September 30, 2010

1930s Blouse

My latest sewing endeavor is a 1930s blouse reproduction pattern by Wearing History (now discontinued) and a camisole to wear under.

The pattern is quite nice: the pieces fit together well, directions are helpful without being verbose.  I traced the pattern off, checked the fit on my dress form, and it fit!  I have a long torso so this was a nice surprise.

My fabric, on the other hand, is not the best choice.  It's a poly? sheer with nubby stripes, a clearance fabric I saw and liked for some sort of blouse.  It seemed perfect for a cowl design.  Despite cutting on the straight grain (the pattern can be cut straight or bias) my fabric is not very stable, and ravels terribly.  It's also too sheer to use in a single layer.  I'm glad I held the front up to myself before finishing the blouse!  

Luckily the stripes do cool things when the fabric is turned 90 degrees; seemed better than trying to match up vertical stripes.  Two layers are much less sheer.  Thankfully I had plenty of fabric for another set of front pieces.  It left some pretty funky looking scraps, though.

The pattern has a midriff piece that's meant to be topstitched onto the bodice front after the bust gathers are made.  The topstitching looked awful on my fabric so I put right sides together and stitched.  Well, first I thought french seams would be nice.  So I stitched it all together, lined up the stripes and everything, but the gathers were flattened on one side.  I pulled out all the stitching and did it over.  Now the stripes only match on one side and the point isn't pointy but it's good enough.

stripes match at seam

stripes don't match on this side *shrug*

Next were buttonholes for the back opening.  I have a cool 50s Singer buttonholer attachment that came with my thrift store Singer 66.  I tried the 5/8" and 5/16" buttonhole templates and neither was the right size.  My modern Pfaff's buttonholes were even worse.  And don't even mention bound buttonholes with this stuff!  So I checked on etsy and found a set of templates, 3/8", 1/2", 5/8" keyhole and one other.  As soon as they arrive we're in business!

5/8" buttonhole too large

5/16" buttonhole too small--it's almost an eyelet

Once the buttonholes are made more hand gathering will take place,  I'll sew up the rest of the blouse with french seams, and hopefully it's successful.

The camisole is from Butterick 4020, a thrift store find from 15 years ago.  I love lingerie patterns :)  Picture the white cami, view A, in cream rayon lining fabric with thin grosgrain straps and no lace.  I used what's in my stash for this project and the lining fabric isn't hard to work with and prevents show through.


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