You may remember my McCall 1385 blouse pattern, from 1947.
I shared the embroidery techniques I have been using. Once complete, and pressed, I attached the yokes, joined the blouse at the shoulders, then basted in the lovely, puff sleeves, replete with embroidery. You can see the black basting stitches across the back. I put a few in the front too as my upper chest is a bit on the narrow side.
Then I tried to insert the gusset. Arrrghhh! Horrible. Difficult. I consulted the not-very-clear-instructions.
I took it up, pinned it. Unpinned it. Basted it. Rebasted it. Basted it with green thread. Stitched it. Tried it on. It was not right. It was tight. Unstitched it. Partly stitched it. Peered at the instructions again. Tried to make out the diagram which had not printed very well. Sewed it very carefully with tiny stitches in the corners. Looked at it. Decided it was in the wrong position. Tried to pin the paper pattern to the other sleeve in a different position. Consulted the instructions. Put it down. Went to a party dressed as seaweed lady (draped with a bit of green lace) rather than wearing my new blouse. Drank lots of tea. Went to bed.
The next day I got out the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing and found it helpful, but not conclusive. I think the issue of gusset insertion requires a post of its own (to follow).
Finally once the gussets were completed I finished the blouse with some nice, cotton lace that I got from Harrington’s. I used two different widths – the wider one to finish the sleeves and the narrower one around the neck. The hem was just a simple, folded over and machined hem, that will generally get tucked away.
My one thought had been that the square neck was not my best look. But it is fairly petite opening (the blouse is pulled on over the head), and I think it works well with the puff sleeves. I am wearing a Vogue 1247 Rachel Comey skirt in brown linen.
I had to use some of these “shoulder strap retainers” to keep the straps of my brassiere at bay. I think I will take off the safety pins and attach them permanently to the shoulder seam.
Here is a close up of the embroidery and the lace. I really love this blouse. The pattern. The colour-scheme. The embroidery. The lace. The style. The history. But the gussets? That’s another matter.