Self drafted pussybow blouse

Hi sewing friends!

With Christmas on the way I am busy making gifts, so I thought I will share with you something I made a while back. I am always admiring any and all pussybow blouses I see and there are some great patterns out there such as the one from Sew Over It. For a while I was considering buying the pattern, but I thought with such a simple design I should be able to draft it myself.

After some thinking and planning I got to work on it by applying some changes to my own shirt pattern. The changes I made where quite straightforward and did not take too much time.

Pattern adjustments

First I eliminated the waist darts on both front and back, to create this loosely fitting blouse, also I had to slightly straighten side seams. Next I extended a centre back by adding 5 cm to create a boxed pleat.

I had redrawn front neckline with somehow curved V shape and marked a 3 cm slash line down the centre.

The biggest adjustment was to lower the armhole and draft a new sleeve head to fit the bigger armcycle.

The last was to draft a blouse tie, I made my 12cm by 160cm. It is a bit long but I like it.

Sewing the pattern

The biggest head scratcher for me was to figure out how to attach the tie to the neckline with a clean finish and no raw edges on display. Most pussybow blouses have a centre front seam, but I wanted to avoid having one because of my fabric print and preferences.

I settled on doing a slit with a facing instead. It is very simple to make and it gives a nice neat finish. I’ll not bore you with details, but you can have a look here if you are interested as I did mine in a similar manner. My big bow covers up the stitching and the tie is first sewn onto a neckline with a machine and finished on the inside be enclosing raw edges inside and had stitching in place.

I sewn cuffs in the same way as in my shirt, but next time I’m planning to do a proper cuff placket. I wanted to practice making that thread loop again. It came out looking a lot better. Similar to a neckline tie I avoided top stitching on cuffs and hand sewn it from inside.

Overall it took me around 4.5 hours to complete this blouse, which is surprising long considering that I had made my shirt in about 5 hours. But thinking about it, hand stitching takes time.

The fabric

I used 2 meters of this beautiful floral print viscose fabric, which I got from Lewisham Rolls and Rems shop. It used to be my local shop, and they have a pretty good selection of materials and trimmings. I purchased my fabric for £3.95 a meter and I must say it is a very nice quality material with a beautiful drape to it. It was much easier to handle than some other viscose fabrics I used to work with and made the whole sewing process a breeze.

Final thoughts

I am pretty happy with the final results of this experiment. I will use this pattern again, but might make tiny changes to armhole shape and a sleeve before. I really it can be a timeless piece, if it’s made of of plain and luxurious looking fabric and I really would like to make more in a pastel colors.

Are you fun of this style or you prefer more fitted tops?

Have a nice week!

Monika xxx

Culottes- perfect trousers for hot summer days!

There are few fashion trends that I am drooling over since last year and was hoping that they still will be in fashion this year. Culottes are one of them and I am so happy to finally join the culottes loving family.

I first intended to buy a Winslow culottes pattern by Helen’s Closet after seeing so many beautiful versions on Instagram and Pintrest but decided to stay true to this year’s resolutions of using what I’ve got and expanding my skills and knowledge, but still wanted that wide leg pants with lots of movement. What drew my attention to Winslow culottes was it’s voluminousity , and I was inspired to create something similar, but not to that extend, because I still was not sure if this style will suit my body.

Book by Anastasia Vouyoka “Pattern Making for Perfect Fit and Style” came very handy for this project. I drafted a basic culottes style trouser block and added an inverted box pleats to the front by cutting the pattern piece in the middle parallel to the grain line and expanding it by 8cm. I left the back pattern piece plain with just a little shaping dart. It might be silly considering the style of culotte pants but I was conscious of adding unnecessary bulk to my hips so I decided not to insert pockets (crying now) ! I do regret that, but I’m too afraid I will ruin the fabric if I attempt to fix this now.

I used a straight waist band , but inserted an elastic at the back so it hugs my body better , hence I interfaced only front part of the waist band to add some stability for buttonholes and zip opening. I had to hand stitch the waist band because I wanted a clean finish. Also used a self covered buttons here, because I thought they would look cute….and they do 🙂

I had sewn a small waist ties and inserted them at the side seams. They aren’t that noticeable on this busy fabric but I like it anyway.

I am still trying to figure it out the best lenght on me. This culottes stops in the middle a calf and I think I like it. Hovewer I want to make a full lenght version and just below the knee version just to see which one is best.

It was my last me made item of clothing I took with me to Prague. I wore it with RTW top and it was great and breezy in the heat.

I went to Fabricland in Kingston to search for a suitable fabric for this project, because I had nothing in my stash that would be good for culottes. I purchased 3 meters of this colourful Crepe De Chine material for £3.99 a meter, which is a bargain. It is a light weight fabric, but it is not sheer. It has a lot of movement and drape so it is perfect for making dresses and culottes. It is made out of 100 percent polyester which is the only negative aspect. I used only 2 meters for this make, so have enough to squeeze something small out of the remnant. I love when this happens!

It took me about 2 days to draft the pattern pieces and sew the mock version from some old bed sheets, which is always time well spend if you consider that it might be ill fitting otherwise. Cutting fabric was quick as there are only 4 pattern pieces, back, front, waist band and ties.

I spent a week sewing this garment from start to finish doing a bit each evening and finishing it of at the weekend. In total I managed to make it in a space of 7 hours, which is not that long if you take into consideration making self covered buttons and had stitching waist band.

Final thoughts

I am really pleased with myself for taking that leap and drafting this pattern from the start. Overall the fit is very good, and the only thing I will twick is the back crotch curve. It needs to be longer by 1-2 cm. Other then that I wished there were pockets…next pair will definitely have them and I am planning to make the tie belt more of a statement. I will double or triple the width and gather it at the side seam so it still can be inserted into the waistband. As mentioned above I might play with the lenght a bit to see which one is more flattering on me.

I spend a whole day walking around the Prague in my culottes and they were very comfortable. The fabric does not crease and did not bubble yet after two washes, so it was a money spend well.

~Hope you like it and it inspired you to be braver with choosing outfits that you may otherwise stay away from~

Monika xxx