modern thirties

02.07.11 | modern thirties blouse

I’m sure you all are familiar with Tasia’s new pattern line Sewaholic after she did a guest post over the holidays here. I have been a fan of her blog for awhile now and when she released her first pattern I eagerly scooped up a copy of her Pendrell blouse for myself. It looked like a great basic style and was drafted for pear-shaped gals in mind (being a bit on the pear-shaped side, this is great!). Problem was that I didn’t have time over Christmas and most of January to really focus on sewing it up, as much as I wanted to.

Over the previous weekend I had been flipping through one of my favorite fashion books Everyday Clothes of the 1930s (I love the whole series–so pocket-book friendly!), and saw a little detail on a blouse that caught my eye. I had already been toying with the idea of whipping up a quick blouse for the early spring, and between the languishing Pendrell pattern and the collar detail that caught my eye I knew I needed to harness the burst of inspiration to get it done! I spent a couple of evenings cutting out the pattern (I chose the sleeveless view), tracing the center front piece, modifying the neckline and drafting the collar pieces. I unfortunately didn’t document how I did this (rather I was so excited to get started I didn’t want to stop for notes and pictures), but in a nutshell: I modified the neckline into a gentle v-shape, drafted a basic Peter Pan collar and divided it into the inner (cream) and outer(scalloped) section.

02.07.11 | modern thirties blouse

I also realized I had a perfect “happy accident” situation with the fabric: I had a short length of a fine cotton lawn I picked up last year on my shelves. The orange and pink floral seemed to scream “early 30s!” to me and reminds me a lot of those beautiful, gauzy prints that were so popular then. There was also a scrap of a soft cream-colored cotton lawn from some long-ago project, which just happened to be enough to cut out the double layers of the inner collar. Coincidence or the Sewing Fates? lol.

As for actual construction, I followed Tasia’s directions almost faithfully for the sleeveless view, just modifying it to attach the collar before binding the neckline and using French seams to finish each seam. The collar itself took a bit of time to construct correctly, since scallops can be one of those things that if rushed will turn out uneven and pointy–rather than gently curving. I followed Susha Khalje’s tutorial on Threads for construction steps and made sure that I made my iron my best friend.

It seems to be a bit repetitive to say this–since I do about almost every sewing project–but I really adore how this turned out. It’s light and airy (great for the Florida heat that will arrive in a couple short months!), but still delicate and romantic with the collar. Plus I love the fact that the Pendrell pattern was so easy to modify based on my design vision. The proportions were fantastic too (although I should note here that I did shorten the blouse by about 5″ because I felt that the original length was going to be a bit too long for my liking. Since I primarily wear skirts and slacks that sit at my waist, I don’t need really long tops to easily tuck things in!). Otherwise I think this was the first blouse I have ever made that I have been really satisfied with the fit through the bust and hips–it was amazing the first time I tried it on! Great pattern, Tasia!

02.07.11 | modern thirties blouse

February 7, 2011 · 123 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing · tags: , ,

Sarah Louise February 7, 2011 at 06:21

It’s gorgeous, Casey! I love everything about it – the scallops, the beautiful print, the cute little bow at the front :) I’ve wanted to buy the Pendrell blouse for ages, and I really think I must now!

Portia February 7, 2011 at 06:50

This is soooooooo gorgeous!!!

Isis February 7, 2011 at 06:53

It’s lovely! I love the collar and I admire your patience- i doubt I would be able to do such finicky thing.

Lyra February 7, 2011 at 07:08

The scallops are just *LOOOOVE* What a clever detail! And the finishing is so clean. Wonderful job, and it looks perfect on you.

Paperdoll February 7, 2011 at 07:10

Oooohhhh!!! What a gorgeous summery fabric. Just perfect for this blouse, loving it!!!! X

Alli February 7, 2011 at 07:11

Oh Casey- it’s adorable! You must be so thrilled with how it turned out. You did a fantastic job. I bet you’ll get a lot of wear out of it in the summer ( and a lot of admiring stares from passers by too ;) !)

fiona February 7, 2011 at 07:17

the blouse is beautiful and i love the collar’s scallop detail. amazing fabric choice too.
love love love

Kristin February 7, 2011 at 07:20

The whole outfit is gorgeous, but especially the blouse. =) Very sweet and feminine without being too cutesy! I love it.


Charly February 7, 2011 at 07:27

Oh how lovely! That, and the fact that the sun is out in your pics!

Sam February 7, 2011 at 07:30

Casey, you’re always so inspiring! I wouldn’t have had the confidence to modify a pattern but this might have just been what I needed to spur me to do it.

Love your blouse! Sam x x x

Gina February 7, 2011 at 07:34

You did great Casey, The v is the perfect length, great for jewelry but not so low. I am fascinated by the double collar. It’s very creative and perfect, I love the saddle shoes too, great way to sport the outfit. I love that you think outside the pattern, I want to move that direction too. This would be a great blouse to have in many colors.

Elise February 7, 2011 at 07:40

Aah perfect outfit, just love this blouse! The book is now in my wishlist hehe :)

Jill February 7, 2011 at 07:43

SOO cute, Casey! Great fabric and colour choices!

arnique February 7, 2011 at 07:53

This is really the most beautiful top I’ve seen in the last two months. Perfect for spring and for vintage lovers. The collar work is genius. I wish I could have one too!

MsCleaver February 7, 2011 at 08:04

It’s fantastic. I love scallops on pretty much anything!

Mia February 7, 2011 at 08:27

Your blouse is fabulous! I also really like the hairstyle!
Who does your photography? Your pictures and styling are always impeccable. I would love to see some Elegant Musings ‘behind-the-scenes’ action.

Casey February 7, 2011 at 19:14

Thank you, Mia! Photography is either done with me and a tripod (and a little remote to take the photos!) or my husband, who assisted in these photos. He’s quite talented at taking my outfit pictures, I think (but then again I’m a bit biased… lol)! ;)

♥ Casey

Fay V February 7, 2011 at 08:34

Casey it’s stunning – I love the fabric and the collar was worth all the work. I just finished mine too – I wore it to my son’s 2nd birthday party and felt great. I loved the fit of the blouse and the fact that I could pin up the side seams to my exact measurements. Your work is, as always, inspiring!

Seersucker Sally February 7, 2011 at 08:39

I love it… a sailor collar meets Peter Pan. Adorable.

Aislinn February 7, 2011 at 08:48

I love the detailing in this top. :)

Stephanie February 7, 2011 at 09:01

Love it! And thanks for sharing about the Everyday Fashions series. I’ve seen them about online, but I might just have to pick them up if they have lovely inspiration like this!

Casey February 7, 2011 at 19:15

They are definitely worth it, imho! I have all except the 60s one; I always love looking through for inspiration and a good overview of a decade’s fashions.

♥ Casey

Sally Jane Vintage February 7, 2011 at 09:06

It is seriously adorable! You’re right about that fabric. It looks straight out of the 30s. You are my sewing inspiration. I’m such a novice, but I’m excited to tackle my next project.

Casey February 7, 2011 at 19:16

Aw… thank you ever so much! ;) You really blew me away with the dress you posted recently–it looked fantastic and I can’t wait to see more projects you whip up!

♥ Casey

Lisette February 7, 2011 at 09:07

It is so feminine and pretty, and a great alteration to the Pendrell.

Karin van D. February 7, 2011 at 09:17

It’s so pretty, very nice. And you look stunning, as always.

Jane February 7, 2011 at 09:20

Ooooh, I absolutely love it, especially the collar detail. Fantastic job. x

Laura February 7, 2011 at 09:23

So sweet! You did an amazing job. I live here in Florida too, and it’s already getting too humid for me! Cheers!

Casey February 7, 2011 at 19:17

Oh I know–it’s hard to believe how quickly it got warm and humid in the past couple weeks! lol.

♥ Casey

maranda February 7, 2011 at 09:37

so pretty! uh-oh…i’m feeling the urge to go to the fabric store…..!!!!

Kitten February 7, 2011 at 09:38

I sure did turn out nice, the collar is just lovely! As always, seeing these pictures get me inspired to sew something myself, too bad we still have half a meter of snow outside, making cute tops like yours a bit redundant over here at the moment. But, only a few months til spring! :)

Amanda February 7, 2011 at 10:00

This outfit is so cute! I love what you did with the blouse – the color combo is perfect for Florida. I shortened my Pendrell too and found it still works nicely when wearing skirts/pants at the waist. It’s my new favorite way to wear bottoms since I always feel they’re falling down if I wear them lower and without a belt! Oh, and I’m working on high-waisted pants similar in tone to yours and I’m very happy with them so far. They’re so feminine and flowy,

Nathalie February 7, 2011 at 10:04

This is so lovely and sweet! I love it, it’s great!!! I wish I could sew like this… :0)

Mrs. McAwesome February 7, 2011 at 10:06

I love love love this. Is there any chance you could do a tutorial on this one? I can never buy blouses to fit over my bust and would kill to have one like this.

Casey February 7, 2011 at 19:18

I can’t promise anything at the moment (my project load is kind of making me want to faint right now–lol!), but I’d certainly love to do a little tutorial on how to do the collar in the future… Keep an eye out for that (maybe) later this spring! :)

♥ Casey

Bettsi February 7, 2011 at 10:19

Really lovely, Casey! Love everything about it!

lauren February 7, 2011 at 10:27

i love how this turned out – the marriage of the fabric + collar + scallops is absolutely perfect :)

Debi February 7, 2011 at 10:35

I LOVE this! It turned out so great! It’s so beautiful and goes great with the trousers!!!

Evie February 7, 2011 at 10:44

Lovely outfit Casey! The palette is very elegant and the whole outfit looks just effortless. The colors are really beautiful with your complexion, too! It’s really making me wish for spring even more.

Quincy February 7, 2011 at 10:44

That blouse is perfect!!! Actually I adore this entire look! Those pants are killer :D

Sally February 7, 2011 at 10:50

Goodness, but that collar is lovely!

Erica February 7, 2011 at 10:50

So lovely, especially the contrasting colours on the collar! I second the request for a tutorial.

Casey February 7, 2011 at 19:19

Hopefully I can whip something up in the future on how to draft the collar… it’s super easy! :)

♥ Casey

Lauren February 7, 2011 at 11:21

Oh my gosh, I LOVE this!! Perfection!!

Renee February 7, 2011 at 11:22

I love it. The colors are great, the scallops are adorable, and it looks like a great fit.

And I envy your weather, you are outside in a sleeveless top:)

Carys February 7, 2011 at 11:22

I love your blouse, it’s amazing!! Beautiful print too!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Katie February 7, 2011 at 11:49

It’s gorgeous! That collar is to die for!

Also – I believe part of the reason those little floral patterns were so popular in the 30′s is because flour and grain sacks used to be made out of those fabrics, and then they would be reused for tops and dresses. How awesome is that? I wish our food came in pretty fabric!

Casey February 7, 2011 at 19:20

Those old feedsack prints are some of my favorites! I always keep an eye out for them at antique shops–and the array of reproduction cottons available now with 30s feedsack prints always makes me a bit weak in the knees! ;)

♥ Casey

Penny Dreadful Vintage February 7, 2011 at 11:53

This really is beautiful, no wonder you love it. The collar is stunning.

Candice February 7, 2011 at 12:00

Oh Casey, It is just lovely! Make me one too? :) I love your fabric choice, and the lovely scalloped design on the collar is so feminine!

Jenny @ Kerrfect! February 7, 2011 at 12:08

Just Beautiful! as always! :)

MrsExeter February 7, 2011 at 12:09

That’s terribly pretty – what a briliant idea!

Corinne February 7, 2011 at 12:18

Absolutely adorable! This neckline and collar variation really extends the versatility of the Pendrell. It has a nice vintage feel with a modern and practical sensibility. As usual, your design and fabrication sense are outstanding. Thanks for sharing. PS-love the saddle oxfords too:)

Leslie February 7, 2011 at 12:24

What a beautiful job you did, Casey! I love the scalloped collar, the delicate color and print, the fit . . . And I love the blouse and pale wide-leg pants together–such a pretty combination!

Leah February 7, 2011 at 12:39

So beautiful! The collar is really a work of art, I’m so inspired by you!

fangaroni February 7, 2011 at 12:47

Awesome job! The blouse is very darling, and your hair looks good too!

Catherine February 7, 2011 at 12:52

Oooh this is absolutely gorgeous! Adorable!

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