The anti-climax blouse: Butterick 3082

So remember way back when, I had a dream that I could replicate, or sort of make something similar to Joanne’s awesome frilly vintage blouse here?


Well, I started to action this months ago & it has been a UFO…until now!  (I now have no UFOs people- how cool is that!?)  So it is time to tell the story of how such grand designs became a bit of a damp squib.

I used this pattern, Butterick 3082 & don’t even feel as if I’ve done this justice.

I mean I bought this because of all of the dreamy neck treatments: pussy bow, frill, gorgeous collar & bow tie.  But ignored them all.  So I started thinking I’d make a frill neck blouse a la Joanne using some beautiful floral poly chiffon that I’d got from the Rag Market.  Gorgeous teal, brown & reds in this fabric that are just too pretty…. I cut strips & used my overlocker to roll-hem the edges in red.  I made running tracks of this, I tell you…


I then made up the button-back blouse, version D, but with narrower sleeves.  Now it could be that Joanne’s blouse is front fastening, I wasn’t sure.  My thinking though had designed it with buttons behind me.  I did make a quick version out of an old sheet to test the pattern, when I tried it on, it appeared to be a fab fit, bust darts even falling correctly.  So I could go full steam ahead & make it up in the chiffon.

Blouse 1-003

Everything was going well, I’d made up the blouse, inserted the sleeves & had metres of ruffle.  BUT positioning the ruffle around my neck was wrong.  Just wrong folks.  Pierrot, Krusty the clown would have been proud.  OK, so the neckline is rather high on this blouse.  Possibly lowering it & then adding frills would feel more comfortable.

Blouse 3-003But that would involve recutting a neckline, facings & just general sewing-unpicking tedium.  I try not to go back with sewing, not when the execution of an idea is basically flawed.  High neck, ruffles, me?  Remember my last dalliance with ruffles?

I have to apologise folks, there are no pictures with ruffles attached.  It was one of those occasions when the camera was not handy & my fear of frills made me panic – I removed them instantly.  I know, that’s what you come back here for – me looking silly & showing the warts & all of my sewing.  Sadly I failed you this time.  Please forgive me.  Call it a medical emergency.

Still, this blouse generally moped around my sewing room waiting for me to pick it up & redeem it.  You see, I do LOVE Joanne’s blouse.  Still.

Blouse 4-003So I hemmed the sleeves (which were also potential ruffle victims), hemmed the blouse & put the buttonholes in the back.  I made it simple.  In the picture above you can barely see the buttons, such a close match they must be!

Blouse 2-003

Now I still have misgivings about this blouse, despite having worn it now.

First of all I never wear a neckline this high.  Ever.  Which is why I tried it with the necklace.  Plus, When I saw the photos I was struck by how wide & boxy it is.  But then, how much do we stand with arms out like that (except perhaps to cool over-heated arm-pits)?

Blouse 5-003Chiffon hangs lightly, we move, maybe it doesn’t look huge in normal wear? I could always put a couple of vertical darts in the front too.  So, to conclude.  This blouse is a lesser version of its potential.  I have doubts about it, but have worn it.  It is a very good blouse to wear out in evenings with trousers & I am looking forward to pairing it with my red denim Chardon skirt too….tucked in it could have a whole different look.  I think it is the prettiness of the fabric that is redeeming it….& maybe I don’t always have to embellish, maybe sometimes I just need to keep it simple?

30 thoughts on “The anti-climax blouse: Butterick 3082

  1. Deb

    I think (for what it’s worth!) the blouse is sweet. Though if your heart’s desire is ruffles, why not try some vertical ruffles ie neck to hem, perhaps three little rows?

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Alas, Deb, I should have said, the ruffles I experimented with went round the neck and down the centre front…in the end it just wasnt doing it for me…..but thank you for your suggestion!! I think I am resolved to enjoy ruffles on others!!!

  2. Jacq

    It is very pretty fabric and I don’t think you need the ruffles. You’re right it only looks even slightly boxy (I mean a tiny, weeny, ‘nobody would have noticed if you hadn’t mentioned it’ bit boxy) if you stand still with your arms out wide – all you need to do is keep moving! 🙂

  3. Rachel

    Well that’s interesting. I really like this blouse on you and I think that the neckline really suits you. It’s pretty 🙂

  4. Lynne

    I, too, think it looks lovely. The shape makes me think of Tilly’s Mathilde blouse, and I agree that some vertical darts at the front could work.

  5. Roobeedoo

    I think that ruffles are going too far with a floral chiffon. And sometimes “too far” is exactly what the doctor ordered… but that’s where it comes down to your own tolerance levels / taste! Ruffles on floral chiffon? In my opinion, there’s a risk of looking / smelling like something you found in the Cats Protection League charity shop on a hot Saturday afternoon… and that’s not good!
    If it was mine (and it’s not, so feel free to ignore me) I would be tempted to slash the neck across to the edge of the facings for more of an Audrey-esque boat neck. But it’s fine as it is! It’s all about attitude and you’ve got plenty! 😀
    Maybe it jsut needs a turquoise wig?

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Cats Protection League aka Mrs Slocombe, yep, hadn’t appreciated this risk when embarking on this particular make!!
      I hear your call for a Different colour wig although this fabric gives multiple options!!

  6. Prttynpnk

    I think this particular cupcake is just right without frosting- as a sewist of gaudy, I know sometimes you just have to let you and the print be the star. I like it!

  7. Taracat

    It’s definitely better without the ruffles. I just wish you’d taken some pics of them on though, I just spat out my coffee picturing Krusty the Clown. I think tucked in would take away some of the boxiness, although it doesn’t look as boxy as you probably think it does. And it would look lovely with your red skirt.

  8. Philippa

    Lol! I think the blouse is a beautiful fabric. But I too have issues with high necks and frills! Like you, I would just love to wear them. When I put them on l just feel silly, I don’t know why! Anyway, those wide shapes are ‘in’. If i were you I think I would just wear it with a skinny bottom half and call it done!

  9. Tempest

    You need a variety of detachable collars to wear with it….I’d stick a lightweight blue cord or velvet pointy shirt collar with it. But then I’m a bit weird. I think it’s a lovely shape, not boxy and love the lower hem….though I know what you mean about high necklines, I made a lot of bateau necklines last year because they looked good on pattern packets but feel constricted wearing them. Glad you’re wearing it though, it’s pretty.

  10. LinB

    Oh, let’s stop comparing this lovely blouse to its (imaginary) frilly sister! The floral chiffon is beautiful, and you made it up beautifully into a simple blouse that will serve you well. It is its own entity, and not to be fussed to death with ruffles, however much you want a ruffly blouse. The exemplar seems to be front opening, with buttons/snaps/zipper concealed among the frill down the front. It also seems to be made from something like a cotton sheeting or broadcloth, or at least a fabric with more inherent body than chiffon. You might seek out a blouse pattern from the 1980s, not the 1960s, to replicate that degree of ruffle. Yes, the shoulders will be too wide/deep/shoulder-padded, and probably the bodice will have too much ease in it, but the collar and front openings will work better to achieve the right degree of ruffle and fuffle support. I’ll look out what’s in my inventory to suggest some pattern numbers that support my mini-thesis.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      You are as always the voice to temper my emotions Lin! And the voice of wisdom. I agree the inspiration blouse does appear to be front fastening on closer inspection, and is def not made from chiffon!! I think fabric choice would have quite a decisive impact on whether the blouse is wearable vintage or coco the clown. I had to understand this though by trial …interesting what you say about 80s also maybe providing some reference. Thank you 🙂

  11. Meg the Grand

    I like the blouse very much – the colors are fabulous, and I think the shape is very classic. Sometimes when I am dealing with an extra high neckline, I throw a long necklace on to counter balance the height. I hope you get to wear this often – I think you’re rocking it in these photos, and it would look great with your red skirt!

  12. Debbie

    I like the simplicity of the shape teamed with the fabric. I agree sometimes floral and ruffles can be too much. I think you have made a wearable pretty top. 🙂

  13. Christine

    I like your frill-less blouse, and it’s very interesting how you arrived at it. A circuitous journey but a creative one. Sometimes things we think we want to wear are actually just garments we like to look at on other people.

  14. Kbenco

    It may be suffering in comparison to your inner vision, but this blouse is pretty and elegant all by itself. If it were my chiffon blouse (you are very good at chiffon wrestling, most impressive) I would Ruffle up a different blouse, because this one seems to prefer being unadorned. Sometimes fabric can be very bossy like that.

  15. Barb

    This looks like a nice, light top for the summer and worn tucked into the red chardon skirt would give it the ‘wow’ factor. I love the idea of a series of Mrs Slocombe themed outfits though – you could definitely pull that look off!!

    1. LinB

      Idk … Mrs. Slocombe was blessed with quite a generous embonpoint. Our own dear Badger is far more gracile. (That is, Mrs. S. had the shelf on which to display massive garlands of ruffle and giant neck bows, which would probably hang like a noose around B.’s slender neck.)

  16. missjoiedevivre

    Oh dear Badger, I have got so behind on my reading. But the Things That Got In The Way are behind me so now I can dedicate myself to catching up.

    Floral chiffon is pretty. Ruffles can be pretty. But sometimes things that are pretty in isolation don’t go well together. It’s like the adage: knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. Perhaps this fruit salad just didn’t need tomato? But it’s plenty tasty as it is!


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