the stash collection: vogue 8772

For a long time, I didn’t give much thought to making blouses. I wasn’t interested in designing them or sewing them, and after many a too tight sleeve or lackluster fit, I had all but given up on women’s blouses and developed a habit of shopping in the men’s department for shirts. To be fair, the guys have all the best colors, and I never had to worry about the sleeves being too snug or the buttons pulling across the bust. Those days, thankfully, are behind me, even if I do still have a few men’s shirts hanging on my side of the closet. The more I saw myself in the mirror wearing a men’s shirt, the more noticeable it became to me. It’s a cute look in the summer, with the shirttail tied around the waist and the sleeves rolled up, but it’s not entirely practical in other situations. So, my search for the perfect blouse began.

The moment I saw Vogue 8772 in the pattern book, I knew it was meant to be. The versatility of this particular pattern was especially appealing, to make no mention of the darts which give the blouse a lovely shape. The pussy bow option? Stop it, I’ll make it in every color on the planet before it’s all said and done. And the blouse with the classic collar is just that, a classic. I think the short sleeve option would be absolutely darling with a cuff added. So vintage and summery! So, after careful measuring of the pattern and myself (twice, per the rule!), I cut the pattern for the first time in chambray, the very chambray in this post. The great thing about blouses is that they shouldn’t be too tight, so getting the fit right is less of a challenge than a dress or pants. I didn’t make any fitting adjustments to the pattern which is part luck, part no need because it’s just fine as is.

For the latest version, I chose this navy blue poplin print. I found it at the fabric market in Amsterdam last spring, and I’m so excited I finally had the right project for it. It fit right in with the other fabrics in this little stash collection.

I’ve made this blouse three times now, and I enjoy making it even more every time. I think that’s the beauty of working with a pattern more than once–you’ve worked out any kinks and construction is smooth and enjoyable. Back in December, I blogged about the red plaid linen version of this blouse, which I love. However, I didn’t get into the particulars about the fit, and a number of you have asked me about that.

This blouse is designed to be fitted, so expect a blouse that follows the shape of your torso. There are front and back darts, as well as a small shoulder dart in the back. I have bigger arms, so I can tell you with confidence that these sleeves are great. Plenty of room, yet not too big.

As much as I love a good full skirt, I think this blouse would be absolutely unstoppable with a super fitted, ultra sleek pencil skirt, one that falls to mid-calf and really elongates your legs. Now my mind is swirling with ideas . . . maybe I need a new pencil skirt? Nah, I’ll save that project for later. Back to the blouse: I edgestitched the neck ties, which the pattern doesn’t tell you to do. I think it’s a nice detail.

The buttons required some extra attention. They are slightly unusual, with one single bar down the middle, so they tended to slide around as I attached them. Normally, I can sew buttons on without using the matchstick technique, but this time I actually used one to help keep the button in place as I sewed it. Doing this also helps keep the button from being sewn completely flat against the fabric. Too tight buttons won’t button easily and will create ugly puckers.

The pattern instructs you to sew the button plackets the opposite way I’ve done them here. My fabric has an obvious right and wrong side, so I had to fold the placket towards the inside. Otherwise, the wrong side of the fabric would show on the right side, which wouldn’t have been good.

In contrast, the chambray blouse looks like this:

Here’s a quick tip for marking darts: use your awl and punch drill holes in your fabric at the circles on the pattern. Tracing paper and a tracing wheel works well too, but I don’t always like getting tracing paper on my fabric. Drill holes are an industry technique used to mark pocket placement, darts, buttonholes, etc. I will punch a hole 1/2″ from the top and bottom of the dart, and then drill slightly to the inside of the circle so that when I sew next to the drill hole, I’m actually sewing exactly where I need to.

I have this blouse cut out (and half assembled) in white poplin, so I’m excited to finish that one soon. Then, I’m moving on to some new patterns for spring. Can’t wait to show you! As always, let me know if you have any questions. Happy sewing!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Laura Grabow | 15th Feb 17

    I am sew glad I have not totally finished yet, I can still interface my button band. I also like the tip about the matchstick under the buttons, I am going too use covered buttons and hope that will work.

    Also if any one can suggest an online tut for collar bands. I have already cut out my second version of my blouse because I had so much trouble the first time( it was my first collar band ever). I hope that by getting right back up on the horse so to speak it will be easier.

    Thank you for a great post.

    • Emily | 15th Feb 17

      Hey, Laura! I don’t know of any tutorials–although I’m sure they’re out there–but I can offer a few tips for attaching the collar band. Oftentimes, it’s necessary to clip the neck edge of the blouse in order for the collar band to fit around that seam. Clip to but not through to about 1/8″ from the seam line. This should spread out the neck edge just enough. Then, after you’ve attached the band, trim the seam allowance down to about 3/8″. To close the collar band around the neck, you’ll need to press it well and carefully pin it down so you can sew it. Attaching collar bands is tricky, but practice makes perfect. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep on keepin’ on, and good luck! 🙂

  2. allie J. | 15th Feb 17

    I actually have this pattern (purchased yeeeeears ago with the intention of making this same bow-neck version actually) but I think I just hate making shirts! I think certain people really love the precision of it but so far it’s not for me. I’d still like to get around to making it since it’s SUCH a cute top but right now I have a Sew Over It Susie Blouse half-complete hoping that it can be my go-to top pattern. We’ll see!

    • Emily | 15th Feb 17

      I think you should finish the Susie blouse! I’d love to see it. I really like making blouses, which is good because I need quite a few, but it is a task that requires precision. It’s all about balance–I”ll probably always be working on a blouse alongside other projects that I enjoy even more. Because my full skirt obsession isn’t going away anytime soon . . .

  3. Nyssa Jayne | 15th Feb 17

    I love this pattern, I’ve made 2 myself! I think my other hot tip, and this one gets floated around a lot, is to interface the button band as well, which doesn’t get mentioned in the instructions.

    • Emily | 15th Feb 17

      Ahh, yes! Absolutely! I didn’t even realize that the instructions don’t tell you to do that. It’s a no brainer to interface both sides. And one thing I also do is trim the excess that gets folded under when you’re sewing the button placket. So, instead of folding under 1 1/4″, then again, then slipstitching or edgestitching it closed, I always trim out about 3/8″ from the first 1 1/4″ fold. That way, you’re not working through three layers of fabric in addition to the interfacing. Great tip! 🙂

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