Butterick 2475: 60s Pussybow Blouse

here we are and finished in all it’s splendour is my blummin gorgeous 60s blouse a la Joan Harris (nee Holloway).

Joaniegreen

Having never made a blouse before I wasn’t entirely sure what material to go for. I decided on a trusty poly-cotton which meant the drape would be a bit stiffer than the one shown in the picture but I did want the collar to be a little stiffer, and as I wasn’t sure how this would all play out I thought not splashing the cash on fancy fabric would be the best option.

I went about cutting the pattern, fabric and interfacing out and I was quite happily thinking “less pieces, less work than a dress”. Ah, the young sewing fool inside me.

At the end of the first day I’d made the bodice and the collar. It dawned on my when I finished that I’d absolutely breezed the collar this time, I think I’ve been so caught up in worrying about the set in sleeves that I appear to have somehow mastered collars without thinking about it. Pretty good eh?!

Butterick 2475

Now, I made a little list of goals at the beginning of the year (some have totally fallen by the wayside already) and one of these was to master set in sleeves by the end of 2014. So when I went into this part of making the blouse I did so with a new determination that I would not simply settle for “that’ll do” and I would set these sleeves in over and over until I got them perfect.

Plenty of people gave me advice (thank you everyone for all of your helpful tips and guidance) but I really owe massive thanks to Clare at www.sewdixielou.com for spurring me on when I was halfway through ripping the sleeves out for the second time (and on the verge of having a little cry) who simply said “I never use gathered way hate it. I do it by hand gently easing larger fabric pinning every 1/2″. Then when happy pin in between pins then baste by hand. Remove pins check how it looks then machine”.

Now, this may strike you as odd (but probably goes a long way to explaining more than bit about me) but I never considered for a moment that I should use any other method than gathering.

It’s what everyone had shown me; books, sewing tutorials online, pattern instructions. All gathering. It’s a rule right?

Wrong. I am learning more and more that sewing is about finding what works for you and just because people say you should do it this way, it doesn’t mean you have to do it this way.

In the end I went for a bit of both, I gathered a little and then pinned and pinned. I sewed from the inside of the sleeve ; calmly, slowly, gently and smoothed as I went. Et Voilà! A perfectly set in sleeve!

Butterick 2475

So overjoyed was I that I ran about the house and told Tim he should come and look, at which point he did and we embraced and then I did my little happy dance (literally). Then I proceeded to set the other in, with no problem at all and then made Tim come back every five minutes to look at my beautiful set in sleeves on my fantastic blouse.

Needless to say, it wore a bit thin (for him- certainly not for me) after the 50th time, saying that though he was very chuffed for me.

Next up were buttonholes and buttons, which I forgot to buy.  I finally located some small-ish ones and add them to the cuffs and the front of the blouse with a pop stud opening at the top (which is covered when the collar is done up) and here we are, the finished article.

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

I have refrained from modelling this as I really want to get the skirt made in March so that I can wear both together, just like Joanie.

I really feel like I’ve made sewing skills progress with this blouse.

If you’d like to read more or check out other things I’ve made, please visit my blog www.staceystitch.com 

• Meet the Author • Stacey Stitch


Hello I’m Stacey, 30 something, Manchester residing. This (and my blog) is to chronicle my onward plodding adventure into sewing and knitting. I have always been a lover of crafts, from a young age I have embroidered and dabbled a little with sewing and knitting. I have made a couple of garments and would like to share what I have learnt and what I will be learning as I go along in the hope that you can help me and I can help you (more of the former than the latter I think!)


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9 comments… add one

  • It looks lovely. Such a nice shade of green. Great job figuring the sleeves out.

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  • Your cuff looks especially well done! Isn’t it a great feeling to have something turn out so nice?

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  • I love it!!! Fancy making me one? Ha ha! ;-)

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  • You know I’ve NEVER gathered a sleeve head to set it. Or maybe I did it once – and realised it was a terrible way to set sleeves, and have always used the pinning method since.
    Often, I dont even baste – I just sew very carefully over my hundreds of pins (Shoot me!). Because it is the pins raising up the top layer of fabric that is creating the ease – and also the turned shape you give it, which is making the bigger piece fit into the smaller. Lots of pins hold all that in place, and then going very slowly with the machine, it makes a great sleeve.

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  • I love the dress, but just a tad disappointed that there are no photos of the ‘happy dance’ or of your other half’s facial expression after his 50th expression of delight.

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  • It’s lovely – and gorgeous emerald!!! Loved reading your joy in posting too ;)

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  • hey ! you did a great job, i love this shade of green. Even if the fabric is stiff, i think it still works. And the sleeves too really good too!
    Cant wait to see the finished outfit!

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  • I love it! I’m an absolute sucker for bows.

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  • It looks lovely. Great job! I can’t wait to see you model the whole outfit.

    P.S. I never gather sleeve heads (unless they’re for puffy sleeves, of course). I can add one dirty little trick though: If, like in a blouse, you are dealing with sleeves with a single seam and a bodice with a normal side seam, you can make setting the sleeves easier for yourself by changing the order of construction. Sew the shoulder seams, set the sleeves and then sew up the side and arm seam in one go.

    Reply

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