December 9, 2010

I made a bow-neck blouse

I tend to have temporary obsessions in sewing. I think 'skirts' was my first one and last summer, it was 'dresses'. I'm not going to try and list those in between and it doesn't mean I don't make anything else while in the grip of one. However, there's a reason why I'm mentioning this now.
I think my second ever craze, so after the skirts, was button-down shirts and blouses. It actually came in two stages: one before I learned to draft my own patterns, when I made 4 Knipmode shirts in a row and another when I was just starting out on drafting tops and decided to apply as much as possible of my newly acquired knowlegde to some whimsical fitted shirts.
That was it. About three years ago. After that, I have made other tops in thin woven fabrics, but the only button-fronted one which comes to mind, is my 'flowy white shirt'.
I had moved on to bigger and better things and was quite happily ignoring this wardrobe staple.
Of course, ignoring any obvious standard garment is done only at one's own peril.

So, I made a blouse. Of course I drafted the pattern myself. It's not very fitted but still has a fitted shoulder and some waist shaping at the back. I meant for it to be worn tucked into one of my high-waisted things, as shown. It has a bow-neck set on a slightly scooped neckline and full sleeves gathered into soft cuffs.
The fabric is a thin black cotton silver 'sprayed on'. I expected it to be a bit sheer, but it doesn't show. I normally don't go for sparkly fabrics, but I liked the weight and the hand of it and the fact that it was otherwise 100% cotton.
I really like how the neckline turned out. It could also be worn untied and in the right outfit, the shirt could even be worn open. On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure about the sleeves. They might be a bit too much.


  1. Hm, no offense, but that scares me a bit. The 80's rank rather low among my 'favorite eras in fashion'...
    On the other hand, it's no use not wearing something which works, only on account of it being 80's. I have been discussing that on this blog before.

  2. I think the full sleeves go well with the bow, and I can definitely see you wearing this :)

    Besides, the shoulders fit much too nicely to be real 80s ;).

  3. I quite like the puffed sleeves, and how the 'puffiness' tucks into the high waist - it emphasises your small waist. If you were to imagine a plain sleeve, it would take away a lot of the blouse's character.
    And the futuristic fabric stops it looking too prissy, which can be a bow-neck blouse problem in my opinion!

  4. It's lovely. The sleeves look great.

  5. Very, very lovely. Great combo of severity (black!) and femininity (lower sleeve, bow). I love the well fitted shoulder and armscye highlighting your slenderness as counterpoint to the lower sleeve (no, it's not at all too puffy - it's perfect).

  6. I'm liking the bow-neck blouses I'm seeing in Paris in the designer collections too, and yours is lovely! The fabric is really nice. I agree with the above comments that the voluminous sleeves accentuate your figure beautifully. And I guess on cold days you can wear thick thermals underneath, without worrying about the sleeves fitting over :)
    I would love to do a glove sew along! But not for a few months, I will be a little busy from now until Feb...