The ‘Not A Blouse’ Dress!

Ok, so a while back I posted about how I was joining in with the Sew Bossy Challenge. I had teamed up with Kim from Reves Mecanique and had been set the Oh So Bossy challenge of steering away from making dresses, as lovely as they may be, and instead having a go at making a blouse.

This was a challenge I was happy to take on, especially when I receive my bossy parcel in the post and saw that I had been sent not one but two sets of gorgeous fabric!


I had a blouse pattern in my stash that I had been meaning to try, it was an old Prima pattern with an unusual collar that turns into a big front-tie bow.

So , I set straight to work, and it was all going great….

… that was until I was about half way through and I tried it on….

…turns out I hadn’t paid much attention to the pattern measurements (naughty me).

The blouse fit beautifully all across the top half of the blouse, but as you got further down past my waist it simply wasn’t big enough… …damn you belly and hips!!!

At this point I started to panic. If I had bought the fabric myself I probably wouldn’t have been all too bothered, but this had been sent to me as a gift, as part of a special sewing challenge. Kim had put a lot of thought into what to send to me, I just couldn’t let this go wrong, I had to salvage my creation!

There was only one thing for me to do.

The one thing I had been told by Kim NOT to do…

…turn this blouse into a dress!!!


I chopped off the bottom of the blouse, just the bit that didn’t fit properly. I then used the last of the material to make a very, very gathered circle skirt.


Oh my how this dress flows, I simply LOVE it. I think the fullness of the skirt really compliments the floaty sleeves. In fact looking at it now I question whether I would have even suited this as a blouse, or whether the sleeves would have made it look too frumpy. The skirt really does balance out the silhouette.


There is a lot of polka dot, and it is a dark colour… a perfect opportunity to team it with my favourite red heals and a little belt. Other colours might work too, perhaps pink or teal?!


The blouse itself was quite loose fitting but really flattering. It fastens at the side under the arm with a zip… I am a big fan of this type of fastening. Luckily I found out it wasn’t going to work as a blouse BEFORE inserting the zipper which made the process of saving the garment much easier.


I think the little gathered under the bust and in the back of the blouse are really flattering. The shoulders where a little droopy so I added a few gathers here also which make the fit of the blouse so much better. you can see this details quite well in the photo above.

I could say I am sorry that I didn’t stick to my challenge… however that would be lying because I ADORE this dress and am actually really pleased it ‘failed’. That is not to say I wouldn’t use the blouse pattern to make an actual blouse. It was such a simple pattern to use and was really quick and easy to put together. I can certainly see me putting it to use in the future, next time I will take into consideration my belly and hips, and if I am making it as a blouse I would perhaps change the style of the sleeves .

The great thing about this project is that is HAS opened me up to making tops and blouses. Although this did eventually turn into a dress, and I swear this was an unplanned turn of events, all I was thinking whilst I was making it was how enjoyable it was making something different for a change.

So… not wanting to be defeated, and remembering that Kim was unbelievably generous and had sent me two lots of fabric… I decided that this would NOT be my final Sew Bossy project.

So stay tuned this week for the big reveal… and an extra surprise that you are going to want to stick around for!


    • Hannah Elizabeth Smith says:

      I didn’t quite realise at first just how gathered I was making the circle skirt but I do really like it, I am always shocked by how much fabric a circle skirt takes up though!

    • Hannah Elizabeth Smith says:

      I think I am going to have to make up this pattern as a blouse just so I can see what it would have looked like :D

    • Hannah Elizabeth Smith says:

      oooh, I never thought of yellow, I can see a shopping trip for yellow shoes in my near future, thanks for the idea :D

    • Hannah Elizabeth Smith says:

      Thanks for stopping by , I am so thrilled you like my creation. The sew along challenge was an awful lot of fun and I am really pleased it gave me a chance to try so many new things including make a pdf pattern to share :)

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