Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A "Sew for Victory" Victory!

It's been quiet on the blog frontier, but I promise, I have good reason-- the show I've been working on had its premiere this weekend!  I'd meant to get some shots of what I wore that evening, particularly since I got to wear the bird's nest headpiece I got for a wedding this past fall, but I spent nearly every moment before curtain working on my Sew for Victory blouse-- and it's done!



When Frances visited a few weeks ago, she found this terrific 1940s pattern, but since she already had something similar, she handed it to me, and I'm so happy she did.  I'd been hoping to take part in Sew for Victory, using a dress pattern I bought before I could even sew (hey, it was motivation!), but since I'm still a beginner, I figured it might be nice to ease on into the world of barely-marked patterns, rather than diving in head-first.

I decided on View C for this go-round.





The envelope is missing two pattern pieces, one of which I didn't need for the particular blouse I chose, but the other of which was pretty important--the front facing where the buttons/buttonholes go.   Since it's essentially a long rectangle, I was able to reconstruct it by measuring the dimensions of another pattern piece, comparing it to the piece as illustrated in the instructions, and using those numbers to scale out the dimensions of the missing piece. Guys, I haven't done that much math since the GRE.

So many numbers.

As the pieces are only marked by different-sized circles--extremely different than the patterns I've been using from the 1960s and today, which are pretty thoroughly marked and explained-- I thought it'd be a pretty tough sew, but to my surprise and relief, it actually sewed up pretty easily. The toughest part was actually the shoulder pads. Fun to make, hard to install.

Tracing out the pattern for the shoulder pads
Me + making shoulder pads. The shortest love affair that ever was.
I'm really, really happy with how well it came out--it fits really well, and I lucked out in picking a very comfortable cotton fabric.  Honestly, I'm just so proud I managed to make something cool out of fabric and thread.

There's two pleats on either side, both extend below the waistband.
I really dig the shoulder gathers.
There's four pleats on the back.


Just before I started, I thought about switching the neckline to include the jabot, but I'm glad I didn't. The light color of the fabric makes the pleats and tucks really visible, and I think the softness of a jabot would've been jarring against the visible architecture of the pleats. I like the pattern so much, though, that I'm already thinking about doing that neckline in a print, which I think might balance out a little better.





And, now that I've conquered one 1940s pattern, I'll be doing the dress next! I'm hoping to make it in time for another wedding, this one in Baton Rouge in less than a month (eek!).


15 comments :

  1. It turned out stunning!!! I love the color, and how soft it looks! Ahhh, now I need to get my butt into gear to make my garments! I have to make some shoulder pads for my blouse, time to read up on how to make the darn things.

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    1. Hey thanks! I'm just so happy it's an actual, wearable garment! The shoulder pads were actually super easy to make-- I just cut out a football-shaped piece from the fabric and from a stiffer piece of crinoline, put the crinoline piece on top of the fabric, then folded it shut. I did a series of stitches to keep it all in place, in a sort of loop shape, and then used a strip of fabric to bind the edge. Yeah come to think of it that description isn't super helpful, maybe reading up would be better than listening to me!

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  2. Hey, I thought you were new at sewing! That looks great!

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    1. Thank you! It's funny, the dress I picked out originally to do for SFV I chickened out on, thinking it'd be easier to make the blouse. Nope-- the dress is much easier, so I'm glad this came out so well!

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  3. It looks great! I'm so glad the pattern worked out for you. I went rummaging around for my pattern, only to discover that the envelope contained only two pieces and the leftover scraps from making the blouse! Boo.
    (Do I recognize those awesome shoes, too?)

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    1. Man I have to get better at *writing down* my replies and not just replying in my head!! You DO recognize those awesome shoes! Which reminds me, I ought to post photos of the inside, since they're Red Cross shoes! Oh man, and you won't believe it, but remember that store we tried to go to first thing that was randomly closed? I went last week, and guess what? It was randomly closed. Argh.

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  4. beautiful blouse. i think, you did good on sewing it with out the jabot. beautiful peeptoes!
    when i was still working in the world of theater i didn't had even time to think about sewing before an premiere show. i remember myself just working, fixing, working, motivating actors and stage hands, fixing, working ... i was lucky, when i found some time to change into something nice before the curtain openend. ... oh, but i loved it back then. :)

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  5. hahaha, no, i'm not smart enough to work as an director ... hahaha. ;)
    no, i have a diploma as a stage/set and costume designer. Soon after my final works at university, life (esp. the need of money) dragged me away from working in arts. now i'm more working in the 'background' organizing other peoples art and dreams. i'm fine with that. :)

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  6. Excellent job of salvaging this pattern even though it was missing a key piece. That takes a commendable amount of sewing skill, IMO. This blouse truly turned out beautifully. I love the classic construction and timeless fabric colour that you opted for. It really is a great piece and one that looks strikingly wonderful on you, dear gal. Awesome Sew for Victory job!!!

    Have a beautiful weekend,
    ♥ Jessica

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  7. Wow! Great job! And good job on working around the missing piece! That can be rough and I've been there!

    Love the photos too! Great location!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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  8. I can't even. This looks amazing! I love the colour and the buttons especially, you've done such a good job!

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you like the buttons-- I actually wasn't totally sold on them, since they're not *quite* the same color, so I'm happy they look good to you.

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  9. Lovely, lovely outfit ! Loving the blouse and the settings ... Wish i could shoot in some place like that ! ;)
    Xxx
    Lorna
    'Http://lornasharp.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Seriously, it's just various places around buildings downtown. Just very selectively cropped!

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