Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Chou Business

After all the fiddly-ness of my recent sewing projects, I decided it was time make something simple, something I could (hopefully) whip up in a day or two. My shoulder injury is also limiting the amount of time I can spend at the sewing machine so it couldn't have too much detail. It's so frustrating to only be able to sew a seam or two before needing a couple of hours break!

As you well know, I'm a huge fan of the early Vogue patterns and this adorable blouse has been on my wish list for some time - A 1940s button back blouse with a lovely soft Chou neckline.

Vogue 6422
Looks simple enough, right? There are only two main pieces needed for the blouse- the rest are facings, etc - and judging by the line drawings on the back of the envelope, it was going to be easy-peasy. Oh, how wrong I was! When I pulled out the pattern pieces and studied the markings, I very nearly burst into tears.
Here's why...

Just look at all those tucks and pleats!
I'd assumed it was the tie created that puffy neckline.
And then there are the wonderfully clear and concise instructions...
This was not the sort of project I was looking for at all. It's not that I didn't think it achievable, it's that I wanted something which wasn't going to be taxing on the ol' grey matter. Or my shoulder.
After taking several deep breaths to calm myself down (calm blue oceans, calm blue oceans), I pulled some floral print, stretch satin out of the stash and got to work. Ignoring the confusing instructions, I started with the pleats at the top of the neckline, only to discover I couldn't make darts - the lower neckline was now all bunched up. Out came the unpicker; this was not a good start.
Creating the structure for the Chou was a little fiddly, but once I worked out the order in which they needed to be sewn, it was actually pretty easy. It's amazing what a bit of patience can achieve.
The interfacing I've used might be a little heavy - I didn't take into account it would be doubled over when folded inside - but I'm still pleased with how the neckline sits.
We've finally had some sunshine here so I've managed to get outside and get some pics of my finished blouse in all it's puffy-necked glory. Lovely!

Every single one of those button holes down the back are bound - the pattern called for it so  I had to. I did consider just making an everyday button hole, but it felt like I'd be cheating somehow, especially after I'd worked so hard on getting the collar right. Damn you, Tam, & your perfectionist ways!
Oh, soul-warming sunshine,
I do hope you're here to stay!
- Tamara


  1. Oh my god that blouse is amazing! I must be living under a rock because I didn't know such a neckline existed! Wow :-)
    I think we need to do a pattern collation - would LOVE to borrow some of yours to trace and you could gladly raid my smallish stash too!

  2. Cut blouse! I love the neckline and the bow.

  3. all the hard work was worth it, that is one lovely blouse!


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