Pattern hacks

Harmony Blouse (Love Notions). Stripe play, cheeky pocket and neckline gathers hack.

The Harmony blouse from Love Notions patterns is a feminine top with special considerations on the fit that I truly admire.

The Harmony blouse is designed for light to medium weight drapey woven fabrics like: silk, rayon and chambray.

About the feminine design, I appreciate the effort to draft a flattering silhouette that includes a scoop neckline, side bust darts, and back center seam with waist shaping. The intended fit is meant to be semi fitted in the upper chest and bust and then relaxed at the waist and hip with a swing style. If you like sleeves, there are many options and a free add on has been included for a cute tulip sleeve. Of course, there is a sleeveless option and this is usually my preferred option.

Pattern sizing

This pattern is available in size XS-XXXL catering for a bust up to 49.5″ and a hip up to 51.5″. There is 2-3″ of positive ease at the bust and a roomy 10-12″ of positive ease at the waist and hips. There is a standard bust and a full bust option. I sew a size Large with a standard bust typically BUT, I have also sewn the full bust for another unconventional purpose you will see in a tad.

Fit adjustments

  • Lowered the side bust dart by 5/8″, this is a common adjustment for me with 90% of patterns by all brands.
  • Shortened the length by 2″ for personal preference. I didn’t mind loosing some volume from the bottom, so I shortened from the hem up, while following the curve.

Pinterest inspired top

I had a photo I saw on pinterest at the back of my mind and knew the Harmony blouse would be perfect to create a similar look. I was not interested in the collar and would prefer to have a black accent in the center, but not as a button placket. In summary, I am inspired by the photo below, but I don’t want the exact same garment.

To get the look

  • Added a center front seam by adding 3/8″ to the center front piece and NOT cutting it on the fold
  • Cut a black rectangle the length from the front neckline to the hem, folded both long raw edges in by 1/4″ (6mm) and top stitched over the center front seam to created a vertical detail that replaces the button placket from the inspiration photo. Dimensions are below.
  • Small bust pocket is optional. Below are the following dimensions. Fold the top edge by 3/4″ and the sides and bottom edges by 3/8″. I positioned the pocket while having the top on my body.
Happy with the bust placement and the shaping
Cute little slit on the back
Pocket to cover a flower that landed on my apex
The center back seam provides great back and waist shaping
Relaxed fit at the waist and hips
I use the armscye intended for sewing on the sleeves. I prefer more coverage.

I have a full video review and load of sewing footage about the stripy Harmony blouse I love. You can watch below on my YouTube channel.

Now that I have a pattern I love the fit and style of, I can have all the fun of experimenting and taking it to the limitless dimension! Now for the hack.

Recreating a favorite OLD RTW top I thrifted

Years ago, I thrifted a beautiful stain backed crepe top. The main feature I am obsessed with is the scooped neckline with gathers and ties that come from within a casing on the neckline. I reach for this top constantly and because I’ve been loving navy blue prints, this solid item on the top is perfect. I have inspected several times this top inside out to figure out the construction. I knew I could easily rotate the volume of a side bust dart into the neckline. Knowing I LOVE the fit of the harmony and that is has the side bust dart there… its was time to get the pattern and start cutting.

Below you can see my favorite top paired with the Allegro shorts and the Ravinia Skirt, both patterns also from Love Notions.

Worn with the Allegro Pants
See a video about it HERE
Worn with my Ravinia Skirt.
See a video about the skirt HERE

I decided to utilize the full bust option this time. Not because I needed it for the fit, but because the bust dart is larger and when manipulating this volume to the neckline, the effect will be more gathered.

Chopped up front pattern piece!

I drew my lines, marked the apex, cut the bottom leg of the bust dart all the way to the apex point and then also cut two lines on the neckline also towards the apex point. The apex point is the pivot point. All of this easy process can be seen in the video I produced for my sewing channel on YouTube. See it below πŸ™‚

The 2 ties I drafted have the dimension you can see in the image below. The finished width will be 5/8″ or 1.5cm.

The facing was drafted from the main pattern pieces and they are 1 1/4″ wide. The back facing was cut on the fold and it interfaced. The front facing is not interfaced.

At the center front, I interfaced a 2″ wide area to stabilize the fabric prior to making two vertical buttonholes that will allow the ties to come out from the facing that is also a casing. See the construction steps in the video above πŸ™‚

The practice run with fabric scraps

I made a modified top with a printed crepe left over from another project. The fabric can be found HERE. I even have a piece on the crossgrain here evidenced by a silly sideways bird on the print. My goal was to internalize the construction, see what width facing would work best and assess the fit and depth of the neckline. This was a success and it’s totally wearable.

In love with the gathers!
High hip is my preferred length

The final red top!

My dreamed red top became a reality. I used a rayon/linen blend with beautiful drape. I went the extra mile and used french seams throughout. The look is exactly what I wanted and being a solid in my favorite color, it will be worn a billion times. Now I need 10 more of these tops.

Dart manipulation makes any well fitting pattern have limitless possibilities and this is only one of them. I am now dreaming of using this pattern to create a top with princess seams. Watch this space!

This is a super feminine blouse that’s very well drafted. The relaxed fit makes it the top I`ll reach for because I can eat and breathe in it whilst having feminine shaping! No boxy shape here.


DISCLAIMER: I was provided the pattern without cost, as a Love Notions ambassador. I Purchased my own fabric for both versions. My opinions are very honest.

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4 replies »

  1. Karina, I love the gathered neckline. I hope to try your method someday. As soon as I get time. How do you manage to sew so many garments?

  2. Hello! I just bought the Harmony blouse pattern and will be trying your version too. Just wondering about the front and back hem length in your version. Are the hemlines the same or is the back hemline lower than the front. If yes, by how much? I really like the way yours looks! Thanks!

    • When I closed the dart on the side on the paper, it’s effectively like I’d sewn in on the original version. The side seams will be exactly the same on the front and the back πŸ™‚
      Have fun πŸ™‚

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