Some time ago, I stumbled upon two pretty bobbin lace doilies. Although they didn’t quite match my taste as decorative items, I could easily imagine them being part of an Edwardian blouse. I quickly knew that I wanted to incorporate these lace doilies into a blouse, but finding the perfect spot for them proved to be significantly more challenging. However, after discovering a blouse sketch in the magazine  ‘La Moda elegante’, the project gained momentum.

Sketch of an Edwardian Blouse

I enlarged the pattern from the magazine and watched as it came together in the 3D world of Clo3D. Here, doubts crept in: Would this design work in real life? The scaling seemed right, but I couldn’t figure out how the back piece was supposed to work. To dispel my uncertainties, I returned to the world of actual sewing and created a mock-up.

As it turned out, my suspicion was justified. The back piece offered no room for my shoulders. Determined to make this pattern functional, I set about making adjustments.

With a model that finally fit well on my body, I proceeded to the actual blouse. I chose a delicate white cotton voile. Another idea occurred to me – I didn’t just want to incorporate these lace doilies; I also wanted to create my own lace. Since this would take a few months, I started sewing the blouse first and planned to insert the lace later.


I opted for French seams to ensure clean edges and prevent fabric fraying. Using my grandmother’s overlock machine, which still worked after a decade of dormancy, albeit with a few quirks, I secured the seam allowances.

After completing the main seams, new concerns arose during a brief fitting. The shoulder pieces seemed too wide, a surprising deviation from the fit of the mock-up. The solution lay in the generous seam allowance, which should adjust when attaching the collar. Somewhat uncertain, I sewed on the collar, and indeed, the shoulder pieces now fit much better.

Close-up detail shot of a blouse shoulder featuring a delicate doily accent.
Close-up image of the sleeve of an unfinished Edwardian blouse, featuring raw edges indicative of a work in progress.
Close-up image of two strips of handcrafted bobbin lace, showcasing intricate patterns and delicate craftsmanship

I closed the back piece, arranged the folds in the front, and, of course, realized that I had forgotten to insert my handmade lace. So, I had to unpick the seams, then I could attach the now completed lace and carefully sew it onto the fabric.

The wavy lines required me to turn the fabric under the sewing foot every few centimeters to hide the seam as best as possible. It might have been easier to sew them by hand, but I didn’t give up.

After attaching the lace, I turned my attention to the waistband. However, the result was anything but flattering and looked like an exaggerated pigeon breast. While it suited the Edwardian style, I didn’t feel comfortable in it. Determinedly, I pinned the waistband where it should sit and adjusted the length. It was a difficult decision to cut through the precious lace, but it was the right choice.

Next came the buttonholes, which I made with my modern machine, since I’m not quite confident with hand-sewn buttonholes yet. It was an exciting moment when I had to cut them open, but it was a step toward completion. Hooks and eyes for the collar were next on the agenda.
And with that, this Edwardian blouse was finished.

Image of a woman seated on a bench, wearing a white Edwardian blouse and smiling brightly, exuding a sense of elegance and joy.
Close-up detail of the back of a blouse, highlighting intricate lace details adorning the shoulder and arm, adding elegance and sophistication to the garment.
Image of a woman wearing a white blouse, her extended arm and sleeve catching the sunlight, creating a radiant and ethereal effect.

You might be wondering why I haven’t talked much about the lace in detail yet? Well, you can see it on our podcast’s blog. There, I share how I learned lace making and how I crafted this lace.


  • I found the sketch of this Edwardian blouse originally in ‘La mode illustrée’ but the pattern is from the Spanish magazine ‘La moda elegante’.


  • 1,5 m of white cotton voile
  • Silk and cotton sewing thread
  • 16 buttons

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