Saturday, March 15, 2014

HSF '14: Challenge #5-Bodice

I'm sure rumors have been spreading, but I did, in fact, finish HSF Challenge #4, though it was late and completely different than the original plan :P Yeah, it was kind of a disaster. I had planned on making, at the very least, a chemise and a pair of Georgian stays but I made my stays all wrong and didn't even get to the chemise at all. Soooo, I just ended up replacing the straps on a vintage 1930s cotton slip I had in the ole' mending mountain, a day late and didn't end up posting about it at all. Thus, my plans to create a 1760s bodice and begin building my Georgian wardrobe completely fell apart...

I went onto the fabulous HSF Facebook page and asked my fellow HSF-ers if they knew of a good place to get 1930s patterns. I got overwhelming responses and found some incredible pattern suppliers that I had never heard of! But I ended up buying from Etsy (which I didn't expect, at all). Enter "Mrs. Depew" and her fabulous Etsy shop. Her beautiful French 1930s draft-at-home blouse pattern was exactly what I was looking for! And it was nicely priced, too.

Mrs. Depew's patterns seem extremely confusing at first. The French method of drafting in the 1930s that the pattern uses seemed, at first glance, to be cruel and unusual, but once I got the hang of it, everything made sense. It's quite ingenious, actually.

I constructed a toile first and foremost. That would be the biggest tip I would give to anyone using Mrs. Depew's patterns. Human error accounts for most of the mistakes I made (it was only my first experience with the system) and I'm so glad that I made a mock-up first. That was made of red calico with tiny white polka-dots. I trimmed it with red gingham ribbon. I did finish it completely but it's not my favorite. Marley took some pictures for me but I modeled it with a khaki skirt that is now too big for me (which is both exciting and annoying because now I have to alter it). Also, the shoulders ended up being way too wide and since the back was shorter than the front, I decided to chop the front even and add a waistband. The waistband was too long and small so it really doesn't fit very well right now and it's certainly not flattering so I'll only include one small picture below for the curious ones.

I didn't include the crossing straps
This blouse is one of the first items I've made that I am absolutely in love with! The fit is perfect and I feel so elegant and ladylike in it. I made it out of a $2 vintage, pleated skirt I thrifted. I couldn't even believe that I got almost 2 yards out of it! But I barely had a single scrap left. Use the whole buffalo, says I! 

I did make a few modifications to the pattern. After I had the sleeves basted on, I decided that I wanted the shoulder to be narrower to accomodate my narrowish shoulders. The predominating look of the 1930s was wide shoulders (usually padded), a narrow waist and an overall elongated, graceful figure. I didn't want to lose that essence with the shoulders but I didn't want to look goofy and clownish either. So, I let the drop-shoulder remain but dialed it back a few notches :)

The only other problem I ran into was that again, the back ended up being shorter than the front. I agonized over this problem longer than I should have, but eventually decided to create this little peplum to make up for the 3" difference. And I love the result! Way better than just a plain old straight seam!!! And, instead of drafting a sleeve band, I did a single box pleat and just turned the hem under, so it's still puffy.

In the end, I was so excited, I almost squealed! I love the fitted almost-princess seams that I have dubbed "diamond-seams", because the shape they create is a diamond, in essence. And the crossed bands in the front add such a nice touch of elegance to an otherwise simple and plain design.

I also made the gray skirt, but that was a month or two ago and not challenge-specific.

 The Challenge: #5-Bodice

Fabric: 2 Yards (give or take) Knit Rayon?
Pattern: Mrs. Depew 1049
Year: 1933
Notions: Thread
How historically accurate is it?: 100%!
Hours to complete: 3 or 4ish
First worn: Today's Photoshoot
Total cost: $2 for the skirt and $7.50 for the pattern=$9.50
Crossies!!! ;)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Have a lovely evening!!!


Paige said...

Beautiful top, McKenna! I really like the color and the straps across the front. Great job!

Patrizia said...

Looking beautiful & best of all ~ CLASSY! Love it!


Boyer Family Singers said...

You did a lovely job with the blouse! And what a creative use of material too, to make it out of an old pleated skirt! The color is lovely. Now you've made me more curious about Mrs. Depew's patterns. I may have to try one sometime.


the Middle Sister and Singer

Boyer Family Singers said...

Oh this blouse is darling! Do you know? I have a knit pleated skirt from the sixties that looks just like the skirt you used to make this blouse! The same robins egg blue, the same texture, everything!! I think this is one of the most beautiful clothing items I have seen you make. Great job!


The eldest sister & singer

McKenna said...

Thank you so, so much, ladies for your kind comments!!! This blouse has actually broken the record for most views on a single post on my blog. EVER! It makes me so happy that everyone likes it as much as I do :D

Lady Éowyn said...

Lovely work, Mckenna! Both look very time period correct and the first especially, looks so fun. :) It is very neat how on the photos for the second version,the color of the scenery behind you, complements the ensemble so well.

Aspirer said...

So pretty!! Both you and your project. :) Have a lovely Easter!

♥ aspirer