My first blouse for the Bow Neck Blouse sewalong (oh yeah, there’ll be more!). A little birdie told me to make this one (groan. bad joke, I know). It’s the bow neck blouse pattern from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I’ve made it before in black rayon blend with big red roses (the same fabric I used for the shirtwaist dress from the same book).
The fabric is a quilting cotton that I bought at Joanns quite a while ago. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, and normally don’t like quilting cottons for garments, but it was just too cute to pass up. I made several small changes to the pattern for this go-around. Since I had previously sewn the pattern in a lighter fabric with drape, I went up a size to account for the quilting cotton. I also changed the shoulder shape a bit to account for my strong shoulders. I lowered the neckline in front a bit, because it felt like it was going to choke me when I was trying on the blouse as I sewed, but I think it ended up a bit low.
Changing the front neckline increased the gap in the back neckline, which I’m also not in love with. But, as long as I pretend it’s supposed to look like that, I think it’s fine.
I thought I was making a brilliant decision to make the buttonholes more subtle. I still bound each buttonhole, but I decreased them in size and didn’t use flaps of fabric to allow for a taller buttonhole. Which effectively made each button veeeery hard to button. And they run down the back of the blouse. Oops. I can get the blouse on and off if I leave the middle two buttons buttoned, so that’s what I’ve been doing. Not my most brilliant design decision, admittedly.
I did take the time to pick stitch a blind hem on the bottom and sleeve. Not something I would usually do on a garment made out of quilting cotton, but I knew having visible stitch lines at the hems would bug me.
And in the spirit of the BNBSewalong, let’s look at the bow construction! The bow on this BNB is a separate length of fabric this is tied around the neckband. The neckband leaves a hole in the very front…
…that is finished on the inside by rolling the neck hem for a couple inches and hand stitching the collar pieces together over the gap. The bow is threaded through and tied in a simple bow.
As a side note, these khaki trousers (from Simplicity 3688 repro pattern) sit in my repair pile for weeks and weeks at a time. Until I simply must wear them (like with this blouse. Too perfect together, right? Yes, it’s a mixing of decades for the retro style influence. But hopefully that won’t bother anyone!). And then I pull them out, iron them, wear them once, and put them back in the mending pile. Great system, right? They need a partial lining as they show everything underneath them. I wear them with a little slip, but that only works because I lengthened the crotch too much. They’re such a simple pant that it won’t take much to shorten the crotch and add a lining (and I have the fabric sitting in the mending pile to do it). So maybe this public admission will be the kick-in-the-metaphorical-pants that I need to make myself fix them. Because I’d love to have them in more regular rotation!