Free shipping on orders over $200

Mc Call's M8181 - Peasant Blouse

Posted by Simina Mattoo on

Sewing Level: Intermediate
Pattern Sizes: 6-8-10-12-14
Pattern Size I Made: 10 (about a size 4 in Canada)
Personal Opinion: There were many easy seams & a few difficult ones (uhmmmmmm k that's not very helpful is it?....) don't worry I will go into detail about this below.
Fabric Choice: Petit Fleurs Blue 100% Cotton - $7/M on our website


While setting up shop at the beginning of May I came to the realization that it'd be a good idea to have a few samples made up using fabrics that I would have in the store. I rummaged through my stash of patterns that would be in the store and knew immediately that this was a must! 


I absolutely LOVE creating blouses and here are a few reasons why:

1. You can get extremely creative when choosing the type of fabric you're going to use (example: cotton, silk, satin, chiffon, etc.)  as well as if you want to use a print or solid

2. There are a few components to a shirt which means I get to practice more sewing techniques (set in sleeve, cuffs, buttonholes & buttons, gathering, etc.)

3. I get to add a cute blouse to my wardrobe! (That's the most important...right?)

Let's continue....

Before designing, laying out and cutting I ALWAYS read the back of the pattern as well as the pattern instructions. Why you might ask?

1.Because I gain an understanding of how much fabric will be needed as well as the type I will have to sew with (woven/knit)

2. I know if I have all the notions or if I need to purchase some

3. It gives me a good indication of whether this pattern is within my capabilities as well as an idea of a timeline. You see, I have this problem where I like to start sewing projects and complete 90% of it and then put it to the side to finish the remaining 10%. However, I had the motivation of knowing this would be a store sample so it was imperative that I followed through 100%

4. I hate to admit it, but I really dislike cutting the pattern & fabric so it also lets me know how many pieces I will be working with (body, lining, interfacing etc.). Surprisingly, this pattern did require interfacing, lining, and body fabric but due to the small scale of the pattern pieces it didn't turn me off.

After reading through the aforementioned details, I decided that I was willing to take this project on!

I decided to use 100% cotton fabric as it is easy to sew with and it creates a structured garment which is perfectly suited for this pattern. Much of the sewing went smoothly - there's mainly straight seams and a few princess seams. FYI princess seams can be difficult to sew with as there is a curve involved. ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS use a lot of pins when pinning your pattern pieces with princess seams together & clip the seam to let out any tension along the curve (it helps immensely). 

For this pattern I would highly suggest you take the notches & markings seriously - luckily I did and it saved me a lot of stress! If you look closely at the neckline it is squared in certain parts & the sewing instructions on this part were not clear at all in my opinion. Your stitching has to meet at the circle marking on two of the blouse pieces quite perfectly & there is no pivoting involved. If you run into trouble at this step, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will do my best to explain in more detail. 

I used our magnetic seam guide to ensure all my seams were sewn accurately & it was a lifesaver! My body & facing lined up PERFECTLY and I owe it all to this little guy. 


The sleeves involve some gathering between the shoulder markings and at the cuff - it was fairly simple since I used cotton. Remember, for gathering you should change your stitch length to a 4-4.5 (or longer) and leave a tail at the beginning & end of your stitch so it is easier to gather. 

Before doing the closure I tried the blouse on & everything fit well except for the bust & waist - it was too big so I had to re-think my closure. After a week of overthinking, I decided that I wanted to try something different so I opted for a tie closure at the top of the neckline, middle of the opening and at the hem. I think it looks adorable and it helps to give the blouse a relaxed fit. What do you think!? 

Overall, I had a good experience with this pattern. For the most part the instructions were clear and the fit was good. To me the sewing was easy (except for the neckline) but this is because I've made many blouses! If you are unfamiliar with doing a set-in-sleeve, gathering or cuffs you might run into some issues (but that doesn't mean you can't conquer them!)

I would highly suggest using Youtube if you run into any problems - there are so many amazing tutorials out there. I am so thankful to all of the sewing youtubers - y'all rock! Also there is a Youtube tutorial for this very specific pattern (how amazing is that?) I will link it below.

Stay tuned for my next Mc Call's project & feel free to leave comments, questions, suggestions or whatever you'd like below.

How To Sew A Top: McCalls 8181 Modern, Historical Vintage Aesthetic by Drew Hayden Keelin



Share this post

Newer Post →


  • Thank you so much April! I loved working with the fabric!

    Simina on
  • Love this fabric and what a cute cute top!

    April J Troje on

Leave a comment