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Funked Out Peasant Blouse Redo

I almost can't believe it. . . my very first guest blogger ever at
Brown Paper Packages!
And it is none other than Melissa Stramel, from Lilac Lane who is also a contestant on 'So You Think You Can Quilt'. She has a great little pattern makeover for us mommys. We need to look cute, too!

Thanks, Melissa for sharing your great tutorial!

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Hi there! I'm Melissa Ann Stramel from Lilac Lane. I'm just thrilled to be here today (thank you Leisel.) I mean, she let me be in her quilt contest and now she invites me back? Wow! Don't you love this blog? I know I'm quite addicted and can lose hours on this site without even realizing it. If you want to stop by Lilac Lane, I'm always having lots of giveaways and, of course, tutorials.

Lila Tueller has a great little pattern called the Funked Out Peasant Blouse. (Say that one ten times fast.) It's a great pattern and I just love the blouse.

BUT, today I thought we'd try something different. That is the name of the game isn't it? So I'll show you how to make this or another blouse pattern into a dress and also how to add some cute pockets.

For supplies, you will only need what is required in the pattern. Just add a yard or so extra of the main body color to make it dress length. I can't tell you exactly how much -- I don't know your size!

This blouse has a flattering empire waist. So we want to measure where that band is below the bust, down to however long you want the dress to be. Keep in mind that there is a band around the bottom which adds about an inch and a half to the length, but also you will be removing about a half inch by sewing it all together. For me, 29 inches from the bust looks like the perfect length.

Go ahead and place your pattern on the fabric and pin in place. Then place your tape measure along your size at the top of the pattern and measure down to the length you determined. Now I wanted a little extra flair to the dress, so I started with the tape at my size, but angled it out by going across the largest measurement at the bottom of the pattern piece. (I believe this is lower back of the blouse.) Place pins where you will cut all down to the length you need. Cut out along the pins and then try to replicate the same angle across the bottom of your dress as the pattern has along its bottom.

Here we do the same thing again but with the lower front blouse piece. Use the same angle as the back, angling from your size and then the biggest size to make it flair out a bit.

You should now have two pieces that look pretty much like this.

For me, it's all about the details. I decided to make some cute little pockets for the front of the dress. And now is the time to add them. Put two layers of fabric together, fold it in half and cut a little half round shape out.

Here's what you should have. You can make them square if you want, but I wanted rounded corners.

Next, I sewed some rumbo ric-rac across the tops of the pockets, making sure it was even across both pockets (details, details!)

Use one of the pockets for a patterns and cut out two pockets linings.

Now pin them, right sides together, all the way around.

Sew a quarter inch seam around the pocket, leaving a three inch opening, give or take, on one of the SIDES. Definitely not the top or you will then have to topstitch your pocket. Why do more than you have to?

Clip the top two corners off at an angle. Then make snips around the two rounded corners to the stitching. Three or four snips will do for each rounded corner. Careful, careful. Don't snip through the stitching.

Turn the pocket inside out, push out the corners with something dullish, like a pencil or a blunt ended pair of scissors. Some people use knitting needles, but I don't knit. Turn the little edge that's sticking out unfinished edge in and pin it. Now hold that front skirt panel up to your lower bust and act like you're putting your hand in your pocket. Pin the pocket on there. Topstitch 1/8" from the edge around all the sides except the top. Now do all of this again to make the second pocket. Except don't pin it in place or sew it yet.

Here's my little trick for placing the second pocket. Here's your first, sewn on pocket.

Place the second pocket upside down on top the first one.

Fold your skirt in half over the top of both pockets and pin in place from the back. Make sure you only pin through one layer.

Open her up, and there's your pocket, perfectly placed! Pin all around it and then remove those pins from the back of the fabric. Topstitch around the second pocket and you're ready to assemble your dress.

The directions are all the same as the top, just a little bit longer. This pattern has so many options. It's easy. I mean it's really easy. It has a side zipper, but I sure didn't need it to get the dress on and off. There's a short and long sleeve option in the pattern. It gives lots of suggestions for personalizing the pattern. Plus there's instructions for optional elastic additions to make it fit a little bit better (I did this.) In all, it took me about three hours. For a perfectly fitted dress, that's a real winner in my book. Especially a pattern that comes out as cute as the picture on the front.
Don't forget to come by Lilac Lane, where spring has sprung and we're just waiting for the lilacs to bloom!

Bless you!

Love, xoxo


Jenni Renee said...

This is adorable!!! Im in the process of looking for a pattern that is semi modest for a summer wedding.

Melissa @Lilac Lane said...

Yes! This definitely passed my modesty test. It's hard to find them these days, isn't it? Thank you so much Leisel for inviting me to your blog. This was so fun.

Angela C. said...


accoupons at gmail dot com

Ana @ Don't Fear the Ripper said...

I would LOVE to win a pattern! Pick me!! :)

Amy said...

Cute! You are very talented.
llpreschool at gmail dot com

Michelle, Queen Behind the Lens! said...

What an adorable redo! You could really change up the look with different fabrics, too! Love it.

Jenny said...

great job Melissa, really looks doable. thanks for taking the time to show us the steps!

Meg said...

Very cute!

Patty said...

Very nice tutorial Melissa.

Heather said...

Cute tutorial, and I love your fabric choices!

Tringali Family said...

Looks like a fun pattern!

michal said...

it looks really great! I like what you did out of this pattern...

Kelly O. said...

super cute!

Sarah said...

I totally want this patter now!! I want to make a dress for myself!!! love it!

sarah8914 at gmail dot com

mel said...


Jennifer said...

Melissa..loving all of your work!!

Natalie said...


Peggy said...

What a great idea! I wonder how it would look on a "full figured" gal? And to think I even have some of the same fabrics in my closest!!

Unknown said...

CUTE love it!

Ana @ Don't Fear the Ripper said...

Thank you for this redo! I just got the pattern this week so I can't wait to try your variation!

Anonymous said...

so sweet and cutie!

Lila Tueller said...

I like what you did! I had actually done the very same thing, but without the pockets.
Thanks for the plug!!

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