Sunday, September 14, 2014

Female Hobbit Costume -- Chemise/Blouse


I've made some progress with my sewing commissions! For the Female Hobbit Costume, the customer wanted a light beige peasant-style shirt with short sleeves. I chose unbleached cotton muslin because of the "natural" look of the material, which my client specifically recommended.

I turned to my standby peasant chemise/blouse pattern, Butterick 6196, a Butterick "Making History" pattern which I used to make several Italian Tarantella Dancing Costumes.

I made the FHC chemise/blouse using the revised instructions in my post Butterick 6196 Pattern Hacks & Tips, except that I only used a french seam for the seam connecting the raglan sleeves to the front and back of the garment. I stitched and then serged the seam that runs from the wrist, to underarm, to torso, to shirt hem. Contrary to Butterick 6196's original instructions, I hemmed the sleeves before putting in the elastic, which is much easier and faster and produces a cleaner look. Instead of using single fold bias tape to create the elastic casing at the neckline, as per the original instructions, I just folded down the neckline and created a hem wide enough to accommodate the elastic.

Butterick 6196

I also shortened the sleeve considerably so that the elastic cuff would sit at my client's elbow. My pattern went up to a size 16; I added 1" to that size when cutting the material.

I wanted to try something new for the photos in this post! Since I have had success taking photos with a foamboard "studio" in the past, I decided to pin the chemise/blouse to the foamboard--my mannequin would just not have shown this blouse justice! Though the foamboard was expensive, it is a worthwhile investment and I recommend that you buy a few sheets, too.


This garment was really fun to sew, especially in such a well-behaved fabric like muslin (damn you polyester chiffon!). I highly recommend to anyone on the market for a Hobbit/Renaissance Faire/Peasant/Costume chemise/blouse to purchase this pattern because I honestly think it is the nicest chemise/blouse pattern the Big 3 have. One word of caution: DISREGARD THE PATTERN'S INSTRUCTIONS because they are completely wackadoo and will leave you with wonky seams, fraying edges and several migraines.

Do you have a favorite "tried and true" costume pattern?