Bow Neck Blouse

red and black blouse with pencil skirt

I made the bow neck blouse from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I was frustrated and disappointed by the time I finished the blouse. But now that I’ve worn it a couple of times, I wish I could take back those emotions, because I disagree now. I really like the blouse! The fabric is a cotton-rayon blend (I’m guessing) and a gift from a friend.

Bow Neck Blouse Button Back

For being such a simple blouse, it took me quite a while to sew, mostly because of the bound buttonholes. I also had to futz with the neckline quite a bit to keep it from choking me. In all, I lowered the front of the neckline by about an inch and changed the shoulder seam a bit. This left the gap in the neckband in the back larger than I might have liked, but wearable.

bound buttonhole

The buttonholes are bound. They turned out okay, but not perfect. I had problems with them ripping out as I turned the facing right-side-in. I’ll admit to not seeking perfection with this blouse because I was convinced I wouldn’t actually wear it by the time I got it done. Fortunately, I’ve proved myself wrong and I did a nice enough job that I’m not embarrassed.

Red and black blouse with cardigan and jeans

I do like how the bow looks over a cardigan and that I can wear it untucked, shown here with my high-waist jeans. In future blouses, I’ll add one more button on the bottom so that it is easier to wear untucked as the bottom-most button is high enough that the blouse pulls open at the bottom.
Slit for bow on neck of blouse

My favorite design detail is the little gap at center front between neckband and blouse front so that the bow ties around it and easily sits flat. A wonky bow really drives me nuts, and this is a great solution!

Comments 9

  1. I love this. So cute! Are the bound buttonholes part of the pattern or did you just decide to do them on your own? Ive never done them but they terrify me.

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      The bound buttonholes are part of the pattern. They’re really not that hard if you are slow and deliberate and careful about them. I’ve found the more tightly woven the fabric, the fewer problems I have.

  2. This is really cute! I love the fabric, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this blouse in a print.. though I may be wrong. I love that you showed the little gap in the neckline. To be honest I still don’t understand how the collar is attached to the body of the blouse, I’m always thrown by that, I mean there is part of the collar that is attached to the neckline and then the rest isn’t so those seams have to finished. I don’t get it!
    Thanks for the inspiration and your bound buttonholes are awesome!

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      Thanks! I’ve cut another of these blouses, so I’ll get some good step-by-steps on the neckline and share those soon.

  3. That blouse is gorgeous! I have my own copy of Gertie’s book, and keep forgetting that it’s full of sewing patterns I want to try.

  4. I love the buttons you chose-they look so cute down te back. Is that an Erin-made skirt? Either way its awesome. The scallops are a lot of fun!

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  5. It’s lovely! Thank you for linking to it in your recent comment. Love the choice of fabric & the button back is sooooo cute (with those bound buttonholes!)
    I too have this book – yet another bow blouse I forgot I had, & seeing your version clearly need to make also!!

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