Back to Front Blouse

When daughter expressed a wish for a shirt with a Peter Pan collar, I took her measurements, grabbed some cotton and voile and flew into making the Balloon-Sleeved Blouse with a Back Opening from Jolies Tenues Pour Fillettes Coquettes: to me, one of the most charming designs in Akiko Mano’s book.  Pity there wasn’t a project consultation.  When the quickly finished blouse was presented to my client, her dear face fell and she cried in horror: “It’s back to front!”  

Ah.  Bummer! 

So, we have a cute, well-made and perfectly-sized blouse totally unsuited to the independently-minded female who wishes to dress without a lady-in-waiting doing up her buttons.  Which is ok.  I highly value independence.  And the blouse will, I’m sure, grow on her before she grows out of it!


The Review

It took 4 hours to make this, including tracing the pattern.  I’m thrilled that despite the minimalist instructions, I’m quicker with each new project that I try from this book.

What I particularly liked here is how the casing for the sleeves leaves two perfectly-sized openings for the insertion of the elastic.   

I also liked the neat, easy method of hemming a button opening.  Sorry if you’ve seen this before; it has something of novelty-value to me:

When it came to attaching the Peter Pan collar with a bias strip, I admit I had to take instructional
supplements.  I’m grateful for this excellent tutorial to which I’d like to add a couple of tips: 

a) Press your bias strip the way it comes from the shop (second picture below, left to right) so that you sew into one of the creases… this visible line will be especially helpful if you’re sewing a small-sized collar.

b) Instead of knotching the curved seam, sew two lines of stitching, the second being 2mm (or less!) inside the seam allowance, then trim as close to the second seam as possible (picture 5):

During my attempts with the translation of this book, I discovered that in French, a Peter Pan collar is named after a character from Colette and is un Col ClaudineJamais! (Cor blimey!)

15 thoughts on “Back to Front Blouse

  1. Such a sweet top and your daughter is adorable! My seven year old son was watching me get ready this morning and said that I shouldn’t spend so long making myself look nice as it was a waste of time. Nothing like a confidence boost from the children!

    • No, no, you misunderstand! The boy meant: you’re beautiful anyway so what’s the point! They need some tutorials on how to phrase things, is all.

      Thanks for the compliments btw.

  2. Very cute blouse but buttons at the back are just plain silly. Even for babies actually because they can’t lie on their backs in comfort. I bought a top with back fasteners years ago and wore it precisely once even though it was rather lovely….

    And kids and their directness. At Christmas time, when the family are all gathered around the tree, …. we’ve all experienced their loud opinions right? Sigh.

  3. I think we are sewing sisters. My daughter has put in a request for a blouse from a vintage pattern I have with peter pan collar and buttons up the back!! I’ve warned her re the buttons but -she must suffer for beauty – she declared !! This is astounding from someone who lives in a onesie!! I think your girl has the makings of a style maven!

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