Tilly and the Buttons Bow Blouse

Back in February, I saw this announcement from Tilly and the Buttons about an upcoming pattern in a UK magazine. I instantly fell in love with the pattern. I know there’s plenty of bow blouse patterns out there, but I bought a short online subscription to the magazine just so I could get that blouse.

Since then, I’ve had this floating image in my head of a lightweight, drapey dark red blouse. I could see just the right shade, in the perfect fabric, and I knew I needed to make one with this pattern. But, as it goes, other things jumped up the priority list. And then summer came, along with a new dog, and I hardly had any time for sewing.

Then, just last weekend, I went fabric shopping. There was a big sale, so I had a bigger budget than usual, and I found the perfect dark red polyester crepe. It was just what I was picturing. Exactly what I’d been dreaming of. And it was $4/m. Win! So it came home with me, and I started printing my bow blouse pattern that same day.

I do have to say here though, that printing it was a pain. I bought the magazine through Zinio, which wouldn’t let me download the magazine to my computer, and I didn’t want yet another app on my phone, so I viewed it through my web browser on my laptop. I decided to print it, since it was a magazine, but of course Zinio didn’t make that easy either. In part because the instructions were split up between two different months of the magazine. Ugh, can you imagine if I’d started when it first came out, and I got halfway through my blouse and then was left hanging? That WIP would still be sitting in a pile. The pattern itself was a seperate downloadable PDF (yay!), except that the blouse pieces were split between two files, and each file had a bunch of other little patterns from the magazine. Ugh. What a huge waste of my time, and my printer paper… (Oh, AND the pattern is designed only for A4 paper. Most PDF patterns print well on letter or A4, but I actually lost 1/4″ of each page because I printed on letter.)

Once I got over the hassle of printing everything, it was pretty much smooooth sailing. For such a classy blouse, there really aren’t that many pieces – front, back, sleeves, yoke, facing, collar and bow! Okay, maybe that sounds like a lot, but I had just finished making two button-up shirts, so shush.

It went together fairly easily as well. The instructions come with plenty of hand-holding, and they walk you through creating French seams, even for the gathered sleeve seam. Even though the font is tiny and the pictures are scarce, I found it very easy to follow and I was done in a couple of evenings (all these dog walks are really cutting into my sewing time).

I absolutely love how many little details this blouse has. There are gather sleeves, two pleats at each front shoulder, one box pleat in the center back, there’s a split hem, with different lengths for front and back, as well as the huge adorable bow. The round collar (which would not sit still in the wind), is finished with a facing on the inside (PS – as I wear it, I find that the heavy bow pulls the front down and the facing flips out, even though it is stitched down).

I love the sleeve length too. This is my favourite sleeve length for winter. It’s short enough that I can wear sweaters over it, but long enough to offer a little coverage on its own.

I maybe should have considered adding my usual length adjustment (I have been getting so lazy with that!), but I think it’s fine because the back is a little longer.

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