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What is a Padded Blouse?
A padded blouse as the name suggests, is a blouse aided with breast pads/cups at the bust region. This type of blouse is preferably worn by women who wish to avoid the use of bras or bust attachments. This type of blouse is commonly used by Nigerians and Indians alike. As Indian designs, they are commonly known as Sarees while as Nigerian designs, they are simply known as padded blouses.
So on this tutorial, I’m going to be showing you via pictures and demonstrations how to make one. This tutorial is both beginner and intermediate friendly.
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1. Already made blouse: This will serve as a pattern for cutting out your blouse.
2. Fabric of choice: You will need 2 yards of fabric depending on your blouse width. The fabric of choice used in this tutorial is what is popularly known as chiffon and it currently cost N500, i.e $1.11 per yard. However, you can use any fabric of your choice.
3. Lining fabric(if necessary): if your fabric of choice is transparent, then you will need a lining fabric or more fabric of your choice to serve as lining. There you will need 1 yard of lining fabric. The lining fabric used in this tutorial is what is popularly known as “Aba” lining in Nigeria, and it currently costs N140, i.e 30 cent per yard.
4. Breast cups: Already-made breast cups are usually sold in fabric shop in various sizes. The cups thus used in this tutorial are size 32-34” and they cost about N500, i.e $1.11
5. Elastic band: The elastic band used are 1” wide x (¼ of body width) long.
7. Matching thread.
8. Office pins
9. Pressing iron
10. Sewing machine
1. Cutting out the Blouse pattern: (See here to download E-pattern for female blouse). Unlike previous tutorials, where the back piece is made wider than the front piece to accommodate for zip allowances (zipper). I wanted this blouse to be without zipper. Hence, to achieve this, the blouse would have to be wider. Because I am also using a non-stretch fabric (chiffon), it is thus necessary to make the blouse wider.
So to cut the front and back pieces, fold your fabric into equal halves, and place your already-made blouse (unfolded) on it. Like this:
2. Cutting the lining fabric (if necessary): Place your front and back pieces on your lining fabric. Trace all sides of each piece. When done, your lining fabrics for both front and back pieces will look like this.
3. Cutting the padded pieces: To attach the breast pads to your blouse, you will need to cut out another front and back pieces which will be 3/4 long.
So to do this, simply place the front piece of your blouse on your fabric of choice and trace out the sides, stopping at your waist/body region.
4. Attaching the lining fabrics to the front and back pieces of blouse: This section will be divided into attaching the lining fabric to (a) front piece and (b) back piece
(a) Front piece: Place your lining fabric on your sewing table and then your front piece on it, right side down and wrong side up. Stitch around the neckline.
Then match the seam towards the lining fabric
When done, your front piece will look like this:
(b) Back piece: Repeat the process for front piece.
5. Inserting darts (optional): You can choose to insert darts on your blouse or not. However, because I wanted my blouse to be super wide and free enough to pass through my body without a zipper, I chose to insert breast darts to the front piece instead.
Read more about Breast darts here
6. Joining the front and back piece of your blouse: To join the front and back pieces together, place your back piece right down and your front piece, right side up, on it and stitch both the shoulders and the sides together.
See more on how to join the front and back pieces, here
Take to pressing iron and press iron the edges.
7. Making the breast cups: This section will be divided into (a) Attaching the breast pads to the front piece (b) Joining the front and back pieces of the pad pieces. (c) Attaching elastic
(a) Attaching the breast pads to the 3/4 front piece: With our blouse done and out of the way, next step is to attach the breast pads to the 3/4 front piece already cut- out (See step 3 above).
To do this, place your breast pads face down on your front piece beginning at the upper bust level and stopping at the ‘under bust level (see photo below).
To know the distance between your bust level and your under-bust level, place a measuring tape at your tip of your bust and measure to the base of your bust.
(b) Join the front and back pieces of the pad pieces: Place the back piece wrong side down and right side up on your sewing table, and then place your front piece on it, wrong side up and right side down on the back piece.
(c) Attaching elastic band: Next, place your elastic band round your waist/body and cut.
8. Joining the blouse and the pad piece together: Place your blouse right side up and wear your pad piece wrong side up around it, making sure the front neckline, shoulder and armhole corresponds with that of the blouse and vice versa for the back.
9. Folding the armhole and bottom of the blouse: To fold the armhole and bottom of your blouse, use an overlock machine/serger machine to stitch around the armhole/bottom once and stitch or fold your armhole and bottom twice and stitch.
So tada! How to make a padded blouse(Using already made breast pads).
See other related tutorial:
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matt 28:20 NLT
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