This is a run through of the steps required for a ladies blouse and a latex blouse pattern.
Ensure the measurements on the pattern are appropriate for the wearer. Modify accordingly. When modifying the pattern do a final check that edges that are to be joined are the same length.
Print out the pattern onto lining paper. (My other hobby being photography i’m lucky enough to have an A3 printer that can take roll paper. If you only have an A4 printer you may need some sellotape, and to ensure that it has printed life-size.)
Cut out all the parts. Take care that corners that are supposed to be right angles remain so when cut. If you have kept an old blade for the rotary cutter that is too dull to cut latex, then now is a good time to make use of it.
Trace the pattern pieces onto the matt side of the latex sheet (my patterns are labelled assuming with this assumption). This avoids getting unwanted pen marks on the good side.
Take special care with pieces that are intended to be doubled up. These will say ‘Mirror Image’ along a dot-dash-dot line. When arranging the pattern pieces be sure to take this into account.
Most pieces will require both a Left and Right version. The pattern piece says whether it is L or R. Flip it over and draw its mirror image and label it accordingly. It is easy later on two glue the wrong two pieces together.
Ensure that all necessary marks are transferred to the latex. Including:
– the piece name, L or R, and version (in case you revise the pattern later)
– ‘glue shiny’ or ‘glue matt’ on each edge
– the gluing sequence
– any alignment marks.
Double-check that you have marked the latex up fully. That each piece that should have a counterpart does have (and that they are mirror images not identical), and that pieces that are supposed to be doubled-up have been.
Cut out all of the pieces.
Some clearly marked edges are best left untrimmed until after construction. The provides a little leniency when joining long edges together. If you end up a few millimetres out then you adjust the final trim of the edge accordingly.
Prepare all edges on the front insert panels and the front side panels. Preparing all edges allows the application of the glue whilst the piece is capable of laying perfectly flat. This makes it far easier to apply the glue consistently and neatly. Protect cleaned and glued edges with cling film strip.
Attach the breast insert panel to the front side panel. Starting at the inside (XXX mark up the pattern with an arrow for each join).
Prepare the front main panels. Prepare all edges except the buttoning edge.
Join the front side panel to the front main panel starting at the arm hole. It can be useful to mark the edge every 5cm using a flexible ruler. This allows you to check when attaching the pieces that you aren’t unduly stretching one of the pieces (in which case the ends won’t marry up).
Prepare the edges of the back panel. Glue the front panels to the back panel.
Build the collar. Prepare both sides of the neck hole.
Prepare both collar bands. These will eventually (not yet!) be stuck together with matt sides together.
Attach one of the collar bands to the matt side of the blouse. Note that we have (unusually) joined matt sides together. This is because the collar needs to fold over when worn.
Prepare the collar. Attach the collar to the collar band. Notice that if the blouse is shiny side up, then the collar is matt side up.
Attach the other collar band.
Notice that we left the ends of the collar bands unfinished (we cut them roughly 5mm longer than the pattern). Contrary to the pictures here do not allow the last 30mm of the collar bands to join yet. Protect their glued surfaces with cling film.
After the collar is inserted, prior to finalising the trimming of the end of the collar band:
Prepare to add the sleeves. Note that inserting sleeves is MUCH easier whilst the armscye is open, that is, before closing the side seams.
The top edge of the sleeve is 60mm longer than the armscye because we’re going to pleat the sleeve to give it some volume.
The two sleeves are glued slightly differently so that they are mirror images of each other rather than identical. This is so that in step 12 we have a prepared seam that stems all the way from the sleeve edge to the end of the side seam.
Prepare all edges of the sleeve panel.
Prepare the space between the two lines on the matt and then pinch them together.
Then lift the cling film from the shiny edge and fold the pinches back so that they are flat. Fold toward the back of the sleeve.
The mid point of the sleeve lines up with a point on the back panel 20mm back from the edge of the back panel.
Attach sleeve into armscye ensuring that the ends meet up with. You may need to apply a little, consistent, stretch to achieve this. Mark both pieces at 2cm intervals and check the number of marks tallies.
Once both sleeves are attached you should have something like this:
Note that I left putting pleats in the cuffs of the sleeves until much later. But it would be easier to put the pleats and piping on now.
Now close the previously prepared side seams. Start at the armpit. Stick the seam moving from the armpit towards to the end of the sleeve. Then from the armpit down the side seam.
Prepare the button strips.
Prepare two lengths of cotton tape using Copydex and allow to dry thoroughly.
Apply masking tape to the matt side of the blouse and the shiny side of the button strip. Then clean and apply glue to the gloss side of the blouse and the matt side of the button strip. Use an old credit card to apply the wide area of glue in one sweep. Use masking tape to define the area that is to be glued.
Lay the prepared cotton strip onto the blouse in the centre of the glued area.
The picture below is misleading, the cotton strip extends all the way into the collar band. The only reason that it does not appear to do so is because it is shown with the collar band already stuck to the cotton tape. See the picture in step 16.
Apply the button strip and remove all masking tape.
Do the same process on the other side. Note that on both sides we are gluing the button strip to the shiny side.
Once both sides are done you will now have something like this:
Now that all the main panels and button strips are attached trim the bottom edge all the way around.
Decide on the placement of the poppers, then measure and space out consistently.
Mark the exact positions on the matt side of both sides.
Attach the poppers. Be sure to follow male/female convention as to which side goes on top. The main popper part gets attached to the opposite side that you would sew a button on to.
Cut out the flouncy trims. Note that the shape of these is such that when the inner curve is applied to a straight edge then the outer curve produces a nice effect.
Also cut out the trim for these flouncy curves in a contrasting colour.
Apply the trim to BOTH sides of each flounce.
Clean and apply glue along the edge of the button strip and onto the collar band.
Attach the flounce, starting at the collar band.
After doing both sides, you should have this:
Pleat the outer bottom edge of the seam. It would have been slightly easier to prepare this edge first.
Cut the trim for the sleeves and create the bows.