Breaking Out the Rayon Blouse


Breaking-rayonThe Facts 

Blouse
Fabric:
Vintage Rayon – $8 for 1.5 yards from the Vintage Fashion Expo
Pattern: VPLL #T6834 – Free (got it for reviewing another VPLL pattern)
Year: c. 1932
Notions: Vintage zipper – $.005
Time to complete: About 5 hours 
First worn: June 2010

Wear again? Yes. 

Pants
Fabric: Lightweight denim from Fabric Outlet – ~$9 for 1 5/8 yards
Pattern: Simplicity 3688 (used before)
Year: c. 1940s
Notions: Vintage zipper – $.005
Time to complete: 2 hours
First worn: May 2010
Wear again: I wear these all the time

Total Cost for blouse & pants: ~$17.00 

Since I have already made pants from Simplicity 3688, there's nothing quite new to report on. The one difference is that I added belt lopps and made a little sash with some of the denim. Here's another shot of me wearing those pants.

The blouse is another pattern from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library – this one is the 1932 Blouse with Front Yoke. It's a multi-sized pattern so you can purchase it in 32-34-36 bust or 38-40-42. I chose this as the next VPLL pattern to work with because I wanted something with vintage roots that could also seem fairly modern. 

The fabric is from the Vintage Fashion Expo and, surprisingly, only the second article of clothing I've made from vintage rayon. I have a stash of maybe 10-15 really fabulous pieces of 1940s and 1950s rayons but I never use them because they're too treasured! I would like to make my Gatsby dress from a vintage rayon so I figured it was time to start practicing. It's a bit of a pain to work with but I just love the drape and feel of the fabric.

 
Rayon-mena
 As far as the pattern went, it was very straightforward until it came to the part about attaching the sash. I felt that I knew what I needed to do but I couldn't understand the directions to get me to that point. So I just did what I thought was right and it turned out fine. I made one change, however. In the original instructions, the tie belt is sewn to the side of the bodice with the zipper. Since my zipper insertions aren't usually that pretty to look at, I did the opposite. That way, the sash is tied on the side and partially covers the zipper. Even with my confusion over the tie belt, the blouse was pretty simple to construct.

Another change: when I make this blouse again I'll face the tie belt with the same fabric instead of just hemming up the raw edges. My stitching is just too messy to pull that technique off.

I've said it before but it's quite wonderful to think that this blouse pattern was made almost 80 years ago and I can simply sew it up and wear in 2010.  That's certainly a testament to timeless fashion.

Author

Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.

11 Comments

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  1. Super cute fabric, and it looks like a great fit!

  2. I love it. You’re right, it’s s beautiful and timeless style!

  3. It looks great! I’ve hemmed and hawed over whether or not to get this pattern and maybe now I will (but I have to wait til I have money since I just bought the pattern of the dress you made last week).

  4. Wow! This outfit is amazing! I’ve never given the blouse pattern a second look but seeing it on you makes me want to make it. You’re right about this being a garment that passes for modern.

  5. Love it! Grat job and that vintage rayon is to die for!

  6. Its just so inspiring ! love to login in to see what you done.

  7. oh wow- this looks so cute! i love wide leg pants and with a cute little wrap like top- even more adorable! :)
    great job!

  8. I love it! I share your dream of a completely handmade, one-of-a-kind wardrobe! I’ve been knitting winter-wear, but just recently learned to sew! I saw you featured on Sew, Mama, Sew’s blog and can’t wait to start following your journey! The amount of amazing pieces you’ve created is motivational and inspirational!

  9. Your garments are just lovely! I followed the link from Sew Mama, Sew as well and I immediately recognized you – I used to follow your blog back in the day! 2004ish? Your creativity is contagious!

  10. Excellent! I have this pattern but have not made it up yet. I may have to do this one next. Thanks for sharing this.

  11. Hello, lovely blouse! I’ll have to get that pattern.
    Just a comment on the zipper difficulties, here is a link to a great booklet, “Learn to Sew With Your Feet”, which references over 30 sewing machine feet. The instructions for the invisible zipper are the best I’ve seen and work like a charm.
    http://www.laboursoflove.com/p3485.htm