Saturday, 28 January 2017

Pussybow Blouse, prototype

After sewing a few things in jersey I fancied a complete change so I decided to make a pussybow blouse using the free pattern in the October 2016 issue of Dressmaker magazine. I had had the material in my stash for some time with a blouse in mind and in January I think it is always nice to have some new things to wear for work.

In the end this turned into a bit of a roller-coaster. The material was very sheer and it wasn't an easy make at all. Being a free pattern the instructions weren't very detailed. For example, it said, make 5 buttonholes equally spaced  down the front, and there were no markings on the pattern to guide you. I tried the blouse on my dress form, Flossie, as I went along and as it began to take shape I was pleased with it.

When I finished my blouse and tried it on I was in for a shock. It didn't fit!! It was too tight!! I planned to wear a camisole underneath to cover my modesty but there wasn't enough room. Whenever I make something that isn't successful I always feel really depressed and I had a gloomy evening promising myself that I would never sew again. But, as usual I picked myself up, dusted myself off and now I am planning my next project.

On the brighter side, this material was one of my £1 a metre bargains from Leicester Market so not too great a loss I suppose.

I have done some detective work and discovered why the blouse came up too small for me when it fitted Flossie. Looking at the pattern it seems that, although I had measured myself, I had accidentally cut out a smaller size than I intended. Then I measured Flossie and discovered that over Christmas she had lost weight and she hadn't told me!! (She is an adjustable dress form and her settings had slipped). In addition to this Flossie doesn't have any arms so she doesn't need room in her blouse to move them around, but I do.

I don't like to be defeated so I have chosen a new piece of material and am going to have another go at a pussybow blouse. This time I have decided to combine the free pattern neck line and bow with this blouse that I have made before and that I know fits me.

This blouse was made from a Burda pattern, Burda Style 6/2013 pattern 118. I made it about 2 years ago and I have worn it to work so often that the plush is beginning to wear off on the shoulders. It has a bit more shape and feels very comfortable.  I find it a real challenge tracing over all of the lines to create the pattern from the Burda pattern sheet, but it feels worthwhile if I use the pattern more than once. I always write on the pattern to remind me that Burda don't put any seam allowances on their patterns. I have allowed 5/8 inch.

I used most of the pattern pieces from the Burda Blouse, the back and sleeves just as they were without making any changes, but I altered the neckline to fit the lovely full bow.  My grandma made all of her patterns from newspaper and I did the same with this one adding on a seam allowance as I went along.

Adding a seam allowance

Then I laid the pussy bow blouse front over the top of the newspaper front piece matching the centre lines and traced a lower neckline for the tie collar.

With the new pattern cut out in newspaper I was ready to cut out the fabric. The fabric I have chosen is also sheer and slippery so this project is taking me a while but I will post the second blouse as soon as it is finished...


  1. Looking forward to seeing the end result. Success after something not working out so well is always extra sweet.

    1. This was a disaster and I very nearly gave up. I serves me right for being tempted by a free pattern I suppose. Watch this space for mark 2.