Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Dotted Chambray Bow Blouse

You should all know by now that I have a bit of thing for a nice bow blouse. Whenever I fancy channelling my inner Mrs Slocombe, my go-to pattern is Simplicity 2154. I love this pattern, LOVE IT! I made my first bow blouse about a year ago and vowed I'd like to wear it for the rest of my life. Since then I've made a modified version for the beach and have just completed a third version complete with giant bow. I'll have to eat my words because THIS is the bow blouse I want to wear for the rest of my life! 


The fabric I used is Robert Kaufman Dotted Chambray in Indigo, which was kindly gifted to me by Annie at The Village Haberdashery. I knew I'd like this fabric after seeing it on various websites, but it wasn't until I actually made something with it that I realised how awesome it was. It's oh so soft to the touch, and feels even softer once its been pre-washed. It also has a great drape but is easy to cut out and press, two things that don't always come hand in hand. Lots of other sewing bloggers have used it for projects and I can totally see why. Check out Mary's beautiful shirt dress, Tilly's Bruyere blouse, and, as of today, Lauren's button down shirt.

Here it is tucked in...

…and with a cardigan
I sewed the same size as my other versions (size 14), with no adjustments and no side zip (hoorah). As per my first version, I didn't interface the bow, which I think results in a perfect level of floppiness! The pattern instructs you to turn and hem the top section of the centre seams around the keyhole openings. I decided to turn and hem both seams all the way down and really like the neat effect it gives. 


Inside back view: lovely neat seams!
I've said it before but I'll say it again, just for good measure, I love this top. I've worn it to within an inch of its life since I made it and received lots of compliments. For some reason, people are very impressed by the bow and can't believe I actually made it! It's really not that difficult, but I'll bask in the glory anyway! Happy Tuesday. x

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

57 comments:

  1. I love this fabric, I really have to get my hands on some. And what a great blouse too.

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    1. You should definitely try to get your hands on some - it's gorgeous! x

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  2. Oh, here it is!! I love this! You almost make me question my use of those fabric to not include a bow :) it looks ace by itself, but seeing the view under the cardigan actually made my eyes bug out a little in jealously. This is so perfect and SO you! I love it!

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    1. Aw thanks Lauren! Make sure you bring yours with you when you visit London, then we can be twins! x

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  3. It's a GORGEOUS bow! Not too small not too big, very crisp and not overwhelming. I love it! Mrs Slocombe would be proud.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I think Mrs Slocombe would approve! x

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  4. I am so so jealous of you and your bow blouses! I have been struggling with this pattern since the start of the year. I interfaced my bow and it turned out horribly stiff. I tried scraping off as much interfacing as I could, but I still can't get the darling floppy look that you achieved here. Your bow blouses keep coming out better and better and this one is definitely a winner!

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    1. Thanks so much - I think this is a very lucky pattern for me. I debated for ages whether to interface my bow first time round and am so glad I decided against it. It makes the bow much less in your face. Good luck with yours. x

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  5. Super cute! The bow really makes this blouse. :) This Robert Kaufman chambray dot is really fantastic stuff. I made an Archer with it and just love how it came out! http://wp.me/p216YU-Nb

    Enjoy your new blouse! :)

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    1. Thank you! Ah yes, I remember your gorgeous Archer from OWOP week. Every single garment I've seen made with this fabric is perfect! x

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  6. This is adorable. The bow is sooo cute. It's also totally you. I wish I could get a staple look like you have done :)

    Also, I've got my first ever Etsy discount code on the go, have a gander!
    http://whydidimakethat.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/discount-code.html

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I'm afraid giant bows have now become part of my staple look! x

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  7. Oooh, it looks fabulous cinched with the belt! Blousy but not too blousy.

    This reminds me, I have some of this fabric in the dotted olive in the form of a UFO and some extra yardage for the warrior. It is sooooo nice. I want to buy more but you know, stash problems... Yay for gorgeous makes!

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    1. Oooh it sounds gorgeous in olive green, you should definitely resurrect your UFO! And thank you! x

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  8. I love this too! It looks great so many ways! Adorable.

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  9. This is gorgeous Jane! I've got some of that lovely fabric to use, but in burgundy, and I can't wait to sew it up.

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    1. The burgundy versions I've seen have been just lovely. There's Mary at Idle Fancy's shirt dress and allspiceabounds' Archer (see link in comments above). Both fab, good luck with yours. x

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  10. Love it. It's so pretty. I have the same fabric and have just cut it out but don't wait to sew it together until I can get a nice neat finish like yours. How did you finish the seams and arm holes? Am still quite new to this so don't have all the lingo just yet. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! I finished the centre front and centre back seams by turning and hemming (see picture), the side seams and shoulder seams are just overlocked. The armholes and neck edge are finished with bias strips made from the same fabric. The bias strips are actually part of the pattern and instructions and give a lovely neat finish. Good luck with yours! x

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  11. That blouse is perfect and looks so pretty. I love the polka dot fabric, so classic.

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    1. Thank you - I can't resist polka dots in any shape or form! x

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  12. Lovely blouse, the workmanship is fabulous and it looks wonderful on you. Nice work!

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  13. Love the blouse, love the fabric, love the look. You did a wonderful job on it.

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    1. Aw thank you, it's so encouraging to get such lovely feedback! x

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  14. And no wonder! It looks fab, perfectly you! One of those items that just make you smile when you put them on, something to do with the combination of polka dots and a giant, floppy bow :-)

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    1. You're right, it always makes me smile when I put it on! Mind you, you can't really go wrong with a polka dot/giant floppy bow combo! And thanks! x

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  15. That top is crazy beautiful! And it really suits you!
    Frankie
    Www.knitwits-owls.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. I think it looks amazing and I'm not surprised that people are impressed - also, how neat are your seams?!

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    1. Ooh yes, I'm very proud of those seams! x

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  17. Your bow sits so beautifully with the collar Jane, I'm not surprised you get loads of compliments. I love that you've shared a view of your inner workings too. It's so nice to see great construction! But just how BIG is your wardrobe young lady Jane? You seem to be cranking out a new garment every week!

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    1. Haha! There have been a lot of garments made, but lots of the early ones have now been given away or sent to the charity shop. I feel a blog post coming on...,! x

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  18. It certainly is the perfect bow! Jo x

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  19. Beautiful!! outside and inside!! love the fabric! I wish I could sew like you, perhaps if I try I could hehehe

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    1. Thank you! And of course you can sew, give it a try! x

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  20. Lovely! Just waiting for half term for my next sewing binge... a pair of trousers and a shirt dress planned. Raising the level of challenge! Not made any tops yet, let alone any with bows!

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    1. I like the sound of trousers and a shirt dress, good luck! x

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  21. A-dorable!!! you have successfully sewn an absolutely lovely working wardrobe! you should be v. thrilled with your skills - at every post I say to myself (out loud) "ohh I need/want/cant live without/ this!"

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    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment! x

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  22. I really love it! It looks really good with that skirt and belt, you look lovely!

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  23. Love the look of this blouse especially with the skirt.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it goes particularly well with the skirt I think. x

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  24. This is beautiful! The insides are especially pretty.

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    1. Thank you! It's very satisfying to see the insides looking neat! x

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  25. Cute cutie cute! Sorry to say nothing more of substance BUT JANE THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO SAY ABOUT THIS.

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    1. Nothing more needed! Thanks lovely! x

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  26. That bow is SO cute! It really suits you :)

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  27. Hi Jane, I love this blouse on you. Can you explain what you mean by hemming the back seam - do your stitches show on the right side along along the back seam, as I presume they would around the keyhole opening. Sorry if I've not understood! x

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    1. Hi Catherine, no it doesn't show up on the right side of the fabric - it's just another way of finishing a seam allowance. The instructions tell you to do this around the keyhole openings only, then finish the rest of the seam allowance your own way, which is what I did on my first one. However, with the 2nd and 3rd versions I realised I could finish the whole seam allowances down the centre back and centre front this way for a neater finish. You'll see this method of finishing seam allowances a lot in vintage patterns (often called turn and stitch) in the days before overlockers or zigzag stitch! Here's a link to a very clear explanation of the technique: http://sewaholic.net/seam-finishes-turned-and-stitched/
      Hope this help. x

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  28. That IS nice! Sort of neat rather than too cutesy. And it looks lovely on you, suits you sir!
    Jane x

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  29. Love it. I must get this pattern!

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  30. It looks great! Definitely the perfect bow blouse.

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