Adding a Facing for Blouse with Collar, Collar and Lapels or Button Down Front

This facing is added to the draft for the Basic Unfitted Front Bodice Pattern.

Step 1: Lengthen blouse below waistline. The amount will vary with the style of blouse. Many blouses of the 1950s end 4-5″ below the waistline. Modern blouses can end 7-9″ below the waistline. Consider whether you will create a pattern for a tuck-in blouse or an overblouse. A longer blouse length ensures that a tucked in blouse will not completely rise up over the waistband and require frequent tucking in.

I usually use a measurement of 7″ below the waistline for a tuck-in blouse.

Step 2: Mark Grain Line of Pattern 1-2″ from Center Front if the blouse is cut on the straight grain.

Step 3: Mark Center Front.

Step 4: Mark from Center Front the width of the Overlap. The width is determined as follows:

Width of button + 1/4″

The smallest width for an overlap is 5/8″. This would be applied when the button is 3/8″ wide and the 1/4″ extra is added in.

Mark outward at neckline and hem, from the center front line, the result of Width of button + 1/4″. Connect. This is the overlap. Mark this as Fold Line.

Many manufactured blouses only have an extra 1/8″ added to the buttonhole width. While this saves fabric for the manufacturer, it does not create a generous width for the overlap and for the button to rest against.

Step 5: Mark from the Overlap a 2″ wide extension. Square this measurement at top of neckline and bottom of hemline. Connect for a rectangle. This becomes the facing for the inside of the blouse.

Step 6: Fold back on Fold Line and trace neckline and 2″ of shoulder line.

Step 7: Join neck edge of facing to straight line as illustrated. Use the French Curve ruller to make a slight curve.

Step 8: For blouse with collar and/or lapels:

Mark up 1″ from apex line on Center Front.

Join with Point E of neckline.

The end of the lapel can be raised or lowered depending on your preference.

Many blouses from the 1940s and 1950s ended about 1″ or more above the apex line of the bust.

Step 9: Buttons are placed beginning 1/4″ down from the point where the blouse opens. If no lapels, this is from the top of the neckline, 1/4″ down. If there are lapels, the buttonholes begin at the point slightly below where the lapels break.

Buttons and buttonholes are sewn along the straight grain and are spaced 1/2″ inches apart. But again the space between buttonholes depends o the button size, the style and the total bodice length of the pattern.

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