeves.

Step 2-  Cut the fabric in 2 pieces- 1 front piece, 1 back piece

Step 3- Pin the pieces together and fold in half.

Step 4- Measure 8" from the fold and mark with a pin

Step 5- Measure 10"  from top corner down the side (not on fold)  and mark with a pin.

Step 6- Cut at a slight curve from the fold to your top pin. (The one that measured 8") This will be your neck.

Step 7 - Leaving a slight straight edge cut at a slight curve from your 8" mark down to your 10" mark. This will be where the sleeves attach.

Step 8- Grab your left over fabric and fold. Measure 17" by 11"  while folded.  Cut 2.

Step 9- Place both of your sleeve pieces (still folded) under your bodice pieces lining up the outer edges and the top edges. Using the bodice pieces as a guide, cut the slants into the sleeve pieces.

This is what you will have.

Step 10- Pin the sleeves to the front bodice piece - Since we are using knits there is really no right side or wrong side. If you are using something other than a knit then you place right sides together. ;) Also both the front bodice and back bodice pieces are the same.... LOL But using that term might make it less confusing.

Sorry that the pic is kind of crappy..... :/

Step 11- Sew the sleeves to bodice piece. (I forgot the pic for this part but it's simply sewing the sleeves where you pinned them.)

Remove the cats from your cutting/pinning board. SIGH.....

Step 12- Lay the bodice piece with the sleeves attached down. Fold sleeves over. Lay the other bodice piece on top (other than knit it will be right sides together) and pin the sleeves in place

Step 13- Sew the sleeves to the bodice piece.

Love on your cat and see if she will let you continue.......

Step 14- Pin from the bottom of the sides of the bodice all the way up through the ends of the sleeves.  This will be the pinning for your side seams and sleeve seams

Step 15- Sew a continuous seam from the sleeve to the end of the bodice, attaching the front bodice piece to the back bodice piece.

Step 16- While still inside out, fold over 1" from the top of the neck line and pin in place.

Step 17- Sew your neckline elastic casing, making sure to leave an opening.

Step 18- Take your 1/4" elastic and place it around your neck where you would like your neckline to sit. Cut.

Step 19- Pin a safety pin to both ends of the elastic and push through the elastic casing, either holding tightly to both ends or pinning the "loose" end. This will keep you from losing one end inside the casing.

Step 20- Sew the elastic together.

Step 21- Sew the elastic casing closed.

Step 22- Now, you can be done here OR you can hem the sleeves the blouse  OR you can add elastic to the ends of the sleeves in the same way you did the neckline making them more fitted. I like leaving my knit unfinished. I like the way it looks when it rolls. ;)

If you want to add the empire waist stick right here. If not, add whatever finishing touches you want to your blouse and move on to the capris.

Empire waist-

Step 1- Try your blouse on and mark with pins where your empire waist should sit.

Step 2- Pin your lace/ribbon/whatever to the right side of your blouse taking care to keep it straight and leaving plenty of excess for when you sew it.

Step 3- Sew the top of your lace/ribbon/whatever.

Step 4- Sew the bottom of your lace/ribbon/whatever making sure to leave an opening for the elastic.

Step 5- Take your 1/4" elastic and measure under your breast line. Cut.

Step 6- Pinning both ends of the elastic with safety pins, repeat the steps used for the neckline. ;)

Step 7- Tuck one end of the lace/ribbon/whatever into the opening. Fold over the other side and tuck it in.


Now, on to the capris. I cheat a little here.... ;) After a couple of steps I am going to cut and paste the tutorial for the pajama pants... So when the fabric in the pics change, don't be alarmed. ;) LOL  All the steps are the EXACT same. This is the way I make all my pants, capris and shorts. It's VERY simple and easy.


Step 1- Find a pair of capris/pants/shorts that fit you well to use as a guide. If you are using pants you will want to cut shorter for the capris. If you are using shorts you will want to cut longer.

Step 2- Fold your fabric and line it up with the width of your guide making sure to leave room for seam allowances.

Step 3- Place the outside line of your guide on the fold. Pull the crotch of your guide ALL the way out.

Step 4- Cut around your guide leaving excess for seam allowance.

Step 5- If you are using a fabric that has a right side and a wrong side you will want to flip your guide piece over and cut it that way.  Place your newly cut leg as a guide and cut the second leg.

Now I will be copying and pasting from the pajama tutorial. Hey! It's Sunday! A day of rest! LOL ;) And like I said, they are all made the same anyway.... LOL It's taken me longer to put this tutorial together and the natives are getting restless... LOL


Step 12- Take one leg and pin the side with right sides together sew up from the bottom to the point of the crotch. Do the same with the other leg.


Step 13- Turn ONE leg right side out and stuff it down the other leg, matching up seams. Pin in place and sew from the top of one side, down to the crotch and up to the other side.


Step 14- Turn pants wrong side out and pin 2″ from the top to make your elastic casing

Step 15- Sew your elastic casing, leaving an opening to thread the elastic through

Grab your child and measure the elastic around the waist. Other people will say to add a little for seam allowance but I find that always makes the pants/skirt/shorts a little too big. ;)


Step 16- Put a safety pin in both ends of the elastic and thread one end through (you can either hold tightly to both ends OR pin one end to the fabric (Thanks, LaVonne)


Step 17- Sew ends of elastic together.


Step 18- Sew the opening closed.

Step 19- Pin and hem the bottoms of the pants! (I forgot to take a pic of this but I figure if you’ve made it this far…. ;) )

Now here you are! You have a new peasant blouse and matching capris! :)

Let me know what you think! Is this easy to follow?


  1. I have never made anything without a pattern but you make the capris look so easy that I may go get some inexpensive fabric and try to make myself a pair. Worst case- it becomes a pj bottom instead of a pair of capris.

  2. YAY, LaVonne!! You should definitely give them a try! They really are super easy!!
    I hope you had a nice relaxing time on your trip! :)

  3. Stacey, you did a fabulous job on the tutorial. It is very straight forward and easy to follow, and I especially like the peasant top. I've wanted to make one for ages, but couldn't be bothered to use a pattern. You've made it look so easy that I just might make a few! I like the lace casing, and the colour is lovely. Have a great evening!

  4. Thank you SO much!! It really is very easy. I have made 3 peasant tops now and one peasant dress. What I like about them is you can change them up and add and subtract whatever features you want. :) And they are very comfy for summer!
    Sometimes I think patterns make things a bit more complicated than they ought to be. ;)
    Thanks, again!!!!

  5. I don't sew, but I LOVE the cats!!! Lol!!! They do like to be right in the middle of things sometimes! Thanks for visiting my blog!!!

  6. The colors are great, and the tutorial is pretty easy to follow. Now, if I could only find some time, lol!

  7. cute outfit.. I love gingham check ..Good tutorial.

  8. ROFL!!! Yes, they do!! Rotten boogers that they are! LOL

  9. Thanks!
    Give it a couple of weeks...Maybe after your trip. ;)

  10. Thank you!!! I am a little in love with gingham myself.... LOL

  11. ROFLOL at the switch from gingham to SpiderMan and back to gingham. Love it!!!

  12. ROFLOL!!!! ;)
    Well.... Y'know..... LOL

  13. WOW you make it look SEW EASY!!
    Thanks for sharing what you are having fun doing.

  14. LOL!! Thank you!!! It really is very easy. ;)

  15. They look great! I haven't sewn anything since high school...you make it look easy. Thanks for linking up to the All Star Block Party!

  16. Thank you so much!!
    It really was very easy! ;)

  17. That sure does look great. Your instructions are fabulous too. I'm going to Google + this post right now.

    Thanks for linking up to Say G'day Saturday. This week's post is now live so I hope that you can join in again this weekend!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  18. Way to go Stacy!! LOVE it!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! I'm looking forward to seeing you at the party this evening!

  19. Thank you SO much, Christine!! I will definitely be there!! :)

  20. Thank you so much for the easy to follow guide, especially for the capri pants. I am a complete novice when it comes to sewing but I have just purchased a new sewing machine so I have been looking fo an easy to follow pattern try. I think I really must give these a go.

  21. YAY!!! Thank you and GOOD LUCK!!!
    If you have ANY questions feel free to leave me a comment and I will be happy to help you out! :)

  22. Great tutorial and it seems we have the same choice for cats. I also have a ginger(Sloeber) one and a black and white one(Sacha) and like yours they like to "help" me while I'm sewing.

  23. Thank you!
    LOL!! I love your cats' names!!! Don't you just love how they have to be right in the middle of it all??? LOL

  24. Yeah that's so right, I understand the saying: "curriosity kills the cat" very good, and they especialy like it when I'm busy with fabrics.When I make a bear they need to come and sniff to give there aprovle to, but most of the time they like them so thats allright. And it's a fact I cannot live without them they are like my kids to me(I don't have kids of my own)

  25. LOL! Well, as long as they approve. ;) Sometimes I wonder about Pammy..... I don't think she likes me... ;)

  26. I'm gonna give these a try! They look fairly easy. I don't sew very well, but, I figured the more I sew, the more I'll learn

  27. YAY, Nette!!! Good luck and if you have any questions just ask!!!!
    Yep, the more you sew the better you will get!!!! :)

  28. Ooh definatly, practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, but it is really so. You must try it, if I see wath I did when I just started sewing and the things I make know it is a big differance

  29. Oh, yeah!! That's one of the reasons I started the blog. I can look back and see the progression! :) I can see a big difference between when I started and now! LOL

  30. I love the patterns but I really love the cats--My cat PITA (an acronym) shares my craft room and always supervises my work. Couldn't function without her LOL :-)

  31. ROFLOL!! I know EXACTLY what that acronym stands for and it is very apt for a cat..... LOL ;))

  32. I make a blouse or maybe its a top that the only thing I have to cut is the neck, or is it neckline. Anyway I buy twice the length I want using a polyester/cotton blend. Then while still folded find the halfway point. On the pattern piece I made for the neck I drew a center line. This pinned to the halfway point and then I cut. After the neck is cut out I use bias tape to finish the raw edge. The material is cross-folded and with right sides together I sew up the sides but leaving space at the fold for my arms. The amount of space depends on personal preference. I fold over the salvage edges and either sew them down directly or use what is left of the bias tape to add detail. I use a 1" hem or less. I put the hem in by hand. it seems to lay better for me.

    I like your pattern as I have always liked peasant blouses and my top does not have much of a sleeve since I am a large woman.

    As to the cats I have a 5 yr female and a 3 month male. I can't sew, watch TV, or even go the restroom that they are not right there. I guess they love me, but since I am in an electric chair I have to be careful when moving around the house,because sometimes they just will not get out of my way! Thank you Stacy. it has been a pleasure to read the directions and your comments.

  33. Thank you so much, Cheryl!!
    I am definitely going to try a top your way!! :D


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