Hey, Becky Jo here!
Last fall I made a Regalia Blouse out of Liberty of London Tana Lawn to wear to a sewing event. I added a ruffle to the collar & wrists, and my daughter, Zoë, loved it so much, she requested her own with an open front, so Peggy asked me to make a tutorial for the hack. I hope it helps you realize your ruffly blouse dreams!
You will need:
- Regalia Blouse Pattern and all the items listed for the pattern
- A little extra interfacing
- Ruffle Fabric of either contrast (Zoë's blouse is light weight linen with black satin ruffles) or of main fabric like mine. Amount varies per size but no more than 1/4 yard/meter x width of fabric.
On Page 8 of your instruction booklet or in the prep section on the PDF, change instructions to interface both COLLAR pieces like we have here. This example is a polyester satin COLLAR and RUFFLES sewn to a linen BODICE and SLEEVES. Interfacing both COLLAR sides will keep it from collapsing under the weight of the RUFFLE and keep the pieces stable as you insert a layer of RUFFLE between the pieces. My light-weight cotton, printed Tana Lawn version is also interfaced on both pieces.
OPTIONAL: Moving the neck opening to the FRONT YOKE & FACING.
Moving the opening to the front isn't possible for everyone. The smaller sizes don't have enough FRONT YOKE length to make the head opening large enough to get over your head. Sizes 00 - 4 may want to make a muslin of the yokes to see if there is enough room to get it over your head.
Trace the back opening onto the front piece. Start from the bottom up. Not all of the back opening will fit on the front so you will have a smaller keyhole in the front.
This hack will require hand basting the burrito closed as mentioned on STEP 8d.
Note for Zoë, the model in the finished linen/black ruffle collar: she is wearing a size 00 and her head barely fit through. Larger sizes will likely have an easier time of it since they'll have more front yoke fabric to cut an opening.
This would also be the time you'd want to put the label on the BACK YOKE FACING piece (STEP 4a.)
Measure your size's neck opening to the curve break (see below). Multiply by 3 for a strong, highly gathered RUFFLE; multiply by 2 for a soft, less gathered RUFFLE. The examples in this tutorial are Length x 3.
To simplify process, I cut 3 strips (for the neck ruffle AND wrist ruffles), each 3 inches wide, the entire width of fabric, then cut down to 3 x length of each piece needed.
Mark the COLLAR along the top edge at the break of the curve, like shown. These are your RUFFLE insertion points. Don't sew the RUFFLE in past these points.
For the COLLAR RUFFLE, press in half length-wise and sew the ends together at 5/8 inch/1.5cm. Fold the seam allowance toward the center to maintain crisp corners then turn the strip right-side-out. Press.
Baste 2 rows along the raw edge 1/4 inch/0.5cm and scant 3/8 inch/1cm on the COLLAR RUFFLE.
Pull bobbin threads on the COLLAR RUFFLE to gather evenly until the RUFFLE is the length of the new curve break marks on the COLLAR. Pin ruffle between the 2 COLLAR pieces at STEP 1a. in the original instructions.
Sew COLLAR with RUFFLE together. Check for puckers before trimming/clipping seam allowance and understitching (1b.) If using a darker fabric that likes to fray a lot, like black satin polyester, I suggest using a zig-zag or serge the edge of the seam allowance in a lighter thread so it won't show later in the YOKE.
WRIST CUFF RUFFLES
Measure your SLEEVE A HEM FACING lengths. Don't forget there are 2 SLEEVE A HEM FACINGS, for a total of 2 RUFFLE pieces. Multiply the length by 3 for a strong, highly gathered RUFFLE; multiply by 2 for a soft, less gathered RUFFLE. The examples in this tutorial are Length x 3.
For the WRIST CUFF RUFFLES, sew together at the short ends, right sides together, at 5/8 inch/1.5cm. Press seams open, then press in half, wrong sides together, creating closed circles with the seams inside.
Baste 2 rows along the raw edge 1/4 inch/0.5cm and scant 3/8 inch/1cm on the WRIST CUFF RUFFLES. Set WRIST RUFFLES aside.
Sew STEPS 2b. to 9a, stopping before 9b. Do NOT sew the SLEEVE A HEM FACING to the sleeve, but after pressing the FACING seam allowance up 9a., skip to STEP 10a. through STEP 10d.
After STEP 10d, sew the SLEEVE A HEM FACING short ends together, press open, then repress the seam allowance as shown below.
Pull bobbin threads on WRIST RUFFLES until they are the circumference of the sleeve wrist opening; this is easiest to do around the sleeve opening. Sandwich RUFFLES between RIGHT side of SLEEVE and RIGHT side of SLEEVE FACING, aligning the seams together on the inside SLEEVE FACING. Sew the layers to the SLEEVE. This is fiddly work. Go slow, a few stitches at a time.
There's no getting around this is a fiddly part, which is why the original instructions were changed to sew the cuff facing to the sleeve before sewing the underarm sleeve seam. I find sewing it from the inside with the bulk of the wrist rotating around the foot of my machine makes it easier for me, but do what works for you and your machine.
Trim and grade the seams. Press SLEEVE FACING to the inside of the SLEEVE and pin. Sew the facing down slowly and carefully. This is also very tight and fiddly but if you go slow and steady, it can be done. Optionally, catch stitch the FACING on the inside of the SLEEVE.
Continue with hemming the bottom of your blouse through Step 13b. Both of these Regalia blouses have the optional SLEEVE HEAD POUF sewn in.
Voila! You're extra fancy!