Hello hello you beautiful 1940s reproduction pattern. What a delight you are!
Welcome to my wardrobe, Simplicity 8736. It is a 1940s blouse with bishop sleeves into a cuff, button back, gathered front shoulders and gathered sleeve heads. I made self-covered buttons for the back and sleeves. They are small and flat so I cannot feel them when I am leaning against something.
This pattern went together really easily, however there are quite a lot of fiddly steps. Gathering here, facings there, folding back facings and interfacing back there, cuffs, button holes, buttons, tucks, darts. You should have some skills up your (bishop) sleeve if you want to sew this one.
Originally, the plan was to finish this on the June 2019 long weekend. I had cut it out, done the darts/tucks to start... and then my partner injured his knee on the Saturday (high grade ACL tear).... I became a full time care giver as he couldn't walk, bend, turn, step over high things, bend knees, reach up, reach low, carry things, pour things, balance. He could walk on crutches but that was about it. No more sewing for me! I also had to call my mum for her birthday while we were waiting in the medical centre! Not the best way to delay a birthday phone call! Most of my day was taken up by helping him hobble off the soccer field, up stairs, into the car, out of the car, into the medical centre, onto a chair, out of a chair. The whole lot. It was a busy weekend but not in the way I anticipated.
Finally, a few weeks ago I stuck in and got it done. Then it sat on my dress form for a while to be admired. Next it moved to my wardrobe waiting for the perfect moment to come out and play. That day is today! It's a lot of fun to wear, it's pretty glamorous and enhances general swanning about. Which is what you do in bishop sleeves. Everyone knows that.
If this pattern is languishing in your stash waiting for time to sew... then just do it! The time you invest is worth it.
Made the straight size 16 - no alterations
Fabric is a rust coloured rayon from Spotlight bought specifically for this project
Self covered buttons from a Spotlight kit, 12mm
Hand stitched down the back facings and neck facing to keep it flat
No shoulder pads installed. I use my own shoulders.
1940s blouse: made by me - Simplicity 8736
Simplicity 2154 has been in my pattern stash for ages but I always found an excuse to not make it. It's a mini capsule wardrobe pattern, 1960s reproduction. There is the bow blouse, a knit cardi, woven jacket and pencil skirt.
While on a break from work for 2 weeks over Christmas/New Year, I was hit with some sewing inspiration. I didn't feel rushed or pressured, but interested. I ended up finishing three new items of clothing. Each one was cut out, sewn and finished in one day.
Even though this blouse is small, it takes up a lot of fabric! The bow, knot, collar, neck binding and arm binding are all cut on the bias which eats up fabric. Not entirely ideal. The blouse itself can basically be made from remnants. But not all the little extra bits. If you were clever, you could use one fabric for the blouse and top collar, something else for the bow and knot, and then standard single fold bias tape for the arm and neck edges. It has the potential to be a stash-busting project.
In my case, it was stash busting. I had an awkward amount of this pretty cheap and flimsy shirting poly left from a UFO project that is languishing in a box somewhere. It was meant to be.
I have ordered some red poplin with which I plan to make another....
Behold! My most recently completed sew. It's the Simplicity 1692 blouse reproduction from the 40s.
Usually I steer clear of Simplicity patterns, but this blouse goes alright. I cut and made the size 12 with no alterations. (I still have a partially embroidered toile of this pattern on my dress form right now to be finished soon.) I don't know if you can see but there are little pearl buttons on the shoulder and the stupid loops. Those loops took me 4 hours to turn through. Yeah, 4 hours. I was watching telly. After some internet stalking I found one version of this blouse where they used ric rac trim as the shoulder loops. Brilliant idea.
The blouse neckline is really pretty with the low narrow scoop at the front. The waist tucks means it sits nicely under skirts and pants. I even did a pretty great invisible zip in the left side! Kimono sleeves are the best kind of sleeves. I might make this blouse again. If I did it would probably be in a textured black something - like a seersucker? Or maybe even a draped velvet? That would be decadent.
The skirt is Simplicity 3766 from the 50s, a true vintage pattern. It's a perfect go to skirt with a grey-blue colour which is great for this navy based Japanese cotton lawn print. You may recognise the cotton lawn fabric from an early post about this 1940s Vogue dress. This little blouse was made from the leftover fabric. The pearl buttons were also in my stash. And I stole the invisible zip from mum. So... the blouse was free!
Blouse: Simplicity 1692
Skirt: Simplicity 3766
Brooch: Sarah Coventry from the Rock N Roll Markets
Look at that collar!
I spent a lot of time making sure it was even and pressed and flat and gorgeous and... it is! Very happy M. To make it so lovely and flat, I followed Gertie's collar tutorial for this pattern here. I shall use that tutorial for any collar that needs to be attached in a similar way.
The collar is made in the same fabric as the dress. Mostly because I wanted to be able to rock a cute cardi with the dress. I didn't put the buttons down the front of the dress for the same reason. I really like it. The cardigan is my wine Hetty (by Andi Satterlund). It was a nightmare to make, but it's great with the solid sleeves.
I decided the follow the pattern instructions to insert the zipper. Regret. I should have done my usual centred zip method (machine baste the seam, pin the zip, hand baste, then machine stitch, then unpick the basting stitches). The pattern says press under the seam allowance then line up the zip and the pressed edge. WHAT A PAIN! So much regret. It ended up being so messy that I hand picked the zipper. I'm really happy with how neat the zip is after controlling it with the hand sewing, but it was tedious. Especially when I ignored my better judgement.
This is my third version of 1609 and I think I might be done with it now. I would only make it again if I had small yardage of wool, as it would be a good little winter dress.
Please excuse the horribly wrinkly-ness. These photos were taken after a full day of work.
Cardigan: Hetty (pattern by Andi Satterlund)
Dress: Simplicity 1609.
Tights: Heattech by Uniqlo
Yet again, I bring you another 1940s Simplicity 3688 skirt. It is so fast to make, nothing fiddly. I was going for a 1940s vibe, but with light makeup (office job and 3 hr rehearsal in the evening).
This grey wool skirt was started almost a year ago. It was too big and I never put on the waistband. I had a free Saturday so I pulled it out and completed it! Now it fits... :/ Let me tell you, it is warm. The fabric is deliciously soft and squishy and feels like a dream. It's a mid grey colour, not blue like the photos suggest. It was about 5 degrees C at 8.15am when I took these photos. Yay for Monday mornings.
The zip is handpicked and it's a beautiful finish. Hand stitches disappear into the squishiness of the fabric. Obviously I did that when I cared a bit more! The hem and waistband are machine stitched because I couldn't be bothered hand sewing it. Now I have figured out the best way to stitch-in-the-ditch for waistbands, I cannot think of doing them by hand. So lazy, I know.
Berets are a great option as hats for non-hat-wearing people. They are easy to style and make you look like you made an effort. Berets are also fantastic for pseudo 40s tilt hat styles. It just depends on how you slap it on your head. I have a range of berets in different colours. This one is from the TIGS winter uniform for senior students. It got me through yr 11 and 12, it is still serving me well 10+ years later.
As a person who owns a fringe ('bangs' for Americans), hats can be a real struggle. Hats that sit towards the back of the head are much better and it means I can still see. If a hat is too far forward, my fringe gets in my eyes. I get cross. And I can't see. It's a disaster. Berets and pillbox hats are the way forward.
Unseen are my heat tech tights and long sleeve top, my thermal socks, and standard singlet. It gets cold here. Time to layer like there is no tomorrow!
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.