Creative articles about sewing

Sezane inspired blouse: make your own pattern

Sézane inspired blouse: make your own pattern!

Sometimes you see a garment so cool that you have to make it! But where do you find that exact pattern? The searching for and thinking about took some time. I wanted to make this top last year for the #SewRecreateTheLook (another cool Instagram challenge). The fabric had already been picked out at De Lappenkraam. I even asked for help from my followers on Instagram. They came up with a whole list of suitable pattern options……but they were all just not it. Tad perfectionist?

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The inspiration

The inspiration is this Sézane top with ruffles in a cool print. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this similar viscose. If you look closely at the example, you can see that a black decorative trim is stitched to the ruches. So I purchased that too. And with the right Mettler lock thread presen, it was time to tie a knot. Also because this year’s #SewRecreateTheLook23 challenge was imminent. Which pattern would I go for?

The options

The options are all cool patterns with ruffles! Including two dresses where you can then use the top piece. I sum them up:

What none of these patterns have and what is distinctive about the Sézane top is that the ruffles go round under the arms. This means I would have to adapt one of the above patterns. I couldn’t manage to get my head around that. So I went ahead and made my own pattern anyway. If you want to do this too, follow these steps. If not, pick one of the suggested patterns above to make a Sézane-inspired top.

Make your pattern

Choose a pattern that suits you well to use as a base. A top with darts in the front and roomy enough to put on over your head. Possibly with a zip at the back, not in the side seam which is a bit trickier with the ruffles. I use the pattern of the Dina dress from Fibre Mood. By zooming in closely on the example, I realise that the ruffles are not ruffles but flounces. Aha!

I show the pattern adjustments step by step:

The front panel

To add the flounces, add some seams in the front and back panel.

Pattern base

From the centre of the shoulder seam, draw a smooth circular line through the bust point of the dart and let it end about halfway down the side seam (depending on how long you make your top). If necessary, you can use a French curve ruler for this.

Cut the new seam from the side seam 2 mm before the breast point and shift the dart by moving the resulting triangle upwards. You close the ‘old’ dart. Tape in place.

Also cut the rest of the first seam. This is where the longest flounce (A) will be attached later. Draw a round line again on the newly created pattern piece: from halfway up the side seam to halfway down the armhole. Cut along the line.

The back panel

Lay the back panel next to the front panel with the side seams facing each other. Mark where the new seams of the front piece should match the back piece. Keep the dart in mind.

Also mark the shoulder seam (check that it comes out halfway, to be safe) and (about) halfway down the armhole.

Draw smooth circular lines again. Cut the line.

Volant A will later run along the shoulder seam and volant B will run along the side seam. After cutting the fabric pattern pieces, sew together the respective pattern pieces for attaching the flounces as shown.

The flounces

This bit is the trickiest to explain. I’m going to do my best, if it’s still not entirely clear please post a comment below the blog and I’ll try again. On my Instagram profile, I have posted a bunch of videos of the process in the saved highlight. Perhaps this will make it even clearer.

Here goes. You create the flounces by cutting a number of circles where the circumference of the inner circle should be as long as the length of the seam between which the flounces are sewn. Still follow?

In this example, we have a long seam A and a shorter seam B. Seam A is 98 cm long in total, seam B 60 cm long.

Seam/flounce A

For the full seam A, I cut two flounces with an inner circle circumference of 50. This then includes the seam value. A 98 cm circle would take up a lot of fabric and would also not give a nice drape. I sew the two circles together before attaching them to the top as flounces.

To get a circle of 50 cm, we briefly think back to high school maths (2 π r) or we type in Google ‘calculate radius of circle’. Using a pair of compasses, you draw the circle with a radius of 8 cm. The flounce will be 6 cm wide, then you draw an outer circle at 8 cm. The second circle/outside circle you then draw with compasses 16 cm apart.

Note: You always cut two circles per side, so four in total (left and right).

Seam/flounce B

For flounce B, I draw two circles with a circumference of 32 cm (inner circle radius 5 cm, outer circle radius 13). Again, for the full top you cut 4 circles which you stitch together in pairs, before they are attached to the top.

Sleeve flounces

In any case, draw the sleeve flounce wider (10 cm) and let it come out under seam B. In my example, that meant a flounce with circumference 25 (radius 4 cm). From this you cut two. One for the left and one for the right. The middle of the flounce will be aligned with the shoulder seam.

Let flounce B taper at the end. Do this after stitching the two circles together. For the sleeve flounce you can cut the paper pattern like this (see below). Let flounce A join in the side seam.

Tapered endings

Sleeve flounce

It’s a lot of circles/flounces, but then you also get a fantastic dramatic effect. I also choose to make the flounces double-sided, because when you flip the flounces over, you see the inside of the fabric and I don’t like that very much. So you then cut double the amount of circles. Oh dear! It was tight with my 1.80m coupon (for mt 38/40). So I recommend at least 2.5m for this top.

Create your top

Start by making the full flounces. Cut the circles from the fabric and cut them through once. If necessary, attach two circles together and finish the outer edge with a rolled hem, with or without an overlock machine. In the case of double-sided flounces, this is obviously not necessary. When you have turned the double-sided flounce to the right side, iron it well.

Cut the seam well for a nice curve

In all cases, stitch a decorative band on the outer edge. This also creates an even nicer drape.

Stitch the shoulder seams of the different pattern pieces and only the side seams of the smallest pattern pieces. (See pattern description above). Then attach flounce A. Close the side seams and then also stitch flounce B in between.

Flounce A, here still without decorative tape

Attach the sleeve flounces and finish the top. Finish the neckline with a facing and possibly a slit at the back. Finish the part of the armhole where there is no sleeve volant also with a facing or bias tape. Hem the top. Ta Da!

The observant reader will see that I have an extra flounce at shoulder height. This is really unnecessary, it was a failed (too small) first attempt of a sleeve flounce. The more dramatic (nice big) sleeve flounce as I’ve described here is more than enough sleeve.

How many do you count?






Free sewing instructions: Sézane inspired blouse

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  • Ingrid | Joe, June and Mae EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    This is absolutely fantastic, love the top, the idea, everything.I have a pair of pants and a very similar top that I#d love to recreate ( Isabel Marant ) so thank you so much for this excellent blog 🙂

    • Marlies Witjes EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

      Thank you so much for your compliments! Have fun sewing your plans!

      X Marlies

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