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September 4

My Ideal 40’s blouse

I’d blogged plenty about my McCalls 7838 blouse as I was stitching it up, but summer got the best of me and I finally managed to go out and take some photos for you all.

This is my favorite 40’s button-up blouse pattern (to date).

This pattern, McCalls 7838, was made in 1949 and it’s the perfect mix of 40’s with 50’s.  The short sleeved version is very 40’s to me, while the 3/4 length sleeve and long sleeve with cuff looks early 50’s in my mind.

I used a swiss dot cotton for the blouse and underlined the bodice sections with some cotton batiste.  I was worried that it would be too sheer for me to wear to the office.

While this blouse would have felt much breezier had I not underlined it, I just can’t stand wearing camisoles underneath my blouses.  I always figured underlining is kinda like a nice, built-in camisole.  I went and left the sleeves sheer, with just the one layer of swiss dot cotton.

I was able to use some stashed buttons; pretty sure these too are from the late forties or early 50’s judging by the packaging.

The blouse has 2 tucks in front as well as in back instead of darts.  It does billow nicely, but with the two layers of cotton, it is a bit on the stiffer side than I’d like.  I’d love to make up one of the longer sleeved versions for the fall/winter with a silk just to capture the lovely drape that is shown on the pattern envelope.

Paired with my new blouse is my (kinda new to you) Simplicity 3673 nautical skirt.

Last year, in November, when I was planning my cruise wardrobe I’d planned on making Simplicity 3673 skirt to match with my grandmother’s honeymoon suit.  I ended up getting sick and time was cut too short, so this project was sitting for a while instead.

1940’s skirt on the right:

Earlier this year I was able to complete the skirt, but as the weather was still too cold, I never went outside for photos.  I’ve been happily wearing this skirt all summer now, but this is the first opportunity I’ve gotten to show you all.

It’s a wonderful navy and white ticking stripe pattern, matched with some self-covered navy linen buttons.

To top it all off, I’ve accessorized with my happy mouse picnic basket purse.

This is one of my most cherished possessions, bought by my favorite husband last year for Christmas.  I have no idea how he’s going to top this one.  heh

And the blouse detail, one last time:

This image is great since you can really see the gathers and yoke quite clearly.  Being my petite self, I had to greatly reduce the with of the shoulder pieces, but not too much so that I can still have that 40’s neckline gathers (or more like yoke gathers here).

I highly recommend this pattern if you can find it (I got mine on Etsy last fall).  It’s the perfect meld between 40’s and 50’s and is sure to be a wardrobe staple of mine.

  1. Sabine / Sep 4 2013

    Very nice, it looks real cute with the swiss dot cotton.

  2. Sarah / Sep 4 2013

    way cute! I like the colors.

  3. Lauren / Sep 4 2013

    It’s really beautiful! I think that would look amaaaazing in a silk georgette or crepe… those gathers and tucks would really shine with a drapey fabric. Actually, I’m totally going to rip you off now because this is EXACTLY what I want to make my remaining birdy georgette with, ha. Well, a similar pattern, anyway ;)

    Also, I need to comment on your hair here. It’s so perfect, I’m dying a little.

    • Liz / Sep 4 2013

      Heh Thanks Lauren! By all means copy this; it’s such a lovely pattern (and fabric combination with the silk) that everyone should make one up! :)

      Guess who scored BIG with some sale price silk crepe de chine??!! I found some deep red at my fabric store in the remnant section. It took lots of restraint to not buy it all.

  4. Stephanie / Sep 4 2013

    So cute! Love it! :)

  5. Rochelle New / Sep 4 2013

    Amazing!!! 40’s sleeves are my absolute favorite style of sleeve ever. I want a closet full of 40’s blouses. Oh wait, I can make that happen ;)

    Cute skirt, too!

    • Liz / Sep 4 2013

      Isn’t sewing wonderful! We can make everything our little heart’s desire. You should wait till Friday’s post to see exactly what I mean. More 40’s blousey goodness awaits. :D

  6. Felix / Sep 4 2013

    Out of all your husbands, I’m really glad I’m your favorite.

    • Liz / Sep 4 2013

      Me too! Perhaps I’ll keep you. :)

  7. Wanett / Sep 4 2013

    Beautiful!! I love your hair like that!! It’s the perfect compliment to a pretty sweet handmade outfit!

    • Liz / Sep 5 2013

      Thanks Wanett. I’m trying harder to curl my hair at least once a week, and more often. I have very plain, straight hair and I had the stylist cut it with minimal layers so that I could curl it. So when it’s left flat, it looks really blah unless I curl it or pull it up.

  8. Michelle / Sep 4 2013

    This is beautiful! I need more blouses in my life. And, your skirt is enviable! I really love the way it turned out!

  9. Sarah / Sep 4 2013

    Such a pretty outfit, Liz!

  10. erin / Sep 4 2013

    Lovely outifit, a classic style. Love the blouse done in this swiss cotton. I’m saving this idea for when I want to sew a blouse. Love the skirt too! I never realised that fine ticking stripes can look so good on a skirt, so I’m saving this idea too for the next time I see some fine ticking stripes :) I so wanna copy this outfit :)

  11. Jenny / Sep 5 2013

    This whole outfit is perfect! I really love the skirt- that one is definitely getting added to my wishlist. It must look fabulous with your jacket! And I totally agree with Lauren about your hair- looking super, super stylish :)

    • Liz / Sep 5 2013

      Thanks so much Jenny! This skirt is indeed really easy to wear, I’ve made two of them. It’s technically a wrap skirt since the buttons are indeed functional. :)

  12. cathy / Sep 5 2013

    the blouse, the hair, the skirt, the shoes, the glasses, the BASKET! You win for best accessory. Lovely job!

  13. Kelly / Sep 5 2013

    This blouse is beautiful, and looks great with the skirt. I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned this on your blog, but I really admire the way you can wear such vintage pieces and hairstyles in a non-costume way. You’re one of few bloggers I follow who I think really masters that. Also, I’m way behind on commenting, so CONGRATULATIONS on your new bunny! He’s just adorable. I can’t wait to hear how he’s adjusting! :)

    • Liz / Sep 5 2013

      Thanks so much Kelly, such a sweet comment. :D I am always trying harder to style myself in whatever era my clothes are from… but I think my mix of modern with vintage is what does it along with using classic fabrics that can be found today as well as back in the day.

      Finn is doing great! He’s such a rabble rouser and is jumping and running around my apartment with such glee. He’s a wonderful substitute to watching tv.

  14. Jo / Sep 6 2013

    Hey, you’re stunning :) and that purse is clearly the best! Love it all! I totally want to get me some of this style. I have a vintage blouse pattern crying to be made up :) gosh you’re always so fabulous.

  15. Lisette / Sep 6 2013

    How cute are you!? That mouse purse is divine. Now I’m thinking of all my pattern from this same era that I would love to sew.

  16. Ginger / Sep 7 2013

    This is SO CUTE! I love it on you– you look adorable!

  17. Bonnie / Sep 8 2013

    A very nice outfit, looks great on you and I especially love the skirt.

  18. Lauda swan / Feb 3 2014

    Love vintage patterns. You have the look down perfectly! I am making wrap around 70’s pants now. High waisted and in chambray. Love your out fit!!

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