Be it day-to-day household works or regal functions, a saree can give you the most comfort and a classy look at the same time. And the blouse is the most important part of a saree in terms of both design and functionality as it completes the whole ensemble. Now, if you are into making your own clothes then you might be interested to learn how to stitch saree blouses.
Stitching a saree blouse starts with finding the type of blouse to stitch such as princess cut blouse, the balconette blouse, the off-shoulder blouse or other type. And then followed by few key measurements and patterns, cutting the cloth and stitching process.
Knowing how to stitch a saree blouse can come in super handy at times if you like to DIY your clothes. Plus, that way, you can control the measurements properly and that reduces the chances of any wardrobe malfunctions! So, let’s take a look at how to stitch a simple saree blouse in a few easy steps, shall we?
Taking Measurements for Your Blouse
Like any other pieces of clothing, the first and foremost thing you need to take care of is the measurements. Everyone’s shape or height isn’t the same and that’s why if you want a customized blouse, you need to know your proper measurements.
A lot of separate measurements are needed to make a customized saree blouse. So, keep your flexible tape ready and bear with me while I tell you what measurements to take and how to analyse them.
Back & Front Length
A little preview – while making the blouse from scratch, it will have two different front and back parts that will later get stitched together. That’s why you need separate measurements of your back and front length.
Using a measuring tape, measure from your highest point of the shoulder to the point the blouse will end up on your waist. Do this on both sides and the average of both measurements is your ideal back and front length.
Chest & Waist
For the chest, measure your bust i.e. the fullest part of your breasts from front to behind. Depending on whether your bust is lower than 30″, between 30″-35.5″ and higher than 35.5″, the measurements will vary a little. The ultimate chest line will be one-quarter of your original chest measurement with an added three quarters to ensure flexibility.
For the waist, take the measurements of your waist from front to behind with a little room to breathe. The ultimate waistline will be one-quarter of your original waist measurement plus 2 cm extra to place the dart. The dart will get placed right in the middle of the waistline.
Armhole Depth and Neckline
The armhole depth is the hole by the neck in your blouse where the hands will come out from. Take the subsequent measurements of your shoulder and then arm joints to determine the flexible measurement of your armhole depth. You will need to keep 1 cm as a seam allowance for your arm line curve.
As for the neckline, it depends on what shape of a neckline you are looking for in a blouse. Take the measurements of your neckline at first from a little higher up your beauty bones. Keeping that measurement as general, you can go for any neckline of your preference and draw the final cut based on that. Necklines require up to 0.5 cm seam allowance.
Finally, you need to determine the measurements of the sleeves of your blouse. Again, this is a measurement that highly depends on the type of style and design of your blouse. If you want a full sleeve, get the measurements from your shoulder joint to the hem of your hands.
Similarly, if you want a half sleeve or a quarter sleeve, take your measurements accordingly to that. Remember that the diameter of your top sleeve should be concurrent to the armhole curve as they will later get stitched together. You’ll need to place a few darts on the sleeve as well so it’s better to be a little flexible with the measurements.
Sewing the Saree Blouse: Step by Step Guide
Now that you have your proper measurements, it’s time to start sewing the actual blouse! So, get your blouse clothes, markers, scissors and needles ready and get right into it. The more prepared and experienced you are with these kinds of stuff, the easier it will be for you to follow these steps.
However, a little disclaimer before we start – stitching a blouse might seem like a fun activity and it is, but it also needs maximum patience and precision. So, take your time, read through the guidelines properly and do everything as precisely as possible to get the best results. Also, if you are a beginner, don’t worry so much or get disheartened at the difficulty. See the below video to know all the cutting and stitching process for a saree blouse.
Give it your maximum effort and a few honest tries should give you a lot more experience to do even better next time!
With that, here is the step-by-step guide on how to sew a saree blouse:
Step 1: Prepare the blouse clothing piece
Take the piece of clothing you want to make a blouse out of and fold it in half. The length of the clothing should be about 80 cm. You can use any type of clothing for your blouse according to the design of your saree. But if you are a beginner, it’s best to start with a cotton piece as those are the most comfortable to work with.
After folding the cotton cloth in half, you should ideally have two ends. One’s the open end and the other one’s the folded end. The folded end is used to prepare the backside while the open end is used to prepare the front of the blouse.
Step 2: Mark the required measurements on the backside
We will start by working on the backside of the blouse first. That means, take the side that’s closed i.e., folded and determine the marks along that side. The reason why the folded side is taken as the backside is that the buttons are usually placed in the front of the blouse.
Take the measurement tape along the folded side and mark the overall length of your blouse. For example, if the length is 14″, add 1″ margin to that and mark up to a total of 15″.
Make it a straight line after the mark has been placed and put the measurements of the shoulder and armhole on that line. Since both of these are placed together, they will have the same length. For instance, if it’s 6″, place a mark on the 6″ target area of the straight line from before. The armhole mark will be perpendicular to the shoulder mark.
After the marks have been placed, join them. At the armhole marking, you’ll need to put down the measurements for your chest. For example, if your chest length is 32″, take one-fourth of that ie 8″ and add about half an inch to keep it loose. Mark it up and then join the dots via a straight line.
After that, go straight to the perpendicular side of the folded one, and markdown your waist size. If your waist size is 28″, take only a quarter of it and add 1″ for the dart placement. Join the chest and waist marking by a straight line.
Take a two-inch margin along this straight line for darts and loose-fitting. This extra cloth will be used as margin anyways so you don’t have to worry about it getting too loose.
Remember the shoulder to armhole line? Well, from the middle of that line, you need to mark the armhole curve. Go up about half an inch from the middle and join the curve from there to the top margin.
Now, it’s time to work on the neckline and depth. Take about 2.5″ from the shoulder line and go down up to 5-6″ for the neckline depth. Join the marks and create a box-like design to make it clearer. If you don’t want a square neckline, make it a circular one by adding a curve like the armhole one.
Go down further along the neckline depth line and add a mark at the 3.5″ target for the bottom dart placement. Extend the line to the end of that side and add a mark at each side at a 1″ distance. Join these two marks to the upper 3.5″ point.
That’s it for the measurements of the backside. Cut along the straight lines and curves to prepare the backside piece of your blouse.
Step 3: Mark the required measurements on the front side
Now that you are done with the backside, time to work on the front one next. For this, invert the piece of clothing and take the open-ended side now. This side is taken for the front part since the buttons will be placed along the middle section of the front side.
Place the previously cut backside part on the uncut cloth since the measurements for both sides will be more or less the same. Keep half-inch margin along the width of the open side for flexibility. You don’t have to keep any extra space for the shoulder or the armhole curve.
However, you’ll need another half-inch extension along the top margin where the armhole curve ends. Place a mark and then use a straight line to join that mark to the bottom margin. No extension is needed in the middle and thus, it will be a slanted straight line.
For the last measurement, keep off a half-inch extra down the end of the waistline as two more darts will be placed there later on. After you have joined the marks via a straight line, take off the backside piece and use a scissor to cut along the lines properly to prepare the front side.
Step 4: Mark the necessary darts
Darts are placed so that your blouse doesn’t seem as smooth or strict along the body line. Everyone has body curves and that’s why you should keep some extra space in your blouse to make it more comfortable. Darts help out a lot to achieve that by creating a three-dimensional sort of effect on the plain regular cloth.
Anyways, let’s get back to the dart marking now. Take the front side piece and place a mark at 4″ along the waistline. Place a point on both sides at 1″ distance and then join all three points to the upper 4″ mark.
For the next dart, keeping the centre at 4″ mark from the before, diagonally place a mark at a distance of 1.75″ towards the open side. Join the mark to the end of that side, place the sub-points at half-inch mark, and then join all three points to the same line as before.
In this way, there will be a total of three darts in three different directions, all from the 1.75″ distance from the primary dart. Since the previous dart was made on the open side, the other two darts will go along the direction of the slanted margin and armhole curve respectively. All three of these darts will have sub-markings along 0.5″ and not 1″.
If you are using a vibrant white chalk, use the piece that’s already been marked and place it on the other one to get the faint residual marking. After that, you can follow along the faint white lines and mark them up properly.
Step 5: Prepare the sleeve pieces
For the sleeve pieces, take appropriate clothing of the required diameter, and give it a double fold. As a result, it will have four folds in total and about 9.5″ in width. The length can fluctuate based on how long or short you want your sleeves to be. Also, it should match the exact length of your armhole curve of the blouse so that it fits properly.
The length and width of the sleeves depending on the body type but as a standard, you can take 4″ as width and 2″ as margin. Place a mark at 2.5″ or 3″ along the width of the sleeve and connect the mark diagonally to the top adjacent side. Draw two concurrent curves along the diagonal that’s going to determine your sleeve curve later. The curves should be at a distance of 0.5″ from the diagonal.
On the opposite side of these curves place a mark around the 6.5″ target area along the length. Connect that to the top of the 2.5″ mark we placed before. After that, cut along the drawn marks and voila, your sleeve pieces are ready.
Step 6: Stitch up the darts
Now that all the pieces have been prepared separately, it’s time to stitch them together to make the blouse. Be very meticulous in this step as one wrong stitch can change the configuration of the entire blouse.
Before you start on the blouse, you need to stitch up the darts separately. Use a cross-stitch to sew the darts along the sub-pointed diagonal lines. As a result, once it’s done the surface will fluff up a bit and it will exhibit a lot more texture.
Step 7: Prepare the front button section
If you remember correctly, the open end was used to prepare the front side. So now you have to seal up the front sections to add buttons to that area. Take a double folded 3″ wide clothing piece to use as a covering and place it on one end of the front section. Get a 2″ one for the other one.
Stitch up both the pieces with the sections. After that, take the extra clothing, fold them up along the hem and give them a second stitch. All these layerings will help you to keep the buttons properly in place.
Step 8: Stitch up the front and backside
Sew the darts on the backside at first and then place the backside on top of the front to stitch them together. Friendly reminder – always use the inner side for stitching purposes so that any of the stitch marks aren’t visible on the outside. So, invert the pieces on the back to place markings and stitching while making blouses or any type of clothing.
Start by stitching the shoulders first. Remember the margins? Fold up the margins before stitching them on top of the other. After that take a separate piece of clothing and repeat step 7 completely. Just that, instead of the front section, you will be creating protective layers along the waistline in this step.
Step 9: Arrange it all together
For the final step, draw a straight line along the external margins of the chest sides. Then, sew it all up that line. And that’s about it. You have prepared and stitched an entire blouse on your own.
Make some extra cross stitches here and there if you feel like it’s necessary. Again, if it feels a little tight, take off the stitches along the margin and sew them a little further this time. That’s what the margins are there for!
This is the very basic framework of a blouse construction. After you have mastered this part, you can use all the extra designs, colours and accessories in the world to make the blouse exactly as you want it.
So, have you figured out how to stitch saree blouse yet? Hopefully, I managed to explain all the steps properly to help you understand the overall procedure. If you followed all the steps correctly and with proper acknowledgement of the precautions, you should be able to make your own saree blouses however you choose to. I hope that my guide was clear enough to help you make your own blouse from scratch. Thanks for stopping by.