40s blouse & pencil skirt
Added Nov 29, 2010
A few months ago, I found a stack of great fabric amongst my regular op shop trawls. Among this stack was some gorgeous lightweight beige fabric with black polka dots, and some black (or in some lighting conditions, apparently a very very dark navy) heavy suiting fabric. A delicious combination for an outfit – although not immediately realised.
I took to the beige fabric straight away, making a late 1930’s cocktail dress (to be posted another time). The fabric was a delight to work with in many ways – I loved how easily I could press it and the way it draped in the skirt section.. I had quite a bit of fabric left over, and decided to make a 1940’s style blouse with it. I chose this particular blouse pattern because it had a couple of really striking features that really caught my eye – namely, the faux waistline gathers (really, just very thin darts) and the cute little sleeves. I couldn’t say no!
I started by grading the pattern pieces, as usual. I’ve made a few 1940’s blouses before and this one was a bit different because of the shape of the collar and neckline. To tell you the truth, I found this a bit tricky – I think this is where the fabric may have been a little bit too delicate for the sort of collar I was going for. Oh well, lesson learned! :)
The skirt followed much much later. I was digging through my fabric and just stumbled upon it, forgetting entirely that it even existed. I’d wanted to make a plain coloured pencil skirt for a while now, so it just seemed right. I’ve obsessing over the soft pleat for quite some time now. It seemed like the perfect feature for this skirt, especially because of the heavyweight fabric. I based this skirt on the bottom section of a 60’s dress pattern that I really liked, and added a wide waistband. I also shifted the zipper closure to the back of the skirt, to suit the waist band (rather than the side, on the dress). Everything was done with great care – I pressed and pressed slowly and carefully, and finished my seams with a Hong Kong binding seam finish. I think I actually overdid the pressing of the hem because after one wear, the hem binding on the hem ripped in so many places! Another lesson learned – never using polycotton hem binding on hems that need a lot of ironing!
Anyway, I think the blouse and the skirt look a piece together, I’ve been wearing both quite regularly. Definitely worth the investment of time sewing and learning.