Monthly Archives: July 2021

A White Eyelet Blouse

Eyelet is one of those fabrics which can conjure up memories from one’s life.  So often associated with pinafores, eyelet is lovely for little girls’ dresses – and petticoats.  It is often used for lingerie or sleepwear for all ages, as well as dresses and blouses.  It is a summer fabric, with its “built-in” air conditioning – ie. all those little holes surrounded by embroidery.    Often eyelet trim – and sometimes eyelet yard goods – have one or two finished borders.  Such was the case with the eyelet I found earlier this year for the ruffled collars for sundresses for my granddaughters.  

This lace was a 14″ wide double scallop-edged panel, which I cut down the middle to use for the two collars.

It was working on those collars which convinced me I needed to make an eyelet bouse for myself.  I went back to Farmhouse Fabrics, from which I had purchased the double-sided eyelet panel for those collars, to find a suitable eyelet for a blouse.  Farmhouse Fabrics has quite an inventory of lovely eyelets, so it was difficult to decide.  But decide I did, and purchased this all-cotton eyelet made in Spain.  

I liked the meandering motif in this design.

For a pattern I used this vintage Vogue pattern from 1957.

I liked the convertible collar of this pattern, as shown in View B. A convertible collar is one which can be worn open or closed. The collar is sewn directly to the neckline.  I did, however, shorten the sleeves to below elbow-length.  I also chose to make plain, buttoned cuffs without the extra turn-back detail.  

Although the blouse is described on the pattern envelope as “tuck-in,” I liked the gently curved and split hem which would also allow me to wear the blouse as an over-blouse.  The thumbnail detail from the pattern envelope shows the curved hem.  

I lined the main body of the blouse with white cotton batiste, leaving the sleeves unlined.  To reduce bulk, I made the undercollar and the cuff facings from the white batiste.

Buttons are always a favorite component of a blouse for me.  I had a card of vintage Lady Washington Pearls which seemed a lovely complement to the scale of the fabric embroidery.  

One button remaining!

I first wore this blouse on a very warm evening to attend an outdoor concert.  I was amazed at how cool the blouse was. The little breeze there was, did indeed feel like air-conditioning as it wafted through all those embroidered holes!

In my case, this collar is not “convertible” as I did not put a button and buttonhole at the neckline!
I made the cuffs with a bit more width than needed so I can push the sleeves up further if I want.
After I finished the blouse I went back and added two narrow fisheye darts to the back to make the fit a bit more streamlined.
I think this blouse might be a good pairing for the Liberty cotton skirt featured in my last post.

Finding beautiful eyelet fabric is now on my sewing radar.   I would like to make more with this timeless, feminine and versatile type of lace. 

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Filed under Blouses, Buttons - choosing the right ones, Eyelet, Lace, Mid-Century style, Sleeves, Uncategorized, vintage buttons, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1950s

May Flowers – Blooming in July

When the flowers are blooming on Liberty Lawn, they are fresh well into the summer, right?  When I originally ordered this fabric last Fall, I intended for it to be a Springtime blouse.  

Once it arrived, however, it wasn’t right for a blouse.  Additionally, I thought the blue was going to be more of a navy blue (although it looks like navy here, it is really lighter than navy), so I was a bit disappointed and had to rearrange all my thinking on it.  This is why it is always best to obtain a swatch of fabric before ordering, a precaution I often do not heed, at my own peril.  

However, I had had it in the back of my mind to make a summer skirt this year so once I looked at this piece with fresh eyes, I saw the possibilities in it.  I envisioned a skirt with some swing to it, but not too full, and below-the-knee length.  Rather than search all over for such a pattern, I just used the skirt pattern I had altered for this dress:

The 5 gores in it give it a nice gentle sway, and the addition of the inverted pleat in the center front adds width without bulk.  I lined the skirt with cotton batiste, but used no underlining. 

I finished the seams of the fashion fabric with Hug Snug binding.

 I applied the lapped zipper by hand and finished the inside of the waistband with Hug Snug hem binding tape.  

I attached the batiste lining to the edge of the waistline before folding in the center inverted pleat.

Originally I was going to make a self-belt or sash out of the same fabric, but I thought that would be boring.  Then I thought about trying to find a straw belt to wear with it, but that notion did not go too far because I remembered a lime green silk sash I had made several years ago.  Although not an exact match, the green coordinates with the green in the Liberty fabric and, I thought, adds some necessary contrast.  Paired with a white tailored blouse, the outfit is still casual.  

Now I’m not disappointed with this fabric purchase!

Getting back to Liberty Lawn …   I can find myself lost for hours looking at online selections of Liberty fabric.  The designs, the color selections, and the silky quality are all so tempting. The pure number of beautiful prints is so great – that more often than not I find myself unable to make a decision.  There are some designs, however, that are so classic and eye-catching, and those eventually will find themselves in my check-out cart!  Yes, Summer flowers are yet to come…

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Filed under Liberty cotton, paneled skirts, Uncategorized