This 1950's blouse was my last stab at dressmaking before the school holidays kicked in and my sewing effectively ground to a halt. I found this darling little Style Print pattern at the South Bank Vintage Festival last year.
The difficult part wasn't sewing up the blouse, it was deciding which option to go for. In the end, I went for View B: a buttoned front, short sleeves and lovely collar detail, isn't it cool?
It's such a great 1950's detail. It's the first time I've used a Style Print pattern and the clear directions and sturdy pattern paper were a delight. I'll definitely be looking out for more of them.
I used a linen mix polka dot fabric I found at the bottom of a remnant box at a vintage fair. Like the cotton pique I used for my first Peony dress, this fabric is quite drapey and my suspicions were that it would sew up larger than a normal woven fabric because of the extra stretch. I was right. View B isn't supposed to have any darts, but looked positively sack-like when first sewn without them. Handily, there were darts positioned on the same pattern piece for the other views. So I added two sets of darts to both the front and back.
The back fitted perfectly, but I had to remove one set of front darts to avoid button-gaping - the final fit is absolutely fine. I was also able to use up the last of my vintage shell buttons, the rest of which adorn the back of my Roobeedoo top.
Although this blouse looks fine tucked in, I made it to wear in the holidays, and because of the darts, I can wear it untucked…. with shorts.
I can't actually believe I'm typing these words and showing these pictures. Eighteen months ago I wouldn't show my bare knees and didn't even possess a pair of shorts. I had it in my head that it was somehow against the law for a woman over 40 to reveal her knees or wear shorts or an above-the-knee skirt. It's not that I've got issues with my legs or anything, I just felt I was a bit past it.
Well, the skirt problem was soon solved thanks to the super flattering properties of the Colette Patterns Beignet and Ginger skirts. Fast forward a few months and I now also own a pair of shorts - Banana Republic rather than me-made I'm afraid, but hey, it's a start. Banana Republic trousers fit me perfectly and I knew a pair of shorts bought there would be way more flattering than anything I'd make myself. And you know what? I like these photos, they don't have me running for the hills, and that's the main thing.
I blame sewing blogs. They've got a lot to answer for in terms of confidence building and pushing you out of your comfort zone! I'm very aware of what suits my shape and won't sew something that I know will be unflattering. But… since I started sewing and reading blogs, I've experimented with different styles and made things I've been dying to have in my wardrobe for ages, just because I can. I'll never be wild and mad when it comes to colour, but I'm happy to test out just how many variants of red, blue, grey and turquoise can be found in the world. Some choices I regret, but hand on heart, I'd say I wear about 80% of my handmade clothes on a regular basis, so something must be working.
What about you? Have sewing blogs encouraged you to be more adventurous with your clothing choices? Have you ever sewn something you'd never have picked out in a million years, just because somebody on a sewing blog looks fabulous in it? I know I have…. x