1940s Vintage-Inspired Blouse Pattern/Download

Why hello there!

To dive right in, I designed this vintage-inspired blouse, made multiple blouses for myself with it, and now would like to share it with you!  To begin, go ahead and download the pattern here → Blouse Pattern

Now this pattern was drafted for measurements of 34" Bust, 26" Waist, and 39" Hip, so if this size won't fit you, tune in to my next blog post for a tutorial on how to grade this pattern to any size!

Now onto the sewing instructions!

A couple of general notes first:
  • All seams are sewn with a 5/8" seam allowance unless otherwise specified
  • You can use woven or knit fabric with this pattern, but make sure fabric is pre-shrunk

Materials needed:
  • 1 1/4 yards of Fabric (More if matching patterns and stripes)
  • Chalk or Fabric Marker
  • Buttons
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Pins
  • Iron/Ironing Board

1. You will begin by ironing your fabric, laying out the pattern pieces, and cutting them all out.  You may notice that not all of my pieces match, and that is because I only had 1 1/8 yards of the fabric, and fortunately had another fabric to use.  What you might call a "happy accident".

2. Mark all darts and sew.  My preferred method of doing this is first taking a sewing pin and poking holes all along the dart line.  I then place the pattern piece back on the fabric and apply chalk on top of the holes.  I then remove the pattern and use the chalk as a guideline for my basting.  I run stitches along both sides of the dart, pull the thread tight, and then knot off.  I then stitch the darts in place by machine.  Even though this takes a couple extra steps, I find my darts are much more even and precise this way.

3. After the darts, you pin and then sew together the shoulder seams and side seams with the right sides together.  Then you will iron your darts towards the center and your seams open.  There are multiple ways you can finish your seams to prevent them from unraveling.  For this blouse, I chose to pink the edges, but you could also do french seams, hong kong seams, use bias tape, or a serger.

4. Next, you will sew the underarm seam on the sleeves.  Take the sleeve hem pieces and sew the 2 sides together along the long edge.  Then fold into a tube and sew the short side.  Then you will sew gathering stitches along the bottom edge of the sleeve, and gather the sleeve to fit the sleeve hem, pinning in place.

5. Now turn the sleeve hem so the raw edges are inside the sleeve and fold the edge over by 5/8".  Either whipstitch in place by hand or topstitch by machine.  (I chose to sew by hand so I could continue to watch the Office.)

6. Gather the top edge of the sleeve and match underarm seams.  The notch at the top matches with the shoulder seam.  Pin and then stitch in place.  I finished this edge by pinking as well.

7. Now for the collar.  Take the collar ties and with right sides together sew around the long edges of the ties to make a sealed-off tube. Trim and clip the end, turn inside out, and then iron.

8. This next part is a little tricky.  What we are looking for is for the collar to curve downward and meet the tie with seam allowance to sew the collar to the shirt.  You want to line up the collar tie 5/8" above the edge of the collar, collar pieces right sides together, but when you sew, follow the curve of the collar.  Then turn collar right sides out.

9. Turning back to the blouse, you will turn the front edge under by 1" and then 1" again.

10. Now you will pin one side of the collar and the right side of the neckline together and then stitch in place

11.  Now fold the edge of the blouse fabric that will become the button placket over by 1/4" twice.  Then turn in the free edge of the collar in by 5/8" and pin in place.  Either sew this in place by hand or topstitch.

12. Top stitch along the edges of the button placket.  Fold the hem of the blouse twice by 1/2" and either whipstitch or topstitch.

13. I did not provide marking for buttons and buttonholes with this pattern, as personally I never know what size or number of buttons I'm working with and it can vary with every blouse you make.  The buttonholes are vertical with this pattern, though.  (I did not have any buttons on hand to finish this step, but you understand.)

14. And you are finished!  Congratulations on completing your new blouse! Now that you have finished this pattern, try adding different details like different sleeves or a different collar.  The possibilities are endless!

Again, my next post will be on drafting this pattern to a different size, so stick around for that!

If I was unable to clearly explain or describe a particular step, please leave a comment and I will do my best to better explain.

Thank you so much for following along!

Till next time! ♥️

1950s Shorts - Simplicity 4680

I was so excited to find this shorts pattern!  I have a hard time finding shorts that I like in the store, (“high-waisted” never seems to actually mean "high-waisted" on me), and these are the perfect silhouette!  I didn’t waste any time in making a pair, and I was so pleased with how they turned out, I made another the next day!  I thought I would try a follow-along, showing you the steps in how I made these shorts, and hopefully, they will help you in making either this exact pair, something similar, or this will be just for entertainment!

I forgot to take pictures at the very beginning, but it should be very easy to catch you up!  I laid out my paper pattern pieces on the fabric, paying attention to grain lines, pinned them down, then cut out the pieces.  I traced out the dart lines on to the fabric with chalk, and then I basted the darts into place.  I then took the pieces to my sewing machine and sewed each of the darts.

I then pinned the front pieces together and the back pieces together at the crotch seams and sewed those together with a 5/8” seam allowance.

After that, I ironed all of the darts and new seams into place.

So with these shorts, to make them as close to “real jeans” as possible, I decided to finish all of the edges with a flat felled seam.  What this means is you trim one side of each seam allowance very narrowly (about 1/4”), being consistent with which side of the seam I trimmed, and then folding the now longer side twice to enclose the raw edges.  A quick tip is to make sure to trim the corners to reduce bulk.  After folding the seam over twice, I cheat and use a blind hem foot to topstitch the seam down, to make sure it is nice and uniform.

Now here I say STOP! because (on the first pair of shorts I remembered) I totally forgot this one part and almost ruined them.  Don’t be me.  Learn from my mistakes.  Although you do sew the whole crotch seam on the 2 back pieces, you do NOT flat fell the whole seam.  You need to stop before the notch, or about 8” from the waist.  This is to make sure you can put in a zipper.

I ironed open the seam, laid the zipper on top, and then basted it in place.  I then turned the shorts over, and using a zipper foot, topstitched all around.  Finally, I used a seam ripper to open the seam across the zipper.  Because I had trimmed my seam allowance too short, I had to sew a lot closer to the zipper than I wanted to, but I think it still turned out ok!

Next, I pinned the side seams and the inner leg seams together and stitched with a 5/8” seam allowance.  I flat felled these seams too.  The inner leg seam is a little tricky, as that is where there is the most bulk, but since I was consistent with which direction I laid my flat fell seams, and they were not as bulky as they could be.

Now on to the waistband! I sewed the two ends, one into a point and the other into a rectangle 5/8” seam allowance, clipped the corners, turned them inside out and ironed them.

Then I pinned the right side of the waistband to the wrong side of the shorts, matching notches, and sewed that in place (5/8” seam again!).  I then trimmed that seam to try and reduce bulk.  I then turned the raw side of the waistband in by 5/8” and then lined that up with the previous seam line, pinning that into place.

I busted out my nifty little blind hem foot again and topstitched the waistband into place, and just topstitched the whole waistband (about 1/8”) just for good measure and aesthetics.

Almost done!  I added a machine buttonhole on the pointy side of the waistband, and a button on the other.

Hemmed these suckers by hand with a whip stitch.

And these shorts are all done!  The first pair I made have the additional pockets, and while pockets are amazing, I wanted this second pair to have a different look.

I hope you enjoyed this little sew along!
Till next time! ♥️