Friday, 8 March 2013

Butterick 9206 bow blouse


I've wanted to sew a bow-necked blouse for a while, but I knew I'd need to find exactly the right pattern. In my opinion, you need to tread carefully, otherwise you'll be sliding head first into Austin Powers territory... 

Yeah baby!

Of all the many bow blouse patterns out there, the one that took my fancy was vintage Butterick 9206 from the late 1950's, with its lovely kimono sleeves. After I admired Kerry's 'Nice Surprise' blouse made from the same pattern (even though she'd put it on her fail list), she very generously offered to let me borrow and trace it. Thanks so much Kerry - sewing blogger to the rescue yet again. 


The only slight obstacle in my master plan was that her pattern was for a 38 inch bust and my usual vintage size is a 36 or 34. For the first time ever, I decided to grade it down - properly. You know, with a pencil and ruler and tracing paper and everything. If you ever need to grade a pattern up or down in size, then Casey's series of tutorials are wonderful. And - I have actual personal experience here - totally idiot proof. Rather cautiously, I graded down to a 36 inch bust as I figured it would be easy to take in the side seams. My reasoning was that if I graded it down too far to a 34 and it was too small, I'd be in trouble. It probably took me about an hour to grade the pattern pieces down and re-cut them out and the maths bit was easy, it didn't hurt one bit! The fit across the shoulders was fine, but I did need to take the side seams in a lot. With hindsight, I should have graded down to a 34 inch bust. Ho hum. The only other change I made was to extend the back darts up another 1.5 inches to allow for my narrow back.

Tiny, drapey gingham, almost impossible to photograph without it looking all swirly

I went for view D, which is more of a tie-neck than a bow-neck, and used my Margaret Howell posh drapey gingham. As the gingham print really is tiny, I didn't even attempt to match up the checks. 



Verdict? Well, I don't love it outright, but I do like it. The fabric is soft and comfortable to wear and drapes beautifully, but I think it's almost too drapey - the blouse is just very floppy. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, it looks nice tucked in and I can see it pairing well with wide legged trousers or even shorts in the summer for a bit of a nautical look. I've now decided that the next time I make a bow-necked blouse I'd like to make one that screams PUSSY BOW and really makes a statement. This blouse is neat and chic but is definitely something Miss Brahms would wear. Next time I want to channel my inner Mrs Slocombe. x



27 comments:

  1. I think it's fantastic, not too overly prim and proper. I can really see it looking great (in a Debbie Reynolds way) with a pair of jeans.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You make me giggle! Of course you look nothing like Mrs Slocomb! I like the blouse, the fabric drape looks just about perfect to me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's great! It's doesn't SCREAM vintage pussy bow like you maybe wanted it too, but I think because it's a little more understated, a nod to that style, it makes it really versatile and wearable!

    AND it looks great on you! Great job grading down the pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the fabric, and it might not be full on vintage pussy bow like you intended but it's kind of 'vintage-lite', with a nod to vintage. Looks like the first step on your quest for the perfect pussy bow blouse :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. haha - it is a touch miss brahms! it is a lovely blouse tho and it looks great with the red skirt!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm so stepping away from the jokes at this point...
    Gorgeous blouse, though, Jane. I'm also seeing it with denim capris and ballet pumps for spring. Very Riviera!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's a very subtle pussy bow blouse. Very modern and chic, yes. You know what, Jane, I must say that I really admire your ability to make each and everyone of your project look so "Jane". It's like you're consistently able to put your own stamp on the simplest project. Your aesthetic is very defined, and this is what inspires me about your sewing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's very cute and I got a now blouse envy

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this! It looks great in that fabric and the way you've styled it. I've been obsessing over these mini bow styles recently. Although Mrs Slocombe's pussy is lovely too, of course!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Mrs Slocombe's pussy is lovely too'... as the actress said to the bishop!

      Delete
  10. I think it's another winner! I'm always a bit about actual bows, they can so easily look old lady or air hostess. Having said that, a pussy bow with a victory roll updo would look cute (I just pictured Sybil Fawlty though as I was writing that... maybe not!) Anyways. Back to your blouson, it is ^parfait^. Subtle, retro, nautical - just your style. The only difference I would make to that pattern personally is the sleeves. I would probably draft them wider and gather the sleeve hem into band at the bottom, to create a sort of very subtle balloon sleeve (still elbow length). This would nicely echo both the soft drapey puffiness when it is tucked into the waist and the soft puff of the neck bow. Either that or leave the band off bu,t make them even more kimono-y. That would probably be verging on late 30's style more than 40's though I think. Anyway, again, good job Jane!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a hit I say too. If it's cute and comfy to wear then you'll be reaching for it a lot. I of course adore the neckline, and loved being taken on chuckle worthy frill and pussy bow references ( and let's not go down the whole mrs slocombe and her feline corny joke!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this blouse. The material, the drape, the shape, the bow! I think it is lovely and looks wonderful on you. I've been thinking navy gingham blouse for awhile and had almost decided on a classic button down, but now you have opened a whole new can of worms.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Can we put you down as "Strobing Blogger of the Year" yet? ;D

    I love it, though, I think it's pretty and understated as a pussy bow blouse [I have a problem with saying that, I swear I'm mentally a child] but with great wearability!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think it's lovely. Feminine, yet easy and comfortable to wear.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You looks so cute! Love it styled with the red skirt.

    ReplyDelete
  16. OMG I love Mrs. Slocombe!

    I really like your blouse! The tiny checks are so cute. I imagine it would look really nice with a cardigan too so you could style it multi-season! Somehow the bow comes across both fun and casual but could totally be chic-ed up (made that up), too.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think it looks great. I like the drapyness of it, maybe making it more casual than formal? I dunno:)
    Would loook good with trousers too I think, maybe something like your sailor pants??

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really like it, especially worn with red, as you have done. Loving the Mrs Slocombe bit, I always have the urge to dye my hair pink (which I've done before) when I see her. Bethx

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really like this blouse. I think it is the drapy-ness that does it for me. It looks so soft and comfortable. I totally agree that with wide leg trousers it would look great.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The drape looks so casually elegant, it must be gorgeous fabric to wear.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I wish Butterick would reissue this pattern. It is a perfect office blouse - elegant but not fussy. Your Mrs Slocombe photos made me giggle.

    ReplyDelete
  22. ohmygosh, i loved "are you being served!", so funny =) your shirt looks super cute

    ReplyDelete
  23. Really cute blouse! The shape of the tie is fab, little bit different to other bow blouses. Looking out for an Austin Powers attempt though!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Jane. Lovely top and a great blog! I have just made a black gingham top and have put a link in my sewing blog to your Butterick blouse at http://carolineparadigmdesign.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/black-gingham-top.html. Regards. Caroline :-)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...