Eve: the any day, everywhere pleated blouse

pleated blouseMany of you may remember the very popular project we published recently featuring Bali the Reversible Skirt.  When we were shooting the photos for this post, we chose to use a white pleated blouse to complement the skirt.  While the skirt was very well received and many of our members made the project, we ended up getting as many questions about the blouse the model was wearing as we did about the skirt!

pleated blouse

So this week I decided to make a pattern and project for this attractive pleated blouse.

About the name: Eve, the any day blouse, why the name?  According to the Bible, Eve was the first mother.  As mothers go, once you are a mother, you will always be a mother.  So in the lead up to Mother’s Day, I wanted to share this blouse tutorial with you as a gift for all the women who play many roles as mothers, wives, friends and daughters.

So here is a blouse to represent you all in many different activities.  For lunch with a friend, taking a long trip, or going to the doctors or even hiking, this blouse will do it all depending on what fabric you choose.  I have chosen silk because of the breath-ability in the soaring temperatures particularly where I live here in Singapore.  This is a blouse that will look great with shorts, pencil skirts, skinny jeans, pajama pants, and goes fantastic under a suit.

The blouse will accommodate a bust and hips from 34″ to 54″ in width.

The best part?  For intermediate level sewers, this project is super easy to make.  I hope you enjoy!


  • 1 1/2 yards of Silk, Georgette, Satin, Crepe, or Rayon. It must drape and cling to the body.
  • Suggested fabrics:  SatinCrepe, or Challis Rayon (this is what is used in the white version in the photos)
  • 1 yard of 1 inch bias tape for beginners.  For experienced sewers, 1/2 inch satin bias is an option.  Or you can make your own.
  • Sewing thread
  • Size 9 sewing needle.  We always use Schmetz.
  • Rotary cutter and a large mat.  Fiskars makes a good set if you don’t have one.
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (optional)

Pattern Measurements

Please allow 8- 12 inches of ease for this blouse, you can wear it a bit tighter if you wish.  Extra small does mean for an extra small person.  The design of the blouse is to allow easy on the fabric does not mean that a person with  a 49 inch bust can wear the XS.   Body bust measurements  30″ to 44″ inches.

Warning:  This is not a plus size blouse despite of the measurements given below. pleated blouse

Here are the pattern measurements.pleated blouse

Step One: Download, print and assemble the free pattern

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Download the Free Pattern

You can download the pattern and instructions for the Eve, Pleated Blouse from our account at Craftsy.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

Step Two: Wash the fabric

Pre-washing is crucial step if you are using a fabric with natural fibers.  If you are not sure what’s the composition of the fabric you have on hand, check out this YouTube video on how to test for the presence of polyester in your fabric.

This step is best done at night before going to bed.  You can leave the fabric to air dry away from sunlight.  Iron the fabric on a low temperature and you are ready to start cutting.

Step Three: Cut the fabric

Because we are using a very slinky material, (I am using a printed silk satin) it is crucial that we find the grain of the fabric.  For a way to find the grain and more tips on cutting fabric please visit our tutorial: 5 Mistakes to avoid when cutting fabric.

The use of weights when cutting with a rotary cutter is a widely accepted practice, however make sure you have a very sharp blade otherwise your fabric will move around causing you to waste your time having to align the edges of the fabric again.  It is best to weigh down the fabric and pin in a few places especially around the curves.

The front part is cut on fold and the back has two pieces.

TIP:  I cut my fabric with wrong side facing because I am going to make a French seam.  This makes it easier to take the fabric pieces straight to the machine.  For guidance on How to sew a French Seam, please review this tutorial.

Mark the pleats clearly with a notch to indicate the fold lines and placement of pleats.

Step Four: Make the bias tape

Making your own bias tape would be the ideal ideal way to use the leftover of the fabric.  To do this, simply cut a 2 inch strip to make the 1 inch bias. pleated blouse I am using a contrasting color and a smaller size.  I would prefer to match the bias to the rest of the blouse, but for tutorial purpose I am using a contrasting color so the details stand out.  For more information and guidance on Making continuous bias binding tape, please review this tutorial.

Step Five: Sew the back

You can use your serger, to finish the seams if you want, but because of the delicate nature of silk and satin, the French seam is the best seam to use to sew the blouse.  Start by sewing the back at 3/8″, iron the seam to one side and turn the piece, iron again.

pleated blouseSew again at 3/8″.

pleated blousePin the bias tape to the keyhole in the back and sew.  Follow the first crease of the bias tape or the one closest to the edge of the fabric.

pleated blouse

I am using a very thin bias tape.  If you are not used to sewing with slippery fabric or sewing bias tape, please use a 1 inch tape which will be easier.  If you are an experienced sewer, go ahead and use the satin 1/2″ bias tape.

Trim the threads of the fabric if it is unraveling, but not too close because it will be difficult to catch the edge of the fabric inside the tape.pleated blouse

Iron the fabric, and fold the bias making sure the end of the tape will cover the stitch you just made and sew.

Step Six: Make the pleats

In the pattern, there are two fold lines and one placement line per pleat.

pleated blousepleated blouseYou will be making three pleats that fold to the right and three pleats that fold to the left.

Stay stitch the pleats.

pleated blouse

Step Seven: Assembling your pleated blouse

Using a straight stitch, then a serger, sew the shoulders. You can use a french seam.

pleated blouseSew the sides the same way you did the shoulders.


pleated blouse

Step Eight: Finish the neck

Apply bias tape to the neck.  For a more detailed explanation on how to apply bias tape to the neck follow this on how to Use bias tape for a neckline or arm hole facing.

I have done it a bit different, this technique is highly recommended when using stretch fabrics, except that when using stretch fabric you need to make the tape slightly smaller.  In our case it needs to be exactly the same length of the opening of the neck.

Measure the neck of the size you are making and cut the same amount plus 5/8″

Sew both ends of the tape using 5/8″ seam to make a loop.pleated blouse

On the right side of the fabric, pin the loop seam to the shoulder seam, you will be able to adjust the tape if it is too tight or too loose using the 5/8″ allowance.  If you measured correctly, you will have no adjustments to make.  pleated blousePay special attention when pinning the tape to the key hole area.  pleated blouseThe keyhole should be pinned side by side with no gaps. pleated blouse Cut the seam allowance of the loop by half.  This will allow you to turn the tape easier.  Proceed to sew the bias tape all around to the neck. Turn and pin again, this time making sure you grab the back of the tape.  Sew very carefully either on the gap between the fabric and the tape or slightly on the edge of the tape.  This is part of your designer discretion.  pleated blousepleated blouse

Step Nine: Sew the hems

You can finish the hem and the sleeves in a number of ways and it will all depend on your taste.

Use the serger to clean the edges, then fold about 2/8″ and sew.  Use a twin needle to make a good looking hem.  For additional guidance on How to use a twin needle, please review this tutorial.

You could also use a roll hem foot and finish both the sleeves and hem with it.  But, what happens when you do not have a rolled hem foot or a serger?

This is what you can do.

Choose a small zigzag setting, I am using number 2.  Starting with your needle no wider than the space of the foot. About 2/8″.pleated blouseHere is how it should look.  You could fold about 3/8″ and sew the hem with a straight stitch. pleated blouseTurn the hem 2/8″ or 3/8″ and sew.  For the sleeves you can make it even narrower if you want.pleated blouse

It has taken me a bit over an hour to make this pleated blouse.  It’s pretty easy to make for intermediate sewers yet has a great deal of functionality and can be worn with skinny jeans, shorts, pencils skirts, or pajama pants this blouse will look great under a blazer as well.  Please enjoy and happy sewing!

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Download the Free Pattern

You can download the pattern and instructions for the Eve, Pleated Blouse from our account at Craftsy.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

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42 Responses to Eve: the any day, everywhere pleated blouse

  1. Kim says:

    In step 1 you say to allow 8-12 inches of ease in this blouse – does this mean we need to add the extra inches for the ease or is it already in the marked sizes? I measure – Bust 40 and waist 37 – Thanks for all the patterns and videos I love them.

  2. Jw says:

    What is the width of the fabric you are using? I have 2 yards of 36″ wide silk. Would that work for this pattern?

  3. Ruth Hornsby says:

    Hi, the pattern looks great and I am looking forward to the finished article, but i am just having a little problem with placing the bias around the key hole at the back. It doesn’t seem to be scooped enough so that at the point of the back central french seam it falls more of a ‘V’ shape than a curve. I have to admit I’ve not used bias before so have bought some to use, but even before placing the bias it looks more V shaped. Any tips?? thank you. kind regards, Ruth

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Ruth I think a video is long over due. You need to spread the key hole open so you can sew, try and let me know if you have any problems

  4. I have some tissue weight knit fabric. Would it would with this pattern?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Brittany, I think it could work just check you choose the right size for you. Let me know how you go with it.


    Hi Mayra, I am so excited about this blouse. I have made several items from you So Easy Gals that I love. However, I don’t know what I am doing wrong or just plain don’t get when it comes to fit. I have measured myself or my daughter 10 times for every project. I look at the recommended size charts. My bust is 41.5 so I round up to 42 inches. I have tried measuring the pattern to fine the fit… I would take a 21 inches plus the seam allowance. But I know there will be extra fabric due to the pleats but your size chart says a size small is 50 inches…. sorry but now I am not sure what size to make. Help please

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Debra, yes I can see the confusion I will try to amend the first opportunity, for your size I would go with Large, it wont look large because of the fabric it needs to drape close to the body. Hope that helps, let me know how it went. Many thanks for your feedback!

  6. Rosemary Harradine says:

    Is this style flattering for a large bust? Sometimes pleated styles just look too voluminous to be flattering.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Yes this is true, how large is large? all depends in what part of the world you are, then again if you have an hourglass figure and you mark your waist, I think you can pull it as long as you use a soft fabric that drapes well. You can also reverse the look of the pleats, inside out. The pleats will drape differently done the other way around. Another thing you can do is to top stitch about 3 inches from the top of the pleat, flattening the drape or the fabric on the chest a bit. Let me know if yu decide to make it and how all works out for you.
      Kind Regards,

  7. Harriet says:

    What are the seam allowances for this pattern?

  8. YvonneJinks says:

    Lovely pattern, goes together easily. if anyone is concerned that the numbers on the pattern out-line do not correlate to the actual downloaded pages, do not be worried just put them together in numerical order. A quick easy pattern

  9. kitblue says:

    Love the sizing chart. Makes me feel normal!

  10. ALEXA LITTLE says:

    This looks like an ideal blouse pattern but how do I know what size to cut out? I have searched your site and also Craftsy to find a size chart with body measurements for the various sizes. Maybe I have just over-looked this.

  11. Judy P says:

    I too would like to know how to add length to the sleeve. Would I just enlarge the arm hole slightly and then cut the sleeve longer?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hello Judi, Yes but to know how much more please measure around your arm where the armpit begins and measure the pattern on the size you want plus a bit more for ease. Then, take that measurement of your arm and divided by half, use this measurement to raise the shoulder seam and lower the sleeve curve, just extend those 2 lines as far as you want the sleeve to go. What is important here is to maintain the proportions of the blouse. Long sleeves on this blouse will make the person look larger than it is, try using a darker shade of print than the ones I have used. Do use a fabric that drapes well. Good luck with the project! Please let me know how you go.

  12. Dara says:


  13. Debra Kagawa says:

    I’ve looked and looked for the sizing 🙁 Can you please direct me to where you have the sizing or can you repeat it here? Thanks

  14. Adelheid says:

    This is so so kind of you to respond to our wishes and to share the pattern with us.

    Thank you very much.

  15. Beautiful! I have a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow that features your free pattern: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=87732 –Anne

  16. Tammy says:

    Where is the sizing information? I’ve read the entire pattern and don’t see it anywhere.

  17. Lindi says:

    First let me start by saying I LOVE your site!
    I am using Ms IE 11 web browser. When I click on the download button it takes me to http://shareasale.com and nothing happens, I get a white page.
    Again thank you for all your hard work. I greatly appreciate it.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Lindi, no idea what is happening, I just tryed the link and it worked fine, could you perhaps clear your cache and try again? Hope that helps!

  18. Carolyne says:

    Oh, thank you! I’ve been eyeing a similar blouse with a key hole & bow… I had no idea how to add the bias tape to a key hole closure! Now I can make my own with my own fabric choice!

  19. Angela says:

    Beautiful Blouse! What is the sizing information for this pattern? i.e. XL fits what bust/hip measurements?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Angela, the blouse in XL would be 52″ for the bust and 50″ for the waist. Cheers!

  20. This is a great pattern but I notice there is no indication of size measurements like with other patterns. Did I miss this somewhere? Thanks a lot for making this a free pattern.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Yes I have updated the post to give you an idea of how wide the blouse can be made, it is a generous pattern and very easy to adjust. Hope you make it! Kind Regards,

  21. Kimberelle Martin says:

    I love this blouse and it will be an asset to my wardrobe.
    Can you tell me how I could possible lengthen or have sleeves?

  22. faden(r)echt says:

    Thanks for this pattern for nice blouse that can be worn in such a variety.
    I love your site.
    Kind regards from Germany,

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