A White Eyelet Blouse

Eyelet is one of those fabrics which can conjure up memories from one’s life.  So often associated with pinafores, eyelet is lovely for little girls’ dresses – and petticoats.  It is often used for lingerie or sleepwear for all ages, as well as dresses and blouses.  It is a summer fabric, with its “built-in” air conditioning – ie. all those little holes surrounded by embroidery.    Often eyelet trim – and sometimes eyelet yard goods – have one or two finished borders.  Such was the case with the eyelet I found earlier this year for the ruffled collars for sundresses for my granddaughters.  

This lace was a 14″ wide double scallop-edged panel, which I cut down the middle to use for the two collars.

It was working on those collars which convinced me I needed to make an eyelet bouse for myself.  I went back to Farmhouse Fabrics, from which I had purchased the double-sided eyelet panel for those collars, to find a suitable eyelet for a blouse.  Farmhouse Fabrics has quite an inventory of lovely eyelets, so it was difficult to decide.  But decide I did, and purchased this all-cotton eyelet made in Spain.  

I liked the meandering motif in this design.

For a pattern I used this vintage Vogue pattern from 1957.

I liked the convertible collar of this pattern, as shown in View B. A convertible collar is one which can be worn open or closed. The collar is sewn directly to the neckline.  I did, however, shorten the sleeves to below elbow-length.  I also chose to make plain, buttoned cuffs without the extra turn-back detail.  

Although the blouse is described on the pattern envelope as “tuck-in,” I liked the gently curved and split hem which would also allow me to wear the blouse as an over-blouse.  The thumbnail detail from the pattern envelope shows the curved hem.  

I lined the main body of the blouse with white cotton batiste, leaving the sleeves unlined.  To reduce bulk, I made the undercollar and the cuff facings from the white batiste.

Buttons are always a favorite component of a blouse for me.  I had a card of vintage Lady Washington Pearls which seemed a lovely complement to the scale of the fabric embroidery.  

One button remaining!

I first wore this blouse on a very warm evening to attend an outdoor concert.  I was amazed at how cool the blouse was. The little breeze there was, did indeed feel like air-conditioning as it wafted through all those embroidered holes!

In my case, this collar is not “convertible” as I did not put a button and buttonhole at the neckline!
I made the cuffs with a bit more width than needed so I can push the sleeves up further if I want.
After I finished the blouse I went back and added two narrow fisheye darts to the back to make the fit a bit more streamlined.
I think this blouse might be a good pairing for the Liberty cotton skirt featured in my last post.

Finding beautiful eyelet fabric is now on my sewing radar.   I would like to make more with this timeless, feminine and versatile type of lace. 


Filed under Blouses, Buttons - choosing the right ones, Eyelet, Lace, Mid-Century style, Sleeves, Uncategorized, vintage buttons, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1950s

26 responses to “A White Eyelet Blouse

  1. Cynthia

    Your blouse fits perfectly and it is lovely. You always make such beautiful clothes.

  2. Françoise

    Bravo ! This fabric suits you so well !

  3. I feel as I’ve gotten older I need to wear a sleeve but the struggle is to still keep cool, especially with our Queensland summers here in Australia. This beautiful blouse would be perfect. Well done

    • Thank you, Christine. I find going sleeveless into air conditioned buildings to be uncomfortable which is one reason I love a blouse with sleeves. This fabric seems to meet both needs – cool, but with just the right amount of coverage.

  4. Marosie

    Beautiful blouse in a timeless fabric. Love it!

  5. I absolutely adore everything about this blouse but the best is seeing how pretty you are wearing it!

  6. I love eyelet, and this blouse is perfection with jeans or your new skirt!

  7. Mery

    I love eyelet and yours are so pretty. The wide double edged lace for granddaughters’ lawn dresses would be pretty with anything, but their lawn fabric is superb. Your shirt ups the eyelet game too.

    In extreme heat but where there’s some breeze I have worn an unlined eyelet shirt as a jacket over a camisole with shelf bra made of cotton jersey thick enough not to show that it has been dampened for evaporative cooling. Your refined version looks much better. Much.

    • An eyelet “jacket” over a camisole sounds like a perfect solution to keeping cool – and nobody will know your little secret! I’m happy to have this cool blouse – I never knew all those little holes could actually make this fabric so comfortable in extreme heat.

  8. Christine Taylor

    That really is a smashing shirt, I love it and would like one too.

  9. salgrace

    So beautiful. I’m going to check my stash for some eyelet!

  10. Karen

    Karen, I always enjoy the little details that you add to a pattern to make it your own. Edith Head would have loved you on her team. Eyelet ruffles on sundresses and pinafores bring back such happy memories for me as a little girl. I do hope that at least one of your granddaughters will grow up learning and loving to sew and perhaps may even decide to pursue fashion as a career. You set an excellent and gracious example.

  11. Deb


  12. Elizabeth Wellons

    What a lovely blouse, Karen. I, too, love eyelet in the summer!

  13. Charlotte Huang

    Omg I love this blouse. I am trying to find one similar by scouring the internet but it seems that one produces this type of top anymore. I will literally buy one from you if you are willing to make one for me.

    • Charlotte, I’m flattered that you like this blouse so much. I do not sew for anyone except family, so I am so sorry I can’t help you with getting a copy for yourself. I have seen many eyelet tops online this summer. You might keep looking – check out Anthropologie, Gretchen Scott Designs, Tucker-something (I can’t remember the name of this store, but they have really pretty clothes). I hope you can find something comparable.

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