It's like you're an Executive Secretary or Something


Today I'm not sure if I'm a 50-ish secretary or a fancy school teacher. "Ahem. Your attention class. This afternoon we will be learning about the native habit of the Monkey Frog, tireless helper in the sewing room.  Make sure you have your fabric prepared and don't leave any cookies unattended."

I put a white blouse in the Fall Essentials sewing list because it's one of those things everyone needs but isn't all that exciting to sew.  If someone comes up to you and says, "Oh my god, I'm just frothing at the mouth about sewing a white button down shirt," then back away slowly cause they have rabies. Maybe throw some hand sanitizer on them for good measure.

That being said I was excited to try out the new pattern to me pattern V-8747.  It's got a few design details to spice up the shirt without getting Tilton sister crazy.  No offense to the Tilton sisters, they're way more avant garde then I'll ever be.  So without further ado, here's my version of V-8747 both tucked and untucked.
(Side note - I've paired V-8747 with a wool Betsy skirt that was made way back in the middle of the summer. You're seeing it for the first time cause who wants to wear wool in 80-90 degree weather.)

I used some lovely cotton shirting from the now closed Waechters. It has a woven in strip pattern that seems impossible to photograph. You'll just have to take my word that it's tasteful and makes cutting things on grain really easy.
Since I've no stranger to shirt sewing and was using non temperamental fabric, this blouse went together with very little angst. The only problems I had were self created stupid mistakes....several stupid mistakes. In the interest of keeping it real, here are some of the stupid things I did while making this blouse.
- Fused interfacing to every collar, cuffs, button bands piece there was.
- Cut the tips off of my collar when trying to grade down the seam allowances. Had to recut a new collar.
- Put button holes on the wrong side of one of the cuffs. Didn't even notice this while I was sewing on the buttons. It wasn't until I pressed the shirt that the mistake was finally noticed.

Thank god for extra fabric to fix dumb mistakes! Or maybe I made stupid mistakes cause there was extra fabric? Or maybe I shouldn't sew while my Quality Assurance Frog is taking a nap.  Ahhh my head!

Vogue 8747 - View D

Fabrics used
Blouse weight cotton from Waechters. (Stashed)

Pattern changes/alterations
- 1/2" Sway back adjustment.
- 1/2" Forward shoulder adjust to bodice and sleeve.
- Shaved down the front of the sleeve cap about 1/8" to get the sleeve to fit without puckers.

- I'd strongly suggest cutting down the neckline seam allowance to at least 3/8". The 5/8" seam allowance given is too large to sew the front curves without lots of clipping.

- The bust point must be low on this pattern because I didn't need to make any changes to the gather location. Those of you with higher bust points might need to raise this area.

- On a button down with higher buttons the shoulders would be perfect.  However since the neckline pulls open more I find the shoulder area looks too wide. Might narrow it a bit in the future.

- I could take a bit of ease out of the side seams on any future versions.

-  I did replace the cuff with the buttonholes on the wrong side. At least all that needed to be ripped out was the seam attaching it to the sleeve.

Husband Comment
"Wait....did you make that? Really?  I like these gathered things on the front. Makes it look like your chest is trying to rip open the shirt."

My Final Thoughts
This pattern is a nice twist on the traditional button down shirt. With the princess line seams and bust gathers you get a feminine look that is still work appropriate. Think I erred on the side of too much ease with this version, but that's easily fixable.

The fact that my husband didn't believe this was a hand made shirt did make my day. Let's not tell him about all those sewing mistakes....oh wait he reads the blog. I'll have to use the Jedi mind trick on him now. "These are not the blog post you were looking for. Move along."


  1. Best husband comments ever - both on the professional production of the shirt (I'm glossing over the things that happened when Froggie wasn't looking) and the chest comment! It's a staple but has enough details to make it interesting - does that even make any sense?! Hope so!!

  2. That is one great looking white blouse, I like this pattern and have made it in a white blouse, too. I am so happy to know I am not the only one to make those kind of mistakes!

  3. Your chest looks like it's going to burst out of your shirt?



    Also: gorge.

  4. I hope that Jedi mind trick works. I might have to use it on my dad, who I still think is the only reader of my blog.

  5. Your husband makes the best comments, and I agree the best one is, You made that? Wow!
    I really need to make a classic white button down too, but it just seems boring - although I know I would wear it a ton! I am super in love with your skirt - hello plaid - awesome!

  6. HA!!!!! Sounds like something my husband would say.

    Also, I had this on my fall to sew list and moved it off and now it HAS to go back on! I really like the gathered things :-) Very nicely done!

  7. I've had this on my 'to sew for work - winter' list for 2 years. Maybe one day I'll finally make it and it will be as nice and neat looking as your!

  8. Lol!! Husband is awesome! Are sure you didn't buy this??? It looks pro but I'm not surprised. Great job.

  9. LOL! Husband comment!

    I totally agree that things like this are boring to sew - I have the hardest time forcing myself to make practical basics. Eventually I will have to make myself a nice fitting white blouse though. Yours looks great!

    Isn't it weird how it's the most basic things that people can't believe you made?

  10. I love it! Of course, I like it better tucked in - but so super cute!!!

  11. The McCall Pattern CompanyNovember 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    This is one killer white blouse on you. Well done!

  12. www.tresbienensemble.comNovember 7, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    BAHAHAHA. That is an awesome husband comment/compliment. And, I can can see why he questioned whether or not you made it. Your plackets and button bands are expertly stitched! It looks fantastic.

  13. Another Heather make I love!!!!

  14. Bahahahahahaha! Mr. B cracks me up! This looks so good and the skirt does, too!

  15. Thanks Vicki! What you're saying makes complete sense, cause I kind of thought the same thing when purchasing the pattern. I didn't think about the gathers making it look like my chest was exploding the fabric. LOL

  16. Thank you Lori. Awww man, you'd think we'd be "too experienced" to make those sort of mistakes. I guess someone thinks we need to stay humble. :)

  17. HAA HAA HAA Jenny! You made me laugh pretty hard. Thank god for sewing so you can give yourself some extra bust room.

  18. LOL. Well he hasn't mentioned reading about my mistakes yet. However it could be that I just distracted him with cookies.

  19. When he said the bust thing I was like, "YESSSS, that's the best comment ever!"
    It would be great if we had minion to sew basics for us. Then we could just do the fun stuff.

  20. Thank you Shae! That's so sweet of you.

  21. Thanks Ronda. I like it better tucked in too. :)

  22. Thanks so much. :)

  23. Haa haa, Mrs. Smith. Gotta count on the fellas liking any sort of attention being called to the bust.

    Definitely put it back on your list. It's got all the right details. But I won't make you sew it in white. :)

  24. Mr. B wins this round. I kind of want to put him and Man friend in an "Awkwardly funny husband comment" contest. We can't tell them though cause then there'd be pressure. ;)

  25. Thanks Brooke. Sewing basics is like sewing homework, don't you think. But then it's also a pain in the butt to buy a nice basic shirt. The only thing that made me buckle down and do it was this sewalong. :)

  26. Thanks Margo. I will say that the new Bernina makes it a lot easier to get nice top-stitching. It has a mark on the foot that is great to use as a guide. Love it!

  27. Thank you Colesworth. :) Hope you get around to sewing this pattern some day. I can get froggie to come over and do your edge stitching for you. :)

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