Photo of Sarah Holden

One Pattern, Many Looks: Blouses

with Sarah Holden
One Pattern, Many Looks: Blouses
Create unique blouses and tops that fit you and your style perfectly. Customize the design details and look of commercial patterns to make them your own.

Breeze through pattern modifications for bodices, collars, closures and sleeves with fashion designer Sarah Holden. Turn a basic blouse pattern into a template you can use to create a wardrobe of custom-fit garments. Modify the length and shape of hems, reimagine garment silhouettes, create any style of yoke and manipulate bust darts to unlock new looks. Bring your garments together in flawless fashion as you learn to add facings, keyhole closures and hidden button plackets. Add boutique appeal to your patterns with cowl, tie-neck and flat-falling collars. Adjust sleeve length and fullness, and create sophisticated ribbon-ruched sleeves and elegant bell sleeves. Build the blouses and tops you've been looking for starting with a single commercial pattern.

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Introduction & Making a Muslin

  • Meet your instructor, designer Sarah Holden, and learn more about the pattern she'll be using as a foundation for building a sloper and design variations. Follow along with McCall's M6649 — included with your class purchase — or choose your own favorite blouse pattern to build upon. Then dive right into taking essential measurements and testing the fit with a muslin.


Lesson 2. Creating a Sloper

  • Quickly turn your commercial pattern into a sloper with Sarah's guidance. You'll trace off the tissue pieces onto sturdier paper, remove the seam allowances and transfer the markings, making adjustments according to your own measurements as you go. Sarah will show you how to true up the front, back and sleeve pieces and transfer the dart bulk. If your pattern has a back yoke, you'll see how to combine it with the back piece. You'll make a second muslin that can serve as your model for future projects, and create master pattern pieces using poster board or oak tag.


Lesson 3. Bodice Variations

  • Now that you have a master pattern, it's time to start designing! Lengthen or shorten your hem, or give it a sweet curve. Add fullness evenly around the bodice without compromising the fit. Create front and back yokes, or a combined yoke that eliminates the shoulder seam (perfect for lace!). Move the bust dart or transform it into gathers at the yoke, shoulder or center front. Sarah shows you how!


Lesson 4. Facings & Closures

  • Customize your blouse with pretty closures. Add a facing at the neckline and turn it into a closure, or create a keyhole closure for a high neckline. A hidden button placket will give your garment a smooth finish, and it's easier to create than you might think.


Lesson 5. Collar Variations

  • Sara shows a variety of collars you can try: cowl, tie-neck and flat-falling (or Peter Pan). Using your sloper, they're simple to draft, and you can choose from several ways to attach them for a smooth finish.


Lesson 6. Sleeve Variations

  • Alter your sleeves to suit your style. Changing the length is easy, even on cap sleeves. You can add fullness or make your sleeve more slender. You can even go sleeveless or try an elegant bell sleeve. Sarah's ribbon-ruching technique is so clever, you might want to make a blouse just to try it out!

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Retail Price $54.99
McCall's 6649 Laura Ashley Misses Blouse. more info »
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For $29.99 you get:

  • 6 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Downloadable class materials and an included McCall's blouse pattern
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from Sarah in our virtual classroom
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