Monday, 30 September 2013

Completed: Fall For Cotton Vintage Blouse

I am just scraping in at the finishing line here, but I have managed to complete my Fall for Cotton challenge, just in the nick of time. I actually finished the blouse on Saturday morning, but this is the first chance I've had to blog about it. And what good is it if I've finished it on time, but then don't post on time?

So, quick reminder: Fall for Cotton is a challenge hosted by Rochelle, of Lucky Lucille, and Tash of By Gum By Golly. The rules are simple: sew a Fall (Autumn) appropriate garment from a vintage or reproduction pattern during the month of September, to be made in 100% cotton fabric.

Both hosts favour 1940's as their vintage era of choice. I went for something a little later - mid 1960's - with Simplicity 6304.

I opted to make the blouse in view 2, with no collar and short sleeves, and I made it from Liberty Tana Lawn.

This was my first ever vintage pattern, and I found it, on the whole, very easy and straightforward. I was on holiday on Friday, so started this at about 1pm that day, thinking there was little chance I'd get it finished on time, but it sewed up really quickly, and I finished it on Saturday morning. It probably helped that I didn't muslin it. Bad, I know, but I just couldn't be bothered. I did a tissue fit of sorts. Well, I held the bodice pattern piece up to my torso in front of the mirror, established that the bust darts looked OK but that the waist darts looked a bit long, and then just winged it from there.

Apologies for the creasing - this was after a day's wear, and a big lunch!
As you can see the fit isn't perfect. I shortened the waist darts, but they seem to have somehow turned into release pleats, which is fine, but I'm not sure that it looks the most flattering here - my bust looks a little odd!. It's a little short for my liking, especially to wear with jeans, but it will probably work OK teamed with a more high-waisted bottom half, as it's designed to be worn.

I used covered buttons at the back. The first time I've ever used them and I like the effect. They are not the neatest, and I'm unsure how many turns in the washing machine they will withstand, but they look nice for now. Also, because they are shank buttons, I have to be careful where I sit, otherwise they dig in a bit!

It's a little roomy at the waist, and could probably do with being taken in a little here. This is not the most flattering view.

The fabric feels a little stiff and as you can see is a nightmare for creasing. Strange, because this is not my experience with Liberty tana lawn previously. I stupidly forgot to pre-wash the fabric, so hopefully it will soften up over time. And not shrink!

As I said the construction was fairly straightforward. The only things I didn't like were the sleeve facings. I wasn't sure they were necessary and because this is a raglan sleeve design, there are already 3 seams meeting at the underarm, which causes quite a bit of bulk. Adding a facing here, creates even more bulk, introducing a fourth seam in the same place. It's really messy here as a result. If I were to make this again, I would omit the facing and either use bias binding, or would just add a little length and turn it up. I'm not sure a facing here adds anything, other than time and frustration!

You can't see it in my photos, but the fabric is not a solid colour. Rather it's a repeat pattern of 2 heads kissing:

I like the fact that the fabric is not just plain, but because it's not a very obvious print, it will go with a number of things. Hopefully!

I have no pics of the guts, but insides are either overlock stitched or pinked.

So in summary, this is not my favourite blouse ever, but I do like it and I will get some wear out of it. And I am glad I managed to finish it on time. And it's proven to me that vintage patterns are not scary - not sure why I thought they were, but I did! Just as well I've got over that fear, because I am planning a coat this winter from another 1960's pattern. Watch this space!

A final photo just to show you it is autumn appropriate, with a cardigan!
These photos were taken at my Mum and Dad's this weekend. My brother was up from London, so we were all over for a family lunch. And yes, we were sitting outside, in Scotland, at the end of September. It was glorious, and doesn't my Mum's garden look amazing?



  1. What a great little top - and I just love the gentle pattern on the fabric! I also have a similar top, and ended up changing the back buttons to very flat ones - purely for the comfort reason. You definitely achieved high end results on this challenge - well done ... J

  2. Oh, very cute top! Love your fabric and the buttons down the back.

  3. That print is gorgeous! You've made a lovely job of this; looks like it'll be a great wardrobe staple. I love that 60s silhouette (any plans to do the 3/4 sleeve collar version??) Well done on getting it finished - and posted - on time!

  4. ooh I love that Liberty fabric! I really like the bust shaping and the shape of the sleeves as well. I know what you mean about back buttons though, it can be a bit annoying when they dig in, but hey they look great!


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