January 13, 2021
This month Folkwear is featuring the 111 Nepali Blouse Pattern, which is a beautiful piece, often worn by Nepali women as an over blouse. While this blouse is considered a traditional garment, typically made of velvet, it has a truly contemporary feel, which makes it a perfect complement to any wardrobe.
This versatile pattern can be made for any season or occasion. For everyday wear it would be lovely made of fabrics such as cotton, linen, rayon, light wools, or even knits. Any fabric with a bit of drape and a light to medium weight would be suitable. When made in velvet or silk it is transformed into an elegant and comfortable garment whether for a special occasion or for blissfully lounging about. Shorten the sleeves for warmer temps and enjoy year round. The blouse can be worn open at the collar (simply omit the top sets of ties and cut just four ties for the waist). The ties could also be made of ribbon or even be replaced with buttons, hooks, frogs, or snaps.
Since the Nepali Blouse is traditionally made of velvet, this is a perfect opportunity to learn more about velvet and how to handle it. Velvet can be a tricky fabric to sew with, but the tips below will make it much easier and less intimidating to work with.
Most velvets available today are made of rayon or silk. They generally have a very drapey effect and sometimes a bit of stretch, that work well for tops, blouse, skirts, dresses, pants, and scarfs. The photos below shows the soft silky drape of silk rayon velvet. This type of velvet has a distinct nap, which captures the light creating a beautiful shimmer.
Velvet can also be made of cotton and polyester blends, which generally have a more stiff hand or feel, and are perfect for more structured pieces, like coats and jackets. The velvets in the photos below are made of cotton and have a stiffer drape and the sheen is typically more subdued than silk and rayon velvets.
While silk and rayon velvets are stunning and rich fabrics, they are not the easiest fabrics to control and require a bit of extra attention. This blog will help provide some tips to ensure successful sewing for any velvet sewing project on your list. Use these tips for making the 111 Nepali Blouse, as well as the 120 Navajo Blouse and the 124 Bolivian Milkmaid Jacket, which are also traditionally made in velvet.
Also view or download these tips as a PDF.
Because of the different nature of velvet fabric, it is a good idea to practice and experiment on a few scraps before you make your final project. Here are a few experiments to try using velvet.
While working with velvet takes more time and effort, the benefits are well worth it. No other fabric compares with the unique quality of a stunning velvet. Use these tips to make a 111 Nepali Blouse and for all your other velvet sewing projects.
View or download this as a PDF.