1930s, 1940s, 1945, 1950s, blouses, pants, sewing, slacks, trousers, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Killer Kitsch Blouse-a-long!

2021 has definitely become the year of blouses and trousers for me. I’m focused and determined to fill my closet with them. I have plenty of dresses and skirts, but not enough blouses and at this point a wearable toile for trousers. I’m on a mission, oh yes I am!

Along with blouses for myself, I am also working on men’s shirts. This is two-fold. #1 is to make shirts for my husband. #2 is top secret for right now, however, you will hear details soonish. I’m still working on it!

As I often do, I will run an a-long to help keep me motivated. We currently have a blouse-a-long and a trouser-a-long running in our new(ish) Killer Kitsch Discord Community. If you want to join us, click here for the invite. We decided to start a Discord Community so that anyone who wants to participate can join. We were holding them on Facebook, but many people no longer have Facebook, never had Facebook or they rarely log-on (I, myself am also moving away from Facebook and will eventually be archiving the groups over there). I know many didn’t join in because of this. The Discord Community is so much easier to access and makes running a-longs easier!

Now back to blouses! The blouse I am working on is a 1930s reproduction blouse. As with all patterns, I had to grade up, especially in the hip/tummy area. As I lose weight, I will eventually need to do less grading. (with the exception of vintage patterns, I will also need to grade those)

I want to start by saying, that blouses aren’t as scary as they seem. In fact, they are pretty damn easy to make. Yes… there are usually many more pieces and steps, but in all honesty, they go together quite quickly. You just need to be patient with yourself. One tip I HIGHLY recommend is even before you cut out the material, 1. do a toile (muslin/mock-up) AND 2. read the instructions through a few times. That way, no surprises when you cut into your fabric!

I tend to sew and knit within three decades (1930s/40s/50s) and will be doing the same with my blouse journey. My first blouse is (as mentioned above) a 1930s reproduction pattern. Upcoming blog posts will be about the ones that I make from the other decades, as well as the men’s shirts I will be making. I plan on making the blouses in a variety of fabrics. These are the two I’m making at the moment.

How long did it take me to sew it? I don’t have a firm time as I tend to break it up and sew in stages. I used to try to do it all in one day and I’ve learned that doesn’t work for me. After hours of working on one piece, I do (as most will) get tired and when I get tired…. I make mistakes! By sewing it all in stages, I also find it more enjoyable. Below are the stages.

  1. (*toile/final project) Read through pattern. Review layout suggestions for pattern pieces. *Trace out pattern.

2. (toile/final project) Cut out all toile or final material and place everything, including notions in a zip lock bag.

3. (toile/final project) Sew day. Depending on how many steps, I may break this into two days. For this blouse I’m currently working on, I sewed everything up to the buttonholes.

4. (final project) Finish off buttonholes and hand-stitch, plus any other finishing.

I hope those steps helped. Here is a few photos of before and after the buttonholes.

All said, I’m really please with how the first blouse came out. I will definitely be making many more of this one. After I sew the red one (and possibly a third) I will be moving onto the 1940s. I may even have a few more 1940s trouser toiles done by then as well.

1940s, sewing, trousers, vintage, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Sewing Plans!

Every year on my birthday I put together a new sewing plan for that year (my birthday is July 31st — the sewing plan is from August 1st to July 31st each year) Last year it was the dress challenge. (which is still ongoing as I created a sew a vintage dress a month challenge with two other lovely ladies. We now have a large group on Facebook and Instagram also participating with us.) The year before that was a drawing/sketch to finished garment and year before that was the create a garment a week. (I could keep going but you get the idea) This year it’s to add 1940s silhouettes to my wardrobe. Mid-1940s to late 1950s have always worked best for my shape. After many, many years of fighting it, I now sew and knit for the body I have, rather than the one that society dictates.

As I mentioned above, I am adding more 1940s to my wardrobe. I’ve mostly been concentrating on the 1950s for sewing and 1930s for knitting and have a wardrobe filled with lovely garments because of it. I have plenty of dresses, skirts and tops, but no trousers at all, very few a-line skirts and very few blouses. My main goal is to fill the holes in my wardrobe and a 1940s style is the perfect way to go!

A sub challenge to the main one, is to make trousers. I haven’t worn pants of any kind in over 10 years. I’ve actually lost track to when the last time I did. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that I hate the way that trousers look on me. Modern pants do not fit properly or rather, they don’t fit me properly. The waists are too low and they just don’t fit curvy girls the way they should. If I want the hips to fit, the waist is too big. If the waist fits, good luck getting them on. I also don’t need to be showing off my butt crack.

As with all of my other makes, it will be easy to get a fit the way I want it. It may take several toiles to get there, but I will. I’m going to be giving these trousers a try. The pattern is from Eva Dress on Etsy. Liz Von Villas and Bex Hulands have both inspired me to make trousers! I’m excited to make my first pair!

The other garment I’m excited to make is the a-line skirt. I have lots of circle skirts and gathered skirts in my wardrobe, but no a-line skirts. The beauty is they will take up way less material!

I hope you follow along with my 1940s sewing journey!

In 2021 I will also be adding 1940s knitwear to my wardrobe. Rather more 1940s. I already have a few pieces. That will be a post for another day.