How to Sew a Blouse With V-Neck, Bustier & Balloon Sleeve Details

13 Materials
3 Hours

Learning how to sew a blouse may seem daunting at first, but it really isn’t that challenging. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to sew a v-neck, bustier-style blouse with balloon sleeves. Let’s get started with how to make your own blouse!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric 
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (optional)
  • Buttons
  • Elastic: very thin and ¼ or ½ inch
  • Safety pin

For the fabric, I repurposed a pair of linen pants and some fancy chiffon fabric I’m calling “lace”. This project involves making your own pattern, a bustier, and puff sleeves.

Making the paper pattern

1. Make the paper pattern

Fold the paper in half. Measure from your shoulder to your waist and transfer this measurement to the paper along the folded line. Here mine is about 16.5 inches or 42cm.

Marking the shoulder measurement

Mark the shoulder measurement with half the measurement. Here mine is 7 inches or 18cm.

Marking the bust measurement

Mark your quarter bust measurement on the length line and add a ¾-inch seam allowance. Here, mine shows about 10 inches or 26cm. 

Marking the waist measurement

Mark your quarter waist measurement with an additional ¾-inch seam allowance. Here it is about 7½ inches or 19cm.

Connecting the measurements

Connect these points in a diagonal line.

Marking the length of the blouse

Mark the length from the bust line.

Marking the neckline of the blouse

Mark the neckline at 3 inches (8cm).

Marking the v-neck depth

Mark the neckline depth in the back at 1⅛ inches or 3cm.

Connecting the neck measurements

Connect the neck points on a curve.

Drawing the neckline

Draw the neckline front at 8 inches (20cm).

How to make a v-neck sewing pattern

Draw a larger curve to connect these points. 

Marking the sleeve measurements

Mark the shoulder measurement at 1/10 the shoulder for the sleeve line or 1½ inches (4cm).

Connecting the shoulder measurements

Connect the shoulder points on the diagonal.

DIY blouse pattern

Mark the center.

Front bodice pattern for the DIY blouse

Mark the front bodice about ¾ of an inch (2cm) inward.

How to make a blouse pattern

From the corner of the bust line on the diagonal, measure and mark 1¼ inches (3cm). 

Connecting measurements together on a curve

Connect these lines together on a curve. 

Drawing the back pattern

Mark the back higher than the front by ⅜ of an inch (1cm) as the front is deeper and lower.

Back bodice pattern for the blouse

See the line above in blue for the back measurements

Cutting out the blouse pattern

Cut out the pattern.

DIY blouse pattern

Cutting the pattern in half

Cut the pattern in half, marking the front and back. Check to make sure the shoulder and side seams align.

Making the pattern for the bustier

2. Make the bustier pattern

Use the front pattern as a guideline. You’ll make the bustier top and bottom as two separate pieces.

How to draw a bustier pattern

Redraw the pattern on a new piece of paper. Mark it about 12 inches (31cm) down from the shoulder for the top part.

DIY bustier pattern

The bottom part should measure about 6 inches (16cm) from the bottom upwards.

Connecting the points with a ruler

Connect these two points on a horizontal line.

Extending the measurements

Extend by 4 inches (10cm) outside of the pattern. Connect these points on the diagonal.

Drafting the bustier pattern

Mark 1½ inches (4cm) in from the outermost point and draw a small curve.

Cutting out the bustier sewing pattern

Cut along the newly curved line with an additional ¼-inch (1cm) seam allowance.

Measuring the marking the button placket

3. Add a button placket

Measure and mark 1½ inches (4cm) across the front.

Laying the pattern on the fabric

Lay the pattern on the fabric and add these markings to each of the front pieces.

How to make button plackets

Fold the fabric in twice for the button plackets on either side. Pin into place and sew into position. 

Creating a chiffon lace trim

4. Add lace trim to the front

Measure the lacy fabric to be 1½ inches (4cm) wide. Use the rotary cutter to create a scalloped design. Finish the edge of the lace with a narrow zigzag stitch on your regular machine or serge.

Attaching the trim to the front bodice

To attach, lay the lace on the front pieces, right sides together. Pin and sew.

Topstitching the trim in place

Topstitch to finish.

Sewing basting stitches on the bottom of the bustier

5. Make the bustier

Sew two basting stitches about ¼ inch apart on the bottom part of the bustier at the edge.

Pulling on the threads to gather the fabric

Pull on the threads to gather. Line it up to the bodice bottom piece, gathering the fabric to match the measurement.

Pin the pieces right sides together

Pin the fabrics, right sides together. Sew.

How to sew a bustier top

Do to both front pieces.

Pinning the shoulder seams, ready to sew

Pin and sew the shoulder seams, right sides together.

Making the puff sleeves

6. Make the puff sleeves

Fold the lacy fabric in half.

How to make puff sleeves

Lay your pattern on top about 4 inches (10cm) from the folded edge.

Cutting out the sleeve pattern

Place weights to hold the pattern in place and use the rotary cutter to cut the pattern out.

Rounding the top

Round the top.

Cutting out the sleeves

Cut two pieces. 

Gathering the edge

Gather the unhemmed round edge with very thin elastic, leaving the side seams unsewn.

Finding the center of the sleeve

Fold the sleeve in half to find the center and mark.

Pinning the sleeves to the armholes

Pin in place along the entire shoulder, right sides together. Do this to both sides. Sew into position.

Pinning the sleeve and side seams together

7. Complete the sewing

Pin the sleeve and side seams. Sew in place.

Adding bias tape to the neckline

Add bias tape to the back neckline. For detailed instructions on how to do this, see my other video on how to make bias tape.

Making elastic casing for the sleeve

Make a casing for the sleeve. Fold the fabric in towards the wrong side measuring the width of your elastic. Pin in place. Measure the width of your arm and cut the elastic to that length. Sew up the casing, leaving about an inch unsewn.

Inserting elastic into the sleeve

Attach a safety pin to your elastic and thread it through the casing. Once the elastic is through, gather the ends together and secure the elastic either by knotting it very tightly and cutting off the ends, or stitching it together.

Insert the elastic band back into the casing. Distribute the gathers evenly and sew the gap closed. Do to both sleeves.

Hemming the bodice

Double fold the hem at the bottom of the bodice. Pin in place and sew into position.

Attaching buttons and making buttonholes

Add 4 buttons and make 4 button holes.

DIY bustier blouse with balloon sleeves

You’ve just learned how to sew a blouse with balloon sleeves!

How to sew a blouse

How to sew a blouse

Please comment below if you made this DIY v-neck bustier blouse or share your photos while wearing it. Thanks for joining me for this tutorial. Let me know your thoughts on the final result!

Suggested materials:
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  • Paper
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