Look! My daughter finally has hair! Oh, and in other news, here is a tutorial on sewing a simple peasant top. Isn’t that fabric the sweetest? Anna Maria Horner voiles light up my life, this one is Little Folks Four Square in Sweet.
You can use this tute a few different ways. You can make the top just like this, with the gathered waist, or just a straight top, or an A-line dress, or make one for yourself. If you haven’t sewn sleeves before, this is a great top to start with, because the gathering makes the sizing forgiving.
Soon she’ll be able to put ponytails in her own hair instead of daddy’s! I can’t wait! Get the full Peasant Blouse Tutorial after the jump…
How to Sew a Peasant Top
1. First cut your fabric.
If you are sewing a top, go ahead and cut two rectangles for the front and back. For the top pictured (worn by my 2 year old who is the height of a 3 year old) I cut two rectangles 15″X17″.
If you are sewing a dress, you’ll want to cut them more A-line. Use these patterns (originally made for the Pillowcase Dress tutorial) as a guide:
Baby Dress Template size 0-3 months:
Baby Dress Template size 18 months – 2T:
You’ll also need to cut two rectangles for the sleeves. The length should be twice the depth of the sleeve plus one inch, and the width should be the length you want the sleeve about doubled, or more if you want a longer sleeve. I cut my sleeve rectangles 13X7. For a 0-3 month size, cut a rectangle 8.5″ X 3.5″.
You’ll also need four pieces of 1/4″ elastic.
1 piece for the neckline: Cut this your child’s chest measurement plus two inches. I did mine 18″.
1 piece for the gathered waist: Same thing, I cut mine 18″.
2 pieces for the sleeves. Your child’s arm measurement plus 2″ – I did mine 7.5″.
2. Take your two rectangles (the front and back of your top) and fold them in half. Cut the sleeve and neckline out per the pictures above:
3. To cut your sleeves, fold the rectangles in half along the width:
Lay your dress piece on top, with the fold of the sleeve piece to the inside, trace the neckline and armhole, and cut:
When you unfold the sleeves, you now have two pieces that look like this:
4. Now lay one pieces of your dress right side up. Lay a sleeve piece right side down with the armholes aligned and pin in place:
Sew up the armhole:
Finish the edge by serging, sewing with a zig zag stitch, or cutting with pinking shears. Then lay the dress right side up again. Take the other sleeve piece and align it with the other armhole and pin in place:
Sew up the armhole and finish the edge:
5. Now take the other side of your top and lay it right side up:
Take the assembled side and align the unsewn armhole edge of one sleeve piece right side down and pin:
Sew in place and finish the edge:
Now align the other unsewn armhole edge of your sleeve with the other unsewn armhole of your dress and pin:
Sew in place and finish the edge:
Now your sleeves are attached to both sides of your dress/top and you have a boxy piece like this:
Flatten it out and align the two edges of the top, still right sides facing:
Sew in place all the way from the edge of the sleeve down the side of the dress/top:
Do this on both sides. Now your dress/top is assembled.
6. Leave your piece inside out. You may want to take scissors to the top edge to smooth it out (if your sleeves and neckline cuts were wavy). Fold the entire top edge down 1/4″ and iron:
Fold it down another 1/2″ iron and pin in place:
Sew your casing along the edge, leaving a hole near one armhole seam, back stitching at the beginning and end:
Close up of the hole:
Repeat this process on the opening of each sleeve, leaving the hole at the armpit area:
7. Now take one of your long pieces of 1/4″ elastic and feed it through the hole with a safety pin:
Sew the elastic together so it lies flat:
Push it back into the casing and sew the hole closed:
Repeat on each sleeve with your smaller pieces of elastic:
8. Now to hem. Fold the bottom edge in 1/2″ and iron, then another 1/2″ and iron, then sew in place with a straight or blind hem stitch:
Now you can call it a day here and be done with it, or you can add a little gathered drop waist like I did.
9. So to add the waist, flip the bottom of the dress up and iron it at the place you want the gather to fall:
Sew all the way around the dress 1/2″ in, leaving a hole to feed your elastic through and back stitching at the beginning and end.
When you flip the dress back down it will look like this:
Feed your other long piece of elastic through the casing you just created:
Sew the elastic together so it lays flat, fit it back inside the casing, and sew the hole closed:
Flip the bottom back down.