Due to my years I worked as a shop assistant in a fabric and haberdashery shop, I own a large number of patterns, most of them I never turned into garments.
Now, when Seamstress Erin promoted her Bow Neck Blouse Sewalong on Wesewretro.com a few weeks ago, I decided to join almost immediately. I only owned one Bow Neck blouse, a store bought black one, but every time I wear it, I get many compliments and I love how the bow adds the final bit to the otherwise standard blouse outfit (you can see me wearing it in this old post).
So, why not sew a second one for my wardrobe? I was lazy that day and though I discovered some beautiful patterns in my 1940ies Lutterloh-Book I went for one of the neclected patterns that only needed to be cut out. Once known as Burda 7777 but gone out of print years ago, it is now available again as a download pattern.
I already feared the result before having started. I mean, pussy bow, puffed sleeves, very blousy cut? This is too cute to look reasonable, especially when being a too short, too young looking women like me anyway.
But better to try the pattern to throw it away afterwards than to store it for another five years without ever daring to throw it away (“but maybe it would be pretty in the end?”).
Well, maybe there was a chance to make it look good, I like the two plain coloured variants in the links above, they look as if I could wear them.
Now, I moved very recently and was shocked by the amounts of fabric I keep in my cupboard, some I haven’t seen in years. So I decided to actively reduce this masses. Choosing one of the few plain coloured fabrics in this collection would have been wiser consindering the cut, but instead I went for a striped viscose farbric I have had for years, I don’t even know anymore where I bought it.
Well…yes…all I can think of is a walking candy cane…
Maybe I should talk about the blouse first, before lamenting what problems I have with it.
Sewing went without any problems, a straight forward size 36 with no alterations.
Because it would have been too busy using the stripey fabric for the bows (and because I didn’t have enough fabric), I made the bows on the collar and the sleeves from white batiste.
The pattern asks for two open darts on each front side. As you can see I didn’t turn the fabric around to mirror the pattern on the two front parts. I have to admit that I completely forgot it while cutting, but the fabric wouldn’t have been enough anyway. So I can blame it on having too little fabric.
The sleeves are cut in one part with the bodice parts, so there is no seam at the shoulders. The sleeves are pleated double before the ends of these pleats are hidden in another pleat, sitting orthogonally to the others. This gives the effect of a sewn on sleeve, but it is in fact only a few centimetres long.
And no, I didn’t manage to match the pattern on the other shoulder seam 😉
The back, unspectacular and blousy as foretold.
The little bows on the sleeves. Those puffed sleeves are enormous. The remind me of the sleeves worn in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century.
Because the width of the fabric wouldn’t have been enough to place all three cut parts side by side, I had to omit the facings (which were included in the front pattern part as well) and make them seperately, using again the white batiste.
Because the pattern is already that busy I decided to take advantage of the three layers of the facing and went for an invisible closure using press fasteners.
Oh yes, much too much. I can easily imagine myself selling popcorn in an early 20th century circus, strolling around the streets of Bioshock Infinite’s Columbia or acting as a female stand-in for Bert singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” next to Mary Poppins.
And it is not even fit for every-day-use! I already managed to tear the fabric during an attemp to catch my cat (only a tiny bit, I can fix it).
(if you wonder why my feet look a little bizarre in the photos: in the old flat, we had a laminate floor, now we have real parquet floor and I have to be careful not to leave marks with my heels, so I am standing on tiptoe)
Ok, seriuosly: Maybe I will wear it with jeans or a very simple jeans skirt, but still it won’t become a wardrobe favourite of mine, it is way to cute, girly, bizarre, whatever.
But the bottom line is: I tried the pattern, I reduced my fabric storage by one, I participated in a lovely SewAlong and I have a new blouse, so what?
See you soon, love