Mathilde Blouse: The Sleeveless Version

Sleeveless Mathilde Blouse

Is it possible to adapt the Mathilde blouse to a sleeveless tank top? Answer? Yes! I spent this weekend doing just that.

The key to adapting this blouse is to really pare things back. I left out the facings, ignored the back button opening, shaved more of a curve into the front and back neckline and trimmed a bit off the blouse’s length. I also discovered that I really needed to add some waist shaping. If you want to wear the Mathilde as a loose tank top, you will need waist shaping. I only realised after sewing together the main pieces, but it was easy enough to adjust with some chalk and a French curve.

Adjusting Waist

The facings and sleeves were all replaced with some beautiful binding tape I took home from one of our legendary sewing swaps. I procured this, I believe, at the Birmingham meet up. Isn’t it gorgeous?


If I had a Top Tip for sewing swaps it would be this: resist the allure of metres and metres of crazy print fabric. Keep your eyes peeled for the discreet little bits and pieces that your sewing friends quietly slip onto the table. The unusual binding tape, the rarely seen accessory, the vintage knitting pattern. You’ll be so grateful for them when they turn out to be your salvation in times of inspiration.

Sleeveless Mathilde Blouse Face On

Adapting the Mathilde blouse began as an experiment with some cheap red cotton sateen bought in Goldhawk Road. The emphasis was definitely on ‘experiment’ and I fully anticipated a learning curve that ended up in the bin. I think it says a lot about this blouse that my wild interpretation is a wearable item and summer fail safe. Perfect to wear with a pair of shorts or a summer skirt. A Sorbetto/Mathilde mash up, if you will.

I’m only sorry I’m not modelling this top for you. That’s because I should be packing right now. Yes, the sleeveless Mathilde was a final, last-minute, panic make prior to my holiday. Because, after three years of sewing I woke up this morning and thought: I don’t have a thing to wear!

Make of that what you will.

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32 Responses to Mathilde Blouse: The Sleeveless Version

  1. ooobop! says:

    Ooo.. I’m diggin’ this slimline version. Love your trims and how it emphasises the yoke line. I think you are right about those little notions. It’s great to have a stash of those. Have a fab trip, wherever you are going x

  2. ClaireE says:

    Love the binding tape, it adds a perfect finish to it. I love how adaptable this pattern is. Have a great time!

  3. Wow – it looks amazing! And that bias tape really sets it off. A perfect pairing. Happy holidays 🙂

  4. That’s lovely binding! Great interpretation of the mathilde! Have a nice hol x

  5. Sabs says:

    It looks fab! I too am making things with my holiday in the summer in mind… Enjoy yours, hope you’re going somewhere hot!

  6. Vicki Kate says:

    Have a wonderful holiday! Sleeveless Mathilde is beautiful.

  7. franceparijs says:

    Wishing you wonderful holidays!

  8. creative pixie says:

    That binding is sweet, really finishes the blouse well. Have a great holiday!

  9. Gjeometry says:

    Beautiful version of the Mathilde! Classic, sharp colours, very nice.

  10. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! That’s all I have to say. Have a wonderful holiday. xx

  11. sarah says:

    I really like how this has turned out, I can imagine it looking great on. I think your right about using plain fabrics to show off the detailing, and the ribbon is a cute detail just enough to break it up!

  12. Miriana says:

    What a lovely top Karen, and have a wonderful holiday! Hope you’re already relaxing and having fun at your beautiful destination right now! (I admit to being curious about where you might be…)

  13. Angela morgan says:

    Looks great! It reminds me of a dinner ladies tabard though, sorry.

    • That may be the most hilarious comment anyone has ever left on my blog! ‘Woman in a tabard!’ Memories of The Big Breakfast flooding back. Fingers crossed, I won’t look like a dinner lady on holiday!

  14. redsilvia says:

    Have a great vacation! The top is cute and I hope it means you’re going somewhere warm and exotic. Bon voyage!

  15. Marie says:

    Ooooh, I love this! Very Sorbetto-esque indeed! Where are you off to Karen? Hope you have a fantastic time and that we get to see some picture of you wearing your tank-top Mathilde in the sun ;o)

  16. Trixie Lixie says:

    I am loving bias binding at the moment and really like the one you’ve used its nice and simple x

  17. Michelle says:

    It looks fab! And definItely will be perfect as a summer staple. Enjoy your holidays!!

  18. Stacey says:

    I agree, that binding is a gem, I clicked through from my blog feed solely because of my curiousity as to how you had done it! Have a fab holiday!

  19. Have a lovely holiday. Love the new top – that binding is perfect.

  20. What a relief to know you got that great trim ready made! I had a moment of anger at myself for not being able to pickstitch as neatly as you! Ok now on topic… I like the top a lot! Red is a great color and those pleats are perfect. Wish you a great time off… I’m sending sun your way;)

  21. sewamysew says:

    Gorgeous make! That binding goes perfectly with the fabric and is perfectly placed as well. Have a fab holiday !!

  22. ZoSews says:

    Veeeery nice! Have a great holiday 🙂

  23. Alessa says:

    Looks like a great interpretation of the pattern, and I guess we’ll get to see you wear it in an exotic (?) location on your vacation pictures? 🙂

  24. maddie says:

    This top looks awesome – love the color. May I ask you about the binding? Is that pickstitching or is that just the print of the fabric?

  25. EmSewCrazy says:

    Lovely job. One of my favorite color combos too! The pick stitching is gorgeous! Lovely make all around.

  26. Susan says:

    Now I’m starting to get sold on the Mathilde blouse. I love this version and I love the gathered versioin TIlly has on her blog (just wish she had a full shot of the blouse.
    I’m so tempted…

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  28. gingermakes says:

    Stop tempting me to buy another pattern! 🙂 I love this– the red and white look awesome together, and this looks like the perfect vacation top!

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