Made by Me!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse - Finished!

It's a dark Sunday evening and I am cocooned in a snugly jumper and a pair of handmade Margot pyjama bottoms from Tilly's book, 'Love at First Stitch', trying to forget I have to get up for work tomorrow. I want to sew but I can't quite gather the energy to move so I thought I would type up my review of the Pussy Bow Blouse from 'Sew Over It' instead. It's a lot more glamorous than my current get up (although having only just made pj's for the first time they are so much nicer than shop bought ones and made in a lovely bright Liberty Tana lawn for some added luxury).


This pattern has been around for ages. How have I not managed to sew this beauty up before? It is in essence a pretty easy make, though I chose to make it in the most annoying fabric. I decided having never sewn anything in silk I would make an effort to rectify this and bought some of the most beautifully patterned and coloured dobby satin silk from the lovely Dragonfly Fabrics. Now I bought this a good few months ago but they still have some in stock so grab it here if you like it. The fabric features tree branches and lovely splashes of pinks, blues and other colours in the background. It is truly sumptuous. If you have not heard of dobby before then the first thing you notice about this fabric are the lines of  thread that punctuate throughout, which look slightly like small stitches in lines across the fabric.


The fabric is very fluid and drapey and so great for this shirt pattern but so difficult to cut out. I know now that there are much better ways to cut silk than laying the expensive fabric on carpet and cutting out with my scissors, but I am like bull in a china shop and just got on with it choosing to learn from experience rather than the warnings of others. I would avoid this technique as it is only by the skin of my teeth that the pieces I cut out were OK and if they weren't so great the mistakes were often hidden in the seam allowances. I spent ages laying it smoothly on the floor, carefully lining the fabric up and trying to pin the pattern pieces on without pulling the fabric all over the place. It took FOREVER!! The lines on the dobby silk were actually quite useful for positioning the fabric correctly and about the only reason the pattern pieces weren't all stretched out disasters...!


I went to the effort of hand sewing the pieces together, with a double whammy of pinning them with silk pins as well before putting them through the machine as I was worried they may slip all over the place. This worked well and everything sewed up nicely. It was especially important for the front of the shirt which is made up of two pattern pieces. I wanted to pattern match the tree branches and general pattern across the front. I am actually really surprised it looks this good due to the inaccuracies during cutting out, but it worked and looks pretty great if I do say so myself.


I sewed up the version with the lower neckline. The ties are sewn right to the bottom of the v-neck in this version and the tie hangs low on the shirt. You can style it with a big bow or leave the ties hanging down. I think it's a really flattering style. I love the way the sleeves pool at the wrist, the cuffs are small and delicate and the closure is a button and a loop of fabric. It is the epitome of feminine style.


I finished off the the seam allowances using a french seam to avoid fraying and to neaten the edges in a nice way. Silk deserves the classiest of finishes, don't you agree?! Annoyingly I managed to snip the fabric in one place whilst trimming the seam allowances back and had to quickly fix it with a small piece of iron on fusible interfacing. Its like you try so hard not to snip you involuntarily cause yourself to make mistakes.


I would like to make this up again in a more stable fabric as I think the finish would be better. I am not sure after hanging it in my closet that the hem isn't a touch wonky and on close inspection the v in the neck where the tie is attached wasn't easy to finish neatly with this fabric. Thankfully its hidden by the tie when its done up. And hey I am being critical as I am proud of this shirt. It is my first wearable silk item using a fabric I have been nervous of sewing up, forever. 


So what do you think? Have you made a pussy bow blouse before or are thinking of lining one up on your sewing list? Happy sewing whatever you are making!

2 comments:

  1. Your pussy bow blouse look amazing, I love the fabric and it drapes so lovely. I've not sewn with silk before, I find some viscose hard and have had to admit defeat on a couple makes as they were beyond help so I'm not ready for more expensive fabric yet. I do like a pussy bow, they look fab.

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    1. Thank you Lynsey. I totally feel your pain, I have had so many slippery fabric disasters. I still have some beautiful silk from Liberty that I bought eons ago but still haven't cut into for fear of damaging it. One baby step at a time! I do love a challenge though and this blouse was definitely one and it came out ok in the end - so don't give up trying those awkward fabrics. I reckon the pussy bow blouse would look great in a Liberty Tana Lawn as well though. It would be a little more structured but still soft and drapey without the hassle of sewing up silk!

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