Prepping for my next blouse project

I haven’t done any sewing since last week, so since I’m still procrastinating putting a button on my castles skirt, naturally I thought I’d start another project. (Makes perfect sense, right?)

I’ve really been in the mood to sew another blouse. I just couldn’t make up my mind when rifling through my blouse patterns, so I decided I’d make an attempt at turning the bodice portions of this vintage dress pattern into a blouse. It’s a mail order pattern, Anne Adams 4855.

I figured the concept was simple enough that I could handle it. I lengthened the bodice and facing pieces, and changed the side seams slightly. I’ll have to figure out how to move the dart tucks when I get there, because they had to be angled differently and I’m not quite sure where they should end. It was also a bit hard to tell exactly how the front pieces overlap, so I may end up finding out that it’s a little big, but that’s one of the reasons why I’m doing a muslin. Well, that and so I don’t find out I completely botched up my bodice-into-blouse plans.

I’m not convinced I’ll like the deep armholes, but I thought the whole bodice was really unique with the sleeves, collar and lower neckline, so I’m excited to try it out. I’m going to use some white cotton from my stash that has a small raised diamond pattern on it, because I desperately need a white blouse in my wardrobe. But I also think it would look great in a bold print with a contrast collar (and possibly sleeves), too. What do you think? I have to decide if I should interface the collar. I think I should, since the cotton is fairly drapey. I have some white cotton batiste that might work, and some sew-in non-woven interfacing but I’m a little nervous as the interfacing hasn’t been washed. I don’t really want to have to wait until the next time we do laundry to start the project.

I love mail order patterns when they come with the original envelope! Postmarked in New York, delivered in Barbourville, Kentucky. Unfortunately I can’t find an actual date on the stamps. On a lark I looked up Verna B. Mays. I’m not sure if she’s still alive, but if so, she would have celebrated her 93rd birthday on January 6th. Here’s to sharing a piece of history with her!

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Golly, 10 Comments!

  • I love the sense of history and connectedness that comes from seeing the envelope, knowing the woman’s name. Her handwriting looks a lot like Grandma Nella Mae’s, don’t you think?


  • @vicki I thought the exact same thing! 🙂


  • Oh, I love mail order patterns! (clearly) The history trail of the envelope is so much fun. Sometimes I’ve even looked up the old address on google maps to see where this dress may have once been sewn. Is that stalkerish? Is it really stalking if the person might be dead or not there anymore? Am I just stalking a pattern?

    My questionable behavior aside, I love this dress and can’t wait to see how it works out s a blouse. I’m curious how the armholes will work too. Maybe they will be much less revealing that the drawing would convey?


  • @Moe Oh phew, I don’t feel so bad. If you’re stalkerish then I’m right there with you. I even considered looking her up on 😉

    I’m hoping that’s the case with the sleeves and that it doesn’t end up looking like large armhole tank tops of the 80s. I considered shortening the armhole but figured I’d give it a shot on the muslin first.


  • How fun! I love seeing the address on old magazines, especially when they’re in the same town or somewhere I’ve visited. I also love other people’s notes in magazines and cookbooks or finding old receipts or bookmarks. Just the “History Detective” in me, I guess!

    Can’t wait to see the finished product!


  • Oh I love these patterns, in fact my favourite patterns are often the Anne Adams ones, yep some have actually made it over here to the UK. I have bought some on US ebay but I have bought some in the UK too, even more exotic to me!!

    I can’t wait to see this as a blouse, I often do things like that, I like the top of one dress and the bottom of the other and improvise! I don’t think I’m as organised as you though, I rarely plan or think about how it’s going to work, I just hope for the best!!


  • The finishing work is always the most tedious part of the sewing project, for me anyway! I had to FORCE myself last night not to work on my Briar Rose and finish hand sewing a hem instead.

    It’s so fascinating thinking about the journey of these patterns not only through time from seamstress to seamstress, but also geographically. I have one with a New York postmark that was originally mailed to Missouri. Then it somehow ended up in California to be bought on ebay by me and sent back to the Midwest. Wow! The stories these patterns could tell!


  • I think it would look great in a linen with a contrast stitching, like a man’s styled shirt!


  • My latest post is on the exact same subject! I have two new vintage patterns, a dress and a playsuit, I’m trying to decide which bodice to use for my blouse project.

    I love those set-in sleeves, I think I would shorten the armhole too as they could gape – I look forward to seeing your progress!

    Love the skirt pockets too.


  • @Straight Talking Mama! Well if you ever encounter this same Anne Adams pattern, I don’t recommend it (see new post, LOL). It’s too bad though because it looks so cute!

    @Moxie Tonic How funny for a pattern to come full circle! I so wish vintage items could talk. 🙂

    @Kally I just posted about my epic fail with this so far. LOL Maybe sometimes I’ll try just the skirt, or on a different bodice, because those pockets are pretty fabulous!


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