Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

Blouse in White Cotton Dobby Part 1


I’m currently making a copy of an old favourite. The original was probably bought about ten years ago and has been on constant rotation ever since. The reasons I think this blouse works so well are that it is white (goes with everything) and it hovers on the mid-ground when it comes to smartness; it is quite acceptable with a skirt or smart pair of trousers, but equally can be worn with more casual attire, like a pair of jeans.

RTW blouse

The original blouse

Sadly, this top has suffered from being worn to a ridiculously hot office too many times, there are some nasty yellowish stains in the underarm areas (easy to see on the photo below). Also, I managed to melt some of the trim whilst ironing it. It is really in a sorry state and because it is such a favourite I thought I’d make a copy.

RTW blouse

Close up of the original blouse

The first job was to find a suitable fabric and luckily I found a very similar fabric at Stone fabrics. It is a white cotton dobby – why tamper with a winning formula?

My next step involved taking the top apart and creating a pattern. As I had no intention of keeping the original, I was quite happy to cut it up. I traced my pattern pieces onto tracing paper and labelled them.

I spent a long time thinking about what trims to use. The original used a lot of sheer floppy trim for the ruffles and the edge of the bib. I couldn’t find anything similar to that and after a lot of deliberation I chose some velvet ribbon in grey and some wide sheer ribbon in white. I gathered the wide ribbon down the centre to create the ruffles.


I came to a realisation when I was taking the original top apart that it was actually quite a cheap top. On the front of the top, the bib yoke piece at the front had just been placed over the main front piece and the trim used to hide the raw edges of the fabric. Somehow this just seemed quite a shoddy construction technique to me. I didn’t feel comfortable just repeating this method, and so I figured out a way to give the bib yoke a tidier finish. Even though the seam was still going to covered by the trim, I just felt like I was using a finish with more finesse.


I’ve now completed the front and back of the top. I’m going to investigate using a rolled hem for the top’s hems on the body and the sleeves. I haven’t tried this method using my overlocker yet and I’m quite excited about this possibility….more to follow…..


Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

7 thoughts on “Blouse in White Cotton Dobby Part 1

  1. Looking lovely, so far so good. Good luck with the rolled gem 😀

  2. Looks very pretty and it’s always good to have a variation on the original. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished article.

  3. Looks like it will be a fab top, I could do with doing this to a couple of my old tops.

  4. Pingback: Blouse in White Cotton Dobby Part 2 | Steely Seamstress

  5. Pingback: Spotted in a White Dobby Blouse | The Monthly Stitch

  6. Cotton Dobby? I’ve never known the name of this fabric! I’m going straight to my ‘treasures box’ to find my own piece that I’ve been harbouring for years!

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