"Under the sun or under the stars, the portrait-neckline blouse has a way of making you look your prettiest and most feminine."-- Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing (aka VoNBSS)
Well, here it is! My first project from VoNBSS.
I made it in linen, just like the book suggested. Actually, it's a linen eyelet--how cool is that?
I did my very best to stay true to VoNBSS's guidance. I used tailor's tacks, did a faced, lapped zipper and a basted fitting, and even hand-rolled the sleeve hems! I have to say, the things that I thought would be such a pain really weren't at all. Doing tailor's tacks actually isn't any more time consuming in the long run than transferring marks with a tracing wheel and transfer paper. And there are no troublesome chalk marks to deal with afterwards!
There were a few things that struck me about this vintage pattern, which is from 1952. First, it's an unprinted pattern, which I've never used before. It's simply blank, with perforations as markings. The perforations make it easy to thread tailor's tacks through them.
Here are the new skills I picked up with this project. After all, learning is what we're all about here!
1. Tailor's tacks (verdict: pretty much awesome but not always necessary). It was actually quite fun to make the little thread loops through the perforations. Also, you have to love the enthusiasm VoNBSS brings to tailor's tacks. "See--there are little tufts of thread to show you which perforation goes with which!" OMG! VoNBSS does not shy away from exclamation points. They're very cheerful.Conversely, VoNBSS has you do a lot of things that seem like time-wasters to me. Tailor's tacks to mark the seam lines? Hand basting to mark the center front and center back? No thank you.
2. Basted fitting (verdict: an excellent time-saver). I machine basted the major seams and then tried the blouse on. Luckily it fit perfectly. Then I just stitched precisely to the left of the basting so it wouldn't show on the outside of the blouse. If I had done this with my Joan Holloway dress, I would have saved a lot of ripping out tiny stitches.
3. A faced, lapped zipper (verdict: pretty neat, and worked like a charm).
I did do a lot of things by hand that I normally wouldn't have out of sheer laziness. I hand-rolled the sleeve hems, which was very satisfying. I also hand-tacked the facings to the shoulder seam allowances, rather than stitching in the ditch. Hand tacking takes roughly 30 seconds, and it's invisible (unlike my stitching in the ditch, unfortunately). Seriously, what is my problem with doing this stuff on a regular basis?
This is a fun little blouse that I think I'll get a lot of wear out of. I really like how it's very fitted on the hips, and then the darts release into tucks at the waist to give a bloused effect. Very cute. Thanks, VoNBSS! Next up from this book is the "slim, supple skirt" in a lovely lavender rayon/wool blend.