7. The Good Old Rain Button-Down

I set off this afternoon intending to get shots of my latest creation only to get rained on a few minutes in. I managed to get two shots; unfortunately, the blouse is almost entirely covered by a pullover in both. If nothing else, I’ll try tomorrow (update: see here) to grab a few on the dressform of the blouse alone.

Pattern: Pussy Bow Blouse by Pattern Runway

Fabric: Cotton Batiste

Notions: 8 white buttons (that I ripped from one of Kelley’s shirts… shh!)


This was my fourth pattern that I’ve used from Pattern Runway and as always it was very well drafted. The collar came together very easily which was what I was most apprehensive about. I cut a medium but in future makes I’ll grade the hips to a large – the bottom spreads when I move but nothing awful. The only part I struggled with was the curved hem. The pattern calls for a 2″ hem allowance which seemed excessive for a lightweight garment and was entirely impossible with my skill level. I consulted my sewing guides which suggested running a gathering stitch to help ease the excess which helped on outside curves but did nothing for those inside ones. I finally gave up and did a narrow hem which looks more than acceptable.

The original intention of this project was to check the style on before I cut some luscious cotton/silk to make a copycat of this blouse. I grabbed a stashed cotton batiste but I was short about a yard so I left out the bow. To add some visual interest (and texture!) I took inspiration from this lovely top and beaded the collar tips. It’s nothing revolutionary but I had a lot of fun planning it out and beading fabric for the first time. I was actually pretty amazed that the only beads that I had in my stash were copper-colored! Just waiting for this project, weren’t they? I had to rip out my first attempt as I wanted a machine washable shirt and I had my doubts that they would stay on. Once I got the hang of securing the little buggers, the process went really quickly. I’ll definitely be adding beads on future projects (wouldn’t it be divine as a hem accent?).

Here’s the thing – I think the shirt is lovely. It fits well and is well sewn (not to toot my own horn) but there’s a reason why I don’t own white button-down shirts. They just don’t speak to me. I went through my entire closet trying to feel comfortable in an outfit that showcased the blouse but nothing was “me”. Most left me feeling like I was in a catering uniform or perhaps playing the bells in a Christmas pageant. This is baffling because browsing through pinterest shows so many inspiring button-downs but, at the end of the day, the only way I wanted to wear the shirt was heavily layered. Fine but it doesn’t make the most thrilling sewing showcase!

I’m going to keep trying but until I feel more comfortable remixing the button down, I’m going a different route for that cotton/silk!


13 Responses to “7. The Good Old Rain Button-Down”

  1. I love your beaded collar. Lovely. I know what you mean about button downs though. I don’t own a one.

  2. I agree, white button downs are a strange beast. I love button downs in prints though. Maybe you could dye it someday? I love the bead details they really make the shirt special, too bad you didn’t have enough fabric for the tie, it looks really cute in the pattern photo.

    • Dye… not a bad idea! Thanks, Molly. I agree with the print comment which is one of the reasons why I’d still consider making this blouse again. As for the bow, I plan on making up a few from scraps I have lying around because I think they could be a nice accessory.

  3. Yes, if you can, snap a picture of it on the dress form. I’d love to see how the sleeves look in real life, because I’ve had my eye on this pattern too (no surprise there!). What we can see looks very nice!

    I love white button-downs, but only in spring and summer. I wear them with bright skirts and they help me feel cool and crisp when the weather is anything but!

  4. Oh my! I’m personally a big fan of white button-down shirts. I think they go with pretty much everything. Although my version of this pattern is slightly more formal.
    As for the hem… oops, I don’t even think I read those instructions about the 2″ hem… I just went along and made a narrow hem. It turned out fine.
    I like your addition of the beads… so simple but so fun! I’ll have to think of that in one of my projects some day.

  5. I love love love that beaded detail! Even if the shirt is hidden, it’s such a nice pop!
    I usually wear button downs with a cardigan and a skirt. I also have a few plaid button downs which are great for work, worn with jeans.

  6. Hi Lizz, how about making the bow in a colored print?? the shirt looks great, I hope you find a way that you love to wear it!

  7. I love the beading! I admit I do love a nice white button down, but it’s rare that I actually don one. Must be the waitron uniform you spoke of! Hand me a crumber, and I’m set.


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