Thursday, September 14, 2017

Vintage Post: 1950s blouse

I think it's hardly fair to call this a sewing project; there were two short seams to be sewn on the machine that totaled maybe a yard! But I haven't seen any reviews online of this pattern yet, so this is me being helpful.
I used the new release Simplicity 8452 pattern - what I have dubbed the "envelope blouse." Why? Well, the back seams reminded me of an envelope!

Yes? Maybe? Ok, either way, I am amused.
I don't usually have much interest in sewing myself shirts - dresses and skirts, yes, but I can find reasonably "vintage-type" tops for a lot less money and time investment than I could sew them for myself, so why bother? Also, sewing with knits is not my jam. But this pattern intrigued me, so, sure, why not? (Plus FFC was having a $3.95/yd sale on knits at the time, so...)
I used a lightweight pumpkin-colored rayon jersey, that's probably borderline too lightweight...but it's very soft and comfy! (It wants to be a loose-fitting modern t-shirt, really, but I won't allow it.) It did tend to catch on my rough fingertips, so that was a bit annoying. (Hi, clearly I'm a constant hand-sewer, how about you?)
I don't have much to say in detail about the pattern or's a fabric envelope with two seams, and comes sized in S-M-L, what can I say? I did thoroughly enjoy that the pattern included the original sewing instructions; the envelope says that you can get modern directions from the website if you want them. I did not want them...although I assume they probably involve a serger or zig-zagging all the edges to finish. That sounds ugly! I'd much rather catch-stitch all the edges by hand like the directions say!
Yes, it did take a bit of time.
Although I did have the sense as I was doing it that the fabric itself probably won't last long enough to make this hand-finishing worth it! Oh well, learning experience?
Simplicity, take note: more original directions in your retro pattern reprints! (Although I may be weird that way...)
A few miscellaneous observations: even after sewing it all up, I had to look at the directions really hard to make sure I wasn't putting it on upside down! It's a weird blouse.
 I also find the sleeves don't especially like to stay at a perfectly even length. This probably wouldn't be a problem for someone who actually had a bust to fill it out and keep the drape-iness in one place. Occupational hazard...
Last, and most importantly: if you're long-waisted like I am, you'll need to make the back seam longer! I somewhat suspected it was going to end up too short in the back waist, but as this isn't really the type of thing you can make a mockup of, I figured I'd just forge ahead and see how it came out.
Yeah, that's a good look. Uh, not quite where my waist is!
Dirty little secret: I safety-pinned it this morning because I wanted to wear it today! I could tug it down and tuck in in (as this is a blouse you have to tuck in anyway, unless you're cinching it with a belt), but it 100% would not stay, and even with the safety pin holding it together a couple inches down, it crept out again. I'm not into accidentally lower-back-bearing shirts, so this will not stay as-is!
Which is fine...I'll just hand-sew another 3-4" down that back seam, which will mean I have to move up the lowest hook/bar on the front, as the "points" will want to move further back on my hips. Which, overall, is not too terrible an alteration...and I will mark that on the pattern piece for future reference!
And yes, I think I'll make it again! I did buy another yard of jersey, in walnut-brown, as it was cheap, so...


  1. Ah, thank you for posting this review! I have the pattern and my fabric is on the way, but I always like to see how others have faired with patterns so i know what to expect �� Also, you look absolutely fabulous, I love how you styled the top ��

    1. Thank you! :) I'm always pleased when I post something useful...I always like to look up vintage pattern reprints before I make them, too, to see how they look on someone that's not a pattern envelope model!

  2. This is a great outfit. Looks up to date in many ways. Very, very smart!!

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