December 11, 2014

How I got sidetracked by history, TV and pretty things...

Let me start by thanking everyone for the advice on the buttonhole issue I mentioned in the previous post. Thankfully, I've got lots of scraps to try different methods on so I will try everything you suggested and hope for the best (because my grandmother specifically wanted those functional buttons. I tried suggesting snap/poppers).

In the meantime I seem to have allowed myself to get thoroughly sidetracked. I can name reasonable excuses, like I started to read a bit more history again (extensive overview of the Ottoman Empire, at the moment) and I started following some history blogs, which led to me finding lots of history blogs (I've started weeding through them but with blogs, you often have to follow for a bit to know whether or not a specific one is for you). However, neither of those things should really keep me from going on with sewing projects I'm already kind of committed to...
And then, about two months ago, we bought a new television (the old one was pre flatscreen era...). A 'smart tv'. So, we also decided to try out Netflix... Which is how I finally got to watch season five of Mad Men.
And now, I'm really enjoying watching all of Downton Abbey. I've seen most of season two and about half of season three when they were broadcast by Nederland 2 but I really enjoy seeing how it all fits together.
I'm at the end of season two now and it has taken this long for the look to really get to me. 
Last week, when I tried to make a decision about which Luttorloh pattern to try, my mind kept wandering to how nice the daytime blouses at Downton are...

Mostly the ones worn by the daughters of the house, especially Mary (I like her look best anyway. She may not always be the nicest person but the lady has got style. And I'm an oldest sister myself so I guess I'm prejudiced). 
Something like this is very pretty and I even think it could work in a sort-of-modern wardrobe. In mine at least. I've got enough high waisted trousers and skirts to tuck such a top in to.

All of that made me have another look at my picks from the 1920's Gracieuse magazines.

The very first design I picked back then, the dress here in the middle, actually looks a lot like many of the blouses I had been admiring. 
So, why not use the bodice of this loose dress as blouse? It could even count it towards my goal in the Vintage Pattern Pledge...

So that's what I'm working on now. I'm not being hugely original because I'm using the fabric leftover from my 1929 dress but there will be some trim, which is really unusual for me. 

The pattern is quite interesting:

For the blouse, I'm only tracing the over bodice (which is in three pieces on the tracing sheet), the center front bit and the collar. But I thought it was really interesting to see that the dress has a more fitted, and clearly intended as structural, lining and a belt which has to be made to specific measurements. The skirt is only given as scale drawing because that's just a rectangle. 
I really should make a dress like this at some point. But there are nicer ones and right now, I want a blouse.

Despite the fact that the bodice looks quite long in the drawing, I checked the back measurement (when in doubt, always measure!) and I'm glad I did. The center back was only 37 cm long. This would put it well above my waist (I have the now normal back length of 40 cm). I'm not sure what's going on there. It may have something to do with the fact that this pattern is intended for teenage girls (who, in modern patterns, are supposed to be at least as tall as women with the same bust measurement but I have noticed a different notion in more recent, 1950's, vintage patterns as well). Or maybe the drawing is just more fashion-forward than the pattern. In the early 1920's waistlines were getting gradually lower and this is a dress for official and solemn occasions so I think it's a reasonable working theory.
Anyway, I lengthened my bodice pieces by a whopping 17 cm so I would have something to tuck in. 
Hopefully, I'll manage to get some nice pictures of it this weekend. 


  1. Can't wait to see your blouse. I am a fan of Downton Abbey, although I love Edith's style best (perhaps because I'm the middle child? Never thought of that till now).

  2. Oh, really looking forward to seeing your blouse.