1940s | Blouses | Mildly Insane Photo | Vintage Sewing

Going Dotty for Spotty Cotton

April 28, 2015

1940's blouse made with Simplicity 1590 retro re-release | Lavender & Twill

Full 1940's look for autumn | Lavender & Twill 

Peplum details & box pleats from Simplicity 1590 | Lavender & Twill

Adore platform chunky heels & gloves for a perfect 1940's look | Lavender & Twill

Details of the fabric & buttons for my Simplicity 1590 make | Lavender & Twill

Simplicity 1590 sewn up out of quilting cotton | Lavender & Twill

Ohmygoodnessyouguys! I keep signing myself up for all these sewing challenges ~ and then I don’t know why I am doing this to myself!  (> o <)’

First it was the insane Sewing All The Things idea, then I saw A Stitching Odyssey’sVintage Sewing Pattern Pledge and of course I was all “Oooh! That looks like fun!” so I put my name down:

I, Bonita Vear of Lavender & Twill, pledge to sew at least five vintage or vintage reproduction patterns in 2015 ~ these MUST be patterns that I haven’t used before from my stash!”

Because that fits into my sewing schedule for 2015, right? But then I saw Rochelle’s Spring for Cotton group sew along annndddd ~ BAM! April’s plan for the Simplicity 2275 wrap dress flew out the window {also because I was in the middle of a top secret sewing project that took most of April to get done}.  Hello quick project! This fit in with Brittany’s 40s Fashion Calender challenge for February which I was behind with: sew a 1940’s blouse and turban.

So last Monday I went to Spotlight with a handy Christmas gift card {thank you Mom!} and tried to find the perfect cotton fabric to use for Simplicity 1590, a retro re-release of this simple, but cute 1940’s blouse with a peplum.

~ I hadn’t made this one up yet, but I really liked View A and couldn’t wait to try it! ~

I found the perfect 100% cotton quilting fabric with a really nice ‘hand’ to it. It was soft, and it draped nicely, as well as having this fabulous vintage-looking print in the colours I wanted ~ navy and white.  Well, okay, I wanted navy, white, and red, and ended up with navy, cream, orange, and pink! But it was the closest to what I had pictured in my head and I knew it would suit this project perfectly.

Disaster struck when I reached the cutting counter ~ I needed 1.7 metres of my magical fabric and there was only a little over 1 metre left on the bolt!  Yikes!

The lady at the counter went to see if she could find some more of the fabric, or something similar, while I racked my brains to figure out how to make it work. I knew she wouldn’t find anything as I had already scoured the quilting fabric isle and sure enough, she came back empty handed.  I quickly whipped out my pattern pieces {which I had traced out onto Polytrace so that I didn’t have to cut the pattern tissue} and proceeded to lay my pattern out on the cutting counter!  It just fit ~ but I’d have to make something up for the peplum, which took about 70 centimetres of the 1.7m needed all by itself.

I decided to wing it because I had fallen for this spotty cotton ~ it was “The One” for this pattern ~ sewers, you know what I’m talking about!

It did work, although you’ll notice box pleats at the back of the peplum, rather than gathers. I had much less fabric in the peplum so there really wasn’t any way I was getting gathers out of it. And obviously, I had to nix the matching turban because that just wasn’t going to happen ~ but in the end, I did it!

I squeaked out a blouse that needed 1.7m of fabric from a piddley 1m and managed to fit in a matching vintage styled hair tie instead of the turban.  Which I am calling the “Vintage Bow Hair Tie” pattern. Original. (ง •̀_•́)ง

I think I can hail this 40s Fashion Calender/Spring for Cotton/Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge project as success ~ one 100% cotton blouse, sewn with 100% cotton thread, and a matching 100% cotton hair tie, also sewn with 100% cotton thread.  A little bit of tweaking here and there, and I couldn’t get 100% cotton buttons, but I’m okay with the ones I picked.   : P   Actually, more than okay, because I’m a little bit dotty over them too….  ❤ ❤ ❤ヽ(*⌒∇⌒*)ノ

The result is that I adore this blouse!  It will definitely be a staple in my wardrobe. All the stress is so worth it in that pivotal moment you see some gorgeous fabric slowly coming together then ~ POW! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ You have a new garment!

~ Project Details ~

  • Year: 2013 re-release of a 1940’s pattern
  • Pattern: Simplicity 1590
  • Fabric: 1 metre of DS Piccadilly Floral Spot 100% cotton quilting fabric in Navy, Cream, Orange and Pink ($11.89)
  • Notions: Five buttons with violet print on them ($5.00)
  • Time to complete: One week
  • Make again? Yes! I’m pretty sure I will. I love the neckline of this pattern, and it’s a really simple blouse to put together.  It’s fun.
  • Wear again? 100%!  I can see this blouse becoming quite a central piece to my 1940’s outfits. It’s easy to wear and I love the print, the colours, and the style. I’m so thrilled with how it turned out.
  • Total Cost:  $16.89 AUD

Have any of you sewn up Simplicity 1590?  Which version would you sew if you did?



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  1. LOVE! I just bought this pattern because I thought it was simple, lovely and a great staple to add; yours looks great. It’s good to know you were able to squeak out the blouse in the tiny yardage. Good Job!

  2. I made the same view last year, and I like your version much better with the box pleats instead of gathers! Mine is a soft pale green & white floral print cotton voile with small white rick rack on the inside of the neck and down the front so the edge peeps out. Even though it drapes well, there is still too much fullness for my figure in the back, maybe I will take it out and put in pleats. Yours is adorable.

    1. Ric-rac! That sounds amazing Emily! I love ric-rac trim but haven’t really had the chance to use it yet. ( ^ _ ^)∠☆  

      I’m pretty sure pleats could work, although I don’t know how many you’d need because you’d be working the original peplum width, where as I had probably about half of that? If not less? I only had 6 inches to pleat in, if that helps at all. 🙂

  3. Love this outfit!! In one picture it looks like the bottom of the blouse doesn’t separate? It is a false button placket or something? I never noticed that on the pattern before, I like it so much more now, whatever it is!
    Perfect fabric, and I love the buttons. This blouse looks amazing on you!!

    1. Thank you Nikki! So in the lying down photo the blouse just had moved so that the gap closed. The gap is present when you are standing/moving around because the pattern calls for five buttons whereas it really could fit six. So if you wanted the bottom of the blouse to stay closed you would have to add a sixth button, or maybe a hidden closure {hook & eye, or a snap} instead.

      I actually like how it looked when it had that gap at the bottom, as well as when it was closed, so I left off the sixth button, and let it do it’s thing. (。◕‿◕。)

  4. Hi,I found your blog just now.It İs very nice job.You look soo beautiful.İn türkçe, we say,ellerine sağlık,ellerin dert görmesin…..

  5. I’ve had this pattern in my stash for the past year and am thrilled to see your result! Great choices 😀 I was afraid the peplum would add too much to my already curvy hips… But I love your box pleats, I may make mine that way instead too!

    1. I do think pleats tend to look better when you are already blessed with curves. I’ve noticed that for my skirts as well; I prefer pleats to gathering. 🙂

  6. I’m totally going to make this now! I’ve been looking for a cute top and this is just the ticket! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring me to do it too!

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