Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Here's one I prepared earlier: Button Back Blush Blouse

OK, this is a bit of a misnomer. It's pink, not blush and I make no reference to the lovely collar. But I'm challenging myself to come up with garment names with alliteration now, and liked the sound of this!

Thank you all for very your kind comments on my last post. Since that make was so different to the original, I thought you might like to see, by way of comparison, what else I made using with the same pattern as a base.

I made this blouse specifically to go with this skirt, which I bought from H&M, whilst slightly drunk after a celebratory posh lunch to celebrate P's 40th birthday last summer. I fell for the bird print. I love a bird print - in fact I love birds in general and they are a theme in various forms around our house. Ironically we get very few actual birds in our garden, despite our best efforts (feeders, bird friendly plants, bird box) something that is of great disappointment to me.

Anway, I digress! The birds are mostly turquoise, with pink "breasts", and when I found this fabric it matched perfectly.

I didn't want to go down the usual black top route for this skirt and I already had in mind to make a blouse inspired by this:

I love the contrast collar here and the elbow length sleeves. I also have a penchant for button back blouses since I bought one a good few years ago, also from H&M. Unfortunately the H&M one shrank when I washed it, then shrank some more and I can no longer get into it. But ever since, I've coveted button back blouses.

So, my initial thought was to get the pink fabric and a white/off white one to make a contrast collar. I was discussing this with the lady in the shop when she mentioned the lace collars they were selling. I love these and thought they'd be perfect for the blouse - and much easier than drafting a peter pan collar myself!

The fabric is cotton, with probably a bit of poly in there too. It's slightly transparent, but not enough to need to wear something under it. It also crushes like mad!

I took the basic pattern, using the boat neck line again. I cut the front bodice as normal and extended the back bodice pieces slightly to allow me to create a button band. For the button band, I worked out how wide I wanted it to be and doubled it, plus a little for seam allowance. Once cut, I interfaced it and folded it back, turning under the seam allowance and top stitching down each side. The buttons were bought to go with the fabric and are dark pink with lighter pink markings. To work out how many I needed, I simply laid them out in various quantities until I was happy and went from there, double checking to ensure they were evenly spaced. I deliberately left a gap at the bottom, as I knew I'd be tucking this in, and didn't want buttons poking through the skirt fabric.

I used the given sleeve pattern pieces and used a longer sleeve from a different pattern to gauge width and length, and attached as normal. At the sleeve hem and blouse hem, I simply turned under and top stitched. To attach the collar, I sandwiched it (ensuring it was the right way around) between the bodice and the neck facing, and pressed to ensure it lay flat. It's not exactly the same shape as the neckline but I was able to ease it into place without any problems.

Here it is untucked, and with jeans to show it's diversity, and to show the back better!

And that was that! I have had tons of wear out of this. I wear it with the skirt, with other skirts, with black trousers, with jeans etc etc. Very versatile and easy to wear.

What I liked
As before, simple pattern. Easy to follow and quick to put together. My alterations were also relatively straightforward to make.

What I didn't like
Nothing, really!

Any alterations to fit?

Did I change anything?
As described above. Sleeve length, buttons at back and addition of collar.

Did I try anything new?
Adding buttons at back, changing sleeves, collar etc etc

What would I do differently next time?
Nothing. Although I did love this blouse before I added the sleeves possibly even more than once the sleeves were in, but I made this in autumn, so sleeveless didn't seem practical. I may do a sleeveless version, with a collar, at some point. Or even removing the sleeves from this one...

Will I make it again?
Well this was my third attempt at this (didn't mention this before but my very first attempt, which was true to the pattern, was a bit of a disaster), but yes, I reckon there is more mileage to be got out of this pattern.



  1. Just brilliant with those buttons down the back, and contrast collar! Perfect match with the skirt ... J

  2. That looks like such a sweet combination!

  3. You would never know this is the same pattern as the shirt you last posted. I really like the color and the lace collar - great too how you wore the bun and glasses like the inspiration photo :). You have to make Tilly's Mathilde top. On another note, I mailed my Nautical Swap today (fingers crossed that my swap buddy likes it).

  4. Thanks guys!

    Ha ha, the hair/glasses thing is complete coincidence! I never even noticed that, til you pointed it out, Shar! :)

    I also need to post my Nautical swap items. I'll blog about those later this week.

  5. This looks fantastic! And I would never have guessed it was the same pattern as the last one :) I've actually been looking for a button back blouse pattern (with no success), but this is a much better idea, thanks! (Outstanding alliteration too, by the way!)

    1. Why, thank you! :)

      Colette Sencha has a button back option, I think, if you are still looking for a pattern.

  6. That collar looks really good on the top, and I love the fabric colour, perfect for Spring/Summer.

    1. Thanks Kerry. I seem to remember you posting recently that you'd found a charity shop crochet collar. Any plans for it yet?

  7. What a fab top, the collar is perfect on it! One question, how easy is it to do up a back buttoning blouse, I have been tempted to make one but not sure I would manage to do the buttons up..!


    1. Thanks! I leave most of the buttons done up, and only open the top 2 - just enough to get the blouse over my head, then I just reach round to the top of my back and button up the top ones. The top button is easy to do, the second one down slightly more difficult, but I just pull the blouse up a little bit. It works for me, but then this is slighly loose in fit! Might be worth finding a RTW one and trying it on to see if that works for you, before making one and then finding you need assistance to get in and out of it! :)

  8. My fav item of yours so far. Love the pink and the Peter Pan collar. V now indeed. Will you pose on my blog in it for me?


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