Sunday, 6 October 2013

Simplicity 2154 bow blouse

Way back at the beginning of the summer, Simplicity asked if I'd like to try out one of their patterns. Er, yes please! After days of umming and ahhhing, I finally chose Simplicity 2154, a 1960's retro pattern which includes a pencil skirt, fitted jacket, cardigan and bow necked blouse. 





The skirt and jacket would make an adorable 1960's air hostess outfit, and the cardigan looks like a useful pattern, but let's be honest here, the sole reason I chose the pattern was for the bow blouse. I've got a bit of a weakness for bow blouses - my Pinterest boards are littered with the things. I've admired Winnie's chiffon polka dot version from afar and was lucky enough to see it in person last year (it's gorgeous!). I also really like Amanda from Bimble and Pimble's version she made for the Mad Men challenge. Anywaaaay, summer and school holidays seemed to get in the way, but I did eventually get round to making up the pattern and we're only a few days into October... 



For fabric I chose the fabric that has no name. I haven't got a clue what it is, it's almost certainly synthetic and comes from Classic Textiles on the Goldhawk Road. It's the same fabric Karen used for her lovely Anna dress and in her words, "It's red with white polka dots, barely creases, has a lovely drape", which is everything you need to know about it.

Let me tell you that this is the PERFECT fabric for this particular pattern, drapey, slinky and easy to cut out and handle. It's also quite fine which comes in mighty handy when you're working with all those layers around the collar area. I don't think there was anything I didn't like about this pattern while I was making it. The instructions were comprehensive and the sizing was spot on - I made a 14 and didn't make any changes at all. 

The only thing that was nagging away at me before I started sewing this top was the thought of putting in a side zip - you all know how much I hate them (yawn). Then I remembered I'd actually made my second Alma blouse without a side zip and still managed to get it over my head. So as an experiment I decided to sew up the side seams zip-free, just to see if I could get it on. And it worked!!  Relief and joy flowed throughout the land. I think it helped having miracle fabric that does whatever you ask it to and generous openings at the front and back neck. I could probably have brought in the side seams a bit for a closer fit, but I didn't want to sacrifice the zip-free status. If I want a tighter, sexy secretary look, I'll just tuck it in. And as it's sleeveless it's perfect to wear under a cardi.

Tuck it in next time please Jane...

My favourite details are the collar and bow. If I was designing my perfect collar, this is exactly what it would look like, I just love the size and shape of it.

Back view

It also has two darling little peephole details at the front and back. The button fastens with a handworked thread loop which isn't as difficult as it sounds, I used this excellent tutorial, and it was a cinch!

Now, onto the bow. The big, floppy Mrs Slocombe-esque BOW.



I carefully read all the construction details on Winnie's and Amanda's posts and came to the conclusion that I wouldn't interface it as the pattern advises. The bow definitely looks much floppier without interfacing, but I think I prefer it that way - I was scared it would turn out too starched. It also allows me to channel my inner Mrs Slocombe, which can only be a good thing. 

So what's my final verdict on this pattern? Well I like it....a LOT! In the few days since I finished it, I've worn it every day, pausing only to wash it when it threatens to walk to the washing machine by itself. If I was allowed, I think I'd probably wear this blouse for the rest of my life!  Happy Sunday! x

This pattern was given to me free of charge for review. All views my own.



64 comments:

  1. It looks fantastic and red is a great color on you!

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  2. How wonderful that's it's such a perfect pattern fit - red, drapey amiable fabric, polkadots, no zip and who can resist a bit of are you being served ;) It looks glorious & deserves to be on high rotation!

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  3. Hi Jane only just found your wonderful blog and love it. I am new to sewing and have been following Tilly - still on baby steps but loving it. I would love to put you as one of my favourites if that is ok with you. It is wonderful to read all about your sewing particularly when you are fairly new to it yourself. I love your style - the garments are just divine. I am just starting a giveaway on my blog so do pop over and enter. Would love to see you there. Have a fabulous weekend
    Lots of love
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    crochetknittingsewing.blogspot.com
    Dorothy's Room

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  4. Love that blouse! You are so lucky to be able to try this pattern ... J

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  5. Wow! That is stunning! I will defenitely try this one out!! It has the perfect collor. And the split opening in the front and back are super cute details! I am sooo glad you made it whitout a zipper, cause now I know it works:)
    I made my first bow blouse this week, from just a few inspirational pictures. I didnt have a pattern so I had to wing it. But I love the result! I only wish my bow was so nice as yours! Heres the link to my post: http://trollemors-hverdag.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-own-designed-pussy-bow-blouse-and.html

    i would love it if you'd stop by:)

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    1. Oooh that's a fine bow blouse, I bet you'll wear it a lot! x

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  6. Oh no I didn't even see that when I was doing my Simplicity thing, and I've wanted that pattern for ages!!! The bow is amazing...

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    1. I had pattern blindness trying to choose too, people kept choosing patterns that completely slipped through my net! x

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  7. It's great. The bow is fab, and the red and white polka dots really do justice to the style and pattern. Think I would be very tempted to make the Cardi to go with it.

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  8. Oooh Jane I am now officially in awe - well done on another gorgeous make! My Liberty book arrived yesterday and I've been drooling over - well just about everything! I absolutely love it and have put a link to here over on my blog. Thank you so much again x Jane

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    1. Fab, so pleased you like the book! x

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  9. I was going to say how beautifully ladylike it looked - and then I saw the pic of Mrs Slocombe and burst out laughing. Well done, it looks lovely - and I really must get to Goldhawk Road one day.
    Like I NEED anymore fabric.

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  10. Love this. It looks great and really suits you. Please make the other pieces, I'd love to see your take on them.

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  11. This blouse is lovely.... would it be suitable for a beginner? I'm looking for a blouse/ shirt/ top to make that has a vintage-style about it that is suitable for beginners. If you could let me know it would be appreciated x

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    1. I think a confident beginner could tackle it easily. I've just looked through the pattern again and the skills needed are mostly just sewing seams, darts and bias binding around the armholes. There is the side zip to contend with but there are tons of great tutorials online if you get stuck. I'd also say don't try to gather the middle of the bow with machine stitches, it's too thick, far easier to use a few hand stitches instead. Good luck!

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    2. Sorry, wasn't paying full attention there, you can also omit the zip of course if you don't want a mega fitted top! x

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  12. This is very flattering on you! Love the nod to Mrs. Slocombe, fashion revolutionary if there ever was one.

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  13. I love your floppy bow! I've had this pattern in my stash for a couple of years and have never gotten to it. Thinking maybe I should dig it out after seeing yours!

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  14. Bowtastic Jane! I think that's the same fabric I used on one of my Miz Mozelle dresses and it looks like it suits a top a lot more, no clinging to the bottom problems!

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    1. Oh yes it is! I knew I'd seen it somewhere else before! Ii remember you buying it! x

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  15. Fab blouse, I bet that will work well with so many of your other makes you'll be able to wear it daily without any difficulties :)

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  16. That blouse is super cute. I didn't notice the pattern before, I'll have to check it out. And love the "Are You Being Served?" connection. That was a great show!

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  17. Lovely blouse, the bow is a fab detail. As others have said, I'd love to see you making the rest of the ensemble from this pattern. I can definitely see you as an air stewardess.

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  18. It's a lovely blouse, Jane, and so perfect for you! I am so happy to see that you made it in your signature colour :)

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  19. So cute! I loved making this blouse too... every time I see another one pop up in sewing blog land, I want to rush to the cutting table and start another version, omitting the side zip & bow interfacing, of course. :)

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  20. The bow has PERFECT drape. Great job.

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  21. LOVE IT! That bow looks fab on you. And I'm kinda inspired by Mrs Slocombes glasses and chain...

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    1. Yes, They're awesome aren't they? The pink rinse hairdo is quite tempting too...x

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  22. Absolutely gorgeous! That bow is perfect and red is definitely your colour. And it is such a good feeling when you can leave out the zip isn't it.

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  23. That is really fantastic. I love the bow and collar too and like any blouse that can sit beneath a cardie. I know how well that fabric behaves! May have to buy this pattern now, Jane.

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  24. Wow, that's gorgeous! I've been eyeballing that pattern for the blouse for years. I think I'm probably going to cave and actually have to buy it now!

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  25. Love the details on this garment - the bow (of course!), collar and the keyhole at the back make this a winner!

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  26. I love it! My favorite parts are the bow and the peepholes.

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  27. I'm happy to see your excellent blouse. I bought the same pattern a while ago and haven't made it yet. Yours gives me some incentive. Also I LOVE that you featured Mrs.Slocombe!!!!

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  28. Eeep, another version of this blouse that I absolutely adore! I love how beautiful the bow and slash details are and it looks incredible with a cardi on top...which isn't always easy to achieve!

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  29. It's an adorable blouse! You look great in this colour :) And the bow looks perfect without interfacing.

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  30. This is simply darling under a cardi- I love how fluid the bow is!
    And thank you so much for the shout out :D

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    1. My pleasure - love your version! x

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  31. Love it, which is great because I bought the pattern last week. Don't know if I will be brave enough to try the whole ensemble!

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  32. Ah Jane this is so perfect for you. I have to say it gives you a very capable but fabulous air Margot from the good life. I'm v tempted now.

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    1. Margot from The Good Life!!!!! Now THAT'S a compliment! Thanks darling! x

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  33. Stunning blouse. Totally agree with you on the collar and bow, it's soo cute. Great choice on the fabric, the colour really suits you. I love polka dots but only seem to come across quilting weight fabric.

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  34. Oh my goodness! I absolutely love how it came out. I have strong weakness for anything with polka dots. The red color actually looks very flattering on you as well as the fit of the blouse. It looks absolutely adorable under that blue cardi (blue and red is a perfect match).

    Anyways, I personally have that pattern and I was wondering if you have any other tips on making it (especially if you may not have some "miracle fabric" in your stash)? I was thinking about adding sleeves to the pattern. Do you think it would be that hard? I thought maybe some puffy sleeves would be an adorable addition to the pattern. And finally, do you think there is some cases where the side zipper might be necessary? Or maybe if you're small enough it isn't that big of a deal?

    I absolutely love reading your blog. You have such great taste in clothes and your sewing skills are great to see. I hope to continue to see more!

    Lady Lavender

    ---

    http://ladylavendersexpressions.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi, I agree, navy blue and red are a perfect pairing! I think if the fabric has very little drape or flexibility then a side zip is probably necessary and added sleeves would be adorable! x

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  35. This is so fun! I love the tiny polka dots.

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  36. I love that you made an "Are You Being Served?" reference! This blouse is fabulous!

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  37. This is super cute! I may have to pick up this pattern

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  38. Oh yesss, I love Mrs. Slocombe! But back to the blouse Just divine, and so perfectly Jane I think! I love the no-zip status, too. When I made my first Alma I practically jumped for joy at being able to do the same thing (which isn't too easy when you have, er, a lot up top). I love the polka dots and I think it's equally great under a cardi. Just the way I like my blouses to be-- versatile. Lovely!

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    1. Thanks Tasha, and I know exactly what you mean about the non-zip status! It's definitely versatile, I haven't had it off my back since I made it - it's in the washing machine as I type this and I miss it! x

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  39. Ooooh, total bow blouse crush going on here. Love the fabric, the peep details, and the bow of course. It is just perfection! By the way, is Mrs. Slocombe the lady form "Are you being served?" I have the sneaking suspicion it is. I watched that show for the first time this summer (I grew up in South America, no British TV shows there...) and found it hilarious!

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    1. Yes, she's the very same! I was obsessed with the programme when I was little! x

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  40. This is super duper cute!! I love it! I have a weakness for bow blouses too. I need to make one up! I bet it is because of watching all those episodes of Are You Being Served?. Mrs. Slocombe has been sending bow blouse subliminal messages!

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  41. Terrific blouse! I love bows on garments. It looks great on you. I actually like the air hostess suit in the rest of the pattern as well!

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  42. I love it! I've been searching high and low for a cute bow blouse pattern. This may be it!

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  43. That's gorgeous! Love the red polka dot on you:) I've pinned this to Pinterest, just starting out with a dressmaking board.

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  44. Love this top on you. Your decision not to interface the bow was brilliant...I love the drape of the bow. And, of course, red dots look amazing on you.

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  45. Love this top - you have such a terrific style. The bow looks lovely without interfacing.

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  46. I'm in love with your bow blouse (and your blog). The bowm the peephole and the button at the back all look amazing. And I love the red and white dots. This is going on my pattern want list.

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  47. You got a hot top Jane! Love it ( possibly even more than my polka dot one)
    And it is so purrrfectly you - sort of a mrs slocombe reference there!
    Sorry late commenting....x

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  48. It's fab, and especially in the red polka dot. Good old Mrs Slocombe, do you know they show old episodes of Are You Being Served? in the afternoons sometimes? I've caught a couple and they do make me laugh. In fact, I got to spend 3 hours in A&E with Charlie at the weekend and was saved by the movie of Are You Being Served? being on the telly in the waiting room, reminded me how much I LOVE a bright pink/purple rinse. Bx

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  49. Love your blouse so much that it prompted me to buy this pattern at the last Simplicity sale. I hope mine turns out half as nice! I may just completely copy you and go with dotties too.

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