Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Button Back Blouse

Joining in with the bloggers and sewists over at Elizabeth's place for needle and thREAD.  You can catch the other sewist bloggers there - it is a new sew and read along that anyone can participate in :)
So I have been seeing all the lovely button-back blouses over the web, and I really wanted one too.  I was very fortunate to spot a lot of four patterns on Ebay- that included 2 button-back blouse patterns,  a normal blouse pattern and a skirt pattern, from the forties and fifties.

Butterick 3694, approximately 1947
So I chose to make this one.  I had been eyeing up view A anyway... I love that look :)  So when it arrived, I immediately sized it up one size and made it from an eyelet fabric I got in a sale from  

And here it is.  It is not on me because it is rather sheer :)  It is teemed up with a 1939 book called 'Your Clothes and Personality' by Mildred Graves Ryan.  
First, the blouse.  Did you know that eyelet 4 1/2" wide is hard to find?  I had to fudge the sleeves a little because of it ;)  Also, with my recent issues regarding close fitting necks, I lowered the neckline slightly.
So... it looks really pretty, but it is very sheer.  I think I will need a camisole ;)  The eyelet is a pain to work with and frays terribly.  And I think I must have a fat back or something because all my vintage patterns seem to fit snugly across my back!
I can't recall how much the fabric cost me, but it wasn't a huge amount, so perhaps my total costs are around $20 for the lot.  Less next time because I have already done the pattern!
I know, I know.  It is supposed to be ONE photo- but you couldn't see the back of it!
I shall definitely make this one again.  The oddest part of the construction, is the weird triangle that goes into the sleeves to prevent people seeing down them.  I did make a couple of boo-boos.  Mostly in the hems which kept getting messed up- so some things that were supposed to be pressed in ONE direction, were pressed in another instead.  Only one is noticeable, and I will have to go back and fix it.
And now... the book.
I picked it up in an antique shop... it is a book all about the styles and beauty tricks from 1937-1939 (the two years it mentions as print runs).  The cool things I saw in it... how to do your makeup, how to pick styles that suit you, how to take care of your hair... how to spot quality clothing.  From 1939.  Very cool stuff.  It fits right in with my vintage housekeeping books (and I actually referred to my vintage dressmaking book while making the top).


  1. Very nice job on the blouse! I found you through needle and thREAD and here is my project this week:

  2. oh that is sooo pretty!! You are so talented!! The eyelet fabric is perfect for it!

  3. lol! You're funny AND talented. :-) Great job working with eyelet! Love your pink blog. ;-)

    1. Thank you Elizabeth :) I just redecorated my blog to be pink themed LOL (OK I admit it, I wanted to match the flowers in my header ;))

  4. Oh, Rachel, you are quite the seamstress. I think I mentioned this last week, but I am very impressed by your skill.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. It is a beautiful shirt. Too bad about it being so sheer, but I think you are right...with a camisole it would work perfectly. Great job!

  6. Great job! That should be nice and cool (even with a cami ;-) come summer. I love the sleeves. Figures that would be the tricky part... I'm not so sure I could even fasten all those buttons!
    That book sounds lovely, too ~ my daughter would just love it!

    1. It will be lovely and cool- and indeed I look forward to it!
      My daughter loves to do the buttons up for me- so I have no idea if I can even manage it on my own because she runs up to do it for me LOL
      As for the book- it was originally written as a high school home ec. text, so it makes for fascinating reading.

  7. I love vintage books :)
    you did a great job of the shirt, but I wouldn't wear something so sheer!

  8. You are so talented!! The eyelet fabric is perfect for it!

  9. Very nice! Thank you for stopping by One Acre Follies.

  10. Beautiful, Rachel. Love the choice of eyelet- and the book looks like a real hoot!


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