Portrait Blouse Afternoon

Portrait Blouse

Once again the sewing bug bit me.  There seems to be something about noon day lately that gives me a hankering to make something . .  to wear that night nonetheless.  The 1930s skirt made for a June MAGAM sewing challege still hadn’t been worn nor shown due to lack of outfit completion. As an idea-challenged sewist I simply could not envision that skirt with any other top than the one on the pattern sleeve. The only thing is I am certain this granny would look crazy in a Peter Pan collar. Portrait blouse to the rescue a la Gertie.  This book is so cool as all the projects inside have patterns  right inside the book.  Click the book to get your personal copy.  As an affiliate I do get a small compensation at no cost to you.This project took about five hours to complete.  A cool way to spend an afternoon, eh?  Finally, I get to wear my 1930s skirt and my new shoes.  The only thing missing was seamed pantyhose with a cuban heel.

Project Stats:

  • Fabric – from stash (not sure of fabric content but it smacks of a cotton bend).
  • Zipper – originally thrifted, from my stash, 18″ metal.  The pattern called for a 9″ zipper. So, I laid the zipper along the length of the side seam, folded it over at the underarm, and tacked it to the side seam. Comfort level was unaffected.
  • Bias binding – from stash.

Not sure if it was a vintage zipper or not.  Wait, let me check the wrapper for the price . . . 90 cents, J & P Coats.  There appears to be yellowing on the white zipper tape.  After the fact it occurred to me that perhaps I should have given it a good soaking.  Thankfully the lapped installation covers that.  Still, I hope it washes away.

This portrait blouse is very easy to make.  It could have been completed in less time had I omitted the stay tape at the neck edge and the hand picked the zipper.  But, as I pledged to take my sewing skills to the next level something hand sewn needed to be done for this project.  I opted to not bind the seams in favor of pinked edges.  I understand thatr is a vintage correct seam finish as I am good with that.  I am not usually overly concerned with 100% vintage correctness and shoot for vintage “style”.  It makes my life simpler with this whole wardrobe recreation that I am going through.


Let’s talk facings for this project.  The next portrait blouse that I make will not have them.  Bias binding seems a much better way to clean finish neck and armhole edges from what I can tell.  Why fuss with a facing?  I am sure there is some couture reason to use a full facing on certain garments, but I have not discovered the why in my quest for better sewing skills.  Do you know the answer?  Omitting the facing would have also saved some time.

This is a nice blouse, sans buttons, with sexy shaping (love those waist tucks), simply can not be beat.  We won’t even talk about the less than $5.00 price tag!  Now I am all ready for Congregation Bible Study.

Have a good day!


7 thoughts on “Portrait Blouse Afternoon

  1. Lara

    Hey there Lyric! I’ve enjoyed catching up on what you’ve been doing, it seems as if you’ve had a very busy and productive summer so far! I do enjoy the skirt and blouse combo, and I’ll choose my fabric carefully for the skirt, do a test on the ironing thing before I cut. I agree with you about the facings. I did bound edges on a full slip that I made, and I really like them. Clean and strong, and then there is the “show/not show” the binding, fun design decision. What is really neat is that it only takes a small piece of fabric to make a good amount of bias binding. For inside seams I really like the Hug Snug rayon seam binding, it takes more time, but I think it’s worth it, especially since using pinking shears really hurts my hands. I make a real mess with those things because I can’t control them well (old hand/arm injuries).

    I hope you find some Cuban heel stockings soon!



  2. Pingback: A Bit of Silk | Sew Lyrically Vintage

  3. Annie

    Lyric Joy, your reviews and smiles are a pleasure. I saw this review on PR, and another one recently, didn’t realize you are in a wardrobe makeover. Well, me, too, and I am going to keep following you, lady. (Though I have to admit that I couldn’t wear Cuban heels 50 years ago!)


I love it when you leave a reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s