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.
- (*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.