A ‘Sew Over It’ Pussy Bow Blouse

The first sewing project for 2015 has been the Pussy Bow Blouse pattern from Sew Over It. This is the garment I’ve chosen to make for the 2015 Sewing  / Design and Inspiration Challenge being run by Zoe over at Short Stories of Shapely Seams.

Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse

Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse

January’s challenge was to create a mood board and make a garment inspired from the board. My inspiration came from Mrs Brown’s wardrobe from the Paddington movie. I came out of the cinema just loving her style!

Mrs Brown inspired mood board!

Mrs Brown inspired mood board!

At the same time over at ‘Did You Make That?‘ Karen had been making the pussy bow blouse and I suddenly realised that was the pattern I needed!

The pattern requires fabric with drape, I hadn’t had time to go out to any fabric shops so I tried my luck with e-Bay and found this navy fabric with white stars for £4.99 per metre. It is 100% viscose and when it arrived I was really pleased as it was perfect for this blouse.

From the body measurements on the pattern I cut the size 8 but I needed to shorten the sleeves by 4cm.

Sewing up was far from without problems! The main area I had difficulties with was the area where the bow ties meet at the centre front. I was sewing version 2 where the tie is stitched right to the bottom of the ‘V’. The instructions ask for you to sew up the tie, turning through the ends and leaving an open gap in the middle section to sew around the ‘V’. Unfortunately when I came to attach the tie, the length of  ‘V’ opening was much longer than the open section. I couldn’t unpick the tie because I had trimmed the seam allowance very close to the stitching.

I closed up a bit of the centre front seam but this wasn’t going to solve my problem and the inside was beginning to look a dogs dinner. To prevent the centre front point from turning into a frayed mess I cut a couple of bias strips and stitched on to each side to neaten the seam allowance.

The inside view of the bottom of cf 'V' - before and then after adding bias strips to prevent anymore fraying

The inside view of the bottom of cf ‘V’ – before and then after adding bias strips to prevent anymore fraying

I finally solved the problem by attaching the ties to the neck edge by butting the edges together and using a small zig zag stitch.

A small zig zag stitch was used to attach the tie to the front V point on each side.

A small zig zag stitch was used to attach the tie to the front V point on each side.

I’m not sure what went wrong, maybe I notched the seam allowance of the tie in the wrong position but one thing I did forget to do was to stay stitch the neck edge. It’s something that I usually do but just forgot it this time and it’s not mentioned in the pattern.

Anyway once the neck was sorted the sleeves and the hem were straightforward. The cuff buttons are fastened with a rouleaux loop. It was the first time I’d used my loop turner than I bought yonks ago.

I’m not sure if the sleeve head is supposed to be gathered, it doesn’t show it in the pictures on the pattern but instructions tell you to stitch two rows of gathering stitches. When I came to pin the sleeve head in there was hardly any gather and in the end I used the gathering stitches to easy the sleeve head in to the armhole with no noticeable gathers.

I was a bit underwhelmed when I’d finished but after a few tries on I like the way it fits. The front of the V would probably be an inch lower if I hadn’t tried to sew it up which I think would improve it. I did manage to get to a fabric shop after the star fabric arrived and I bought some more viscose, this time a bright floral print on a black background so I’m going to make up another one as I am determined to get the better of that tie insert! 🙂

I bought the paper pattern rather than the PDF version which was £13 plus £3 P&P. I bought during that slow time between Christmas and New Year and then I wondered if I really needed to spend £16 on a pattern so at that price I’ll definitely be making it more than once!

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13 thoughts on “A ‘Sew Over It’ Pussy Bow Blouse

  1. It’s absolutely lovely! Even when you hit trouble, you manage to pull off a rescue that leaves no trace. I could learn a lot from you. (I’ve spent the day wrestling with a disasterous bra toile, and it has ended very badly!)

    • I still need to neaten the edges of those bias strips, that’s a job for this evening. I’m have a lot more patience these days, in the past I would have made a mess unpicking and given up. Good luck with the bra, I’m not sure if that is something I ever want to tackle!

  2. What a timely post. The top is great and you can’t tell you had issues with it. I’m currently working on the Sewaholic Oakridge blouse with a bow and I have major issues. I hope it turns out half as good as yours. As for Paddington, I just saw it today and the only thing I looked for was her clothes! I have to combine orange with blue at some point in my life. Then my kids insisted we leave because they were too young to sit through it and so I missed most of her clothes. Sad. Once again, great top!

    • I’ve just looked at the oakridge pattern, I couldn’t find a line drawing of it but is it the bow causing issues? I can see that it is cut on the bias, hopefully you can work it out. With it being a new pattern I’m sure there are quite a few other bloggers out there making up at the moment so you may find some tips.
      As for Paddington, it was the second cinema visit for my 3 year old and he managed to get to the end. The first time he went was for ‘Planes 2’ and fell asleep!

  3. How annoying. I do wonder about some patterns – if they really have been properly tested. But sometimes it is the instructions that lack clarity. It is quite hard to do in words and diagrams. I often notice that instructions are quite ambiguous and a beginner I was helping recently found them confusing. Howver I have found writing clear instructions is even harder.

    Despite all that it is a nice looking blouse; the stars are bright and the navy looks lovely. I think I will put a pussy bow on my list. And a visit to see Paddington too.

    • What I need to do before I make it again is go back and measure the pattern pieces. I traced the pattern off onto dot and cross paper so there is always a possibility I was a bit inaccurate. This is the first Sew Over It pattern I have used, the instructions were OK, there’s not really much too it.
      The fabric is nice and a good eBay find. Sometimes you are not quite sure what you are going to get.

  4. Looking good! Thanks for joining the challenge!

    I haven’t seen the movie, but have since googled some images to see the clothes. So often I see a movie, and wish the producers would release a catalogue of all of the costumes the actors wore, so I could study them in more detail. There was the WWEPW (What Would Emma Pilsbury Wear) blog that came out of Glee (by a fan). That was fun. I’d like details of everything in Lemony Snickets. OH and the quilts and bedspreads in the scene in Nanny McPhee where the children are all ‘sick’! The camera kept moving way too quickly.

    I really hope you make an orange coat to go with it now. 🙂

  5. Okay, I give. This is the nth time I have attempted to press the “Like” start on a WP site and it does not take. I do not understand why yet I can “like” comments on my own page. Can you help?

    L

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