French Knot Blouse

7:08 PM

I need more blouses.
Pretty much my "above the waist wardrobe" consists of solid tee shirts.
I need to grow up and move beyond the Target or Old Navy tee shirts.

But I'm also thinking a real blouse might be more flattering.
Lynette, my sister, HATES knit.  She won't sew with or wear it.
She's voiced her anti-knit opinions, and I still love knits for kids, but I'm starting to come around with the unflattering element of just wearing tee shirts for me.
After babies, I find my tummy skin will never be the same, and wearing knit shirts that cling may not be the best idea.  Obviously a larger tee shirt won't cling as much, but then it won't fit right.  So before this post becomes "What Not To Wear" by someone who's clueless and needs to be a contestant herself, on to my new goal to sew more tops that aren't knit and outline to outline and emphasize my perpetual post-partum mini gut.
So I'm trying to have looser blouses in more structured fabrics to flow over the skin rolls rather than crease between them.

I had some left over drapes from my aunt, and made a simple pop over blouse.
The scoop neck is big enough to go over my head without a zipper or button, so it makes it an easy top to wear.
It's just like a tee shirt, no boob or back darts, so it's even easier to sew.
It gets some shape by the curved side seams so it's not just a total box.

The texture on this blouse is a pattern of french knots with embroidery floss.
I had never used french knots and found helpful videos on youtube to show me how, they're pretty easy.
The knots add a subtle detail and texture that I thought worked out nicely.

The front is in a grid pattern that gets more concentrated at the neck.
The back just has a 2" spaced grid throughout and the sleeves were an even 1.25" grid.

 I worked on it over the course of a few weeks a few here and there when we went places.
I rarely hand sew but this fit in a bag and made it easy to get it done while watching the kids play at the park, fishing, etc.  I put a square knot behind each french knot, but as I worked, just left the thread connecting them.  The drapery fabric is thick enough you can't see the backing thread so I think I'll leave it to help prevent knots coming untied.

After sewing the side/ shoulder seams and finishing the neckline, I used tailor chalk to map out diagonal lines 2" apart on the front and back.
I marked intersections with a blue fabric pencil and as it got closer around the neckline, I drew knot dots on the half way point between intersections to double the concentration of the knots.
I didn't use any embroidery hoops either.

 I wore it to church today and got a few compliments and asking if I made it.
Later my husband asked if it was because they liked it or if it looks homemade....I wasn't sure.
I think I'll try another and make it 2" longer.

Anyway, the french knot idea could spruce up lots of different projects with simple, subtle texture and detail.

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  1. I definitely don't think they asked because it looked home-made! Oh the post partum pooch! I'm 14 months after my second (AND LAST) kid - struggling with accepting it and with my wardrobe. I definitely need to make tops like this. What pattern did you use for the top? It's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for.

  2. "You mean to tell me my children have been seen all over Salzburg in nothing but some old DRAPES!"

    It looks awesome, I love the french knots, and how you put them more densely around the neck. It looks great! I'd wear it in Salzburg ;)

  3. I love your blouse!! So much work to put those French knots on it!! Awesome! I have been thinking I need to do some handwork this summer (portable, like u said), this may have to be my project!

  4. I love it! You are so great at putting in the little details that really make a garment beautiful. I hope someday to think more like you.

  5. Hmmmm - you've got me thinking now about my tshirt collection :) I love the idea of a collection of wee cotton tops - yours is a lovely shape and it looks great on you. NOT homemade!!!
    By the way - I'm totally loving your shoes :)

  6. the shoes! They were a splurge from money I made sewing 17 skirts for a wedding.
    I got them as factory seconds from
    I got a pair of medical clogs when I was working 8 years ago that I still wear a ton in the winter. They're really comfortable and made to help when you're on your feet all day. I loved those so I thought a pair of dansko sandals would be great for summer vacations/ day trips where there's lots of walking and I'd rather not wear tennis shoes. I hope these last forever like my other danskos!

  7. This is a fantastic idea! Would love to try it on something for my little girl! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Great fabric embellishing idea! I am so enjoying your 'adult' sewing projects these past few weeks.

  9. I love that shirt style. Why is that second baby so hard? Thenfirstmwasmeasymto get rid of. Is there going to be a shirt tutorial sometime, or a pattern? I'd love to revamp my top section with a few...or a lot of those.

  10. Absolutely gorgeous!

  11. What a beautiful blouse! :) It fits perfectly on you! I also need to be moving away from knit but am afraid most blouses look too boxy on me but I'll never know if I don't try! The distribution of the knots is perfect and you look gorgeous in these pictures. :)

  12. I get the 'did you make it?' question a lot too, and I'm also never sure if it is because it looks handmade or if the questioner just likes it. I don't think your blouse looks homemade though, I would expect to find something similar in a retail store. The french knots are the perfect touch.

  13. Tell hubbs he's UBER lucky to have such a talented, creative, hot mmamma like you for a wife and to be proud, not doubtful... ; ) (jk) OF COURSE your blouse doesn't look home made, people were just AMAZED you did such a super job!! Lovin' it!!

  14. So cute! And I love your tag line. I think that so totally sums up my extracurricular sewing, crafting, blogging, etc, too. :) Between the more important things... and I have no idea how I'm going to phase out of my Old Navy t-shirt collection. I'm wearing one right now! :-P

  15. this is seriously beautiful. i love the subtle but beautiful detail of the french knots.

  16. I loove that top! So gorgeous, the fabric is perfect.

  17. This is a stunning blouse! I am obsessed with knits and am having a hard time not sewing myself 100 tanks for the summertime....but they are so cozy! :)
    Anyway...this is beautiful.

  18. i love making french knots! this is the perfect excuse for me to make french knots all day! thanks for the great idea!

  19. I too need to get myself together and make more blouses. I have totally fallen into the t shirt trap the last few years.

    Your blouse is simple and the detail is genius. I love it. Once again, you've inspired!

  20. Your post cracked me up, thanks for that. And the top looks fantastic! All those French knots must have been tedious, but we're well worth it.

  21. Very nice! Where did you find this pattern?

  22. The fabrics is good and stitch like in such as manner this is good in style,I also like to wear this kind of dressing.

  23. I like this shirt. Cute and comfy looking. It looks like something that could be dressed up or down very easily.

  24. Very nice. Wondering, did you already have this blouse or did you make/use a pattern for it? Is it a pattern you designed? Could you possibly please share it with us?

  25. I didn't use a pattern, but drafted my own. more info here:


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