18th August 2021
Behind the design
Designing the Tie Blouse and Dress pattern
For the last couple of seasons, the trend for tie neck blouses has grown partly due to Zoom culture; the top half of an outfit takes centre stage so needs to be more flamboyant.
There are plenty of tie-neck blouses including the Tie-neck Blouse I designed for my book. But I wanted a blouse that had a less traditional tie. I played around with scarves on the mannequin and then calico creating a front yoke with tie extensions. I liked the idea of two ends of a scarf looped but not knotted.
My concern was how to finish the edges. I considered a rolled hem which is fine if your overlocker or serger has that facility, but otherwise that’s a lot of hand stitching. So I decided upon bagging out. It then occurred to me to combine the front and back yokes, creating one smooth line across the shoulder with a clean finish to the neckline. There is no interfacing to the yoke as this would interfere with the natural folds of fabric once tied. The pattern piece for the yoke is unusual and once attached to the rest of the blouse pieces, the ties overlap, even when untied.
Initially I had thought this yoke would then join a classic shirt shape, however the gathers created once the top is tied, led me in another direction. I decided more fullness with the inclusion of a central pleat, front and back, would work well. To balance this out the sleeves are finished with a slightly gathered elasticated cuff.
The finished pull-on blouse can be worn tucked in or left out and worn with a skirt or trousers. It works well with a tailored jacket or coat too. I had intended this style to just be a blouse but realised it also works as a dress. For the dress option I have slightly tapered the lower part of the side seam to create a subtle cocoon shape.
Both blouse and dress suit lightweight woven shirting fabrics. Cotton will give a slightly more sculptural effect than a fluid viscose, Tencel or silk fabric. If using a cotton, choose a fine yarn count like a Tana lawn.