Tasha of By Gum, By Golly may be pint-sized, but she's a vintage sewing and knitting dynamo! Her style is to die for and if you have the pleasure of meeting her, like I have, it'll leave you wishing you were neighbours. Today, she's sharing a very cute peasant blouse with us, but keep your eyes peeled for her own post soon, taking us through her pink leopard-print cigarette pants too!
I am so happy to be participating in the Vintage Pledge July extravaganza! My pattern is from the era of my youth, and not an era whose fashion I typically go for...the 1980s!
It all started because I had a style of top in my head for awhile that I wanted to sew, but I could never turn up a pattern to recreate it! Until recently on a fortuitous Etsy hunt, I picked up this pattern from the 1980s, See & Sew by Butterick 5036. Until now, I’d never sewn a pattern from the 1980s!
It fit the bill: peasant blouse style, with a ruffle at the neckline. Actually it had two ruffles which was one too many for my taste, but an easy thing to change!
I used a black embroidered cotton eyelet fabric from Mood Fabrics , which is modest enough in the size of the eyelets that I didn’t feel the need to underline it (nor wear a matching bra, ha ha). But because of the eyelets, and the fact that I didn’t have black ¼” elastic to use in the neckline and waist, I actually used clear elastic. Which is more difficult to use in gathering evenly, I found, so it’s a bit more ruffley on the front than the back.
I didn’t make very many changes to the pattern, but I’m really glad I carefully read the envelope to find out this pattern (in true 1980s style) had a LOT of built in ease - like 10”. Definitely a bit much for me. I didn’t want to change the shape of the armholes, so I simply took 2” each off the center of both the back and front pattern pieces to make it a bit more trim, but still roomy enough to pull over my head. This was an easy change since the neckline is gathered anyway. The only corresponding change I had to make was to cut the ruffle 4” shorter.
The armholes were the only thing that surprised me in this pattern. There’s only the bottom half an armhole, really! You use facing pieces (I made bias tape instead) to finish the armhole after sewing the side seams, but you don’t actually have shoulder seams, so it’s open at the top! The pattern didn’t actually explain this part, it just said to attach the ruffle to the neckline, which had me scratching my head for awhile. But I figured it out, and in the end it makes for a super breezy and awesome shape for hot weather! Plus, the ruffle is long enough to hide your bra straps under it ;)
You can see I made one stylistic change which I wish in hindsight I’d thought through a bit more. I wanted this version to be a cropped style for summer, gathered around the midriff. It didn’t occur to me until too late that since the front and back are the same size (no shaping), my bust pulls the front up more than the back, so the back sags down. I’m thinking a big chunk out of the piece like a swayback adjustment might be the ticket to fix that, if I try another cropped version in the future.
Overall I’m very pleased with this fun little blouse! It was a fast and easy make. I could definitely see a few more in my closet for summer—some without my midriff moderation, maybe in other solid colors of eyelet or Swiss dot. It’s a winner of a pattern, for sure! And it goes to show that someone who typically wears styles inspired by an earlier era can borrow from a more recent decade to get the look they’re after!
Thanks Marie and Kerry for the wonderful Vintage Pledge challenge so many of us love! xo