Friday, 13 May 2011

1950's Hillbilly Blouse

With the unseasonably good weather we’ve been enjoying recently, I thought I’d better get cracking on a few more summer tops for Me-Made-June. 
I hadn’t got round to sewing this 1950’s Simplicity pattern before as it’s for a 34 inch bust and I thought it would be too small. I've been trying to work up the energy to try a full bust adjustment. Then I read this post by Gina on her blog Vintage Girl, in which she recommends choosing a pattern based on your high bust measurement rather than your full bust measurement for a more accurate fit.  Apparently, this is a good way to buy a pattern if you’re a C cup or above, which I am.  I usually cut a size 36 bust, as that’s what my bust measures, but I do have problems with back width and general bagginess.  My high bust is 34, so as an experiment, I thought I’d sew up the 34 inch pattern and see how I fared. 

As my test fabric I used some £2 a metre navy gingham from Shepherd’s Bush market. I LOVE gingham and always have.  Here I am on holiday in Italy aged five, rocking the gingham look!
And here’s one of my mum and her friends from the same holiday looking ridiculously 1970’s!  It’s nothing whatsoever to do with sewing, but I couldn’t resist, look at her outfit!
So, back to the blouse… I secretly hoped the test blouse would fit so I could prance around in something gingham.
And guess what?  It does!  It’s a really good fit across the bust ....
....and across the back.  
No back narrowing adjustment needed. Thank you Gina for a really useful post.

The pattern has some lovely details.  Tucks at the front and back plus neck darts.  It’s also naturally longer than a lot of 1950’s patterns, which often tend to be on the short side. I’ll admit that attaching the collar and facing was an absolute bugger for me to get my head round.  I finally figured it out, but there was a fair bit of unpicking to do before it all made sense.   Apart from that, it was a nice, easy pattern. I’ll almost certainly use it again to make a second version.
Looks nice with red too. 
I do feel a bit like Ellie May Clampett from the Beverley Hillbillies in it but that’s no bad thing.  Being navy based, it will match lots of my wardrobe, so I’m sure it will get lots of wear. Next up, something in polka dots I think….

23 comments:

  1. It's lovely! :) I think it looks great with the red cardi too!
    Ashley x

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  2. Oh wow, this blouse looks so great on you. The fit really is perfect - well done Gina for inspiring you to try out the size 34. And I have to say you look amazing with the red cardi added to the look - it's so flattering on you.

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  3. Looks wonderful and a perfect fit. I've been stocking up on b/w gingham recently (some v. cheap off ebay + some hopefully nicer quality Kaffe Fassett which is waiting for me at post office). Lovely to see how well yours has turned out to give me inspiration!

    And cool pics of you and your mum in Italy!

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  4. Lovely blouse and lovely legs eleven! Love the whole outfit. NB Did you know your sand bucket matched your childhood outfit? Accessorising, even then! Now WHAT will you wear tomorrow? Decisions, decisions...

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  5. You look wonderful!! The cardi is perfect with it. I have proof, in the form of a finished and VERY unflattering blouse, that this look does not work for everyone!

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  6. Your blouse is lovely and teams perfectly with red . I also love your red lipstick :-)

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  7. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. Karen, it's a family joke that my bucket matches my outfit in that photo! And yes, I've been having sleepless nights over what to wear tomorrow! x

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  8. Great blouse - I have been coveting gingham in all different colours recently but haven't committed to one! So you didn't have to do an fba in a 34? I always thought vintage patterns were supposed to be really tiny - I must get round to trying some out at some point.
    Great pics - love your mum's sunglasses! and those high waisted trousers! that cropped knit top! long live the 70s! And you look very cute in your sunhat! Halcyon days indeed. x

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  9. Ooh I love gingham, this is really cute, great make! Love your old photos, think I actually belong in the 70s! :)

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  10. I saw Gina's post too and have been wanting to try it out. I have had some odd fit issues with some tops so *fingers crossed* my have at it goes as well as yours did.

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  11. The pattern is so nice. When I find a pattern that works for me and fits well, I always seem to get it out again to make another version.

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  12. Found your blog through Tilly and the Buttons! Great projects, love your style.

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  13. That looks lovely, I love gingham. Love the style too not too hillbilly imho!

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  14. Gorgeous and it looks particularly lovely with the red cardi!

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  15. That's a lovely shirt and the buttons are impeccable! Gorgeous!

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  16. I love it! it's a good tip what you say, I have also big bust.
    I love your blouse, I love ginham too , ah! and you look so cute in the picture with red ginham
    I like how it looks with the red cardi.

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  17. ... and it looked even lovelier in real life! So lovely to meet you today Jane. What a treat x

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  18. More rockabilly than hillbilly! I think it's great! And an excellent fit :)

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  19. the blouse looked fab, great to meet you on Saturday

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  20. Thanks Tamsin, great to meet you too! I'll be checking your blog to see what all your lovely fabric is turned into. x

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  21. Jane this is so nice, I just brought the fabric you are wearing. I also had the same skirt pattern in my drawer as you used for your skirts, Just finished it today. The lap zipper was a challenge at first but got it working. I hope you'll stop by and see it. I would like to make a link to your blog about your skirt too, if that's okay.

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  22. Hi Gina, thanks again for the tip! I'd love you to make a link to my blog about the skirt. I took my time with the lapped zip on the first skirt and it turned out perfectly. I rushed it on the second skirt and it wasn't quite so good, but still way easier than an invisible zip. I'll definitely look out for your version. x

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  23. That's a brilliant tip. Thank you! I'm well above a C cup, and even trying to slide between sizes at the bust, waist and hip lines often leaves me floating in a fabric sack. I'm so going to try this.

    Also, the gingham looks hot!

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