Sewing etc

4 Cute Summer Blouses You Can Make Yourself

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4 panels showing a short haired Latina woman in various bright pink and gold summer blouses

With the possibility of finally going back outside (if the world doesn’t melt) cute summer blouses that are also easy to make are top of mind.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of sewing patterns, by any means! But it’s a great starter list that includes some of the more popular beginner-friendly (but not boring!) patterns from the indie pattern world.

The best part? Each of these patterns come with dress options too. Make both for double the fun!

So what makes a good summer blouse? Given the recent heat waves across the world, I’m all in on clothes that are lightweight, with minimal fussiness. I want fabric that won’t cling, that’s breathable, and most importantly (for me): colorful!

And I also want patterns that are relatively quick and easy. What does that look like?

In the mix below there are 2 tank tops, 1 raglan top, and 1 dolman blouse. I especially like dolman sleeved (also called grown-on or cut-on sleeve) tops, since you don’t have to add in sleeves.

Win!

As far as fabric is concerned, these cute summer blouses were all made in viscose challis, which is considered a natural fiber. That means it breathes in the heat! All of the fabric you’ll see was sourced from Minerva, but I’ve included other shopping options too (along with additional fabric suggestions).

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4-block images of summery tops blocked by large gold rectangle with text overlay that reads Curvy Summer Fashion

Ready? Let’s get to making!

Cute Summer Blouse 1: Camisole with Built-In Shelf Bra

Paulette in a hot pink hibiscus print Misty cami and white pants

Nothing screams summer quite like an oversized hibiscus print. It reminds me of Hawai’i! And a perfect match for the Sew Altered Style Misty Cami pattern.

The Misty cami (and dress) is described as 

A simple garment that packs a big punch.  With a deep V-neck and multiple strap and length options, Misty is equally at home both on the playground and at a dinner party.
The Misty is appropriate for an adventurous beginner. 

A tip for working with this fabric: it’s really easy to stretch out the diagonally-cut bits. Instead of simply staystitching the neckline (and armholes!!), reinforce them with 1/4″ (7 mm) strips of fusible tricot interfacing. I get mine at Fabric.com.

This is my 4th version of this wonderful cami pattern. I’ve posted the purple dress in rayon challis, but also have the same cami in an orange rayon blend, aqua double gauze, and now this hot pink viscose challis too. (Check out buying options for all of these fabrics below.)

It’s SO versatile! And really the perfect thing to wear during heat waves.

The best part? None of these look alike! I could wear one every day in a row and you’d never realize they’re the exact same pattern.

I lied, that’s not the best part. The BEST best part is the shelf bra you can fashion out of the inner facings. For a quick tutorial on that, check out this post on Minerva.

Size made: 18

See the original Misty post on Minerva.

Shop this and similar fabrics:

Swatch of large hibiscus print on hot pink viscose fabric from Minerva
Swatch of earth tone floral rayon challis from The Confident Stitch
Swatch of white circles on light blue background gauze fabric from The Confident Stitch
Swatch of aqua cotton double gauze from Fabric.com

Cute Summer Blouse 2: Woven V-Neck T-shirt

Paulette sitting on a low stone walls in jeans and a bright gold wide v-neck t-shirt

Polka dots are so summery! I was inspired to make this by my friend Caroline, who you can see in something very similar on Instagram.

From Love Notions Sewing Patterns, the beginner friendly Vivace Dolman from is:

Pronounced ‘vee-VAH-chay’, this dolman pattern is a classic style with a unique v-neck feature with off-set pleat. 
Skill Level: Confident Beginner

To put it plainly, the Vivace is a simple boxy t-shirt with a wide v-neck collar. And sometimes a loose and boxy top can overwhelm a petite body, but I have a super easy hack to fix that: add side-seam shaping!

Boxy patterns have straight side seams. To add a bit of shaping, curve the side seam in at the waist and then curve back out to the hip. Check out the tutorial for this on a Lou Box Top.

For this polka dot top I took out 1/2″ (1.3 cm) removed from each pattern piece. When it’s all sewn up, that equals 1″ (2.5 cm) removed from each side, or a total of 2″ (5 cm) gone from the waist.

Why else is this a great project? Since the sleeves are part of the body in a dolman pattern, that’s 2 fewer seams to sew! And nothing to ease in. Ugh, I hate easing sleeves in the most!

This polka dot rayon challis is a little stiffer than the one used in the Misty Cami above, but it’s still susceptible to stretching off grain. To avoid that when cutting the collar pieces, block fuse the interfacing! That means fusing the interfacing to the fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces.

And definitely staystitch your neckline!!

Love Notions patterns come with a built-in full bust adjustment, which makes working with this pattern even easier! It can also be sewn up in either knit* or woven fabric, so you have many options. 

*Be sure to use knit interfacing if creating it in knit fabric.

Size made: XL front with full bust, 3x back

See the original Vivace post on Minerva.

Shop this and similar fabrics:

Swatch of bright gold with white polka dots viscose challis fabric from Minerva
Swatch of dark purple and grey polka dot shirting fabric from The Confident Stitch
Swatch of red with black and white abstract dots fabric from Fabric.com
Swatch of yellow with white polka dots Art Gallery knit fabric from Fabric.com

Cute Summer Blouse 3: Ruffled Neck Boxy Raglan

Paulette in a hot pink floral print Wilder blouse and jeans

Another floral print!

Typically you’ll find the dazzling and surprisingly easy Friday Pattern Company Wilder as a gown in floaty sheer fabric. Which yes, you should absolutely do, as suggested on the website:

The Wilder Gown is a loose, flowy, tiered dress that can be sewn up in a bunch of different ways! It has raglan sleeves and ties up at the neck...[and] can be made as a top.
Beginner level sewing

Why not make it in a big floral challis too?

This hot pink floral viscose challis is in the same family as the hibiscus print above, and therefore has the same weight and drape to it. It also frays like the devil, so be sure to finish your seams as soon as they’re sewn!

With a ⅝” (1.5 cm) seam allowance on the Wilder, you can even indulge in French seams!

Another boxy top? Yes, but notice how the necktie camouflages the boxy nature of the blouse? That’s not your eyes playing tricks on you. No, this time I didn’t bother with side seam shaping!

The paperbag finish at the collar creates a ruffle around the neckline and is a cute addition to an otherwise simple garment. I like to keep the neckline open, but you can tie it up to show off that neck ruffle.

Size made: 1X (20) with 1” FBA

See the original Wilder post on Minerva.

Shop this and similar fabrics:

Swatch of hot pink and white large scale botanical print fabric from Minerva
Swatch of pink abstract print chiffon from Minerva
Swatch of blue and pink ditzy floral Japanese lawn from The Confident Stitch
Swatch of turquoise cheetah print chiffon fabric from Fabric.com

Cute Summer Blouse 4: Print Mix Tank Top

Paulette holding a cold drink leaning up against a grey wall in a pink and gold Marcel tank

Because of the way the Chalk & Notch Marcel Tank is constructed, you have lots of opportunity to play with fabric. It’s great for mixing and matching prints like I did, or even playing with stripes!

The Marcel is a woven dress and tank top that is fitted through the high bust and loose through the bust, waist and hips.
Sewing Level: Advanced Beginner

As you can see, the gold polka dot and hot pink hibiscus prints matched perfectly for a fun take on this pattern.

The Marcel is also finished on the inside with a facing that you can lengthen to create a shelf bra. Which means you don’t have to worry about wearing either a strapless bra OR hiding the bra straps.

In case you want to skip that, the straps on this tank top are generously wide enough to hide just about any bra strap!

Because there aren’t any side seams on the body portion of the pattern, there’s no need to worry about pattern matching or breaking up a repeat. The pattern cleverly uses princess seams to join the side panels to the gathered front and back.

Which also gives you the option of playing with stripes!

Also included in the directions is how to adjust the straps for sloped shoulders. You can also apply this to the Misty cami above!

Size made: 16 with sloped shoulder adjustment

Shop this and similar fabrics:

Swatch of hot pink ditzy floral rayon from Minerva
Swatch of bright yellow with black polka dot fabric from Minerva
Swatch of white ditzy floral on olive green fabric from Minerva
Swatch of painterly multicolored vertical striped fabric from Minerva

Swatch of painterly multicolored vertical striped fabric from Minerva
Swatch of multicolored polka dots on dark background fabric from The Confident Stitch
Swatch of yellow seersucker stripe fabric from Fabric.com
Swatch of multicolored abstract fabric from Fabric.com

Which cute summer blouse was your favorite? Tell me below which one you think you’ll make, and in what kind of fabric!

Like what you’re reading? Join the Maker Mindset Happy Hour group on Facebook for more inspiration!

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4-block images of summery tops blocked by large gold rectangle with text overlay that reads Curvy Summer Fashion
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