Something curious, different and playful since it’s almost Valentine’s Day! We used a medium weight linen, but you can always go for a lighter weight in order to gain a more flowing look to the shirt.
This simple design features a slightly cropped boxy silhouette, a gathered neckline and sleeves as well as a mandarin collar stand with an oversized detachable bow.
2 yards of IL019 BLEACHED Softened Medium Weight Linen
Matching sewing thread, contrasting color thread (for gathering), 7-8 1/2″-wide buttons, fusible interfacing
Scissors, pins, ruler, seam ripper, fabric marker, chalk, buttonhole foot, measure tape, needle, 18mm bias tape maker, sewing machine
You can access the pattern by following this link HERE. Remember to add seam allowances as indicated in the pattern.
Please note that this blouse has a boxy, oversized fit and would suit sizes XS – M. If you need a larger size, then we’d recommend adding a couple of inches to the sides of the front and back panels and some extra volume to the sleeves. If you need help grading your pattern, please follow this tutorial.
Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry in room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.
1. We’ll start with the front button bands. Follow our detailed tutorial here that explains how to sew the button bands the classic way.
2. Now that your button bands are finished, you can assemble the front and the back of the shirt by pinning them right sides together at the shoulder seams.
3. Sew the shoulder seams right sides together at 5/8″ (1,6 cm) seam allowance and finish the raw edge with a flat-felled seam. This detailed tutorial here will guide you through the process.
Time to assemble and attach the collar to the neckline. However, since our design features a bow tie that is secured in place by a small belt loop at the center back of the collar, we’ll first make our belt loop and then will sandwich it between the two collar pieces.
4. Normally, you’d make a button loop by stitching the two long raw edges right sides together and then turn the fabric right side out by pulling it through one of the openings. But since the medium weight linen is a bit on the thicker side and we want our belt loop to be pretty narrow, what you’ll do it press the two long raw edges to the wrong side so that they meet in the middle, and then fold it again in half. Topstitch the fold as close to the edge as possible to close the opening and then topstitch the other side as well just to make it look balanced.
5. Interface one of the collar pieces and then press its long raw 3/8″ (1 cm) towards the interfaced/wrong side.
6. With right sides together align the interfaced and non-interfaced collar stands and pin. Find the center and sandwich one end of your belt loop between the two right sides of the collar. Make sure that the side of the loop that has the middle seam is touching the interfaced collar panel.
7. Stitch around the curved (upper) edge at a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance, then trim the seam allowance to 1/4″, clip the corners and make a few notches when you reach the curved ends to release the tension.
8. Finger press the seams open and then turn the collar right side out and give it a good press.
9. To gather the neckline, set your machine to the longest stitch length and run two lines of stitching on each panel using a contrasting color thread: two fronts (from button bands to shoulder seams) and the back (from shoulder to shoulder). Should you need more help with the gathering process, please visit our detailed tutorial HERE.
10. Gather the fabric in the middle of each panel to the width of your finished collar stand. Make sure that the gathers are evenly spaced and that the front panels are even.
11. Attach the collar as explained in this step-by-step tutorial. The only extra thing you’ll need to do is to tuck in the belt loop when you attach the outer collar (the first collar piece you sew).
12.Match the center point of your sleeves (fold it in half to mark the center) to the shoulder seams, pin along the whole width of the sleeve panel with right sides together.
13. Sew the shoulder seams right sides together at 5/8″ (1,6 cm) seam allowance and finish the raw edge with a flat-felled seam.
14. Pin the sleeves and the side seams right sides together all in one seam.
15. Sew at 5/8″ (1,6 cm) seam allowance and finish the raw edge with a flat-felled seam.
16. Now gather the sleeves and attach the cuffs as explained in our detailed tutorial HERE.
17. Finish the bottom hem with a rolled hem. Fold the fabric twice (1/4″ to 3/8″) towards the wrong side, press and stitch in place.
18. Time to sew the buttonholes and attach the buttons. Remember, that in women’s clothing the buttonholes are sewn on the right button band and the buttons – on the left side of the button band. The number and the spacing are really up to you. If you want your buttons closer, just leave smaller gaps between them. We decided to space our buttons 2,5″ (6 cm) apart. Overlap the shirt and place a pin into the center of each buttonhole. This is where you’ll need to attach the button
19. Lastly, assemble the bow tie by pinning around all edges right sides together.
20. Stitch around all edges at a 3/8″ seam allowance but leave a 4″ gap at the center of one of the edges. Trim the seam allowances down to 1/4″ around all edges but keep the seam allowance at the gap untouched. Clip the corners to reduce bulk.
21. Turn the bow right side out through the gap, then press all edges nice and flat. When you come to the opening, tuck in the seam allowance inside, press and pin.
22. To give your bow a nice final touch and keep it from twisting, topstitch around the entire bow as close to the edge as you feel comfortable and close the gap.
23. Give your blouse a good last press and you are all done!