After some careful consideration I decided to sew (during August) the vintage pussy bow blouse for September’s The Monthly Stitch Vintage Pattern Challenge. Why this pattern? Well the Iron Lady herself made it a winning wardrobe staple and some of my favourite sewing bloggers also know how to work this look: Anne of Tulle and Tweed and Lauren of Lladybird.
I made a sleeveless version 3 with waist darts from version 1. The pattern was second hand and the previous owner had added extra width to the pattern pieces at the hips and pushed the fold line out 1/2″ on the back pattern piece. After some careful measuring I decided to keep the hips but ditch the wider back for my toile. This was a good call. Other alterations were minor: I carved out more arm hole for comfort and halved the width of the pussy bow because the collar was right up into my hairline and the bow drowning me!
There was no other fabric option, in my opinion, than white with tiny dots so when I spotted this fabric at the place Karen lovingly refers to as “the stall outside Sainsbury’s” in Walthamstow I jumped on it (see her guide to Walthamstow fabric shopping and her map too). The fabric has been a pleasure to sew with. It softened with a pre-wash, pressed beautifully during construction and is both comfortable and cool to wear. It also got me three compliments from work colleagues on it’s first outing!
Construction of this blouse is fun: There’s the collar-come-pussy bow – it folds over to become it’s own collar facing but then opens out for the bow ties. I confidently betrayed the pattern instructions by stitching in the ditch instead of hand sewing the folded over part *gasp*. Then there are the waist darts that fold up at a very deep hem to become vents. Delightfully satisfying (but glad of a toile for a practice go). I don’t envy the person that had to put this tricky maneuver into written words!
It dawned on me during this make that I’m no longer anxious, nervous and a bit stressed (in a good way) when I sew something new. I’m relaxing into it and enjoying trying the trickier things because the worst that can happen isn’t that bad really.