The “Reality Check” Blouse

The Facts
Fabric: 4 yards floral cotton, 2 ½ yards white cotton
Pattern: McCall 3847 for the blouse, tutorial for the skirt
Year: 1956 (blouse), 2011 (skirt)
Notions: 4 buttons, 9” zipper, 1 hook & eye
Time to Complete: ~ 10 hours
First Worn: January 10th (skirt), January 15th (blouse)
Wear again: Yes, but probably not together
Total Price: ~ $2.96

I was really motivated coming off of lasts week challenge, and had a clear vision of what I wanted to do for the button challenge. I decided to make this blouse that was missing the instructions. I’ve made one other shirt before which turned out nicely, so I figured what the heck, it won’t be too hard. I managed to get all the shirt save the collar and hemming done in one sitting. The thing that made this shirt such a pain was the fact that I’ve been assuming (from previous measurements) that my bust is 32, meaning this “fitted” shirt would be a tad baggy, which I was ok with. Well… lo and behold I was browsing the internet a few days prior and read that measuring oneself with a string tends to be more accurate for whatever reasons. So, I measure myself the next day and my bust measurement is 30.5” ( This explains why a dress I made before Christmas at 32″ is way to big in the bust!) This shirt was going to swallow my already flat chest whole! I managed to take in the sides and the darts, but the right front panel without the pocket was so baggy around the bust area. I finally threw a fit that any toddler would be proud of and swore to not touch the shirt until the last minute.

Instead, I started working on my circle skirt using this fabulous med-heavy weight cotton fabric I picked up from a yard sale this summer. It came together like a dream, and putting in the lapped zipper was so easy thanks to the tutorial! I usually avoid zippers as much as possible, but I think if the need arises, I will just use the lapped zipper method. It’s that bomb! Once I got the skirt done, I thought I would make a cute fabric belt for it using a belt kit I’d also picked up from the thrift store. The belt followed the manner as the blouse, so I tossed it and made a cute ribbon instead!

After the ribbon was done, it was time to tackle the dreaded blouse again. I tried it on and stood looking in the mirror at it with no idea of what to do. I think the reason the left side had no issue is because of the pocket, and thankfully, this thought was right. When I added a pocket to the other side of the shirt, the issue was cleared up. Phew! I serged, turn over and sewed the hems. I also realized I had totally screwed up the collar and that it wasn’t going to work. So, I also stay-stitched, serged and turned under the neckline and made a detachable peter pan collar from the skirt material. I think the end result is darling and am glad I decided to not work with the original collar.

I think the face says it all.

I’m not sure I will wear the skirt and blouse together again. Even though I love the classic look, it may be something that together, is too dated. I think I’ll try modernizing it by putting the skirt with a more modern blouse and heels, and the shirt with skinny high waist pants and suspenders. We shall see, I guess.






Emma Simuns is a fashion loving, penny pinching girl who has just started a love affair with all things vintage.


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  1. Really cute, I love the patterned collar and matching skirt.

  2. very sweet – too cute for words

  3. Adorable outfit. You look like you’re having a ball.