Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 3688 Blouse FAIL

January 24, 2011

Pattern Description:
Misses or Plus Size Blouse, Skirt, Pants & Lined Jacket: Retro 1940’s
i made the blouse and the skirt.

Pattern Sizing:
AA – 10/12/14/16
i cut a 10.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
i loved this blouse pattern, and i loved making it–but i think i hate the way it looks finished! also, while doing bias neck binding is usually a great idea, with my fabric it was a no-go. instead, i folded the seams over (almost like a flat fell) and sewed them at the neck, arms and hem.

skirt pattern, as others have mentioned, is a simple joy. it’s a nice shape and easy to put together, and because of the waistband, it’s easy to draft and add a lining. nothing fancy on the skirt constructions, although i did end up doing french seams on the silk lining just for fun. lace trim on the bottom.

Fabric Used:
blouse – silk charmeuse, Mood fabrics, NYC
skirt – herringbone wool, Mood fabrics, NYC
skirt lining – China silk, Mood fabrics, NYC

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

i do plan on trying the trousers, and there is always a chance i will do the skirt again, but the blouse is just so unflattering and unwearable on me that i can’t picture giving it another try.

it’s a great way to explore vintage styles and patterns without committing to an actual vintage pattern, which may have complications like old-fashioned sizing, minimal instructions, or unprinted pattern pieces.

more pain, plus skirt:



  1. The color and fabric are beautiful though! Maybe if you did the bias binding out of a matching cotton bias instead? I know it would be impossible to unpick the seam at this point but maybe for future use?

    The skirt is really lovely. I think I have this pattern in my stash basket!

  2. Shiny fabric isn't very forgiving, unfortunately! I think it came out very well, though, all things considered.

  3. Ive made that blouse, trousers too. Make sure you deepen the seat, they are VERY high in the crotch.

    I made the blouse out of red silk, you might need a walking foot. I faced the neckline as opposed to the binding. Did you cut the binding on the bias as the instructions say? I didnt the first time I made the blouse and the neck was all funky.

    Its a decent blouse (the pattern) but perhaps its just too much fussing.

    I dont think yours is a total fail, you should have seen my disaster! 🙂

  4. Aww I actually really like the blouse, I think it looks cute!

    I've made the trousers and skirt from the pattern, I will give the blouse a go sometime too, I've only seen it made in shiny fabric and I think I'd quite like to try something different. I didn't need to alter the trouser pattern at all – no crotch problems for me(ahem!) but I am quite short in the body…

  5. I used the trouser pattern several times and it's one of my absolute favourites. Did not alter anything and I'm surprised about how the crotcline works for me. The backside legs hang straight, yay!

    The skirt is allright, but it's not the most flattering for bigger hips. That's why I am doubting making the blouse, like the hips… rich in other areas.

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