liesl’s afternoon tea blouse

When Lisa told me she was working on an heirloom tutorial for the Afternoon Tea Blouse, I got all excited because I can’t think of anyone better to teach you heirloom techniques than Lisa. Didn’t she do a great job? When I designed the Afternoon Tea Blouse pattern I was thinking especially of lace and ways that it could be used for the pattern.

Here’s another way–much less heirloom and probably quite a bit faster for those of you who want a similar effect without the time investment.

Liesl's Afternoon Tea Blouse

I used a panel I had prepared a couple of years ago with plans to incorporate it into a Cinema Dress that I never had time to finish. So the center-front portion had already been pintucked with entredeux applied. But the panel itself was too short, so I needed to add a section to the bottom to make it long enough.

Liesl's Afternoon Tea Blouse

For the lace feature I applied lace to tulle to get a floating effect. The two bottom rows of lace need to be sewn to the tulle before the sleeves are sewn, but the top row can be sewn after the yoke is attached so it is continuous across the front and the back.

Here is the side view once the front and back have been assembled. I truly didn’t do anything fancy here; the seam allowances aren’t even serged, but I don’t think it matters because they are only slightly visible between the lace panels. So don’t be afraid to do a little experimenting here. Heirloom is stunning, but if you’re not feeling ready for it work your way there slowly. Try a few details and cheat the rest of the way if you need to!

Liesl's Afternoon Tea BlouseWorn with my Hollywood Trousers, of course….

Liesl's Afternoon Tea Blouse

Liesl's Afternoon Tea Blouse

This is an easy and quick method to apply lace since I was able to position the lace right up against the seam and use a small zigzag to apply it after the seam was finished. You could also apply the lace over the seam to disguise it if you want. And now that I’m sitting here thinking about it, I suspect that someone with an embroidery machine could do some really clever embroidery on this pattern, too!

I didn’t tea-stain my lace this time, and the entire blouse is a mixture of white and cream which worked out better than I had anticipated, actually. The center lace and the entredeux are both a bright white, and the fabric and thinner lace are more creamy, which gives the blouse a slightly more modern look, I think. (Frankly, I was a bit worried about it, but now that it’s finished I like the effect.)

Will you be giving this pattern a try? I hope so! You can pick up a copy of the Afternoon Tea Blouse right here. And don’t miss the other versions of it that we’ve been showing, too!




  1. Your blouse is lovely! I especially like the tucks and entredeux panel down the front.

  2. Erica

    The idea to use tulle to “shortcut” the heirloom look is brilliant! Plus, I quite like the effect of floating lace. You must be pleased to have finally used that panel of entredeux and pin tucks. It’s too lovely to just be sitting in your stash!

  3. Oh, this blouse is dreamy! Thank you for the idea of applying lace on tule! Lovely lovely blouse!

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