Archive for December 28th, 2011

December 28, 2011

7. The Good Old Rain Button-Down

I set off this afternoon intending to get shots of my latest creation only to get rained on a few minutes in. I managed to get two shots; unfortunately, the blouse is almost entirely covered by a pullover in both. If nothing else, I’ll try tomorrow (update: see here) to grab a few on the dressform of the blouse alone.

Pattern: Pussy Bow Blouse by Pattern Runway

Fabric: Cotton Batiste

Notions: 8 white buttons (that I ripped from one of Kelley’s shirts… shh!)


This was my fourth pattern that I’ve used from Pattern Runway and as always it was very well drafted. The collar came together very easily which was what I was most apprehensive about. I cut a medium but in future makes I’ll grade the hips to a large – the bottom spreads when I move but nothing awful. The only part I struggled with was the curved hem. The pattern calls for a 2″ hem allowance which seemed excessive for a lightweight garment and was entirely impossible with my skill level. I consulted my sewing guides which suggested running a gathering stitch to help ease the excess which helped on outside curves but did nothing for those inside ones. I finally gave up and did a narrow hem which looks more than acceptable.

The original intention of this project was to check the style on before I cut some luscious cotton/silk to make a copycat of this blouse. I grabbed a stashed cotton batiste but I was short about a yard so I left out the bow. To add some visual interest (and texture!) I took inspiration from this lovely top and beaded the collar tips. It’s nothing revolutionary but I had a lot of fun planning it out and beading fabric for the first time. I was actually pretty amazed that the only beads that I had in my stash were copper-colored! Just waiting for this project, weren’t they? I had to rip out my first attempt as I wanted a machine washable shirt and I had my doubts that they would stay on. Once I got the hang of securing the little buggers, the process went really quickly. I’ll definitely be adding beads on future projects (wouldn’t it be divine as a hem accent?).

Here’s the thing – I think the shirt is lovely. It fits well and is well sewn (not to toot my own horn) but there’s a reason why I don’t own white button-down shirts. They just don’t speak to me. I went through my entire closet trying to feel comfortable in an outfit that showcased the blouse but nothing was “me”. Most left me feeling like I was in a catering uniform or perhaps playing the bells in a Christmas pageant. This is baffling because browsing through pinterest shows so many inspiring button-downs but, at the end of the day, the only way I wanted to wear the shirt was heavily layered. Fine but it doesn’t make the most thrilling sewing showcase!

I’m going to keep trying but until I feel more comfortable remixing the button down, I’m going a different route for that cotton/silk!


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