Learn to sew a peasant top pattern for women. This free peasant blouse sewing pattern is easy to make and wear.
Hey y’all, today I’m going to show you how to sew a peasant top pattern. I’m also sharing a free pattern, video tutorial and a couple of variations of this peasant top pattern. It was bound to happen eventually…kind of like the Pillowcase Dress, how to sew a peasant blouse is another of the most searched for and requested tutorials on sewing blogs, including this one.
I think peasant blouses are popular because they’re loose and fit a lot of figures without having to do bust adjustments or other fitting. So, today I’m sharing a free pattern for my women’s peasant top. I even used this pattern to make the cropped and off the shoulder version below.
Best Peasant Top Fabrics
Fabrics with a lot of drape work best for this style of top. Otherwise it can look rather tent like. The examples in this post are sewn from cotton voile (white cropped version) rayon challis (red waist length version) and polyester crepe (navy blue version). Stretch fabrics can also work well, just be careful of the weight. Lightweight knits are best. Other suitable fabrics include gauze, lawn, batiste, silk charmeuse, lightweight linen, etc.
The versions of the pattern in this post have an elastic neck. But you can also do a drawstring neck like I did in the blue short sleeve version featured in this Reel (it’s the dark blue geometric print) or elastic shirring like I did in the dress version I made featured in this post.
Materials to Sew a Peasant Top
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To make your top, you’ll need:
- 2 yards of 60″ wide fabric. Make it 2 1/2 yards if your fabric is 45″ wide.
- 1 yard of 1/2″ wide single fold bias tape
- 1 yard of 3/8″ or 1/4″ inch wide elastic
- Safety pin or bodkin (affiliate link) to pull the elastic through the casings. Note that while I love my bodkin, mine is too wide to pull through the narrow casing on this pattern. Other bodkin styles might work better.
- optional – elastic thread (affiliate link)
- The pdf pattern, see below
How to Get the Free Downloadable PDF Pattern
The pattern is in a women’s size 36″ hips. The hip measurement is actually the most important here, since there’s lots of gathering and ease around the bust. If you need to make the pattern bigger or smaller, check out this post.
To get this pattern, click your preferred option from the buttons below as a newsletter subscriber or gallery access pass purchaser. Note that the free version of the pattern does not have printable instructions.
Please note that all my free patterns are licensed for personal use only (no selling items made from this unless you purchase it) and by downloading you are agreeing to this license.
How to Sew a Peasant Top Sewing Pattern
To sew your peasant blouse, watch the video below or on YouTube here if it won’t load below for some reason. Or scroll below the video for written instructions.
So, print and cut out your pattern pieces. Need help with printing? Check this post.
In the video above, I used French seam finishes. This post has more details on French seaming.
Written Peasant Top Sewing Instructions
To assemble the shirt, first pin the front edge of the sleeve piece to the bodice front, right sides together. Repeat with the other sleeve on the other side of the front. Stitch and finish the seams. I used French seams to sew mine.
Then pin the back sleeve edges to the bodice back right sides together. Stitch and finish the seams.
Fold the shirt in half, right sides together, matching the underarm seams. Stitch down the sleeve and side seams in one long seam and finish the seams.
Unfold bias tape and pin right sides together to the neck edge of the shirt. Start at center back, and fold the short raw edge of the bias tape up 1/4″. Pin around the neckline until you get back to your starting point, fold the bias tape so it meets the fold you made to begin with, and then cut off the excess. Stitch around the neckline in the fold closest to the raw edge.
Turn the bias tape to the inside of the neckline and press. Stitch as close as possible to the free edge of the tape to secure it in place.
Cut 23 -30″ of elastic – the longer your elastic, the lower cut and/or wider in the shoulders your shirt will hang. Use a longer length to wear this top off the shoulder. Thread the elastic through the casing made by the bias tape.
Hem the bottom and sleeves by folding fabric to the wrong side 1/4″ twice.
To gather the sleeves, you can either sew in a bias tape casing like you did for the neckline, or use elastic thread. If you choose to do a casing, sew 1″ from the sleeve hems. If you want to use elastic thread, wind it on your bobbin (hand wind if you have a side loading bobbin, machine wind if you have a drop in bobbin) and use a long stitch length, then sew 2-3 rows 1/2″ in from the sleeve hem. This post shows how you shirr with elastic thread if you’ve never done it before.
Peasant Top Styling Tips
- Peasant tops often look best with a belt. So you look like you have a waist. You can play with both skinny and wide belts, but definitely try one
- Since this top has a lot of volume, keep the bottoms slim. Skinny jeans, leggings, a pencil skirt – all of these work well with a peasant top.
- Play with sleeve length. Since we’re going into fall, I wanted an elbow sleeve, but short or long sleeves can also look nice. You might not even want to gather the sleeves – bell sleeves in both long and short lengths can be fun too.
- If you’re up for it, you can even try wearing this top off the shoulder. Opt for longer elastic if that’s your plan.
- Consider adding a placket – you can do it like this tutorial, and then add a drawstring instead of elastic to tie it in front. You don’t even have to do buttonholes if you make the placket fairly short.
- But please, please, don’t add ruffles to the neckline. You run the risk of looking clownish. Especially if the ruffles are wide.
Thank you for the newsletter. I got the tutorial for the peasant blouse but when I clicked for the pattern I got a pumpkin loaf recipe on pinterest…lol..
Even though I’m new on your site, I’m enjoying the simplicity and directions of your tutorials as I’m not a seamstress. I did have sewing classes (home ec)in high school back in the day. Looking forward to more.
I’m sorry you’re having trouble with that – not sure what’s going on there. My best advice would be to try the link again later or try a different internet browser.
thank u for the pattern,my mom is a seamstress, but has not time to sew anymore,so i try sewing for my self,it will be such a great help,may god bless you
Wow this is wonderful, thank you for the pattern and the tutorial. This really brings back memories. When I was a teen I made a ton of these for myself and my sister. Thanks again for all your work and time.
Beautiful! Putting on my to-do list for after baby is born. I love the ease in construction and the detail in your tutorials. Thank you for being so generous and sharing!
Yours looks great! Its all about the seemingly small choices that make the difference between a overly blousey and frilly peasant and the sofisticated version you have done. Your tips are spot on. On each one, I was saying “oh, thats why” I have two rtw that are fine but with your tips I can make one thats a “love it”piece.
Got it, no ruffles on the neck. That is a tip that I appreciate since I knew it wasn’t quite right, but now I know why!
Thanks for sharing this pattern! Do you think it would work to also add shirring at the waist as an alternative to belting?
Yes, you could totally do that. I’d probably try it on first and tie a string around my waist to mark the shirring and make sure it ends up right where you want it.
Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts
ha! no ruffles! keeping us all in check 🙂
Thank you for sharing this pattern! And I love that you give advice for making sure they flatter. Ruffles always remind me of the 90s poets blouses… I had quite a few of those, lol!
I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow evening that links to your free pattern:
Nice tuturoial and pointers (esp. the clown ruffle, LOL). I love peasant blouses. I have several that are among my go to favorites. I have a black chiffon with sparkling pink butterflies that always gets compliments. I find these are super comfortable made from georgette and tissue knits. I always take a bit of grosgrain or satin ribbon like a tag in the back as these are so easy to get turned around.
Loving this pattern, but does it look okay on say a size 18 woman? I think with the belt it would be okay, but what do you think? dahlgren0609 at gmail dot com
I[m a 22 and peasant blouses look good on anyone as long as you follow Melly’s rule and make sure you team it with a narrow or fitted bottom half – peasant blouses do not work with peasant skirts if you are not a stick insect! I also make mine out of lightweight drapy knits or floaty fabrics, rather than heavy weaves and knits as they are less bulky and more flattering.
I love the simplicity of this pattern and won’t take me long to make it.
Thank you for the tutorials. This blouse is beautiful. And you look great modeling your clothes. I love when the designers model. Loved the bow dress you modeled also. Makes me feel like I am in on a secret!
Thank you for the pattern and tutorial. I already made two of dem 😀
They look great and fits me very well.
See one of them here: https://www.facebook.com/Hverdagensbedrifter/photos/a.453555018047861.103085.453130891423607/755242421212451/?type=1&theater
However I did have an issue with the pattern. The sleeves “holes” don’t seem to match the body “holes”, I mean they have a differet shape. At first I thought it was my fabric but the other one was the same. I managed to sew it OK but I still wonder if it should be that way. Here I must admit that I this was my second and third blouse in my life 😀
The sleeve and armscye should not be the same shape, but they are the same length. Sewing the two shapes together is what helps a sleeve fit around the shoulder and in the dip between your shoulder and your body.
Thank you for your answer. 🙂
FUN FUN FUN peasant multi-color top . . . a P-E-R-F-E-C-T tutorial with photos and line drawings. A lovely photo shoot with you wearing your peasant blouse with green skinny jeans, Melissa! Your selection of a sheer fabric with small multi-colored hearts on a navy blue background is ideal to coordinate with any and every color pants and skirt! Your caveats/comments including to wear a wide or narrow belt seems “spot on!” THANKS for sharing. Sarah in Minneapolis
Looks great on you and I love your caveats! I made this style in quilting cotton once with a drawstring and that was a BAD idea 🙂 Rookie mistake from my early sewing years
Omg, I do so LOVE this style… thanks for putting this one together for everyone. Oh yes, and you look GREAT in it too!!!! 🙂
May you have a great weekend with your family/projects!
Maia & family
l luv the style too, its a wonderfull simple one. luv to have one.
First of all I apologize for my English
Then … I would like to make a dress out of this pattern
I’m Italian and I do not understand what size is ” 36 “hips ”
My italian size is a 40 that , as far as I know, is a 8 in UK and 6 in USA (I’m tall but skinny …too skinny :-(! )
Do you think that this pattern might fit me (obviously lengthening the pattern)?
I do not know how to modify patterns, I am a real beginner
“36 hips” means that the top will fit someone with a hip measurement of 36″. 36 inches = 91 cm.
I used your pattern to make a peasant top night shirt out of grey poly cotton jersey material. And just for good measure, I added pockets.