Silk Portrait Blouse and Red Skirt Reveal

Silk Portrait BlouseIn the interest of time I am going to combine sharing this blouse and the skirt I mentioned in an earlier post.  These photos were taken with my Samsung 3 by the hubby and I am not a happy camper as to how they turned out.  The fabric used in this blouse is gorgeous and it does not show here and I apologize.  I think my 2016 blogging aspirations will include a better product camera for me.  But, back to the garments at hand.

Silk Portrait Blouse 2

This is the third Portrait blouse project that I have worked on. Try as I might I have not found information on the history of this blouse. I just assumed it is from the 1950s.  ETA:  I just found a blog post about the history of the portrait blouse.  It stands to reason that Gertie, the originator of the repro. had information about it.  Truly, it is from the 1950s, YAY!

Portrait Blouse Fabric Interlining
Fashion Fabric and Lining Fabric

Project Details:

  • Silk Fashion Fabric – eBay, Less than $5
  • Lining – cotton from stash
  • Thrifted zipper – free
  • Gutermann thread – from stash
  • Bias binding – from stash

All-and-all, I would say this pretty silk blouse cost less than $8.00.

Now, you gals know I promised the good, the bad, and the ugly so here goes.  This skirt is chock full of errors and mistakes that any self-respecting sewist would either rip and re-do or ditch it.

Vogue 7607 messed up hem

For starters check out that hem.  The bottom of this skirt should have been continuous.  This fabric is a jersey knit which was soft to the touch and probably should have been a dream to work with.  I believe my Tabitha needs adjusting as the stitch length never changes.  No matter how far to the left or right I turn the dial . . . NADA.

Vogue 7607 Rear

I thought we took a shot of how the front and back of this skirt do not line up correctly.  See the asymmetrical shape of piece number one and two (from top to bottom)?  The skirt goes from small to large and on the back it should have corresponded from large to small.  Here is a photo of the envelope and you’ll see what I mean; look at View C.

Vogue 7607
Piping added between sections!

Well, my skirt is all wonky and doesn’t line up properly.  Confession time (again).  This skirt was a disaster from beginning to end.  I attempted drafting the pattern up to fit me.  As you see, this is a multi-sized 12 – 16 (purchased this baby eons ago when I was a lil thang).  Now, I am a size 22 or more (46″ hips).  I added 5″ to the waist, upper hip area in accordance with all the measuring that I did.  Armed with Joi Mahon’s pattern fitting book, which I obviously did not follow close enough, (rushing to get the skirt done – a definite no-no); I attempted to make the pattern larger way no. 1 at first (adding at the edges of the pattern.  Didn’t like that so tried way no. 2 (splitting down the middle and spreading).  No wait, reorder the two ways, I did no. 2 first then no. 1.  I really should have taken a picture of the disfigured pattern pieces.  I am so not proportionate in my middle; lumps, bumps everywhere.  I resemble the Michelin Tire man – a buncha stacked tires.

Add insult to injury the fabric looks so very similar on both sides.  I laid out the pattern pieces incorrectly which contributed to the incorrect outcome and pieces not lining up due to some being on the right side and others being on the wrong side and me not noticing!  Ay yi yi.

As if all that weren’t enough all the additions I did to get the thing to fit around my waist and butt, it would up TOO BIG!!!!  By the end of the day the waist area was too big.  Thankfully my butt kept it from falling off.





13 thoughts on “Silk Portrait Blouse and Red Skirt Reveal

  1. Oh my! I must say without reading all your troubles I thought your outfit was very lovely. Love the silk blouse and the red skirt is very classic. Sorry you had a bad one. On the plus size….. I LOVE those shoes!

    Bonnie @


  2. Trish

    Well I think that the blouse and skirt look lovely. I know there may be faults, but it doesn’t show. Sizing up patterns is difficult, for me sometimes works and sometimes not, but you did a good job. So what if the seams don’t match, it’s asymmetrical. Everyone will think it’s part of the plan. Lovely silk blouse by the way. The fabric looks great. Enjoy being a ‘lady in red’.😀


  3. the photos look great, such a pity so many of things went wrong in the sew. I am often nervous grading patterns and i would be cautious on jersey as I always overcompensate and make too big as I dont want to rely on the stretch…..did you line the red skirt? maybe some darts at waist and make a tube lining underskirt? gorgeous blouse and it really is a lovely outfit


  4. Lara

    You made the outfit and wore the shoes!!

    I’m sorry you had so much trouble with the construction. I’ve had trouble telling right and wrong sides apart on solid fabric too. I was so worried about it, it took me hours to work up the nerve to cut my fabric. I couldn’t afford to ruin it. I finally realized that I’m the boss of my sewing! I put little pieces of blue painters tape on the wrong side of the fabric, especially under where I lay my pattern pieces, to make sure everything would match. I left all the tape in place until I finished sewing the project.

    Another thing I learned to do was to pin a label on my cut pieces, especially if they look similar to each other. Post-its work well too, but I don’t always have them on hand.

    I hope you can figure out a way to fix the skirt so that you are happy with it, because I can sure picture you sashaying around looking fabulous in that outfit!


    1. Lara!!!

      Thanks for the painters tape suggestions. Yes, honey, I wore the thing anyway, LOL. What’s really funny is how by the end of the day the waist area had stretched or something for it was larger than at the start of the day. Bwaahhhh haaa! Oh, and I DID use stay tape too.


  5. Lol, the joys and challenges of the sewing journey. Sounds like a scene from my sewing room on any given day. The blouse and skirt are beautiful. I can’t believe you made that SILK blouse for less than eight dollars! I didn’t notice any flaws in the skirt from the first photo. I made a maxi dress for a friend (gifted)–which she loved–and I apologized for the flaws. She said ‘what flaws, I don’t see any’. She wore the dress proudly and bragged to friends about it.


  6. Oh that’s a pretty skirt! And I can’t see the issues you had with it in the overall photos, only when you specifically show them. I like the way it hangs, unsymmetrically but still nice and swishy-looking. So I think that skirt’s definitely a ‘Win!’

    I know well that trouble with telling right side from wrong. I like the commenter who suggested painter’s tape. Good idea.

    The blouse is gorgeous too, I’m a bit stunned you got that fabric for so little. Go you!

    And I LOVE those shoes!


  7. Your blouse and skirt look beautiful and I didn’t notice the uneven hem until you showed it to us. It’s asymmetrical, it’s supposed to be like that isn’t it? 🙂 Your skirt is a delicious colour, also.


  8. Oh your outfit is lovely! I would not have thought you had any problems looking at your pictures. Problems are always so much more obvious and bothersome to the one who makes it, you know what I mean? I have one dress that has some tatters in the fabric and I always seem to get compliments on it, but I come back and point out the fabric flaws, and people are like, “I don’t see it, it really doesn’t show”. I think your skirt is great as it is – I wouldn’t change it one bit! It looks like something straight out of the 1920’s to me…very ‘tango’ appropriate, if you dance! Very nice blouse, too.


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