Finished project: sleeveless blouse for VLV

First and foremost, I want to thank you all so very much for your congratulations and kind comments on my last post. It’s been overwhelmingly wonderful reading all your supportive comments. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

♥ ♥ ♥

I recently bought a pair of 50s capris from Bombshell Shocked. They’re plaid, they’re tight, they’re fantastic. They’re not my usual style, but they fit great and screamed “I need to be part of a casual outfit for Viva Las Vegas!” (Okay, maybe they didn’t really scream at me. But they almost did.)

The main problem was that I wasn’t really sure if I had a blouse that I could wear with them. I love my prints, and that constitutes the majority of my tops. I went through everything I owned and came up empty handed. I scoured eBay and Etsy and came up empty handed there, too. Drat.

Even though I steadfastly had refused to add any other crafty projects to my list before VLV, I had already planned one new thing and surely I wasn’t going to take on a blouse now, too. But those capris… they were so cute! They needed a top!

I took a peek just in case. And it turned out I had the perfect pattern and the perfect matching red fabric (no small feat when you’re matching a modern cotton/poly solid to a vintage cotton print). So this is how I spent the last few evenings.

It’s a sleeveless blouse from Butterick 8946. I’m guessing by the hair and a consultation with my mom that the pattern is from the late 50s or early 60s. Don’t you love that the previous owner, Mrs. Risberg, wrote her name on the pattern? Why do you think she did that?

I made view C, the sleeveless version with faux pocket flaps. I made a muslin Sunday afternoon and went full steam ahead, not making a single change to the pattern. Amazingly, with the exception of some armhole facings that refused to cooperate on the inside, it went together like a dream.

(Sorry the photos are a bit inconsistent, this red is so hard to capture in a photograph and I just don’t have the time to take nicer photos outside right now!)

The fabric was a cotton/poly blend that I picked up from, which I was a bit disappointed with when it arrived. It definitely feels and looks a bit more like the ‘poly’ part than the ‘cotton’ part. It also didn’t press very well and tended to show marks at the seams. I found myself needing to use something to put between the seam and the rest of the fabric when I pressed, which turned out to be two food delivery menus that were the nearest pieces of paper to my ironing board.

In spite of the pressing problems, I was able to get nice clean lines around the neckline and armholes. Fortunately for me Casey recently posted about understitching, which reminded me about this technique just when I needed to use it!

 (Don’t mind the crappy-looking ponytail. I discovered with my new haircut that I do not have the option of using Hot Sticks on lazy days. Lesson learned.)

The buttons are interesting vintage buttons I had a bunch of, and I think they look perfect on this blouse. Like little sunbursts! Even better, I still have several left for future use.
I love how this blouse came out! I blind stitch hemmed it by hand, understitched the neck and armhole facings and did the buttonholes on my machine. 
 (That’s me knitting my black blouse for VLV. Wearing the project that temporarily put it on hold. Ha!)
It also fits well on my new dressform! Her name is Notasha. Not-Tasha… get it? It was a birthday present from my mom and step-dad, and she arrived last night. Currently she’s living next to our hutch.
Yes, I guess that’s a little weird having a dress form next to our hutch. On the other side is Mel’s art studio area. We have a small condo so we do what we can to double up on space. 🙂
Overall I’m really pleased with this blouse. The only change I made was to use 5 buttons instead of 4. And the only change I’d make in the future would be to lower the bust darts, which seemed fine on the muslin but on the final blouse are a bit high. But really, that’s my only complaint.
I am a huge fan of sleeveless shirts in the summer when it’s super muggy here and I don’t want a lot of extra fabric sticking to me, so I could easily see myself making several variations of this top. A fun novelty print, or a solid with printed pocket flaps, maybe contrasting bias tape around the armholes instead of the facings… lots of possibilities. What do you think?
Expect to see some photos of this with my plaid capris at VLV!
This weekend we’re off to Wisconsin with our friends for a getaway. We’ll be enjoying the kitschy wonderland that is House on the Rock, drinking New Glarus brews and hopefully we’ll fit a cake in there somewhere since my birthday is Sunday. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and once again thank you for all the congrats on our engagement!! ♥

Filed: Sewing, Vintage Wardrobe

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Golly, 22 Comments!

  • Cute blouse and I love your new old glasses too!



  • Turned out great!


  • That turned out fantastically! I love when something so simple can look so fashionable and smart. I can’t WAIT to see if with the plaid pants. I can’t wait to see your whole VLV wardrobe, come to think of it. I will be living vicariously through you this year.


  • Very Cute! I want to make my Grandma’s glasses into mine by using her old frames, is that what you wear? or are they new?


  • I really like the shape of this. I agree with you. It seems a perfect, versatile shell that you could add to and play around with for lots of different variations. Cute with a Peter Pan collar, but then I think everything looks cute with a Peter Pan collar! I might have to hunt this pattern down!! (BTW, I keep looking at those pockets and thinking the fabric would be a bit more submissive with some top stitching? I hate it when fabric doesn’t press.Brings out my inner grizzly!)
    Great job and those buttons are yummy too 🙂


  • looks fantastic! I love the buttons.


  • Congratulations! (Always late to the party!)
    And great top too – definitely looks like the kind of thing you would make “in every colour”!


  • Lovely..all of it. I am amazed at all you get done.


  • Thanks everyone!!

    @Moe I am definitely going to try and remember to document each outfit with at least one hotel room photo!

    @Zootsuitmama Yep, they are vintage eyeglass frames, I love them. If they are in good condition (examine them for visible cracks, yellowing of the plastic that might show they’ve aged poorly, etc) you can take them to any eyeglass place. I take mine to a guy who specializes in vintage glasses but I’ve taken them to LensCrafters in the past!

    @Miss P I did think of topstitching but the fabric was so weird an unforgiving I knew it would turn out sloppy, like the seams on my facings on the inside (shh don’t tell). ;P

    @Sassy Lassies Vintage Life I really don’t feel like I get that much done, I wish I could be a lot more productive actually! LOL


  • It looks great, well done! Love the colour on you.

    I think names on patterns are because they’ve been ordered by mail or back-ordered in shops, a lot of my vintage patterns have names pencilled onto the envelope.


  • I love it! You did such a great job sewing it up. The sunburst buttons are really cute; glad you have enough for another project too (I love it when that happens).

    I was going to mention that I wanted to see it with the capris, but then I read that you’re holding off till your VLV trip. yarr

    But I hope you have a nice weekend-getaway. Aaand HAPPY (early) BIRTHDAY! 🙂


  • Lovely, red suits you.

    I thought the picture of you with the knitting in your lap was you with a black cat in your lap! It’s only when I read the caption I thought of course, cats have eyes and ears and not knitting needles. Oh dear. It’s been a long day and I’m tired, I think I should probably got home now lol.


  • Looks lovely, what a great job.
    Have a fab weekend away.xx


  • Cute blouse!! Many of my vintage patterns have their names on them too. My theory is that ladies shared them back in the day, in an effort to be frugal, so they wrote their names on them to keep track of what belonged to who.


  • Wowsers, super cute!! There’s such an infinite number of possibilities for trimming out the edges… decisions, decisions… Thanks for sharing the details on the process, too! Happy early birthday!


  • First time visiting your blog, it’s so lovely. That blouse is so cute, I love the shade of red that you chose. It’s so cool that the previous owner wrote her name on it, maybe she had sewing parties and didn’t want her friends taking off with her patterns 😉 Oh, and I love how your place is decorated!


  • Hi, im a new reader! Great top, and I really love your craft sleeve – it looks awesome and very apt :))


  • Hope you’re having a great time in Wisconsin! I always did great antique shopping there! I tagged you for an award on my blog!


  • Super cute! Love those buttons…about to start a dress for Viva. Here’s hoping I finish it!


  • I love how it turned out (and not just because it’s red and I have a weakness for red! ;)–it’s very flattering and stylish. Plus the buttons are amazing! 🙂 I have been thinking about simple summer tops like this style lately; especially now that it is getting hot here in FL; might have to find a similar pattern for myself!

    I have a lot of patterns with names written on them too. I wonder if this is perhaps because women loaned each other patterns? Who knows? I especially like the ones that not only have names, but alterations and notes on design scrawled across the envelope–such a neat little peek into the history of the pattern. 😉

    ♥ Casey


  • I love your blog! I lurk and read and am inspired by your sewing, house and day to day thoughts! I just wanted to let ya know!


  • Dang Lady, way to go! This looks absolutely perfect and original with the finish and those buttons! You rock!


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