Tuesday is for Ironing

One might get the idea I love to iron should they take stock of how many cotton blouses I have made over the past few years. Now I do love a crisp cotton blouse, and I find them to be imminently wearable, neat and tidy, and versatile.  So I keep making them.  But do I love to iron?  Not really, although it is not my most dreaded household chore.  (I think that might be grocery shopping – or more precisely, lugging everything home and putting it all away.  I don’t like that.)  

Even wearing a pretty blouse, like this – my most recent make, to the grocery store doesn’t make that chore more bearable!

One advantage to having lots and lots of cotton blouses is that the ironing can pile up, yet I will still have blouses to go to in my closet, so there’s that.  I think – no, I know – another reason I keep making casual cotton blouses is that I love to sew with beautiful quality cotton (of course Liberty comes to mind!) The selection of quality cotton prints, checks, plaids, stripes, and solids available online is astoundingly diverse, making the temptation great to make “just one more blouse.”

And then there are the buttons. If you follow my sewing life through this blog, you know my fascination with and pursuit of vintage buttons to use on my blouses and other projects.  Yes, a white plastic button can perform the same function, but a beautiful pearl button adds a touch of class to a simple blouse like no other detail can.  

A simple pearl button, circa 1960, BGE Originals, “First in Fashions”

It also helps that I have a set of blouse patterns which fit well due to many alterations and tweaking over several years’ use.  It is a lovely feeling to start a new project, knowing I don’t have to fit the pattern and make a muslin before I can get started on the fashion fabric.  

Three of my favorite blouse patterns, for which I have fitted muslins.
And one which I feel sure will become a favorite once I make and fit a muslin for it! View A is a classic look and the sleeves are so elegant.

I had been eyeing this Liberty cotton lawn on the Farmhouse Fabrics website for quite a while when I decided last Spring to go ahead and indulge.  Having a floral among my blouse selections is something just a bit different for me, as I already have numerous ginghams, plaids, and stripes.  

Liberty Lawn is lovely to sew and lovely to wear.
These colors make me happy.

So – is Tuesday really for ironing?  There used to be a proscribed schedule for all those household chores – and it went like this:

Monday: Wash Day

Tuesday:  Ironing Day 

Wednesday:  Sewing Day

Thursday:  Market Day

Friday:  Cleaning Day

Saturday:  Baking Day

Sunday:  Day of Rest

Well, times have changed. Now, every day is Sewing Day.


Filed under Blouse patterns from the 1950's, Blouses, Buttons - choosing the right ones, Liberty cotton, Mid-Century style, Uncategorized, vintage buttons, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1950s, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1970s, Vogue patterns

16 responses to “Tuesday is for Ironing

  1. This blouse is lovely. Florals are my favorite print and gingham is second. You’re so right about Liberty Lawn fabrics. I have one in my stash and I’m itching to get to it. Your techniques and methods are flawless, as always. Do you have your special vintage patterns copied so as to save the original tissue pattern from damage? All that’s missing is seeing you model it for us all. You’re always beautiful in your new creations.

    • Thank you, Peggy. When I have achieved a fitted muslin, to my liking, I transcribe all the alterations onto the muslin with a permanent marker. Then I take it all apart and use those muslin pieces as my working pattern. The original tissue pieces I put back in the envelope to use as reference if needed. This method saves the original pattern, saves my alterations, and gives me a full set of pattern pieces to use with my fashion fabric. I have learned over the years that cutting out each pattern piece singly (not on the fold, as is generally accepted practice) is the best way to achieve precision.
      My apologies for no photos of me in this blouse… just wasn’t in the cards this time!

  2. I also love the feel of freshly ironed, lightly starched, cotton. Very pretty print and the pearl buttons are a definite upgrade from plastic.

  3. Gayle

    Beautifully made as always!

  4. Heather Myers

    I can see why you had your eye on that fabric – it and the blouse are lovely! Thanks! Is it the Simplicity pattern? Can you expand on what you like about each of your favorite blouse patterns, and how you decide which to make for a project?

    • Yes, it is the Simplicity pattern, which I have used repeatedly for casual blouses. The pattern pictured at the bottom might be my favorite blouse pattern of all time. It is actually a much dressier blouse than it appears on the envelope. I have made it in silk dupioni and I intend to make it in a silk jacquard next time. The construction of the collar is a lovely piece of engineering (!), and the 3/4 sleeves, with the French cuffs are so flattering. The pattern on the upper right is a bit more tailored, but still dressier than the Simplicity pattern. They all have their charms! And then, of course, there are other blouse patterns I have used which are not pictured here, but I know at some point they, too, will get their day in the sun again. Thanks for your comment, Heather!

  5. Mery

    That is a very pretty blouse. Your choices of pattern, fabric, and techniques give it an upscale look.

    I didn’t assume you loved ironing but it did cross my mind to wonder how you managed it. Good liberty fabric doesn’t need much.

    I know a couple of very active ladies who are bombarded with people every day (one runs a dance school, the other a tv news show) who enjoy the meditativeness of ironing.
    I don’t mind it when I’m doing it but I do very little because I plan around it. I treated myself to a steam press last year, so that may change.

    • Yes, you are so correct, Mery – Liberty Lawn really irons easily and quickly. Another reason I love it so. So much about ironing depends on a good iron! I like lots of steam, hot temperatures and no drips. Not every iron is up to those standards, unfortunately. I should love to know if your new steam press is a game-changer! Happy September to you!

  6. Cheryl

    Such a beautiful blouse. Tana lawn is just wonderful for our hot humid summers in Australia. Could I ask what you have used in the collars and cuffs to keep their shape? I am thinking silk organza wouldn’t work. I have been using a German iron on interfacing till now.

    • That’s a great question, Cheryl. And you are correct – silk organza, despite all its charms, would not be the right choice for interfacing cotton lawn in this instance. I use a woven, sew-in interfacing which is lightweight, but firm. Unfortunately I can’t remember the manufacturer of the one I have finally found that I think works well for collars, cuffs and the front facings. (If I were at our home in Pennsylvania, back East, right now instead of our summer home, I would go right to my fabric closet and find the exact interfacing with its accompanying instructions, including the manufacturer, but as it is, I just have a small amount of it with me for the summer…. with no information to pass on.) I tend not to use iron-on, fusible interfacing. I find it often makes things too stiff, or it leaves little bubbles. But I also know that some people use it all the time with great success and love it. As with so many things, it is really a matter of personal preference. Thanks for your comment and interest!

  7. I love reading your posts! The punch line on this one made me actually, heartily laugh out loud! 😁 I, too, appreciate sewing beautiful quality cotton and finding the perfect vintage button to finish a project! It’s sewing the buttonholes that makes me shudder… perhaps my new-to-me buttonhole attachment for my 1950s Singer will help ease the trepidation. xo

    • Hi Nancy, buttonholes used to make me shudder, too, and I was always doing hand-finishing work to make them somewhat presentable. BUT, when I finally summoned courage and started using my 1950s’ Singer buttonhole maker, all my anxiety faded away. It is an engineering marvel. Now I love making buttonholes! I hope you find the same success.

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