Mum and I decided that we were going to move away from jeans as our go-to casual pant. It turns out we were having similar thoughts about jeans for a while. We wanted a casual-appropriate tailored trouser. Mum found some good trouser options for her from local fancy shops, and I dove into my pattern stash.
The pattern that solved my problem was Simplicity 7584, circa 1984. View A tickled my fancy. No fly zipper, no back zipper, no side zipper, and POCKETS. Yeah, these pants have no zip! The left pocket is only sewn partially and the waistband closes with a skirt / trouser hook. That's it. That's the closure done. Incredible! The pants can be made in less than 1 day and have already been in heavy rotation.
The pattern is for a size 30" waist which is perfect. The only mod I made was to add 4cm in the back rise (ie, not messing around with the crotch curve, but adding the length just below the bottom of the lowest dart point). I came to 4cm by measuring the back length of a pair of trousers I liked the fit of and comparing that to the Simplicity pattern. It was a fly by the seat of my pants (get it? rofl) adjustment and I didn't make a toile. Super glad that is worked out well in the end.
The trousers are slightly tapered at the knee-to-ankle, but there is so much width through the hips that it's barely noticeable. I suspect they will be easy to cut straight down to 40s-er-ise the style.
I am so chuffed with these trousers, I can't even explain it. They are easy to make, easy to wear, comfortable, AND I can stash stuff in the pocket! I was so delighted that on their first outing, I had to do a "I Made These Pants Dance". Please see images below as proof.
These trousers definitely fill the brief for me: a casual pant that is not made from denim, but are still very practical. So much win.
After the success of these trousers, I immediately shopped my stash and found a mystery beige/black woven something as well as a herringbone stripe brown drapey blend something. I have already finished (and worn) the beige/black woven pair. The brown herringbone pair will hopefully have a wider 40s leg and will be made soon!
Jumper: Knitted by me from a 1970s pattern
Trousers: Simplicity 7584 with wool blend from Spotlight
Warm squishy socks: Somewhere in New York, c. 2013/14 ish
Shoes: Ziera from eBay
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
IT'S FINISHED! My first proper fair isle pattern has been cast off, blocked and worn. I absolutely love it. There will no doubt more fair isle knitting in my future. Mostly because there is a lot of yarn left over from this project...
The pattern is knit in the round, bottom up until the shaping for the armsyce. The front neck/upper back are knitted straight in rows. Neck and armholes and picked up and knit afterwards in the roundy-round. Then time to weave in a buttload of ends. So many ends. All the ends! Took me two full nights of weaving to finish it.
Purl-ing the fair isle was a bit of a pain to get used to, but I eventually found a rhythm. I cannot say how pleased I am with this project. It's the first thing I've completed in my knitting goals for 2018 and I'm glad that it's worked so darn well!
Now, I can do plain knitting, cables, lace AND colourwork! Considering that 2019 will be my 10th year of knitting, I think I'm doing pretty well! Colourwork isn't scary, it just takes time, patience, a little more concentration... and natural light.
P.S: Note how well the red in the vest matches the red of my existing pants! Match made in heaven.
Ravelry notes here
Trousers: Hell Bunny
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.