I've been so busy this summer crossing exciting, urgent projects off my to-make list that I overlooked a wardrobe staple that I badly needed - a white, lined blouse.
Too many skirts haven't been worn because I had nothing that would go with them, that I could wear without a slip, at least. And I really prefer to wear button tops that don't need to be tucked in, as long as I'm nursing. So I finally decided to remedy the problem by making a white blouse that will go with everything - and it's lined, so I don't need a camisole.
I chose a late-ish 1930s pattern I've wanted to try for some time. This hip length style is flattering on me.
Since this was a more structured, tailored style blouse, I didn't want to use any of my white rayon lengths, which would be more suitable for a blouse with draping and detail. I instead used a cotton with white-on-white chevron print.
It's actually fairly stiff. I'm not sure what I'll use the rest of it for, but it works pretty well in this application.
I flatlined the bodice and cut a single layer collar out of some embroidered eyelet.
It's a very simple blouse - 3 main pieces, 4 pieces to cut out total - so it was the perfect background for trying some embellishment. The possibilities are endless, of course. I used some wide crochet lace in a double row across the shoulders (and got it neatly matched up on the overlap, and remembered to space it correctly so it would work with the buttons *pats myself on the back*) and added a narrower row on the sleeves. I like the femininity of the trim and the white on white.
It was easy to put together. Front and back darts, darted sleeves, a Peter Pan collar. Pretty basic stuff. I puzzled a bit over the way they had me do the hem, but I think I figured it out. Of course one of the benefits of flatlining is none of your hemming stitches show on the outside!
I used some vintage white plastic buttons from the stash. The fabric was sure a bear to make buttonholes in!
But anyway, now I have a classic white blouse that will work for 1930s or 1940s, that I can wear handily while nursing, and fills a definite gap in my closet. Here I went 1940s, as I have it paired with the plaid skirt I made to coordinate with my true vintage 1940s soldier blue jacket a few years ago. I wasn't as particular about my sewing then - now I would make sure the plaid matches on the center seams!
I also trotted out my one-and-only pair of Bait shoes. Their shoes are lower priced than a lot of reproductions, but they are not real leather, which was a drawback; besides, a lot of their styles are only vintage inspired. Their Romona was cute enough and accurate enough for me to spend the money on - and I really did want to be able to compare faux leather and real leather repros side by side.
I love the color; it was advertised as navy, and it's more a winter blue. Which is gorgeous, but doesn't coordinate with my wardrobe as well as real navy would. It goes with the blue in this skirt really well though! And the heel is high enough to be smart but low enough for comfortable walking.
They really are well made and tasteful too - the red and white polka dot lining is adorable. But I've decided that, for me at least, it's better to save up a bit more money and go for real leather reproductions in the future. The faux leather is hotter to wear, doesn't mold to my feet (no leather stretching spray will help here, with getting a perfect fit or fixing an uncomfortable area), and if it scratches, peels, or chips is much harder to fix.
But I'm still glad I have this pair, since they really are so cute!
Altogether it was a simple but sweet summer outfit. It will be interesting to see what other combinations I find to utilize the versatility of this blouse!