The Regalia Blouse Sewing Tutorial

Hello there and welcome to the Regalia Blouse sewing tutorial!

Hang on to your hats because this is a long post. Instead of breaking it up into two separate parts, I've just spilled the entire tutorial in one big long blog post. I'm sure most of you are here for the burrito method of clean finishing the yokes. That's a tricky thing to show in photos but I've attempted to do so. We also have a YouTube video for those who need to see it a little more clearly. There is a separate tutorial for the optional Sleeve Head Pouf here

I will be sewing up the short sleeved version of this blouse but I also mocked up the long sleeve so you can see how to sew both versions. If you'd like more details on the garment itself, see this blog post. I used three different colors of linen fabric so that you will be able to better see the burrito method. The Yokes and Cuffs are mustard, the Collar Facing and Yoke Facings are berry/maroon and the Body, Sleeves and Collar are yarn dyed pink. For the long sleeves A, we've just done a mock up and used scrap fabric so the long sleeve is an orange color.


Fabric & Sundries - Some lightweight woven fabric, lightweight fusible interfacing and thread. You will also need a small amount of tulle if you want to make the optional Sleeve Head Pouf. I prefer fine mesh tulle because it's less scratchy against the skin.

Fabric Suggestions - It's best to use something like a cotton voile, cotton lawn or lightweight linen. If you use something too drapey like a rayon challis, the sleeves tend to lose their oomph but maybe that's the look you are going for and in that case, go for it. Quilting cottons are tempting but tend to be too stiff and thick and will make your gathers stiff. 

Additional Tools (besides the obvious) - A sturdy safety pin or some sort of tube turning device and a hand sewing needle (most likely but not definitely). 


Now let's get this party started!

First we are going to stay stitch the necklines of the the Front Yoke and Facing and Back Yoke and Facing pieces to keep them from stretching out.  


Start your stay stitching about 1/4”/6 mm away from the top edge. Stitch from the shoulder to the center front or center back on both sides. Try not to stretch out the fabric as you sew.


Next we are going to apply the lightweight fusible interfacing pieces to their respective parts. Fuse the Collar Interfacing piece to the wrong side of the Collar piece that will be used as the facing.

Apply the Back Yoke Opening Interfacing to the wrong side of the back opening on the Back Yoke the one that will be used as the facing). This is important to keep the lower keyhole V from ripping (believe me I know from experience). 

If doing the short sleeve version, apply the Sleeve B Cuff Interfacing pieces to the wrong sides of one half of the Sleeve B Cuff pieces.


Making the collar - With right sides together, match the Collar and Collar Facing together along the unnotched edges and pin in place. 


Stitch around the upper edge of the Collar at 3/8”/10 mm seam allowance, leaving the bottom open. 


Grade the seam by trimming the outer Collar portion of the seam. Clip and notch the seam allowances at the curves.


Press the seam allowances toward the Collar Facing with your fingers. Open the Collar pieces as best you can, exposing the right sides of the fabric and the seam line. Understitch along the Collar Facing catching the seam allowances underneath and finger pressing the seam open as you go. Stitch as much of the length as you can without causing wrinkles. It is pretty tricky to understitch around the curved ends so stop when it gets too difficult.


Turn the Collar right side out and press. Baste the bottom open edges together 1/4"/6mm from the edge.


The understitched Facing side of the Collar shown below.


Now is a great time to add a label (if you choose to add one). Center the label between the back keyhole opening and the bottom edge on the Back Yoke. Remember that there is a 5/8"/16mm seam allowance on the bottom and the V of the keyhole is stitched 3/4"/19mm below the cut opening.


Back Neck Ties - With right sides together, fold the Back Neck Tie in half lengthwise and stitch together with a 3/8"/10mm seam allowance.


Attach a sturdy safety pin to one end of the Back Neck Tie. The pin should only go through one layer. You can add some masking tape to the safety pin head if you are worried about it coming open during the process of turning out the Tie. 


Turn the safety pin to the inside of the tunnel and inchworm it down the inside of the Tie tunnel until.....


...It's right side out.


Cut the Back Neck Tie in half forming two Ties. You can either finish the ends by tying a knot and trimming the ends or turning the raw edges back inside the tunnel and machine stitching the ends or hand sewing the ends. One of each is shown below.


If you are making the Waist Tie/Belt, you will make it the same way as the Back Neck Ties however, you will need to stitch the two pieces together and press the seam open before folding and sewing it. 


Shoulder seams - With right sides together, pin the shoulders of the Front and Back Yokes together and pin the shoulders of the Front and Back Yoke Facings together as well. 



Stitch the shoulder seams together with a 5/8"/16mm seam allowance - both the Yoke and Yoke Facings. Trim the seams of the Yoke only (not the Yoke Facing) so that the seams will be graded once the Yoke and Yoke Facings are put together. 


 Press the seams open.


Below you can see how the shoulder seams will be graded once put together.


Next we will attach the Collar to the Yoke.


With right sides together, pin the Collar to the Yoke aligning the notches. 


Make sure that the understitched/facing side of the Collar is facing outward and will be inside once the Collar is upright. 


The end of the Collar will stop at the notch near the edge of the Back Yoke opening.


Attach the Collar to the Yoke with a 3/8”/10 mm seam allowance. I like to baste the Collar to the Yoke with a long stitch so that it is easy to take out if some of the stitching shows once you attach the Facings and secure it in place.


Align the short, untied ends of the Back Neck Ties to the Back Yoke opening at the top back neck. Place the ends of the Ties 1/4"/6mm below the Collar seam. Stitch in place with a 3/8"/10mm seam allowance and reinforce with a zig-zag stitch or extra back and forth stitching within the seam allowance. There will be tension on the ties so it's good to have a little reinforcement.


With right sides together, align the Yoke Facing to the Yoke at the neckline and back opening aligning the shoulder seams and notches. Sandwich the the Back Neck Ties and the Collar between the Yoke and Yoke Facing. The Collar and Ties should be facing towards the inside. Pin in place. 


With the YOKE side up at your sewing machine and using a 3/8”/10mm seam allowance, stitch around the neck, stopping at the center back opening.



Next pin the Back Yoke and Back Yoke Facing together at the back keyhole opening.  Measure and mark 3/4"/19mm down from the bottom V so you have a clear turning point visual. You can mark with chalk or a pin.


Then start at the top center back and continue down the back opening using a 3/8”/10mm seam allowance.Taper the stitching towards the bottom of the back keyhole opening so that it comes to a point at the center back about 3/4”/19mm below the slit. Then continue back up to the other side of the top center back. Clip the V close to the seam but not through it.


Turn the Yoke right side out and inspect the collar, making sure there are no puckers or stitching showing. If all looks good, turn inside out again and Clip and notch the curves of the neckline close to the 3/8”/10mm seam allowance but not through it. Grade the collar/neck seam allowances and give it a good pressing.


Gathering the Lower Bodices - Set your machine stitch length to the longest option (baste stitch) and stitch 1/4”/6mm away from the top of the Lower Bodice between the notches.

Make another row of stitching about 1/2”/13 mm away from the edge, parallel to the first row of stitching. Leave the thread tails long and do not backstitch.


Pull the bobbin thread tails to gather and adjust gathers as needed until the top of the Lower Front Bodice is the same length as the Front Yoke and Lower Back Bodice the same as the Back Yoke. You can fully adjust the gathers when you pin the Lower Bodice to the Yoke.


 With right sides together, pin the Lower Bodices to their respective Yokes. Align notches and adjust and even out the gathers as you go. I like to taper the gathers slightly at the start and finish sides.


With the gathering facing up when you're at your sewing machine, stitch the Lower Bodices to their respective Yokes using 5/8"/16mm seam allowances. 


Burrito Method for clean finishing the Yoke Facings. 

Lay the garment out flat, right side facing up. 


Roll the Lower Front Bodice up until it's within the Yoke area. The Yoke Facings should be free and unattached.


Now roll the Lower Back Bodice up until it is also within the Yoke area. 


Next grab the bottom edge of the Front Yoke Facing. 


Bring that bottom Front Yoke Facing edge under and all the way around the rolled up pieces until.... matches up with the Front Yoke to Lower Front seam.


Pin the Front Yoke Facing to the seam all the way across.


Stitch the seam in place following along the seam that is already there.

This is called the “Burrito Method” because all of the pieces are enclosed in the Yoke Facings like a burrito.

Turn the garment right side out by gently pulling it out of one side of the Yoke around the arm area - apologies I can't find a photo of this.


Inside - showing the clean finished Front Yoke Facing seam.  


Now we're going to do the same Burrito Method with the Back. 

Lay the garment out flat with the right side facing up.


Roll the Lower Bodices up until they are in the Yoke area.



Then grab the free edge of the Back Yoke Facing and bring it under and all the way around the rolled up stuff until it meets the Back Yoke to Lower Back seam.


Pin in place.


Pin from each end and work towards the center. 

It's most likely that you won't be able to pin or sew the entire length of the seam. It depends on the fabric type and size that you are making. If you are using a fine fabric such as voile you may be able to do the entire seam in one pass. If you are using linen, it will most likely be too thick to do in one pass and you will need to leave an opening.  


Sew the seam following the previous stitching (5/8"/16mm seam allowance).

Use a needle and thread to hand stitch the opening closed - later, after it's turned right side out.


Gently pull one end of the rolled up stuff until the garment is reversed.


Give your yoke seams a nice press.

The clean finished insides. Notice the gap that has been pressed and is ready to hand stitch closed.


 Baste the Yoke & Yoke Facing together at the armhole/shoulder within the seam allowance.


Long Sleeve A - We mocked this up with scraps so the long sleeve fabric is a different color from the short sleeve version.  For Short Sleeve B, skip to the Gathering of the Sleeve head a bit further down. 

Fold the unnotched, long edge of the Sleeve Hem Facings to the wrong side at 3/8"/10mm and press. 

With right sides together, pin the Sleeve Hem Facing to Sleeve A at the bottom, notched edge. 


Stitch the Sleeve Hem Facing to the Sleeve with a 5/8”/16 mm seam allowance.


Press the seam allowance towards the facing and understitch on the facing side, catching the seam allowance in the stitching. Press the Sleeve Hem Facing towards the inside along the seam.


Both long Sleeve A and Short Sleeve B.

Gathering the Sleeves - Set your machine stitch length to the longest option (baste stitch) and stitch 1/4”/6mm away from the top of the Sleeve head between the notches.

Make another row of stitching about 1/2”/13 mm away from the edge, parallel to the first row of stitching. Leave the thread tails long and do not backstitch.

For short sleeves B, make these two rows of basting stitches again on the bottom of the sleeve between the notches.


Form the gathers by gently pulling the bobbin thread tails.


With right sides together, pin the Sleeve to the armhole. Start by aligning the top Sleeve head notch to the shoulder seam.


Adjust the gathers to fit as you pin. Even out the gathers for the most part, however, I usually make the gathers slightly denser at the shoulder seam and tapered off a bit at the beginning and ending notches.


With the gathered side of the sleeve facing up when at your sewing machine, stitch the Sleeve to the armhole using a 5/8"/16mm seam allowance. 


Inspect the gathers from the right side to be sure there aren't any puckers.

Repeat with the second Sleeve.


Finish the seams with a serger or zig-zag stitch and press them towards the Sleeve.


With right sides together, align the underarms and notches of the side seams and pin in place.


Stitch the side seams together with a 5/8"/16mm seam allowance. Finish the seams with a serger or zig-zag stitch and press them towards the back.

 Long Sleeve A

Unfold the pre-pressed bottom edge of the Hem Facing before sewing up the side seams.


Fold the Sleeve Hem Facing to the inside of the Sleeve A along the seam. Press and pin the Facing in place and then secure it by edgestitching next to the inside folded edge. Press.


It can be difficult to stitch the hem of the sleeve because the opening is small but it can be done. It's a little easier if you stitch it while it's inside out so you can follow along the folded edge of the Facing.


Making the Sleeve Cuffs (Short Sleeve B). 

With wrong sides together, fold the Sleeve Cuff in half and press. Then turn up the non-interfaced edge 3/8"/10mm and press.


With right sides together, stitch the short ends of the Sleeve Cuff together in the round and press open.

Tip - I like to baste them so that if I need to adjust the size of the Cuff, it's easy to unpick. 


I highly recommend trying on the Sleeve Cuff before attaching it to the Sleeve.

I noticed a big difference in arm sizes of the pattern testers during testing.

You can see here that the cuff is a little large. You should be able to fit two fingers in the cuff when wearing it but it shouldn't be much looser than that. This cuff will be unpicked and restitched with about 3/4" taken out. 


Turn the garment AND the Sleeve Cuff inside out. Fit the Sleeve Cuff over the Sleeve so that the right side of the Sleeve Cuff is facing the wrong side of the Sleeve. The interfaced, non-turned up side of the Sleeve Cuff should be matched up to the raw edge of the Sleeve opening. 


Gently pull the thread tails of the Sleeve gathers and adjust the gathers to fit while pinning the Sleeve Cuff in place. 


Stitch the Sleeve Cuff in place with a 5/8"/16mm seam allowance.


 Turn the Sleeve Cuff down.


Turn the garment right side out.


Now turn the Sleeve Cuff up at the center foldline so that the folded edge of the Cuff covers the Sleeve to Cuff seam. Pin in place.


Edgestitch the Sleeve Cuff in place.


Hem - Turn the bottom hem up 3/8"/10mm and press.


Turn the bottom hem up again 1 1/2"/3.8cm and press. 


Pin in place.


Edgestitch the hem in place from the inside and VOILA! You're done!



Unless you'd like to add a tulle Sleeve Head Pouf to your sleeve for a little extra volume. If so, visit this blog tutorial


Thanks for joining us! I hope you love your blouse.

We'd love to see your Regalia Blouse - #regaliablouse .