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Pattern Hack: The Gibson Blouse Transformed

Posted by Betsy C on



This silk and lace confection has been one of my clothing crushes for awhile now. And just like it was meant to be, we keep bumping into each other. Each time it whispers "make me," and I have finally conceded, after all it is an easy make with some relatively easy pattern modifications of the Gibson Blouse. 

Here's how to do it:

1) The side front bodice is drafted higher at the center and will need to be leveled to achieve this look. Draw a straight line across from the side seam to the princess seam. Connect the princess seam to this new line. 

2) Drop the front skirt the same amount as bodice to zero at the side seam. 

3) Drop the bodice  seam a touch more to make some "boob room." For myself, as a B cup, I like add about 1/4" to zero at sides. Larger sizes can probably max out this alteration by adding 3/4" to the length. **Just remember: you will have to add this amount of length to the center front piece as well.**

4) Walk the side front bodice along the center front panel princess seam. Mark new position for bodice seam along the center front, and draw a line straight across. Cut the center front piece along this line and add the necessary seam allowances (you can also add back the bodice length at this time if you prefer).

5) Trim off the vertical seam allowances along the common seam for the bottom center front and the bottom side front. Join the bottom portion of the center front to the front skirt to make one complete piece. 

6) Raise the neckline: This diagram is my suggestion to achieve the same look as the original. However, you can use your own shape and depth preferences as well. 

**Neckline finish- suggesting bias tape finish along the top edge**

7) Take the short sleeve and extend the length 12-13" (30-33cm). The shape becomes a little odd at the cap if you just go straight down and too full if you follow the sleeve inseam angle. I suggest to add the length first then extend out 1" each side.

Make the opening the same shape and width as the short sleeve for a bluson effect. I would suggest tracing this shape and then applying to the bottom using a tracing wheel or even just taping the tracing on (this pattern does not need to win a beauty contest!) 

8) Measure a comfortable circumference for a sleeve opening that you can slide your wrist through. Make a rectangle that matches this measurement. Determine how wide you would like (suggesting 1/2"(1.2cm)) then double this. Add your seam allowance all around. 

9A) To sew the sleeve band on, gather the sleeve opening edge until the gathered measurement matches the same as the cuff band. Sew the cuff ends closed.

9B) Here's the quick way to sew your sleeve cuff on: With right sides together, sew the ends closed. Fold in half and iron flat. Sew this band to the sleeve opening, right sides together- voila! Finish the seam with your serger. 


I hope you like this tutorial and it gives you the confidence to alter your Gibson Blouse pattern and transform it into something new. 


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  • Thanks for this. I just got this pattern out this week and now I’m more excited about sewing it up. I feel free to follow your hacks because I know the armhole and bodice always fit. ;)

    Robyn on

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