I mentioned that I was interested in constructing a Vogue 1940s blouse in a knit.
I found this a fascinating project and one I want to develop further.
The pattern is, to recap, meant to be made in a stable woven fabric, and has closures galore, including on the sleeves, and at the CB to secure the “girdle” over the closure at the side seam. I couldn’t face it, and thought that this design might work well in a jersey fabric. I found just 1 metre of a pinky purple polyester with elastane in my cupboard. Not enough for full length sleeves, but enough for a toile.
At the front you can see how the longer side sections are gathered into a diamond. At the back the girdle didn’t really work on this first version. Mainly because I cut two pieces, with sufficient to overlap and fasten (as per the pattern). I should have joined the pattern pieces together and just cut out one back piece.
I decided to leave the darts in the back, the bust dart, the elbow dart and the three darts at the top of the sleeve. It is these darts that give the top its vintage feel, even though (as many mentioned) it would have been possible to omit them, or just ease them in. The neckline has a tiny cowl and I bodged this, just finishing it and letting it drop inside. I left a larger opening at the neck to enable me to pull it on.
I stitched all the seams as normal, and didn’t overlock at this stage. I used a stretch needle and a smallish stitch and it went fine, although once or twice I nearly encountered the problem of the work disappearing down the hole in the machine.
I stitched the girdle into the side seams, gathered it at CB and stitched it to the body of the blouse. I was not happy with this effect and have a new plan for the second version that I will make.
The top is really nice to wear and promising. I quite like a T-shirt, but they are so boring aren’t they? So if I can make a pull over jersey top with a bit of character then it has to worth some pattern development and further experimentation. Next time I will make long sleeves, and I think I will try a different arrangement at the back, probably adding some gathering at the side seams, and leaving out the extra girdle. On the other hand I love the way the gathering at the front creates a little curve. It just shows my navel (probably inappropriate at my age) with these trousers. But it was fine over a lace skirt for work last week. I am also keen to see what improvements I might make to the neckline – perhaps adding more fabric that I can fold into the sleeve seams to create a clean finish inside.
The trousers, by the way, were made very quickly with an old 1970s pattern. The waist band was right up under my ribs, so I lopped a bit off and created a facing instead. Eagle-eyed readers will see that this is the same fabric I used for Esme’s circular skirt. They are, now, comfortable and fun, and fine for sunny Sundays and holidays. I may shorten them to Capri length as the fabric is quite loud. But every now and again everyone likes a pair of patterned trousers – Stephanie of My Vintage Inspiration loves them so much she is making herself another pair of “crazy pants”.
In the meantime I will trace off the old Vogue 8526 pattern and play around with it. So more to come on this one.