Gertie’s {Modified} Bow Tie Blouse



I am still enjoying feasting my eyes and sewing from Gertie’s book. Finally – I made this top! I’ve had it bubbling in the back of my mind for a while. I intended to make it while on holidays in May. Then I stuffed it up. Then my sewing machine needed repair. Then, you know, life.

But Frocktails beckoned, so Saturday afternoon I rushed to finish* it.

*By ‘finish’ I mean get it to wearable. I was still sewing on the last button at 5.45pm and it’s yet to be hemmed or have the back facings sewn down. Oops. Also – bound buttonholes, no sirree.

I decided to keep the keyhole feature in the modified version. And I’m glad I did.

Keyhole detail

Keyhole detail

Shoulder shirring detail

Shoulder shirring detail

The shirring was a bugger to get right. The first time I tried it, muddling along with Gertie’s instructions, the shirring resulted in a lot of fabric pooling…somewhere around my underarm. I slightly modified the angle of the shirring and made the shirred section longer, which seemed to do the trick, fit-wise. Attaching the shirred front of the blouse to the back pieces was not straightforward and looks a bit lumpy. It’s fair to say I have not learnt the meaning of the phrase “ease in”. Although I will say it looks neater on a person than it does hanging over the corner of a chair.

Shoulder shirring - inside view

Shoulder shirring – inside view



The shape of the darts in the back makes for a very flattering shape. It’s a really good looking pattern I reckon. Here you can see the inside, focussing on the darts and the back facing. You can see that the reverse side of the fabric has little fuzzy patches where the silk pattern has been stitched into the fabric. This became a bit tricky in places when working on the bias bound openings.

Back view - darts and back button band facing

Back view – darts and back button band facing

Sleeve - visible self-bias binding

Sleeve – visible self-bias binding

It’s not perfect but I rather love it and I think it will become a good work staple.

AND I got it close enough for jazz that I could wear it to Frocktails with my favourite black circle skirt. Yesssss.

Back View

Back View


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