Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe: Bow Blouse


Fact: When making a shirt with long neck ties you will inevitably stitch those ties to other parts of the blouse by accident.

The tie bow was the last piece that I added to this shirt and I still stitched the ties to the facing twice.


This blouse took a while to finish for two reasons: firstly I self drafted it and that took a lot of tweaking, and secondly I’ve been distracted by video games – namely Elder Scrolls Skyrim. Yes, I admit it. I play video games. Ok, well, not always, just lately. And that game is the longest game in the history of game-kind. I could read the entire Game of Thrones book series before I finish this game! I’m glad sewing doesn’t take as long as this game.

Anyway, on to the shirt.


Karel, a sewing maven from my sewing group was kind enough to lend me a big fat pattern drafting textbook. I was like a kid in a candy store with that thing. I know a lot about drafting but certainly not everything and it was nice to learn the “why” of what I was doing.


I began with a basic bodice block (the same I used for this dress). I rotated the darts to the shoulder and turned them into gathers. Next I made a yoke from front to back that I made into one piece so I don’t have a shoulder seam. Then I turned the back darts into tiny pleats (hard to see with this print). I made gathered, semi-flutter sleeves, lengthened the shirt by doing a rough body measurement of how long I wanted it to be, and finally I two 33″ long strips that I stitched together and used as the tie. There’s also a neck facing holding the tie in place. The sleeve and bottom have baby hems which I like with this fabric.


I put some scrap bias tape to good use by making flat piping between the yoke and shirt pieces in the front and back.

The fabric is a rayon I bought from (I love rayon lately!). Justin said he liked it but the print reminded him of his grandmother, to which I said “Your Grandmother is one classy lady.”

Bow Blouse

Since I made the neckline and tie from scratch at the end it’s not quite the most accurate portion of the blouse. The front V isn’t really pointy even though the facing is nice and pointy. Not exactly sure how that happened. Also I cut the facing too big and had to fix that while I was sewing. What I did here was just cut a neck hole in the fabric that I could stick my head through then cut the V shape later. Next time I’ll make my v-neck into the original pattern.

Well, now I’m more than halfway through my Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe. I’ve made two shorts (one was already made) and two tops. Only one pair of shorts and two shirts left to go! Not bad, I figured it would take me a lot longer to sew this mini-wardrobe.

  • Looks amazing! I love your comment about Justin’s grandmother being a classy lady! I hope you put this pattern up for sale too.


  • This is such a fun take on a basic shirt. I love the print and agree that if Justin’s grandmother must be one stylish lady. I loved your description on how you manipulated the block to create the pattern 🙂

  • Very cute, I love the flutter sleeves. And it looks great with those wide leg pants!

    • Thanks Molly! I really like this outfit, too.

  • I love this! It’s so sweet!

  • You always look pretty, but in these pictures with the blouse, hair, earrings, and pants you looks ESPECIALLY pretty. Love it on you!

    • Awwwwwwwwwwww, thanks Greta!!

  • That fabric is completely mesmerizing. I love it, and the blouse.

  • Love the top! Molly’s right, it looks great with the wide leg pants!

    I play video games too! I tend to get hooked on a new one right before I have some huge project or commitment due. Ooh… procrastination!

    • Thanks! Glad I’m not the only one. I’m trying to make video game playing more of a reward to motivate me to finish my sewing and not waste so much time on xbox!

  • You look beautiful! I love this top – you are a pattern drafting goddess! What textbook were you using? I’m thinking of hitting up the library soon and asking them to get in a few titles for me.

    • “Pattern Making for Fashion Design” – aka THE pattern drafting textbook. It’s a classic but expensive. I borrowed the second edition so it’s super 80s. But technique hasn’t really changed since then so it still works. Later editions feature more info on knits and menswear, I think.

  • Great top, Dixie! I love the print and the details are darling.

  • Your blouse reminds me of one my aunt wore. Yup, she was one classy lady 🙂 Nicely done.

  • Very pretty. You are so talented.

  • So cute and perfect for summer!

  • classy lady, i’ll say! nice job!

  • Drafting is always a learning opportunity and this cute blouse is adorable.

  • Love this top and fabric! I can’t believe all of the great details you added into it. Wonderful job!

  • It feels so nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. Really thankful to you for starting this.