A Birthday Blouse for Mom!


This week was my mother’s birthday, and I could think of no better gift than a custom-made blouse.

I found this beautiful blue and white embroidered eyelet at Mood Fabrics in New York City.  It’s cotton and airy and perfect for late spring and summer.  (This particular embroidered eyelet seems to be sold out, but you can see others available online here.)  One of the great things about this embroidered eyelet is that it’s light enough for a blouse but sturdy enough to be used for more substantial garments, like a jacket or skirt.

I used Simplicity 2339, a contemporary blouse pattern, as a starting point, but I made a lot of changes.  My mother didn’t want vertical darts nor a collar and only 3/4 sleeves (I did include the side darts for shaping.).  There were many fitting adjustments needed to accommodate her shoulders and back.  I also redrafted the sleeve to give her extra ease in back where she needs it.   The result is a simple front-buttoned top that lets the fabric take center stage.




To add interest, I finished the edges of the bottom hem and sleeves by trimming along the flower petals, resulting in a finish that’s delicate and soft-looking.  (To prevent fraying of the embroidered edges, I reinforced them with Fray Check, which you may or may not know is liquid nylon; I always use it to reinforce my buttonholes.)



In place of a collar, I added a simple neck facing made from white cotton batiste.  It keeps the neckline crisp and neat.



I love the way this top turned out and my Mom is delighted to have a new addition to her summer wardrobe that’s custom-made.  I still have some of this eyelet left so I may make a short sleeve shirt for myself.  Maybe I’ll start a mother/son outfit trend!

See you next month!




  • Holley Mccree
    May 20, 2016

    Very nice! It’s a beautiful fabric, fits her well and is nicely done. Good idea for the neckline.

  • Theresa
    May 20, 2016

    That blouse looks amazing on your Mom! Such pretty fabric.

  • barbara
    May 20, 2016

    tres chic. i love the hat and glasses with it.

  • Kendra C
    May 20, 2016

    Very “Palm Beach” looking!

  • Amanda S.
    May 20, 2016

    Love it, especially the fit across the back. What a great birthday gift!

  • Pamo
    May 20, 2016

    Very elegant. It suits her.

  • Barbara Showell
    May 20, 2016

    Wonderful! The fabric, the style, the color and fit are all very flattering to your Mom and I bet this is her new favorite.

  • Barbara
    May 20, 2016

    What a wonderful son you are!

  • Patricia Clements
    May 21, 2016

    Oh my, Peter, your mother and her new top are lovely. So pretty. This top, now that it is fitted perfectly to your mother, may become a TNT pattern which you can modify into new styles just like Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic does. I love it.

  • Judy
    May 21, 2016

    Your mum looks amazing, lovely blouse and Many happy returns to your mum.

  • Jane Salisbury
    May 21, 2016

    Your Mom looks stunning in her new blouse. You’ve achieved an amazing fit across the shoulder, neck and armhole area. The choice of fabric to pattern, is perfect as is the color choice for your Mom’ s hair and skin coloring. It looks as though it cost 100s of dollar. Well done and lucky Mom.

  • pia
    May 21, 2016

    Very stylish! See older ladies can look absolutely fabulous…if we all have a talented son like you to make us well fitting & inspired garments!

  • sallie
    May 21, 2016

    Just lovely! Such an elegant blouse, and the fit is superb! Your mom looks so stylish and beautiful in her new blouse!

  • Lioba
    May 21, 2016

    The blouse looks amazingly fresh and elegant and fits your Mom perfectly. She must have been surprise about this garment as a birthday present. I have seen her already so often in your blog, but this blouse is absolutely perfect for her. I also like the fabric and how you managed the hem – not to mentioned the clear blue and fresh white which fits so brilliant to your Mom’s face.

  • Cindy
    May 21, 2016

    How lovely! The fit is perfection!

  • Becky
    May 21, 2016

    Beautiful job! Looks great on her.

  • Liz
    May 21, 2016

    I don’t often comment but that is a perfect colour on your mum and she looks beautiful in it. A good example of careful execution, the right fabric and some nice details making a simple garment into something special.

  • Cindy S.
    May 21, 2016

    Very pretty! You did a wonderful job with the fit, especially the shoulders and upper back. My own mom has a similar rounded upper back. I may refer back to these pictures to remember how you account for that. Your mom looks beautiful in it. She has the best smile!!

  • Beverly
    May 22, 2016

    Your Mom is glowing in this blouse. It truly is beautiful. It fits her perfectly. What a stylish Mom she is. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sue
    May 22, 2016

    she looks lovely! that is great fabric and the fit looks just about perfect.

  • Alice Elliot
    May 22, 2016

    What a lovely blouse! You are getting to be quite expert at fitting, well done!

  • Wendy
    May 23, 2016

    Congrats to your Mom on her birthday, and congrats to you for making her such an awesome gift. If you ever need a plus size model who lives across the pond, do let me know 🙂

  • mary
    May 23, 2016

    Your fitting skills are superb. There are challenges to fitting as we age, especially in the back and shoulders as you noted. Your alterations were just perfect and it looks great. Lucky mom!

  • Mimi Jackson
    May 23, 2016

    So pretty!

  • Cennetta
    May 23, 2016

    Ah.., Peter, your mom is lovely. She is all aglow in her beautiful blouse.

  • celia
    May 23, 2016

    She looks very chic; trendy New Yorker !

  • Roland van Til
    May 24, 2016

    Very nice Peter!, your Mom looks great, I love the 3/4 sleeves. What a great gift for her, I am sure that she must be thrilled with her new addition to her wardrobe, lovely!!

  • Alyssa
    May 25, 2016

    Beautiful! And your mom looks thrilled, which is the most important part 🙂

  • Amy
    May 25, 2016

    What a wonderful birthday gift for your mom! You did a great job fitting it to her.

  • Lisa E
    June 8, 2016

    Wow, your mom looks great. I can tell you had to put in a lot of work for that custom fit. The labor was well worth it, because it fits beautifully!