Hey Baby, Nice Buttons - The Mae Blouse


Hello All, once again I'm strutting around in some vintage inspired goodness from Bluegingerdoll. This time it's the new Mae blouse.
After my love affair with the Billie Jean dress, it should come as no surprise that I jumped on the pattern as soon as it was released.  I have a bit of a thing for scalloped details on tops so that pretty much sealed the deal. Scallops are detail I find very pretty and I can actually wear without looking like a grown women trying to dress like a 6 year old. (Yeah I'm looking at you peter pan collars.)
So I bought the pattern and then bought new fabric instead of going into the stash.  GASP, don the ribbons of shame! But really I couldn't help it cause Mae is the perfect pattern for a 2-2.5 yard cuts of 36" vintage cotton.  The kind of cotton I might be amazing a small stockpile of. (It's vintage and pretty, Wheeee! I love you Etsy.)

Mae button back blouse from Bluegingerdoll.

Fabrics used
Some vintage quilting cotton purchased off of Etsy.  Strawberries on a navy background. How could I say no? This was a 2.5 yard cut of 36 wide cotton and I was able to cut out the larger size of the pattern and still have some left over.

Pattern changes/alterations
1. I started with the same 12/14/16 that I used with the Billie Jean dress.  Shoulders 12, waist 14, hip 16, and traced the size 14 dart. The muslin was the right shape for my body but was too tight through out the torso.  Decided to do a quick fix of adding 3/4" to the entire side seam.

2. Did my normal 1/2 forward shoulder adjustment.

3. Cut the neckline back 5/8" by tracing pattern edge of the upper scallops and making the ones in the center larger.  I adjusted the back neckline at the shoulder to match the front but did not make the back neckline lower.  The facings were then adjusted to match the new neckline.

1. Since this was my first time ever making any kind of button back garment I actually read the directions.  Then my brain was all, "I don't want to assimilate this new information," so I had to remind it who was the boss.  And bribe it with cookies.   The silly thing is that it's really just the same as putting buttons in the front but my brain was all Duhhhh?

2. Way back in 2009 when I made my first garment with scallops, I found marking the valley between each scallop really helpful when sewing.  That way you know exactly where to pivot the needle and your scallop size doesn't get all irregular.  You can mark the seam allowance directly on the fashion fabric with a clear ruler and a disappearing marker/chalk.

3. Instead of clipping all the curves on the neckline, I graded the seam allowance and just clipped at the valley point.  This technique also worked well for getting the scallops to look nice after pressing.
4. The buttons in the back stop about 5" above the hemline so you get some extra hip ease when moving around.

Husband Comment
"Hey this has vents, no wait they're buttons.  Are these supposed to be on the back?"

My Final Thoughts
This was a fun little project other than my routine cursing at the buttonhole attachment. (Some day buttonhole attachment, bang zoom straight to the moon!)  The neckline takes little time to press nicely, check Abby's blog for details, but other than that zoom zoom and you're done. It's a cute little number and I'll be sewing another one for the sew-a-long....which starts today. I better hurry up and pick a fabric!

P.S. I've paired the Mae blouse with a pencil skirt that was hacked from the Billie Jean dress.  Next post I'll show you the changes I made and how to draft a curved waistband. Ohhhh exciting...maybe.


  1. Cuuuute! Love the scalloped edge and thanks for the tips on making them.

    I have to ask..it's probably a stupid question, but who cares right?....how do you button up the back by yourself? I can manage a zipper(sometimes) but buttons??? Yikes. Are you a contortionist? You have a secret circus career??

  2. It's really cute! The whole outfit has a nice vintage vibe, but also looks like you can bend, sit, and run after wee Des when needed! Bravo!

  3. Thank you Margo. Now lean in so I can tell you my secret...I am a contortionist! Haa haa! No but for some reason my arm joints have always been flexible enough to join my hands behind my back, so I can button this up myself. I did find that you can button up the top to the waist, pull it over your head and then button the ones on your lower back.

  4. Yes! I can do all those things...after removing the red heels of course. I think having the buttons on the blouse stop a few inches before the bottom really helps with sitting and still being able to move around.

  5. I seriously LOVE the look of this blouse--the scallops are gorgeous, the cut looks like it would flatter a lot of women with different sizes/shapes, and your fabric is too stinkin' cute! And thanks for your tips on sewing the scallops, I've always shied away from them because they looked too complicated.

    And thank goodness someone else asked my question, because I've always been a bit leery of making something with buttons down the back.

  6. Thanks so much! Now it might just be me, but if I mark the pivot point on the scallops then they're really easy to sew.

    You'll laugh but I didn't even think about having to button up the back until the garment was already made. Silly Heather.

  7. Very cute top! And thanks for the tips on the scallops. I wonder if the summer dress parade (or maybe just the after party) is still going on in Media. I'll be there on Friday so I'll have to keep my eyes open to see if I spot any cuteness:)

  8. Strawberries! Love your blouse! You did a wonderful job on the scalloped neckline. =)

  9. I love the style of this top - the scalloped edge, how it nips in at the waist, and the fabric is so cute. It looks great on you!

  10. Love it! I like scalloped edges as well but have never sewn them before. Marking where to pivot is SMART. Loving the strawberries, so cute but the navy brings them out of ' precious land'.

  11. HUBBA HUBBA! I really want to take you for a date...yeah another one, get used to it, I'm going to keep on asking! This is so cute and I love the scalloped neck on you, plus your little tip for sewing scallops. And look at those sexy mama shoes. Goodness, Mrs Bee, how does your husband cope? Wait til Don sees this! xx

  12. This is a cute blouse! I love it paired with the denim skirt (which I also love).

  13. Haa haa, I think the parade is on hiatus due to construction around my house. Have fun in Media today. :)

  14. Thanks Brooke, Strawberries!

  15. Thanks Shar. Anything that's hour glass shaped is all right by me. :)

  16. Thanks Catja, I didn't think about the navy background making them less "twee" but I think you're right. And navy is a great neutral!

  17. HAA HAA HAAA!!!! In the words of Ryan Adams, "Come pick me up, take me out, f**k me up"... then you'll have to steal fabric cause I don't have any records. P.S. My husband is 100% PA dutch stock so they don't think "Oooo sexy" but "How much did those shoes cost?"

  18. Thanks Laura, more on the denim skirt later. :)

  19. I don't think it's a stupid question. I was wondering about that too... Although I'm about to move in with a roommate, so my contortionist days might just be behind me!


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