It's long sleeve blouse time again.

Only this time, I'm finished.

I really like it. Its so classic and that collar is kick ass!

I did have the same issue on this one I tend to have on a lot of button front tops I make. My upper bust is a bit smaller than most patterns in my bust size, so if I don't adjust correctly, I get a gape at the first top button. I tend to raise the lapel line anyway, because I don't know how I'm built, but the lapel fold is always so low that I end up showing cleavage and I HATE that. Especially on a basic top.

That also means for me that I have the curve inward that button placket, which can be a pain, especially if the pattern's grain lines are along the button placket.

(navy is so hard to photograph)
Aw well. I would prefer better fit because that bagginess at the top always bothers me. So I addressed those issues on this pattern and I'm quite pleased with it. Now I feel comfortable enough making a blouse from my vintage rayon. Yay!

But first, jeans...

Catalog Sunday

This Sunday I have denim. All denim all the time.
Well, the time of the mid 30s to mid 40s.

Chicago Mail order 1935

Montgomery Wards 1935

Chicago Mail Order 1941

Montgomery Wards 1941

Sears 1943

It's long sleeve blouse progress & jeans, too.

Work, work, working on the blouse.

I overlocked all the pieces until my serger quit on me. For good this time.


I had to finish the rest of the pieces with a ziz-zag stitch.

This being the first time I've made this pattern, my adjustments were not the greatest.

I added a bit too much to the gathered bust and I plan on cutting that area down by 2" on the next go round. Also, because my shoulders are more narrow than the pattern, I had to cut down the front yoke by a good 1 1/2". I was worried that was too much, but the blouse hangs great.


Even with the snafus in the altering of the pattern, I can't stress enough the benefit of slopers. It's like I can alter a pattern with my eyes closed. No thinking involved! Fantastic!

As I was finishing up the rest of the blouse for the day, I decided to go on and start my second pair of jeans.

I have a black pair of denim jeans I made that I've worn for years. They are my rough and tumbles, and I need to replace them. I have this great blue denim in my stash and it took only about 30 minutes to cut out the pieces.

I'm changing up the pattern a bit (I'm using the slacks from my 40s slacks repro), and I'm adding a yoke to the back.

I cut the pattern past the darts, closed the darts, then redrafted the yoke piece. I think it's going to work out splendidly!

This is the perfect project to do since I don't have a serger right now.


It's long sleeve blouse time.

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!
I'm listening to Nick Cave right now because I feel in the mood for something completely awesome.

Truth be told, I'm still on burn out from that blasted jacket. I kinda hate that I am, too. I didn't expect the recovery time to be this long, but I just don't want to do anything complicated in sewing right now. Yuck.

But it's getting cold, and I got this massive amount of cotton calico from the thrift store (like 6 yards for $4!) so I decided to pick myself up and make a blouse.

I'm using my 40s blouse reproduction because I haven't made it yet and I LOVE the look of it.

It's no where near as complex as that blasted jacket, but it does require thinking and I'm so not up for that now. But you gotta start somewhere, right?

I love it when the sloper darts match up to the pattern. I didn't even have to try on this one!

The good thing is thinking is at a minimum when you have slopers.
I just line the pattern to the sloper and piece accordingly. Its so awesome.

Yay slopers!

Under most circumstances I'd do a mock up, but I've had such success lately
with fitting that I'm gonna risk it with my $4 fabric.

I have everything cut and all I need to do is mark the pieces and overlock them. I'm a bit worried about that. My serger is on it's last leg, and I'm strapped for cash to get a new motor for it. Crap. What am I gonna do!? I guess get an estimate and start saving. Its a five cone with a differential feed, it's worth saving.

There is always something, right :)

New Pattern Day Yay!

Well, many have asked and I have answered.

I've remastered the early 1940s beret pattern and made it into a PDF in my etsy store.

The beret is sized for a 23" head with about 1/2" of adjustment either way.
I've also redone the instructions (see below post) so that there is a blow by blow of every detail.

You can make this beret in 3 hours.
Give it a try!

Yay sewing!

NVL 1081 Three Hour Beret instructions

Hi everyone! I've just finished the PDF version of my Three Hour Beret. This post is the detailed instructions of the beret. I though this would be easier.

The three hour 40s beret is a five piece cut away beret hat with optional top bow.

Pattern pieces:
-Crown Tip
-Side Crown
-Back Strap

Materials needed:
32"+ material 1/2 yard
32"+ interlining 1/2 yard
Headband 1" grosgrain ribbon 1 1/4 yard
Lightweight cotton
Cotton batting

This pattern has 1/2" seam allowance. Every mark is important for construction, so before removing the pattern from the material, mark carefully with tracing wheel, tailor's chalk, or thread markings.

If using light-weight fabric, such as jersey or crepe, use a sheet cotton with lawn for backing for interlining. If using a medium-weight fabric such as pique, linen, or fine flannel, use muslin for interlining. If using heavy material, such as milliner's velvet, or heavy wool suiting,
use lawn for interlining.

-Printing out the pieces.

With the pattern, the best way is to print two sheets of the pages with the crown tip
and crown side.

Cut on lines and piece accordingly.
Suggested layout on fabric.

When laying out fabric, also lay interlining over fabric and cut together.

*Special note*

It is suggested to interline the back strap on the fold for stability of the band.

Construction of beret.
Cut out fabric and mark appropriate markings on fabric.

Baste the interlining to the corresponding fabric pieces.
On crown tip, from center of piece, to the back, sew dart to end marking.

Press to one side.

On crown tip, notch in 1/2" at marking.
Using center marking on crown tip, match side crown and pin together.

Sew to notch in crown tip, then pivot and sew until 1/2" of meeting end of piece.

Cut away the pivot fabric.

Notch the sewn line evenly around.
Turn beret right side out and press inside seam.

Take grosgrain ribbon and line it against the inner seam of the side crown
leaving 1/2" extra overlap.

Remember to leave open the marked spaces for the back strap to fit into.

Sew on ribbon and turn under edges.
If you want a bit more leeway with sizing, bring down the ribbon slightly
so the opening of the side crown is larger.
Face the back opening of the beret with grosgrain ribbon.

Miter the corner and sew in place with ribbon on correct side of fabric. Turn under and pin in place. Press flat then hand stitch down. Also, hand stitch down the sides of the crown tip seam allowance where they meet the pivoted seam.

You can cover that section with ribbon if desired. Once had sewing is complete, set aside.
Fold and sew back strap right sides together.

Turn inside out and press flat. Insert strap ends into openings on side crown.

Pin into place.

Match markings on back strap to those on the ends of the crown tip. You may also want to fit this on a bust and adjust as needed. Once placement is to your liking, sew the strap ends in place and hand stitch the back of the strap to the crown tip.

Set hat aside.

To give the hat its volume, a roll of padding is needed.

Make a rectangle on the bias 14" long and 6" wide.

Add cotton batting and roll batting to about 1" thick.

Whip stitch together tapering the ends.
Mark center of batting and match center marking to inside of beret.

Tack into place and tun beret right side out.
Smooth padding out for nice shape of beret brim.

Fold fabric for bow in half and sew one short side and the length together. Turn bow right side out and press flat. Fold under opening side and hand stitch closed. Using markings, hand baste crosswise on fabric and pull together and knot.

Fold over the markings to touch center mark and baste together.

Set aside.

Press matching markings together.

Turn over and fold under seam allowance on longest sides.

Hand sew knot to center of bow.

Hand sew completed bow to square in center of crown tip, or arrange it where you like.
Wear hat and make people jealous.

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