Red Silk Bow Blouse

red long-sleeved blouse with bow collar

This is a blouse I made back when I was trying to draft my own patterns. After finding a picture online, I knew I wanted to make it. Using yet another of my self-drafted bodice blocks as a base, I did my best to make something that looked like the picture. I tried to match the details as much as possible, and I think I did a pretty good job. After I discovered Lekala some time later, I also found that this very blouse is a pattern in their catalog. Interesting, huh? The picture I was working from was from a website selling clothes from China. I need a new one now anyway, so when I found the pattern, I knew I needed to make the real thing. So since I’ll be making that, I decided to go ahead and share this one first and see how they compare.

close-up of collar details on red blouse

Once again, I don’t know what the fabric is. It’s soft, smooth, and shiny. It also frays. As I did often in that time, I turned to the much-lauded Fray Check to solve my fabric problems. I guess it solved part of that problem, but as you may know from my previous posts, it created another: the stiff and itchy edges. I got around that by folding the edges of the seam allowances under and sewing them down to hide them. It didn’t completely stop the fraying for the center facing, though. Over time it continued to fray, even fraying past the buttonholes. That’s one of the reasons that I need to make a new blouse.

I think I did a pretty good job copying the blouse in the picture. The general shape is nice, and I really love the look of the blouse and the bow collar. I opted for shiny cream-colored buttons instead of white because the white was such a stark contrast to the red. The cream on red had a much softer look and they went together much better.

As for the fit, I would say it was not too bad. A little bit tight, again, but not the worst of my self-drafted patterns. The top button tends to come undone for some reason, but at least the bow hides it. There is the usual tugging at the shoulders when I move my arms, and the armscyes are too small and high up into the armpit. I didn’t have other patterns or blouses to go off, so I didn’t know how long to make the blouse, and hence, it is too short.

That’s about all for this bow blouse. It was a good attempt, and I think it turned out better than some of my other early blouses. But now it’s time to make the real thing using Lekala’s pattern.

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