There have been quite a few “yay” moments since I started sewing my own wardrobe. First, zippers. Then sleeves. Then, behold! I conquered pockets! More recently, I have surrendered to pants and jumpsuits.
But one thing kept boggling my mind. Buttonholes. Those pesky little things that stared at me through every picture of a blouse, or a shirt dress, or a button-down skirt that whispered “sew me!” as I scrolled around social media for inspiration.
I tried sewing them a couple of times. A wrap skirt that–lucky me!–had only four buttons, large enough for every faulty stitch to be disguised by the pattern of the fabric. And, more recently, a shirtdress that I am honestly thinking of remaking to preserve my pride and self-esteem.
Then I bought 1,20m of a beautiful African print. Purple, my favorite colour, and a very vivid green, to make a statement. I immediately thought of a top, a simple boxy top. Or… why not play with the bold colours and try sewing a buttondown blouse? A challenge? Yes, please! So I bought green buttons and started thinking of a pattern.
Now, I am not very keen on following patterns. Although I have bettered my skills at that, truth is I rarely end up not hacking the patterns or making up my own (this also happens with cooking recipes so I guess it’s a thing.)
Before I knew it, I had decided on placing some pleats on the shoulders and hem. Notice how I have not yet talked about the actual buttonholes? Yes, I was trying to ignore them and focus on the creative process before finally tackling the real issue (that’s also kind of a thing.)
As I was almost done with the blouse–which by that time had turned into a back buttoned one–and only the buttons remained to be placed, I wanted to let it rest by the sewing machine. But it was only 12 small steps away from being finished (there were six buttons…). Why procrastinate? I had already measured the needed distance to place the buttons and the buttonholes. All I had to do was sit down and sew. And so I did, I just went with the flow–which definitely is a thing, by the way.
I did it and I love it! Is there room for improvement? Always! I have yet to master sewing straight lines and keeping the stitches at the right pace and tension. I have yet to learn to be patient and not want to finish everything on the spot. But I absolutely love this blouse. Everything about it will now be another milestone on my journey as an amateur sewist.
I did it.
Next steps? I want to sew more of these. In different colours and fabrics! And as I go on to conquer the art of sewing buttonholes, other challenges will come. Will I be ready for them? Eventually.
I am a Cape Verdean Portuguese living in Portugal. A crafty, creative, lover of challenges with a major crush on African Prints. Started sewing my own wardrobe in 2015, with nothing but a sewing machine and Youtube tutorials to guide me. You can find me on Instagram @maggie_ms.cherry or Facebook @MaggieMsCherry. Drop a word or two and tell me what you like the most about sewing!
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Congrats and great job on those buttons!!
I LOVE THE ADDITION OF THE PLEATS!!!! They add so much to this top as does the pops of green!
Hi kssews! Thank you so much! Pleats are the cutest add to everything, I love it! Have my hands on another one of these but in a totally different fabric. Let’s see how it goes! 😊
Your blouse is absolutely darling and from your photos your buttonholes turned out wonderfully! My only comment is who does up your buttons? That would be my challenge LOL.
Hi darsews! Thank you so much! I have to confess I managed to sew this in a way I can put it on without having to undo the buttons 😊 I am preparing another one now, let’s see how that goes 😊
This blouse is beautiful, what a nice job too.
Hi sewhappybychristie! Thank you so much 😊
Hi! Thank you so much! I really have to master the pattern so I can make some more! 😊
Go you, love, love the blouse. I’ve never sewn an even buttonhole on my machine, so put it in for a service and buttonhole check and it was returned yesterday with a perfect sample buttonhole. Now I’m excited to try it out and overcome BH avoidance.
Hi Lyn! Thank you so much! The Sewbrave boost was determinant for me to give it a go, because I love a challenge! And it ended up being really fun, actually. Making my second one with this pattern today 😊 Give it a go! You’ll do great and it is so rewarding to scratch that one more time in your to-do list 😊
[…] No mês de maio desafiei-me a participar no movimento Sew Brave, com uma blusa em pano africano com botões nas costas – vejam aqui: https://thesewcialists.com/2019/05/27/sew-brave-and-then-there-were-buttonholes/ […]
This looks awesome!
Hi Ina! Thank you so much! 😊
Lol …. button holes always make me a bit edgy too!!! But then so does zip insertions !!! Still, just goes to show …. practice makes perfect…. or at least better 😊😊😊😊
Hi Louise! You are so right! 😊