Monday, 28 January 2013

I Don’t Like Blouses...

I’ve commented before on how I love dresses and how they seem to make up an unusually large proportion of my wardrobe.  Well, I think I’ve discovered why!

When getting dressed this morning I decided I wanted to wear trousers, which is quite unusual for me.  So I found my one pair of smart black trousers and put them on.  Fine, they looked nice, but I needed a top to go with them. 

Hmm... that’s when the realisation hit.  I don’t like blouses.  Or tops in general it seems. 

In my wardrobe I found the following tops/blouses:

2 long sleeved black t-shirts, one v-neck, one scoop neck.  Both of these need to be worn with something over them really.

1 brown long sleeved jersey top with ruched neck, quite smart.  I do like this one.

2 long sleeved striped t-shirts, one white (now off white) with orange stripes, one navy with white stripes.  I like both these, but not with black trousers.

Grey Maria Denmark Day to Night top.  Nice, but not what I wanted today.

Black and white polka dot Sorbetto blouse with ¾ sleeves.  This is what I’m actually wearing.

Lovely green chiffon Zara blouse, which is new and still in the “going out” section of my wardrobe.  I don’t want to wear it to work yet.

Navy and pink pussy bow blouse.  Fabric is rubbish and clings to everything. 

Pink bias Sorbetto blouse with sleeves that looks like a maternity smock.  I need to do something with this!

There were a couple of other tunic type tops that I would wear with jeans, but not smart enough for work. 
I evidently need some more tops, but I hate blouses!  Most of all I hate blouses with collars and buttons up the front.  They never look nice on me.  The collars never sit right and the buttons always gape.

So, I’m asking for your help here.   Can you recommend some good top/blouse patterns that don't have collars and buttons up the front?  I don’t mind if they’re for knits or wovens, just give me some ideas please!

I have found a couple of patterns that I do like the look of.

Butterick 5610, particularly the solid blue version, top left.  I wonder if this could be made with longer sleeves?

McCalls 5561, view C or D, without the elasticated hem.  The photo of this one is rubbish, so I'll show you the line drawing.

That’s one mystery solved.  At least I know now why I gravitate towards dresses so much!


  1. Your blog is the first one that popped out on my reader today and it's funny because I am having the EXACT same issue!
    I want to make a list of blouse patterns that I have and get back to you on that. I have the Alma, which I love but I can't find fabric that I'm happy with to make more. I have another that I was working on but the armhole is too tight and I'm upset about it because of the delicate fabric I used.
    I think this blouse pattern thing is going to have to be a full blog post. I want to explore it more (best blouse patterns, etc).

    1. Sorry you're having the same issue Jenny, but I'm so pleased I'm not alone!

      With me it's not just blouses or tops I might make either, it seems to be ones I've bought are no better!

  2. I like the Butterick, will be inspired by (copy) you on that one! I've made a long sleeved version of the Colette Jasmine, which has been useful. But I'm on a search for 'top' patterns too.

    1. Let me know if you find any good ones! I think the Butterick one is quite "me", so I'll probably get that. I was actually in my local fabric shop earlier, but I couldn't remember which pattern it was or even which pattern company, and I couldn't be bothered to look through all the books.

  3. I've made the Sewaholic Alma blouse in long sleeves and 3/4 sleeves. I liked it best in a very drapey fabric. I'll might make another if i find the right fabric. The only alteration i did was to lengthen it but i do that with everything. You might take a look at the free Dolman Sleeve Top Pattern that CIndy at Cation Designs posted. I've seen a lot of cute ones and it looks really quick to make - in a knit or jersey

    1. I can vouch for the Cation Designs Dolman Top - I've made it 5 times! I am a dolman sleeve junkie though :-)

      I really love my Sencha blouses, although they do button up the back. It probably wouldn't be a big deal to insert a side zipper though.

      I also really like a few of the Lisette for Simplicity blouses I've made, namely the Portfolio top, the Continental top and the Souvenir top. I have the Diplomat as well but haven't gotten around to making it yet.

      And of course, the Renfrew!

    2. I'll definitely have to check out the dolman top then if it's got 2 recommendations!

      I'll have a look at Sencha too, buttons up the back I can do, it's just button fronts I don't like.

      Yes, I've seen so many Renfrews I can tell I'm going to have to look into that one at some stage too.

  4. You made me think so I went to check my wardrobe - all my favourite tops (jersey, cotton, silk etc) are without buttons or collars with only 1 exception (and I didn't make that). A couple have back fastenings (zips mostly). I hadn't even thought about this before. I have 1 muslin of a button back blouse on the go but am struggling with fit. I do wear a lot of cardigans, I think perhaps I prefer a top without buttons under a cardi with them :)

    1. You make a very good point there, I wear a lot of cardigans and I think plainer, simpler tops work much better under them than a fancier blouse. Mostly my cardigans are worn with simple long or short sleeved fitted t-shirts under.

  5. I had good luck with the Alma. The fit worked for me, and hooray, there's no gaping. I just made my first Renfrew and it was ridiculously easy and got lots of compliments. I also really love the basic blouse pattern in the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook. It's very versatile. Good luck finding the perfect top. But I'm with you--I much prefer dresses.

    1. Both the Alma and Renfrew keep coming up as amazing tops! I like that they've both got different options, they're going on my list of possibles. Thank you.

  6. See this is very interesting to me because I am the opposite. My sewn wardrobe mostly consists of tops and blouses. I love a good blouse. I find that I typically dress by starting with a fun top and then wearing a basic pair of pants. I like buttons and collars, too, though. The Lisette patterns (Simplicity) have some really nice tunics. And there's always the famous Vogue 1247. That's one of my all time favorite top patterns.

    1. Funny how we're all different in our tastes isn't it? Maybe part of my dislike of blouses is that I also find it hard to get trousers that fit well?

      I think also I prefer tops a little bit fitted (not tight) and many blouses, either handmade or purchased have no shaping. This has been really interesting for me!


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