Yep, I have decided to take part in the Sew for Victory challenge rather last minute... Truthfully, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with vintage sewing patterns - I adore the beautiful illustrations, the feel of the crisp tissue paper and the piece of history in my hands, but when it comes to fittings, it can be so difficult!
Thankfully I came to my senses, and decided to give this wonderful challenge a go. Here's what I've made, and it has rapidly become my favourite home made garment!
I have also decided to enter this into the PR fitted blouse competition, speaking of killing two birds with one stone - wish me luck!
This is the stunning pattern that I used - Simplicity 2343, from 1948 -- see what I mean by the little piece of history? We are talking 65 years ago! Can you imagine the person (or even people) who owned this pattern and made this blouse before me? and how different their lives were, and, well, you have to wonder what their versions of the blouse looked like!
It was love at first sight - isn't it very Betty Draper? I felt so lucky that this wonderful number on ebay was close enough to my size. I felt in love with the fitted construction, and the buttons on the back closure.
Photo from wornontv.net
I made style 3 without the pocket, in a lovely Liberty floral cotton lawn that was gifted to me by one of my dearest friends (see the stunning dress that she made here). It was great to work with, though quite hard for me to track down some contrasting cotton for the peter pan collar.
The pattern is full of darts and tucks - 6 darts on the bodice back (4 for the waist, and 2 for the shoulders), 4 darts on the sleeves, and 4 tucks at the bodice front. They took a bit of attention, effort and time, but it was worth it!
I made a toile first, and as it turned out, I was extremely thankful that I did! Oh where should I start - the bust area had so much excess fabric in the front and back, the shoulders were too wide, the armholes were too big, sleeves too wide, and the waist a bit roomy. I mean, look at it!
So I spent a good few hours last weekend altering the pattern, until I was completely happy. With the pattern being vintage, and in one size only (though bust 30 should not have been far from my measurements), I was dreading the fitting and alterations. But I think it's really paid off, as now I am so pleased to have something that I will definitely make over and over again.
I faced another slight challenge - top stitching the peter pan collar. The perfectionist in me got the better of me, so I may have unpicked just about 10 times for each collar! I did try to go slowly every single time, and tried turning the relatively sharp angles bit by bit by lifting the presser foot with the needle down... Do you have any tips on how to achieve super neat top stitching which may involve less unpicking?
But in the end, I just love how the blouse has turned out. I think the fit turned out really well, and I am planning on wearing it dressed up and down! I am gladly taking it with me for the honeymoon, but will also be wearing it to the office when I'm back!
So here you are, my new favourite home made garment (obviously the wedding dress doesn't count!).
I am heading off on my honeymoon tomorrow, and will be reporting back with some photos of a couple of my recent holiday creations (a playsuit/romper, anyone?!) in two weeks time.
Have a wonderful Easter everyone! xx