Versatility at Its Finest: Gingham Peasant Blouse

I wanted to feature this peasant blouse because it’s a fantastic type of garment for any vintage woman’s wardrobe. Its versatility and classic style makes it a really good silhouette to add to your closet!

I made mine from a vintage 1940s pattern, but peasant blouse patterns were one of those classic styles that were popular for decades (and still are). It should be easy to find such a pattern if you want to make one for yourself. 

Features that make this blouse amazing:

No waist shaping
The key characteristic that makes this blouse so particularly versatile is the fact that there is no shaping at the waist. While I normally love waist darts and pleats that help me tuck things in… that feature has also made most of my blouses unwearable during this pregnancy and other times when my size has fluctuated.  The fact that this blouse has PLENTY of space around the waist means I can wear it as a floaty maternity top or tuck it in for a bloused silhouette when I’m back to regular clothes. It looks good either way!

(Here's an old IG picture of me wearing it pre-pregnancy:)

Drawstring neckline
The other fun feature of this blouse is the drawstring neckline. While lots of peasant blouses have a bow at the neckline and are gathered, some of those neckline bows are faux drawstrings. This one is real and the ribbon threads through the whole neckline, creating lots of options. I can pull the bow a bit tighter for more coverage or to cover undergarment straps, or I can lower the neckline to off-the-shoulder for sunny days when I’m feeling sassy.

Roomy sleeves
I’m not sure about you guys, but one of the problems I have had with blouses over the years relates to my fitness level, particularly weight lifting, and how it has affected my bicep size. Arm circumference is one of those things I didn’t think about a lot until I saw how much it could change over the years. Muscle growth or weight changes can affect whether or not a sleeve fits comfortably. The wide sleeve holes on this blouse make this a non-issue.

Another option on a pattern like this is to add a drawstring to the bottom of the sleeve, like is shown in the original pattern illustration. This makes for a cute-but-adjustable puff sleeve style.

This blouse is going to be a staple for me this summer as the weather warms up, and I think I’ll have to make a couple more in some light, floaty fabrics! With only a couple pattern pieces, a pattern like this is also a great option for those of you that want a quick project or may just be starting your sewing journey.

Outfit details
blouse: made by me, Simplicity 1261 (1940s)
shorts: Motherhood Maternity
hat: vintage 1940s via Antique World Mall & Annex (Boise, ID)
lipstick: Kat Von D "Outlaw" lip stain
sock indents on my legs: c/o US Air Force boots. Ha!

Anyone else a peasant blouse fan?  Have you discovered any other kinds of garments that are versatile or fluctuating-size friendly?


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  2. I am not a peasant blouse fan but it is great thing to point out for body builders! There was a weight lifting podcast I listen to and someone asked advice for work appropriate clothing that looks nice, and oof, the podcast hosts knew nothing about fashion. In their defense, their jobs were coaches so they rarely wore anything other than gym clothes. lol I think kimono style sleeves are also great for big muscles.

  3. I am a huge peasant blouse fan. I made one from an original forties pattern, but it was beyond blousy. I think I'm going to try again, and bring the sides in a little bit. You've inspired me to give it another go.

  4. I read this post a few months ago and decided I wanted to get the same pattern and make myself a peasant blouse. I hadn't gotten to it till recently and as a beginner seamstress it was a little challenging with the neck string but I finished it and I love it!