You may have heard last week that Jennifer Lauren Vintage released her first sewing pattern! It’s a darling basic blouse with a vintage appeal, and is quick to sew together, hence the name ‘afternoon’ blouse.
Now, why do I know this? Because I was one of her lucky pattern testers!
The blouse really is a nice and easy make, and that was one of Jen’s goals. It was based on an original 1950s blouse pattern but she updated several aspects. It’s only available as a PDF but even my PDF-hesitant self had no problem putting it together.
There are no darts and only a little shaping at the waist as it’s meant to have a blousy fit. Along with kimono sleeves (which you surely know by now are my favorite of all time), this blouse is a fantastic little vintage staple, so you can see right off why I’d like it!
The blouse pulls over your head which might be deceptive from the button and decorative shaped part of the neckline, but it’s actually seamed up the center front to that point. I had only one of these pretty white vintage buttons in my stash, and it was perfect!
I made a muslin first since I wasn’t sure about sizing, even for something so basic in shape. I have a 34″ bust and was in-between the 8 and 10, so I went with the 10 for the muslin. Overall it was a bit too big, so for my final blouse I went down to an 8 everywhere except the bust, which I left at a 10.
The fit looks right, but when I move around, it somehow feels extra baggy above the bust. So I need to iron this out next time. But it’s definitely completely wearable. In the meantime, I tacked shut the v-neck where the two bodice sides meet just for additional modesty.
I used a lightweight Japanese cotton from Lecien’s Flower Sugar collection and it was wonderful for this blouse! Now, red is my favorite color but I don’t have much red clothing because I’m so picky about the shade. But this really is My Red. And with the adorable floral print? Swoon!
I’m usually one to tuck in my blouses, but it’s also really cute untucked! I’m short and have a short torso to boot, so I cut 2 1/4″ off the length of the bodice. That ended up ideal for optimal tuck-in-or-leave-untucked ratio for me.
Oh by the way, I’m wearing this with a corduroy skirt I sewed before I met up with Rochelle in D.C., so it never made it to the blog.
Well it was also somewhat of a tragedy of a sewing project, but it’s done and I still wear it and I try not to remember how crappy it was to make. Entirely unlike the Afternoon Blouse, I assure you!
This blouse really does live up to its name the “Afternoon Blouse” as it can indeed be whipped up pretty quick, even if you’re not that fast at sewing. And I do sew a lot, but I’m not actually that speedy at it, trust me.
I think the only slightly troublesome area is the very center front where you join the facings to the body. For some reason this was easier on my muslin than my final version. The good news is that if one side looks dodgier than the other, you can just lap the front the other way! (Er, no need to ask me why I know this…)
Overall I was quite happy with the pattern. It was easy to put together and trace off the paper pattern (only 4 pattern pieces to cut out!), and the sewing was pretty straight-forward. There’s even two neckline variations–the curved one that I went with, or pointed. And I think if I tweak the sizing for a future version, I’ll have a great basic blouse pattern to rely on!
If you think the Afternoon Blouse looks like your cup of tea, then pop on over to purchase the PDF. It’s a lovely vintage style and once I ever get off my obsessive dressmaking kick, I’m sure to sew up another!