Middy Blouse


Indian Head (Chap. I, Par. 21), or

Galatea (Chap. I, Par. 18).

2 1/2 to 3 yards of material above.

1/2 yard material for collar and cuffs.

4 yards braid.


Thread No. 70.

Introductory Statement

For out of door sports like tennis, golf, etc., loose fitting garments which will give free play to all the parts of the body are very necessary. The middy with unconfined waist line makes a very appropriate garment for this purpose. The middy is especially popular at the summer resort, but it is hardly suitable for wear in a business office.

As it usually has to stand hard service, the favorite materials used in making the middy are the heavy cottons, like Indian head, and galatea cloth.

The project introduced here embodies most of the principles employed in making an unlined waist with a low collar; it gives good practice in simple fitting, and in setting in sleeves which is one of the important problems in dress making. The middy generally has very little trimming consisting usually of flat braid on the collar, pocket and cuffs. The collar gives individuality to the middy so different colors are used, even flannel collars are sometimes used. The favorite colors are red, blue and black. Care should be taken to select these in fast colors only. The middy shown here is made with a red collar trimmed with white braid.


What Dress Makes of Us, Dorothy Quigley. Dutton & Co., N. Y. What to Wear, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. Houghton.

Working Directions For Middy Blouse

Preparing Material

Shrink the white cotton material. If colored material is used, soak it in a strong solution of salt water, to set the color. NOTE: When colored material is used for the collar and cuffs of the middy, be careful to select material which is dyed with a fast color. Red is very likely to run; that is, the color comes out in the washing and discolors the white material in the waist.

Preparing The Pattern

As commercial patterns in varying styles of middies may be purchased, in sizes that will fit the average person, it would be desirable for you to use one in making this middy. However, you may use a drafted pattern by modifying the draft for the shirt waist given in Chap. IV. For a plain middy, allow the pattern to extend about 6" below the waist line. (Do not shape it in at the waist line). If you wish to have a yoke in your middy, plan the depth and the shape of it and draw it on the upper part of your waist pattern. Cut the pattern in two on the line, and when you cut out the waist, allow extra material on the edges for seams. As a middy usually has a pocket in it which is set in on the wrong side you may measure down from the shoulder 8 1/2" and make an opening for the pocket about 2 1/2" long perpendicular to the front edge of the pattern; place it about halt way between the armhole and the front edge. Use the draft for the shirt waist sleeve, without fullness at the top. Cut off to the length desired.

Cutting Out The Middy

After modifying the pattern, place the center front of the yoke and the lower part of the middy on a fold of the material, wide enough to cut the front in one piece. Place the center back of the pattern on a fold of the material in the same way. Place the sleeves with the crease in the center of the pattern parallel with the warp threads of the goods. Pin all the patterns in place and cut out the middy. Use a commercial pattern for the collar. If the collar is to be made double, cut out the upper portion from the colored material and the under portion from the white material.

Cut the cuffs the same length as the bottom of the sleeves, making them about 2 1/2" wide at the ends and 3" wide at the center.

Joining Seams And Setting In Pocket

If the middy is made with a yoke, join the yoke to the lower part of the waist with lapped, or felled seams, before joining the back and front (make short crosswise cuts on the underturned edges of all lapped seams around curves, to prevent puckering).

Cut the front yoke down the center front as far as you desire to have it open at the neck. Fold back and cut away the extra material.

Set in the pocket before closing the seams. Cut one piece of white material for the pocket 4"x5". Cut another piece 31/2"x4". On the end of each sew a strip of the colored material 2"x4"; turn over the faced ends about 1/4" and turning in the raw edges of the opening cut for the pocket, lay these ends over them on the wrong side, letting them extend so they show as the piping on the right side. Stitch along the edge of the opening; continue the stitching on the ends and make parallel rows of stitching 1/2" each side of the opening for the pocket. Turn the material to the wrong side and stitch the two pieces together to form the pocket on the under side.

Felled seams may be used to join the shoulder and under-arm seams. French seams may be used to join the sleeves. Pin and baste the sleeves together on the right side. (If single cuffs are to be used sew them on before basting sleeve as directed below.) After the seams are basted, try on the middy. Fit it according to general suggestions for fitting a waist in Chap. IV. Remember this garment should not be fitted in at the waist line and should be rather loose fitting in every way. Pin in the sleeves, adjust them to the proper length. Remove the garment, rebaste on the line of fitting and finish the seams. Sew the sleeves into the armhole with lapped seams.

The Cuffs

If the cuffs are turned back, separate from the sleeve, they should be made double. To make them, first sew three parallel rows of braid (as in the illustration) on the colored piece. Stitch the colored material to the white material along the top edge, open the materials and stitch across the end, thus making a circular cuff. (When this is stitched it should be the same length as the bottom of the finished sleeve.) Turn it right side out. To sew it on the sleeve, place it so the seam is even with the seam in the sleeve, with the right side of the cuffs on the wrong side of the material of the sleeve. Stitch the two edges together. Fold the edge of the wrong side of the cuff until it covers the stitching, baste and stitch on the sewing machine, or hem by hand. Turn the cuff back over the seam.

If you wish to make the cuff single, it should be made and joined to the sleeve before the sleeve is sewed together. To do this, place the straight edge of the cuff on the edge of the bottom of the sleeve. Baste and stitch in place, turn in the raw edge of the top of the cuff, and baste and stitch it to the right side of the sleeve. Baste and stitch three parallel rows of braid near the top of the cuff, as in the illustration; then make the seam in the sleeve, joining the ends of the cuff in this seam (be careful that they are exactly even).

Setting The Collar

Sew the lining and the top of the collar together, leaving the edge around the neck open; turn to the right side, stitch on the braid in parallel rows as in the illustration (if desired, emblems may be used instead of braid). Place the center back of the neck of the collar on the center back of the neck of the waist. Let the ends just cross each other in front. Baste the collar to the neck of the waist, turning the seam toward the wrong side. Trim the seam close and finish with bias tape, stitched on both edges.

Finishing The Bottom Of The Middy

The bottom of the middy may be finished with a facing turned to the right side and stitched in place, or, it may be finished with a double piece about 4" wide, sewed to the bottom of the middy, turned up to the top and left loose.

A middy is sometimes finished with a hem; use a wide or a narrow hem as desired.