In the past few months, I did some soul searching for what I need in my closet. It turns out, my current wardrobe doesn’t convey what I want to reflect about myself. While I had been attempting to find my style, there was still a lot of “fashion” in my closet, which went with trends rather than the core of why I am. Following some of the directions from Colette’s Wardrobe Architect series, I identified my main words for my style: Classic, effortless, sleek, and vintage. Naturally, I started pinning to see what clothing reflected this style.
Something that kept coming up for me was a sleeveless pussy bow blouse. Being sleeveless, it transitions well between all seasons with the addition of a cardigan and looks great tucked into both skirts and pants. I love the vintage style of a pussy bow, as it adds visual interest and challenge to constructing the garment while not being overwhelming.
To fulfill my pussy bow blouse dreams, I started with Sew Over It’s Pussy Bow Blouse pattern. I purchased the printed version, but with how few pattern pieces this requires it would be a nice one to nab as a PDF. It offers two neckline variations, a keyhole opening and a v-neck version. I sewed up the v-neck version, as this was the style reflected in the photos I was drawn to.
This was made out of a black polyester chiffon from Fabric.com. It has quite a bit of drape, as the pattern requires, so I stabilized the entire piece of fabric with spray starch prior to cutting. This was incredibly helpful in ensuring accurate cutting on the grain, and allowing for sharp ironing.
To finish the armholes without the sleeves, I bound the inside of the armholes with 1 in bias tape made from a Joann’s Halloween quilting cotton with dancing skeletons on it. Frankly, I was originally going to use the same chiffon as the body of the shirt for the bias tape, but the bias strips were stretching horribly and would have made too narrow of a binding for my taste. The change to the dancing skeletons is actually one of my favorite parts of this shirt, it’s a secret surprise inside!
I added 3/4 in of width to the sides of the front and back bodice pieces based on my measurements so that it would be more loose when it is tucked in. I did not hem it according to the Sew Over It directions, because I personally despise ironing chiffon over and over. Instead, I used the Ban-roll method to have a nice, narrow hem. This technique requires a ban-roll to have the even hem, which is not a material found in most sewing shops, but I sourced mine from The Sewing Place. I have it on hand because it was the same method I used to hem my wedding dress!
Overall, this shirt was a fast make, and was finished in about 3 hours from cutting to hemming. I’m not entirely sure how to make the center of the V look nice and neat, so I may experiment with the keyhole design in the future. However, this is certainly not the last pussy bow blouse for me! I love the versatility and ease. It’s continuously in my rotation now!
Bonus picture of Freyja, thoroughly concerned about the clicking of the shutter.