One for Winter

And Winter it has been!  BRRRR….  Seriously cold weather calls for some seriously warm fabric, and I had just the right piece waiting for such an occasion.  

When I found and purchased this vintage piece of Viyella several years ago, I thought the plaid was of a larger format.  I’m not quite sure what I thought I might make with it, but I tucked it away for another day.  After making so many casual cotton blouses over the past few years, last Fall I had one of those “Aha” moments, and decided this Winter would be good time to make one for cold weather – and what better fabric to use than this small-scaled plaid Viyella?  

It is always reassuring when there is documentation attached to a piece of vintage fabric. Two of these paper labels were attached to the fabric when I purchased it.

I have had direct experience with the warmth that Viyella provides, having made two bathrobes out of this storied fabric.  And unlike some wool (Viyella is a wool/cotton blend), this fabric does not itch against bare skin.  I made the robes pictured below in 2017 and 2019, respectively. I expected the Viyella which is the subject of this post to be of the same scale as these two plaids. Yes, purchasing vintage fabric online can have its surprises!

I’m not sure any single garment I have made has been worn and appreciated more than this robe.
I made my second Viyella robe to keep in our vacation home in Wyoming.

The background of this current fabric “reads” blue, but it turns out gray thread and gray buttons seemed to be the best complement to it.  

Always on the hunt for vintage pearl buttons, I found these gray ones to use for this blouse.

This is the time-tested and altered Simplicity pattern I have used repeatedly – with its yoked back – and shirttail hem.  

Every time I make this pattern, I have to go to the instruction sheet for the yoke construction details, and EVERY time I get confused!  

This may be the first time I have actually made this pattern without having to take out at least one seam in the process of joining the yoke to the back and fronts. 

How difficult can it be to attach a yoke? Somehow I make it difficult every time!

There is really not too much more to say about this blouse, except perhaps to wonder why it took me so long to decide to make it. 


I have a number of Viyella labels in reserve, so I was happy to use one for this blouse.
Staying warm!

Hmmmm.  One for Winter might become Two for Winter… 


Filed under Bathrobes, Blouses, Buttons - choosing the right ones, fabric labels, Uncategorized, vintage buttons, Vintage fabric, woolens

27 responses to “One for Winter

  1. Andrea Birkan

    I love everything you make! Ou find the best vintage fabrics! You inspire me every time I read your blog posts!

  2. nancy molitor

    Beautiful! And cozy, too, I bet! Xoxo

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Heather Myers

    This is a great use for your treasured fabric, and something you will likely wear and enjoy often! I’m following your lead and making beautiful “home” garments while upgrading my casual wardrobe.Thanks for the inspiration! 😁

  4. Lovely job – as always. And, how do you manage to look so glamorously beautiful, yet casual??

  5. Perfect example of a simple pattern, lovely fabric and excellent sewing techniques which result in a beautiful, well made and warn blouse. Once again, you show us all how to do it properly.

  6. Mery

    Such a good use of your fabric. While I don’t have any Viyella, I do have one shirt of the same wool-cotton composition, and it is just right to keep the chill off. Looking at this attractive shirt and your robes makes me feel warm and cozy.

    • Isn’t a wool-cotton combination such a cozy delight? The best of two mediums – and washable and needs little ironing. What’s not to like? I hope you are warming up in your part of the country…

  7. Beautiful shirt- I love a good matched plaid!

  8. Your wool blouse fits perfectly, and that plaid is wonderful perfect with jeans or some lighter gray corduroys. You will wear this all the time in Wyoming! I almost cut into some of my Pendleton over the cold snap but decided to wait a little longer.

  9. Carol in Texas

    Lovely shirt….bet it feels wonderful! I like your jeans. I hate the current styles. Do you mind telling me the brand you wear?

  10. Elaine

    You and your beautiful sewing is always such an inspiration to me. Really appreciate all you share with us.

  11. Margo Banner

    What a lovely and cozy shirt! Pendleton sells plaid wool shirts for men but not for women. You’ve inspired me to look at plaid fabrics online to make a similar shirt. Have you ever tried the burrito method for your back yoke constuction?

  12. Marguerite

    Hi Karen, Lovely as usual! I remember making a skirt from Viyella back in the 80s. I’ll check Ebay for some now. I have that pattern for the blouse and would like to look again at your alterations to it but I can’t seem to find the post where you showed what changes you made.I love a clean shirt style and can’t wait to make it!

    • My apologies for this late reply, Marguerite. So – the changes I made to the pattern: I took out some of the curve at the side seams; I eliminated the front button panel (but that could easily still be used); I added a about a half-inch to the width of the sleeves from about the elbow down – that makes it easier to roll the sleeves up; I lengthened the sleeve placket by about 1.25 Inches; I added an inverted pleat to the back bodice and also added two fisheye darts to take a bit of the fullness out; I redrew the collar a little bit to make it look more up-to-date. I think that’s it. It is such a funny little pattern, but if you can look past the “mod” look of the pattern art, you’ve got a great shirt!

      • Marguerite

        Thanks, Karen! I have it on my cutting table. Every version that you have made looks sensational! Don’t laugh but I was watching an episode of Bewitched last week and Elizabeth Montgomery was wearing a shirt with the same lines. Add on the tapered “slacks” she also was wearing and it certainly is a look still in vogue.

      • Marguerite

        Hello again! I made the shirt and you are right-it has great lines. My only problem was that the armholes seemed a bit tight. I did remember reading on one of your posts that you added some ease to the sleeve caps. Was this similar to what I’m noticing? Any suggestions? I tried to research making this area larger but can’t figure out exactly what to do. I also have a size 10 pattern. Thanks!

      • Hi Marguerite, I don’t think it is the sleeve caps which would cause armhole tightness. (I have “prominent” shoulders and often have to add a little to the sleeve caps!) I would try adding 1/4 to 1/2″ to the side seams and then cut an identical amount off the lower part of the sleeve. Does this make sense? Muslin it first, though. A coat I made under Susan’s tutelage had the same issue – tight armholes and that is what we did to give me more give.

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