1940's Style Blouse
Posted on Tuesday the 2nd May 2017 by Sewing Angela
Have you ever experienced a pattern going so wrong that you started to doubt yourself? I have and it wasn’t a nice experience. Patterns normally fit me with little problems and after having had a bad experience I was a little anxious about starting this project. I know my figure very well, and yes it changes but I have a once a month measuring session and alter my mannequin accordingly. I can be confident therefore that my clothes fit.
Confidence restored! This Sewing Pattern is a absolute dream, not only does it fit perfectly with no adjustments whatsoever it is easy to sew making it suitable for all abilities.
I tried to keep within the 1940s era, and used a colour and type of Dressmaking Fabric which would have been around then. However there are too many buttons on mine – three would have been the norm then, so I suggest that if you want to remain true to the 1940’s you choose larger buttons. These Buttons I chose are quite tiny but they do pick up on the colour in the dots on the fabric. I also used my overlocker which were not around then.
There is a handy guide to fitting your pattern printed on the pattern tissue so do refer to it before cutting out. It is handy to keep too.
Cut out carefully and transfer all your pattern markings onto the fabric with tailors tacks. I felt that this fabric was too light in colour and in weight for marker pens. Marking your fabric now makes construction very easy and you will be glad of it later.
The first step is to stitch the bust dart, which is a very long one, and press it to one side.
Can you guess what your most important sewing tool is? Its not your sewing machine or anything like that, maybe some of you will be surprised to learn that it is your iron! Every single time you sit down to sew assemble your pressing equipment too, you need a good steam iron and a pressing cloth, and also a sleeve board as a basic minimum. You can add to these as you go along. Pressing every seam every time should be your mantra. It makes the difference between Handmade and the awful Homemade. So press your dart now, keeping shape in your fabric by pressing it over the edge of your ironing board, sleeve board or tailors ham.
The next step is to deal with the pockets. The instructions are very easy to follow, so there is no need for me to repeat them. Just remember that the pocket sits on top of the dart so it will be impossible to pattern match exactly, but try to ensure that it matches wherever possible.
There is a choice here to put one or two pockets, so do as you prefer, patterns do not have to be slavishly adhered to! I chose two because I love symmetry.
This pattern is very clever and very simple because the collar is cut in one piece with the blouse and facing fronts. As long as you remembered to transfer all of you pattern markings onto your fabric you will have no problem whatsoever. This is much easier than attaching a collar in the “normal” way so if you are scared of making a blouse with a collar this pattern is for you. The first process is to join the centre back seam and shoulder seams and then clip along the curved edge of the neckline.
And then stitch the collar onto the front and back. And that basically is your collar made! When you are turning your collar the right side out use a point turner to give a crisp corner.
You can see how lovely it looks but it is so very easy to sew. At this point I stitched the darts in the sleeve head – another lovely feature – these eliminate all the need for gathering the sleeve head to make it fit. I will definitely be making this blouse again. When you have stitched and pressed your darts, attach the sleeves before sewing the side seams as it is far easier this way. You will find that they fit perfectly with no easing necessary. Are you remembering to neaten your seams as you go?
Then attach the interfacing to the facing, stitch the centre back seam and attach it to the blouse. Again the instructions are really easy to follow. There is a bit of hand sewing required to stitch the facing in place at the back but it is not complicated.
Stitch the side seams all the way from the top of the side slit to the end of the sleeve and then turn up and press the hems, mitring the corners. Hem the sleeves. There is an option for long sleeves in this pattern too.
Your sewing machine manual will tell you how to use your buttonhole foot. Just make sure that you do a test one on some spare fabric which you have interfaced. Measure them carefully and try to get one at the fullest part of your bust to avoid gaping. Be very careful when you cut them, many garments have been ruined at this stage.
Another nice touch is to cover your shoulder pads with leftover fabric. Pin the fabric over the pads, smoothing it down and pinning well away from the edge.Then overlock or zigzag around the curved edge, keeping well away from the pins.
Place them along the shoulder seams with the straight edge to the sleeve seam. They make the style look more authentic i feel.
Give the garment a final going over for loose threads and give it a final press. I used some spray starch to give the fabric body.
I really like this pattern, it is as stylish today as it was in the 1940's and it is incredibly easy to sew. I have got into the habit of wearing jeans and loose tops and I can see a huge gap in my wardrobe for some nice blouses so I will definitely be making this pattern up again.
Dont be afraid of making this lovely blouse I cannot tell you how pleased I am with it. The pattern shows the blouse made up in Satin Fabric - perfect for evening. What about a Polycotton Fabric or Chambray Fabric? Minerva has lots and lots of fabrics to chose from! Whatever you decide to make your blouse in you can be sure that there is not another one exactly like it - unless you all copy mine of course! But I would take that as a huge compliment so go ahead.
If you do hit a point where you do not understand the instructions do ask me. I am only too happy to help.
Many thanks to Minerva fabrics for supplying me with the "ingredients" to make this lovely blouse. Next time I will be making another garment to wear with it.