Amanda vs Liberty Pirate Ships

Two words, peeps: Pirate. Ships.

If there was anything that could have brought me over to buy some Liberty it was going to be pirate ships. Liberty, of the sweet florals and delicate art deco prints, has never grabbed me enough to shell over my hard earned clams to invest in it. But when I stumbled across a monochromatic pirate number you better believe I snaffled it up like my dogs eat chickpeas (read: very quickly) And what better pattern to celebrate the glory of the pirate ship goodness than a pirate blouse. Ahi me hearties! Let’s set sail for radness…


We’ve gone through this drill before but a big welcome back to the Tie Front Blouse from Burda. This is a dart free blouse with a boxy fit, a front slit and a huge ass bow whose length and width varies on how much fabric I have. It is a crazy fast pattern to prep though you do have to “draft” the slit facing and tie pieces. The best bit of this is that you can work with what fabric you have for the ties- I went with 14cm wide and 100cm long per piece.


The seriously rad Liberty print was picked up at Okadaya in Shinjuku last May. While Liberty was cheaper over there than it is here ($55 AUD p/m anyone?!) it was still a pricey investment so I grabbed 1.5m and hoped for the best. The print up close is covered in tall ships and there was a pink colour way as well. Repeated research into the name or collection of this print has come up empty so until then it’s (un)official name will be Rad Pirate Goodness Yarrrrr. You’re welcome, Liberty. Please give me a call if you ever need more naming help…

Edit: a big thanks to Grannysmith for providing me with the correct print name. Unfortunately Liberty went a bit more sedate and called this Patrick’s. Still pretty rocking. Patrick’s the Pirate!


Construction wise, this was my third go at this pattern so things went pretty smoothly. In fact, the biggest challenge wasn’t sewing it up but seeking out the ties from the limited fabric length. I ended up having to cut two tie pieces on grain and two pieces on the cross grain to fit everything in. That’s what fancy pants sewers like myself call a “design feature” *snort*

The fit on this version is great but to get this sorted has been a total comedy of errors. My polka dot version was cut, ahem, without a seam allowance so was a bit tight around the armscye. The second version (unblogged) had the seam allowance and but was too big so has been taken in. For this pirate number I went with the size up in the armholes and graded back to the non-seam allowanced size of the first version and it fits like a charm. Huzzah! I really need to undertake a fitting course some time soon… O_o


Sewing wise, this was a super quick make I had the blouse sewn and the tie pieces separately constructed on the Tuesday night. Pro tip for slit facing: this tutorial is ace if you need some help! I then joined everything together on the Wednesday night and was rocking this to work on Thursday. As this is a work top I got utilitarian on the inside and used my overlocker on everything. Last thing a lady wants is her epic pirate blouse splitting open She Hulk style while schmoozing at a work function…


What I loved about this pattern:

  • How big impact the bow is. When you have ridiculously hip young cultural institution staff asking where they can get one you know it’s working. Now hand me my black rim glasses!
  • How quick it is. If you can make something in the space of six Parks & Rec episodes you know you’re winning at life.
  • PIRATE SHIPS! I know this isn’t THE pattern but it is A pattern and since it’s my blog rules are being broken BWAH HA HA! There is something crazy meta about wearing pirate ship fabric on a piratey bow blouse.

What I would change for next time:

  • If I were to try this again (would four of these be too much?) then maybe it is time to try the full tie dimensions. Though I fear that I could end up mummy wrapped in those suckers…
  • I’ve got nothing else. This is one happy camper.

The Deets

Pattern: Tie Front Blouse by Burda

Fabric: 1.5m Liberty lawn with awesome pirate ships from Okadaya, teeny rectangle of fusible interfacing

Notions: 0.5m Liberty bias binding, thread

See also:  Paunnet, my sassy self


Overall, I am crazy in love with this top. The fabric is a dream to sew with (more pirate designs please, Liberty!) and even more luxe to wear. You know you’re on a winner when it is pulled out to be worn every week! It also marks the last of the tops made for my new work wardrobe which is almost complete- two frocks to go… But if you will excuse me, I’m off to sail the seven seas YARRRR!


  1. OH my goodness. Rad Pirate Goodness Yarrrr is a way better name than Patrick’s. I love the fabric. Nice shirt!

    • Thanks, Sarah! Yup- was totally freezing when these photos was taking- hence all the scowls 😀 This is perfect with my work tights and cardis – snug and rad!

  2. oh my goodness, that top is booty-ful! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself). Who knew Liberty would come up with something that awesome, they probably did it just to see you make an awesome pirate shirt. Looking good gorjuss, as ever!

  3. Fabulous! I’m not a fan of the Liberty floral prints for clothing for myself, but this print is a-may-zing! Love your name for the print much more than Liberty’s – they should definitely employ you as print namer.

  4. Black rim glasses! I have those on right now! Chickpeas and dogs, who knew?? Pirates and Liberty? Unprecedented. Long live the bow front blouse! You rock that look xxx

  5. Those pirate ships are awesome and what a perfect blouse for the fabric too! You look amazing and I am now dreaming about having my own ruby slippers too!

  6. Ahoy! That is a super fabulous blouse – you definitely kill it in the bow blouse area! Great print!

    Also. SHOES. Yes – I know want some Dorothy slippers.

  7. Patrick’s? Really! I shall forever call it rad pirate goodness yarrrr. It’s a much catchier name in my opinion. You are freaking rocking this fabric. It was like they printed it with you in mind. As always you look killer in a bow blouse.

  8. I am in love with your bow-y boat-y genius here. That bow should be BIGGER. Just kidding. It’s perfect. Can I steal it? I’ve seriously never seen that liberty print before so you’ve made my eye gawp which is good too.

    • Isn’t it the best fabric? I am now on the hunt for something equally awesome from Liberty- I think Tiny Dancer may fit the bill…

  9. I love Liberty fabric and I double love bow blouses so seeing this gorgeous top makes me very happy! And pirate ships!!!!! No wonder your hipster colleagues were desperate to get their hands on one! It’s fab. x

    • Thanks, Jane! This is my new favourite bow blouse pattern now- but don’t tell Simplicity 2451 as I think it’s heart will break 😉

  10. OMG this is a DREAM BLOUSE my friend. From the giant bow to the pirate ships to the liberty everything about it rocks (side note: I clearly need to add this one to my ever-growing collection of bow front blouse patterns).

    • You are so right, Alex! My one made from cheap poplin has the bounce but no drape and my cheap voile one has the drape and no bounce. Liberty is the bomb!

  11. Aaargh, shiver me timbers, I love this so much. Such a great work look without going all crazy corporate. I love how you have secretly kept your own style in there. Perfection!!


  1. […] this one to me gratis (thank you guys!) and I grabbed a piece of the teal colourway. Just like the other Liberty I have worked with this was a dream – like sewing together pretty pieces of cloud. The only complaint I have about […]

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