Amanda vs Tie Front Blouse

Growing up I wanted to be many things: a politician, a teacher, a palaeontologist, an astronaut and a pirate. I crossed politician off my belt with president of the student council and have been rocking teaching for over a decade now. I thought the pirate aspirations where done and dusted when I was drafted to the Red Bellied Black Hearts for derby but that was obviously not enough. Because, dang it, I am now the finest pirate around in my crazy ass big bow blouse. YARRRRRRR!


This pattern is the tie front blouse from BurdaStyle. It’s a short sleeved (bah!), dart free blouse featuring a front slit and a giant freaking bow. This make has taken me five months from cutting to completion. Which is not to say it is a difficult pattern- more it has been sitting cut and forgotten on top of a stack of comics under a table in my sewing room for four odd months. You can’t rush a crazy ass bow, peeps!

This was truly intended to be a fitting muslin as the fabric is a polka dot cotton poplin from Spotlight. But once I had basted things together and tried it on for fit I was digging it too much to not finish it up. Mamma needed a crazy top STAT!


The construction on this sucker is pretty straight forward except for the front slit. I’d never done one of these before and it took a little fiddling to make it work. The main thing I found was to interface, mark the facing and shell fabric accurately and clip and press like a boss. As I said this was initially a muslin for fit so you can see here when I haven’t finished the facing properly… What can I say? I sew on the edge!


Real talk: while this bow is freaking huge it is nothing on what the pattern actually recommends! My bow is shorter at each end by 4” and I took off 4” in width as well! I’m sure in a lovely drapey fabric this extra length and breadth would not have you looking like a human burrito around the neck but for this fabric it had to go. Sayonara, neck burrito!


The impetus for this rad top being dug out was actually a gorgeous cotton sateen purchased recently from Addicted to Fabric. I’ve found I’ve been moving away from my signature pink/grey/yellow lately but this fabric grabbed me with its tentacles of awesome and hauled me in. I decided to dig out my tried and true Simplicity 2451 pattern, tweaked the fit and knocked together a fantastic summer work skirt. But alas, dear Yoric, I had no awesome top to wear with it. So what is a lady to do? Go scavenging in her sewing stash of course which lead to the discover of big ass bow blouse and the rest is history.


What I liked about this pattern:

  • Shaping without darts. It’s the business.
  • Limited pattern pieces. I’m a busy (lazy) lady.
  • The freaking bow. OMG. It is out of control.

What I would change next time:

  • Try a small FBA (although that seems counter intuitive). My lady cargo likes some breathing room. Literally.
  • Go the full length bow. Like a boss.
  • Pinch out the excess at the top back of the armscye. It gapes a bit and my shoulders do not require ventilation. Or maybe they are that dang hot they do? 😉

The Deets

Pattern: Tie Front Blouse by BurdaStyle

Fabric: My trusty polka dot cotton poplin lining from Spotlight

Notions: Thread

See also: Sewing In No Man’s Land, I Heart Fabric, Made by Meg


Can I just say I freaking love this blouse so hard? I have two more of these lined up to sew in the next couple of weeks (one more to perfect the fit and then a fancy version in pirate ship Liberty lawn). I’m giving a huge thumbs up to the tie front blouse- it is a wonderful mix of work appropriate but with enough craziness mixed in that it makes me feel like a sassy pirate. Because, if we’re honest, isn’t that how every lady wants to feel when she heads out the door?

I also wanted to mention the crazy awesome that is happening on Instagram at the moment with the Sewvember photo a day challenge. It has been absolutely epic to be able to peek into peeps’ sewing rooms all over the world. If you want to get involved, there’s more info here or check out #bpSewvember or @bimbleandpimble on Instagram. Yarrr! (which is sassy pirate shirt for stay awesome!)



  1. Arrrrrrr, I love it! But, I have to say that my true love is the skirt. It is skirt perfection. The colours, the fit, everything. You should make a million more! Also – I am loving all the goings-on on Instagram.

  2. I love this HARD. The bow is freaking amazing and you look fantastic! Wish I was lunching with you tomorrow so I could stare at that bow all hour long. Not the lady cargo. The bow. Xxxx

    • Bwah ha ha! I’m going to trial today other ways I can use the bow- storage for pens, an extra set of hands, lolly carrier. Everything’s coming up Amanda!

  3. Bahaha your photos crack me up! The make me want to sing do your ears hang low. But in all seriousness this is a fab top. I love a giant bow!

  4. I’m still very much a fan of bows on blouses. And, well, ya, the bigger the better, usually! This top looks great on you, polka dot spots is a classic and makes everything more fabulous. Have you seen the blow front blouse in ‘feminine wardrobe’ – Jinko Matsumoto? (a pic here: ). The bow is massive and you can tie it in front or back which I like. Only thing is it’s missing the great front slit that your Burda one has, I like that feature.

    • I am not normally a wearable muslin lady but this one definitely showed me it can be done. Thanks for the rad inspiration with yours, Meg! 😀

  5. I’m pretty sure you have THAT feeling with this blouse… you know, when the pattern and the fabric just come together in an explosion of perfect match-made-in-heaven-ness? Yep. It was like that with my pink shorts. Clearly it is also like that with your blouse, bow and skirt. You look amazing!

  6. LOVE!! This blouse is all kinds of awesome! So awesome that the pattern has just been bumped from #10 on my sewing to do list to #3. Yeeha. Let’s pirate together – maybe we can coordinate our bows over brunch and see how many things we can hide in there?! ARRR Sexy pirate 🙂

  7. Wow I love the bow! Great work. The finish looks spot on. Pirate is on my ‘when I grow up list’ so you have been catapulted to the top of my awesome bloggers list hoorah.

  8. You’re making a pirate version of this?! Be still my heart – that’s going to be almost too much awesome to deal with. I kinda think the bow has stolen the gorgeous skirt’s thunder… And, the biggest question, how on earth (or off it?!) are you going to realise the astronaut ambitions?!?!?!

  9. This? The whole lot? The kit AND kaboodle? PERFECT!!!!! Can you hear me shouting?? Miss Amanda it just works. And that blouse is not a muslin, look how awesomely that bow holds its shape. Yeah, yeah, drapey blah blah: give me a big ass, sticky outy bow anyday. You look hot from top to toe!

  10. Wow wee, that is a bow! Love it. And I kinda love it un done as well.
    That skirt is sooo lovely. Perfect summer skirt and the fabric is freakin stunning. I need to come visit a2f.

  11. I love this outfit, the colour are so fun yet match perfectly, the bow is so pretty yet unpractical and it looks very professional while still being quirky. Just perfect!

  12. I feel like I’m running out of funky groovy awesome rad words to use in my comments on your blog :-). Seriously loving the bow! And the fabric. As for air-conditioned shoulders, don’t knock them till the end of summer 😀

    You said the shaping isn’t in the darts? How is it done then?

    Beautiful skirt too. Damn, no more of that fabric? WAGH!

  13. Can’t believe that is supposed to have 4 more inches in width and length – crazy – and in poplin you might look like you were being attacked! I love that it doubles as a hairband too – good thinking 🙂
    Perfect outfit – LOVE!

  14. OK, I am not usually a fan of neck bows as they can be kinda… ’70’s secretary? But you’re rocking this and you look crazy happy and cute in it! Great job!

  15. I bloody love you, m’heartie. Those are perhaps the best pictures in the history of the internet, no word of a lie. This is an awesome bow blouse that you are rocking like a boss!

  16. Can I just say that I love everything about this!? The bow, the polka dots, the skirt! I haven’t been brave enough to try sewing a top but I might just get over that fear just to sew this. Big bows are the BEST!

  17. That is a gorgeous bow blouse. I love bow blouses too. I usually have a collared silk blouse and tie a bow on. It is so feminine. You look lovely!


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