Orchid Midi Blouse Hack

One year ago I made this blouse using the Orchid Midi dress pattern. I had people reached out and ask if I can explain how I made it and now I will! Since this was originally inspired by a Madewell top that was sold out, there are some key design features that I wanted to replicate. Like the 3/4 cuffed sleeves and side tie waistband. But you could easily change anything about this to your liking.

**Disclaimer: This is not sponsored by Chalk & Notch Patterns. But I did get permission to disclose how I did it using their pattern. This tutorial is structured in a way for sewist with intermediate sewing level and those who have some level of pattern alteration/pattern making knowledge. This tutorial covers how to make the pattern pieces only**


This blouse is using the bodice portion of the Orchid midi pattern. We are keeping the surplice design and adding a waistband with extension as ties. One of the ties is sewn into the side seam while the other is an extension of the overlay. Sleeves have a slit on the back of the sleeve which can either be finished with a narrow baby hem or bias binding. The sleeve is attached to a buttoned cuff. The cuff is designed with an extension to allow for 3/8-1/2″ buttons and buttonholes.

Supplies you will need:



Measuring tape


Pattern pieces you will need:

Front bodice

Back bodice

Front yoke

Back yoke

Long sleeve

Measurements needed:

Waist circumference- The bottom of the bodice is roughly the waistline. We will be adding a waistband to it that is 2″ wide so take your waist circumference measurement anywhere from the waist and 2″ below that. Add 1.5″ of ease to this measurement.

Arm circumference- I made this a 3/4 sleeve so take the arm circumference at the point where you would want the sleeve to end. If you are wanting to leave this sleeve at the pattern’s designed length then measure your wrist circumference. Add 1″ of ease to this measurement.

***Please make sure to address any fit issues to this pattern before proceeding.***

Making the sleeve & cuff:

Mark and cut 2″ above where you want the sleeve cuff to be.

Create the cuff pattern piece (See image below). Don’t forget to place notches where you want the extensions to start and end, 1/2″ on either end of cuff. Half or all of the cuff will be interfaced (your choice) and folded in half length wise to create the cuff.

Make a slit on the back of the sleeve, place a 2.5” long line in between the center of the sleeve and the back seam. Finishings recommended for the slit would be with a very narrow 1/8″ double fold hem or bias binding. Stitch gathering/basting stitches at the bottom of the sleeve to gather the sleeve into the cuff.

Making the waistband and tie:

When creating the waistband think of this as a one solid waistband that covers the circumference of your waist. Then dividing it into four equal quadrants just like any other patterns does.

Using the waist circumference with ease measurement divide that measurement by four. Use this amount to create a 1/4 of your waistband. Waistband will be 2″ wide.

You now have a back waistband pattern piece. Duplicate it to create the front waistband. Mark on this front waistband pattern piece with a notch 1/2 of the way from center front. This notch will also match to the one on the bottom of the front bodice.

(You will be gathering the bottom of bodice to fit the waistband in construction.)

Notches on the waistband will match to those on the front bodice.

Since the front has a surplice design, this means the waistband will go past center front.

Create one pattern piece for the front underlay. This will go from side seam to end of bodice.

Create another front pattern piece for the overlay. This will go from side seam to end of bodice plus extend out for the tie.

Don’t forget to add the two notches that will match the ones of the front bodice. Create another waist tie pattern piece by just coping the previous one. This second waist tie pattern piece will be sewn into the side seam of the underlay and back waistband.

Here are the piece you should have for the waistband:

I would recommend connecting the back and front overlay together to make one whole pattern piece. This will make cutting and sewing quicker. I don’t reccommend connecting the front underlaying bodice waistband piece because the waist tie needs to be sandwich in between the back waistband and front underlay.

Cut 2 mirror waistbands, to which one of them will be interfaced. I recommend not interfacing the waist ties portions.

Finally, add seam allowances to all your pattern pieces, walk and check your pattern pieces. I also would recommend using the same seam allowances as the pattern.

Here are some up close photos of the blouse I made. What helped me keep the wrapped underlay bodice in place underneath was sewing a button and buttonhole.

Thank you so much and I would love to see any version of this, so please tag me on Instagram if you do make this.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/winmichele/?hl=en

KoFi: https://ko-fi.com/winmichele

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