Fancy Shirts

I made a shirt last year and I loved it so much that I decided that 2020 would be the year of the shirts. The shirt I made was the Byrdie Button up by Pattern Scout, I was testing again.

I made this shirt from a cotton lawn and trimmed it with navy dobby. It was a make that taught me much, attaching a collar, sleeve plackets and cuffs.

I really do love wearing buttoned shirts but my machine the Janome 7025 doesn’t handle button holes well. But I persevered and made 8 reasonable buttonholes.

This shirt has been named my Nelson Mandela shirt!

The pattern offers a plain button up shirt or dress with standard collar and 2 optional patch pockets, and a pintuck button up shirt or dress with a mandarin collar. If you follow #psbyrdiebuttonup on Instagram, you’ll see some amazing versions. The options of making your Byrdie unique  are plentiful. Playing around with fabric choices, colour blocking,  pockets or no pockets, standard collar or mandarin, they’re all there.

But while we testers were busy making and sharing our makes, Casey of Pattern Scout was busy hacking her pattern. And she has her hacks posted on her blog and has a sew a long and tutorials. One of the hacks Casey posted that had me drooling was for a pussy bow blouse. I knew I had to have one. I watch the series Elementary on Amazon Prime and the character Joan Watson wears some amazing bow blouses. Yes, I spend as much time observing her fashion as I do trying to solve the mystery!

I was on the look out for the right fabric. I wanted something floaty and bold and a little unusual.

When a gust of wind helps emphasize the floatiness of the fabric!

That combination came in the form of this amazing fabric designed by Katie Kortman @katiekortmanart for Spoonflower @spoonflower. It was a fabric that I’d seen Katie Kortman in on Instagram and I loved it.

Spoonflower fabric isn’t cheap. I got 2 metres of crepe de chine using Christmas money from the in laws.  I’m so glad I took the plunge and spent more money than I usually would because it’s every bit as beautiful as I hoped it would be and it’s made a really special garment.

Casey’s hack was simple. Because she used delicate fabric, she eliminated buttons, sleeve plackets and pockets, this made for a quick make. Or at least it would have been if I hadn’t got into a muddle with the neck facing. I unpicked it several times which was not good for this fabric and I still don’t think I got it right. But the busy pattern and the bow hide and detract from that mishap.

Now, I’ve never had the sort of job that calls for smart dress and now that I’m a stay at home mum doing lots of unpaid, community and church work, you’d think I would have no need for a blouse like this. Oh no, I plan to wear this top often, just because it’s beautiful and I made it!

Excuse the booty but check out that back pleat!

As you can see from both sets of pictures I’m wearing the same trousers and boots! That was a happy coincidence. That got me thinking, how often do I make something considering how well it would fit in with my wardrobe? Not often enough really, but I do have a colour palette and that helps to match stuff. But it’s not only the colour that you need to consider, it’s the style too.

A quick look through my wardrobe and I came up with three ways to style my bow blouse with other me mades.

Look 1.

This is the Ivy pinafore by Jennifer Lauren, it’s a couple of years old now. It’s made from a grey herringbone wool and I think it looks cute with the blouse.

Look 2.


I made this Delphine skirt by Tilly and the Buttons last year, using a red wool mix. And on days when I’m wanting to make a bright, bold statement, I think this would do it!

Look 3

This look brings on some full seventies vibes! The jeans are the flared version of the Ash jeans by Megan Nielsen. I made them in this pinstripe denim.

So, I’m pretty pleased with this blouse! It’s a welcome addition to my wardrobe.

I highly recommend this Byrdie pattern, I think it may well be the only shirt pattern I need. I’ve got some other hacks swimming about in my head and I would like to make a pintuck version too. I do love that this pattern is so versitile.

I also highly recommend this fabric. I love this print so much! The crepe de chine was difficult to work with, it was a slippery, snagging so and so. But I’m not going to focus on the snags I made, instead I choose to focus on the fact that I have a really beautiful blouse!

Published by The Unpickstitch Papers

I'm a teacher, baker and own clothes maker. I like to read, I like to work out. I wish there was more time in the day to do life. I have 1 husband, 2 daughters and no dogs yet, though I'm working on wearing my hubby down!

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