Last week the Sew Weekly challenge was 1940s. Exciting!
I love 1940s, but rarely end up sewing it. And I knew just what I wanted to make.
Not for me one of the endless (but very charming) 1940s dress patterns that Simplicity and Butterick are re-releasing, or even a vintage dress pattern. I was just given Advance 1868, and I think it’s just adorable. Time to make it up!
I picked view #2 because I love the option of a contrast section.
Unfortunately, as I tackled the blouse I quickly began to feel like Goldilocks.
I’d decided to use the green and white voile that I used on my Toeses & Roses tap pants for the contrast portions of View 2 (I’m definitely the kind of seamstress that works with a fabric, falls in love with it, and then wants to make dozens of items in it, as opposed to the kind that makes something out of a fabric, and then is totally over it). So I needed some white to go with it.
Simple! I’m the queen of white fabric – with the dozens of different varieties in my stash matching white should be easy, right? Nope. One was too white, the other not white enough. One was too heavy, another too translucent. None were just right.
Blast! (actually, that’s not at all the word I used. The one I used also starts with a B, and works better with the title of this post, but I’ve had to stop saying/writing it publicly ever since I learned it actually is a bad word)
Finally I settled on a crisp vintage cotton – a bit heavier and stiffer than was ideal, but the closest I could get to the right shade and hand.
Then I went to cut out the pattern. First, my pattern is a size 32″ bust. My bust is 37″. I was going to have to resize.
Blast! (see note above)
Then I looked at the pattern and realised I was missing the entire back piece.
So I sighed, girded my intellectual loins, and drafted a back piece based off the front and the (very basic) illustration on the back of the pattern. And I sighed some more, and drafted re-sized pieces.
Then I sewed the blouse up, and it was monstrous. Like wearing a tent. The whole thing got unpicked, and I ended up cutting it all the way back down to the original pattern size.
And that’s what you are seeing here:
Yeah, it’s still a bit too big.
It’s also pulling slightly funny around the neck and at the back (though more so in these pictures that it did at any time I checked it during a whole day of wearing), so I need to spend a little time with the blouse analyzing what went wrong, deciding if I can fix it with this version, or if I can ever be bothered to make another version. I do like things to be just right.
The back was supposed to button all the way up, but I’m flat enough that I can get away with a seam and just one top button, so I did.
With the blouse I’m wearing my ‘Please don’t photograph me’ 1930s skirt, which turned out to be a bad idea, because the skirt’s anti-photography curse struck again, and all the interesting photographs I tried to take at the old Museum Building (an icon of early 1940s Art Deco architecture in New Zealand, and a fantastic place to do photoshoots, as you may remember from the Laurel Dress & blue dress photoshoots) turned out terribly, and I had to do a quick catch up session in front of the boring white wall. It’s really hard to photograph yourself with a timer!
Despite the super happy photography, I’m not sure how I feel about the blouse. It’s very…blouson. And my mother was always very anti-broad shouldered styles, so tackling the 1940s always makes me nervous, as it feels weird to accentuate the shoulders. But I managed to wear it all day as I ran errands around town, so it’s growing on me.
I still have a few bugbears regarding the whole thing, but hopefully one day Goldilocks is going to be skipping happily through the woods in this!
Just the facts, Ma’am:
Fabric: 3/4m white cotton lawn, 1/4m green and white checked cotton voile.
Pattern: Simplicity 1868
Year: early 1940s
Notions: One vintage hexagonal pearlized button, thread.
Wear again?: Yes, though I still have reservations about it.
Make again?: Maybe? I’m pretty sick of it for now, but I would like to conquer this pattern!
Total cost: $2.50 or less
And the inside? Confession time. The sleeves still look terrible on the inside during the photoshoot. But the pattern did come with instructions on how to finish them prettily, so that is now done. The rest is done with french seams, and I altered the pattern so that it used another yoke piece as a facing to finish the neckline and catch all the raw edges from where the yoke meets the bodice front.