Making my 40s blouse dreams come true!
This is the wonderful Smooth Sailing Blouse by Wearing History. I've made this shirt twice before, both times in a linen with the standard short sleeve.
I've always loved bishop sleeves with drama. As I've said before, they are the sleeves that you wear when the private detective turns up at your door with the news your husband is dead. You start crying, quickly drawing one hand to your forehead and the other to your heart. It can't be! What a surprise! Who would do something like this? The PI comes inside, you go to the drinks cart and make yourself a whisky sour. So on and so forth, with lots of sleeve flipping. The dramatic sleeves are from Simplicity 8736 View B/C which I have also made before. There is a lot of possibility in sleeve-mix-and-matching when the sleeves have a gathered cap. I made sure the top gathers sat in the same place as the original Smooth Sailing sleeves - in line with the front and back yoke sections.
The sleeves could cope with being longer - I think about 2" would suffice - and with a much wider film noir style sweep. Rest assured I will make those changes on the next blouse. And there WILL be a next one!
The fabric is a rayon from Spotlight which was nice enough to work with. You know, it's a rayon. It's slippery and annoying and frays. But that's to be expected! Buttons are from the stash and not a perfect match. Even though the base colour is an off white / cream colour I had to use white thread. This is definitely a self isolation project!
At the end of the day I love this blouse, I love this pattern. Even though I have no where to wear it (I'm unemployed) it's nice to be slowly building the wardrobe of my dreams!
Blouse: Smooth Sailing by Wearing History
Trousers: Vivien of Holloway
Sunnies: Local Supply
Bangles: Splendette & Etsy
Lipstick Notes: Rimmel - Kate - Retro Red
A new knit has been finished! This whole project was started and completed in less than a month, and that included a few days off while I waited for new yarn to arrive. It's a fast knit but there has been a lot of 'down time' where I have been in my house, listening to music or watching Star Wars to help pass the time. Knitting makes me happy so of course I have been doing a lot of it.
I was short of yarn by 3 rounds of decreases, 10 stockinette rows, 13 rows of ribbing, and a stretchy cast off. So.... yeah, that's a bit short! I'm not sure if the pattern underestimated the amount required, or if there wasn't the correct amount in the skien. Perhaps both? More yarn was ordered, and it turned up a few days later. Imagine how relieved I was to discover it was the same dye lot as the original ball! :D
This gorgeous yarn is by Bendigo Woollen Mills, Luxury 4ply Sweetheart in the colour Sienna Kiss. It's such a rich and warm colour perfect for autumn and winter. If you are a fellow Aussie knitter, you should know and use Bendigo Woollen Mills. Seriously, their yarn is an absolute dream to knit.
If you want more tech notes then have a look at my Ravelry page for the project.
Here, it has been styled with some old faithfuls from my wardrobe on an overcast day.
Gosh this is bright for me. I'm not usually one to pair bright colours with other bright colours. But I think I am sort of liking this combo? Maybe?
The blouse is me made from a vintage pattern, McCall 7265 that I bought on eBay a while back. I don't know the date of the pattern but I suspect late 40s / early 50s judging by the cover drawings. I made it in a 100% cotton from Spotlight in this mad floral print on a dark navy blue background.
It's a kimono sleeve / cut on sleeve with a little point cuff to finish it off. I have matching yellow seam binding on the inside of the cuff which no one will ever see. But I know it matches the yellow vintage buttons on the front. Yeah, I know the yellow buttons aren't the same yellow of the skirt. But the buttons match the yellow in the shirt print! Too many yellows for me to match.
Marked button placements on blouse patterns are never right for my torso. I never use them. My hot tip - try the blouse on, mark where the button should be at the bust line, and then sort of where the top button will be. Take off the blouse and then evenly space buttons from there. It's a MUCH easier method and suits my ratio better than the suggested spacings.
This skirt is a recent purchase from Dangerfield. It's a cotton broderie anglais with a full lining. So... no pockets. :( But it's cute and I dig the rich colour.
What do you think of the bolder colour combo?
Blouse: Made by me from McCall 7265
Earrings: Bow & Crossbones
Alternatively named the best blouse ever!
This is the Smooth Sailing Blouse pattern from Wearing History. Their website can be found here. Have a look and drool around there. You'll thank me for it later.
There are many beautiful and creative finished versions of the Smooth Sailing blouse online only a mindless Google search away. You will be scrolling through awesome projects of it until you cramp or die of dehydration.
Wearing History sell patterns in either PDF / download format, or full printed paper format. I went for the PDF pattern for 2 reasons.... 1: I want it now, 2: Australia. Shipping here is slow and stupidly expensive. It didn't take me long to tape together the little A4 bits of paper and trace off the size 36" bust pattern. And I kept the shipping monies in my pocket (which I will surely spend on more fabric).
A lot of reviews say this blouse is really high cut in the old armpits. I am broad of shoulder and long of torso, so naturally I was concerned. No need to fear! It's super comfy. Yeah, it's higher than a normal RTW blouse... but I have full range of movement in my arms. I even did my hair AFTER I put the blouse on. That is revolutionary for me.
There are no hacks or mods to this version. It's made from a gorgeous soft linen thingy from Spotlight. Little cream coloured buttons with silver edging finish the front. I also did some passable top stitching. 10 points to me. The back yoke is really lovely and it was easy to sew as well. I was nervous about all the little gathers through the yoke but I took a breath and followed the instructions.
You could argue that there should be another button at the bust line, but the front falls so nicely without it. I wore the blouse to work and was in and out of the warehouse. Didn't have any burlesque style moments at all.
Anyway, shhh. On to the photos!
Blouse: Smooth Sailing Blouse by Wearing History
Shoes: Charlie Stone Shoes
What an overdue post! My draft of this post is from January 2019! These blouses have been completed for a while and in standard work rotation in the wardrobe. I think it's time for a blog post!
These blouses were a long time in the making. I looked at them, I left them, I came back to them... . Rinse repeat! I am thankful that I finally just did it. I did the buttonholes, I did the finishing, I just got them done. And sometimes that is what life is about - just getting whatever done.
Over the new year break between 2018 /2019 I decided it was time to tackle this blouse once and for all. To help along the way, I had two gorgeous 1930s replica print cottons in my stash from Spotlight. They felt really stiff and full of starch so I washed them to force improvement. Best idea I had all day! They turned into the softest cotton which feels like a dream against the skin. To say they have been a delight to work with just doesn't cover it!
The pattern was cut out with only scraps left over. I think I would be able to squeeze in the pocket if I wanted. The collar points are just so... pointy. They take up space. Here is the blouse as a general shell so I could see the shape and the print. It's trés pretty. I always get excited at this point. It so early but you get the idea of what you're making.
The sleeves are shaped with three darts at the sleeve cap to create that dramatic 40s look. The pattern says to use shoulder pads, but I tend to rely on my own naturally large shoulders.
The blue blouse I made as directed with the pleats in the sleeve cap, and the simple narrow sleeve hem. It does make the sleeves sit just in the crook of my elbow which feels a moment too long for me. Workable, but not idea. Is it enough for me to take the hem up again?... no.
After my success with the blue one, I barrelled straight along into a red one - same fabric but different colourway. This collar is just... POW! It pops right into your face and demands attention.
Mods to the red blouse include:
10/10 would make again.
Blouses - Simplicity 8243
Pants with blue blouse - Retrospec'd
Pants with red blouse - Simplicity 3688 in brown mechanical drill
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.