Floral Squareneck Baby Blouse

I am waaaay behind on blogging all the stuff I’ve been sewing.  Last week I had a fire under my rear or something and just couldn’t stop.  So this week you get to hopefully (?) see the fruits of my labor. I know this is going to sound dumb but I also think I’m getting faster at sewing. I think it’s probably like anything that you practice, you just get a little more efficient the more you do it?  Anyway, here’s one of the finished products:

I know I say this alot but I’m still not completely sure I like this one. It all started with a “I-could-make-that!” moment at Janie and Jack recently (here’s the top I was looking at).  I knew I had this faux-Liberty floral print by Alexander Henry and thought it would work for a knock-off.  I was drawn to the square neck in particular.


As I neared the point of adding the bias tape to the neck it started to feel a little “Crazy Aunt Maude” and I started to doubt myself. Then I decided just to go over the top with it and add the red Anna Maria Horner voile. The effect is a top that is a wee bit too busy even for me, Queen of All Things Bright and Crazy. Perhaps this is all par for the course with the sort of stuff people are sewing for little girls these days, but to put things in perspective I think everyone should read Liesl’s posts on selecting fabric for children’s clothing.  One of the things that resonated with me about those posts was that I find even though I like really bright fabrics, they don’t always work for clothing, especially baby clothing. This print might be better off in a quilt or on a shirt for me, no?

But that’s not going to stop me from adding a pair of red cords.  Heh. Heh.

I took a dress pattern from Ottobre magazine (on page two of this issue) that I used for C’s Christmas outfit last year and redrew the neck, reworked the pleats and lengthened the sleeve. OK, so it’s almost a new pattern but not really.  And I don’t know if Finnish babies are just naturally ginormous or if it’s just me but I don’t ever seem to be able to nail the right size with Ottobre. Even though the size I traced last year was supposed to fit her at 3-6 months, I’m still using it now and she’s almost 15 months old. And it’s still a bit big, more like an 18 month size (I know!?).

It is so incredibly difficult to get clear pictures of the ever-in-motion young Clementine, so we’re settling for these. Here she is with my mom:

64 thoughts on “Floral Squareneck Baby Blouse

  1. Love the top. I am so glad you have the same problem with sizes of Ottobre. Last year I made a top a supposed size two for my girls, well, they don't even fit into it now and they wear a size 4 from the shops. I think all Ottobre stuff is huge:-). But I do so love their patterns, I just take measurements of the pattern and compare to stuff that fits.

  2. Its adorable! The bright colors are perfect for that shirt! Little ones can always sport brighter colors!
    The square neck is neat, love it!
    You did good, can't wait to see what else you finished up! Oh, and I am always second guessing my self. I have learned to just go with what feels right instead of fretting.

  3. love the top! It is truly fantastic! And that is a good tip about the Ottobre patterns, was going to try making something myself here pretty soon – and now I will know to watch out for that!

  4. Oh no, Rae, I think you nailed the colors with this. I love it and it looks perfectly child-like and fun on your lovely girl.

  5. I love the shirt! Can you recommend some place to buy Ottobre in the US? I would love to pick one up and try out a pattern or two.

  6. I like it! Even the busy-ness of it–if it was a small print it might be a different story but I think the scale is really good for this one.

  7. I freaking love it. I've read that post about choosing fabrics for kids, and I totally agree with it, but sometimes (actually most of the time) I love loud colors and prints (just not bubble-gummy, which this is not) for kids.

  8. I love it. Better than the blouse it's based on. (Funnily enough, I'm not as sure about the red cords, though.)

    I've often had to cute all the lengths two sizes larger than the circumferences for Ottobre patterns. Right now my 10yo is a perfect Ottobre size and I love not having to adapt–but, yes, Ottobre stuff is often cut wide.

  9. Hmm…I like it, but I might like it more if the trim were blue and solid or tiny-print or something. But that could be because I have an obsession with the color blue. It's a cute shirt, and far more sedate than many of the things I've seen out there lately. I've been looking around for some nice (EASY) patterns to make for P – she keeps pointing to things in the Tea Collection catalog and going 'Mommy should make me one of those!"- and many of the offerings are enough to give you an eye hemorrhage. I think there is an undiagnosed condition in the sewing community called Ruffle-itis, which causes sufferers to have uncontrollable urges to be-ruffle every single surface of a girls' garment, with each ruffle in a different eye-searingly bright/floral fabric when possible. Even when the ruffles impede the wearer's comfort and motion or make it impossible to put a child in a car seat, Ruffle-itis sufferers cannot help themselves. BLEAH.

  10. I love this!!! Just the way you made it! And can so see it with some blue jeans and lil' mary jane slip ons….it was the first blog update to catch my eye on my list! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! And I'm with you on loving the square neckline!

  11. That top is just so cute! I love home made clothes and I hope my kids do. I sometimes have a tough time deciding if I like what I made but I must say that top is so very cute.

  12. [sharp intake of breath] OMG that fabric is so GORGEOUS! I have no idea why you're not sure about the top – it's lovely.

    And by the way, awwwwww! Clementine is sooooo pretty!

  13. A: Just when I thought nothing was cuter than Clementine, you post Clementine's dimples.
    B: The shirt is awesome and perfect and it would be a sin not to pair it with the red cords.
    C: I may not be the best person to express an opinion on busy-ness of fabric combinations and colors.
    D: Because my favorite color is rainbow.

  14. I really like the shirt but I think the fabric is a bit much. This would be cute in a solid and tiny print for the trim or vice versa.

  15. What a great top! I think yours turned out way better than your inspiration. I love the contrasting fabric.

  16. *clapping hands wildly* OH, Rae! It's adorable! I LOVE it! Me too… I have been sewing and nesting, that blogging about it just isn't top priority. And I have some cute things too… *sigh* in due time!

  17. Oh, I love this sooooo much! Actually, I think the fabric choice is particularly wonderful — don't doubt yourself so much!

  18. In this kind of weather, the more color, the better! I'm not even going to pretend that it's more colorful than what my kids wear, because they dress themselves. One pink sock, one green sock, salmon colored leggings, and a teal plaid shirred babydoll tunic, plus a purple t-shirt. That's Ernie's outfit today. Mimi…is in a baby blue jersey dress, and Christmas Red fuzzy legwarmers. Yeah, she picks out her clothes too.

  19. Okay, I happen to love your print combination and think that little outfit is just divine! And, I feel your pain, I just hate when you spend all that time sewing up a pattern only to get the sizing wrong..AAACK!

  20. Rae, believe it or not I thing it's adorable! Was just trying to find an elegant way to do a square neckline for a pattern I'm developing. Did you like how this one was constructed?

  21. This is GLORIOUS!!!!!!! I love it – I don't think it's too busy at all, I think it's fabulous and Clementine is absolutely darling wearing it! Well, she's absolutely darling anyway – lol – makes me very sorry I don't have a wee little girl!

    I wish I could have one of these, exactly like it, in my size!!!

  22. What beautiful fabric! And a lovely practical (comfy) shape. I am becoming more and more inspired to try to sew clothes for my own girls (instead of just draw straing bags!). But I don't think I'll try anything this tricky yet!! xxx

  23. I'll have to admit I was sorta "eh" about this top/the print choices… until I saw it on C. WOW! I'm not sure if it's the super-cute kid or a combo of the top + kid but it turned out great! Maybe it's just one of those tops that looks better on something other than a hanger?

  24. Personally, I love the top – especially when paired with the red cords. I've been eyeing that Alexander Henry print for awhile now, and might just need to go for it! Also, thanks for linking to the children's fabric post – I definitely think everyone should read it!

  25. OMG i LOVE it! And even my husband did so don't worry it's not at all too bright! I love your blog and learning from all your great ideas!!!

  26. haha, i´m finnish. And our babies aren´t huge. But the patterns are! 🙂 I (almost) always choose a number or two smaller with Ottobre than other patterns.

    And the top (and colors) is absolutely wonderful

  27. i love it! & i'm not just saying that. it's darling on her & i really like the bold color choice. looks great with her blonde hair (what wouldn't look cute on that pumpkin, though??!)
    kelly (who won't use her ridiculous nickname, but can't think of another.)

  28. LOVE the top — so sweet! I too have stood in Janie and Jack thinking "I could so make that!" (I haven't yet, but I could!)

    Love your blog!

  29. I think it looks lovely! I'm such a coward when it comes to mixing fabrics like that so I tend to go with the safe options – but I find that when I do push the boat out on it my 5 year old daughter really loves the results (the brighter the better at that age!).

    I've had the same issues with Ottobre too. I recently made a couple of tops and the sizing was just weird. Height-wise she should be fitting the 110cm size, but all the other measurements are between the 92 and 98 cm sizes. I've decided that the thing to do is cut the body pieces to the non-height measurements and the length to the correct height. When I posted about it I had a couple of comments to the effect that other people had had issues in that way so I think it's pretty standard!

  30. I LOVE the top. It's just fabulous. I know, I often second guess myself with colours/patterns too, but really, there's enough dull and conservative clothing out there without succumbing to it ourselves. I wish I were C!

  31. I am so in love with that fabric! I might just have to go and buy me some, and that is SO unlike me. It looks beautiful. Way to go!

  32. I am in LOVE with it! I think it's a really clever mix of patterns. The AMH voile is solid enough to "make it work." I'm super excited to read the post you linked to as sewing is so new to me that I'm never sure about the fabrics that I'm choosing.

  33. My first impression of the top was OMG so darn cute. I was sad that you thought it was crazy aunt maude. I love real subdued childrens clothing, like the a lot of the French lines, but every once in a while, you have to have a little sunshine!! Your daughter is too cute for words too!!

  34. Well you're crazy because it's absolutely adorable. Just embrace your awesomeness. Seriously I would buy that top for my 7 month old in a heartbeat.

  35. oh my gosh. my favorite part of this is seeing smiling pics of Clementine. She's soooooo overly stinking cute! Makes me want to have another kid. Love her!
    Oh, and the shirt is darling, darling, darling too 🙂

  36. absolutely adorable! I think I'd like one in my size (though I imagine I'd look nowhere near as cute as Clementine!)

  37. I'll join the chorus saying how cute and adorable your blouse is. Oh and the baby too! Sooooo cute!

  38. I'm in love. Despite the pile of Halloween projects to finish, I just might try to make a knock-off version instead. It's lovely.

  39. How incredibly cute! The outfit is so pretty on your little girl- she is just too, too cute. I am really a big fan of A Henry's liberty knock offs- the real deal runs a little too pricey for my budget. The combination that you used is perfect- the trim and pocket just pop so nicely.

  40. I love the shirt and I'm so excited to see all the things you have been working on. Thanks for inspiring me to look on Janie and Jack. I'm copying the ruffle dress for my baby girls Christmas dress now. I also just did a tutorial on invisible baby snaps that you might like for all of those cute shirts you make for baby C. http://www.sewgrown.blogspot.com/

  41. This is just one more example of such SWEET girl fabric. There is such LITTLE boy print fabric that is fun but So MUCH girl prints. Sigh. Beautiful!

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