March - April 2016

1905 Blouse

I recently finished Truly Victorian's 1905 circle skirt in a nice plaid wool. So a new blouse was in order. Any excuse to buy fabric! I came home with this white cotton dobby. Though sheer, it's heavily embroidered. Sadly, it wasn't going to work with a pattern that has a lot of gathering through the body (Folkwear's Edwardian blouse, for example). So I used the Laughing Moon guimpe pattern instead. This is my third version of the guimpe. It's basically the same as the second, but with a corrected armscye. I definitely wanted puffy sleeves, so my Gibson blouse sleeves were revised and added. I ended up with a relatively simple blouse. But the shape seems right, per the ladies in this photo (the two on the left).

The fabric proved too bulky for french or flat-felled seams. So I tried something totally different. Each side of the seam allowance was finished separately into two 3/16" hand felled seams. The seam is flat and flexible, though at 3/8" it's wider then you'd expect to see on a sheer blouse. The sleeves are gathered into 1/2" bindings, using a wide stripe of the embroidery. The armscye bindings and collar lining are batiste. The blouse hem is overcast, a tip I picked up in Shaeffer's Couture book. And I always splurge for the fancy buttons, despite the cost. In this case, they're 3/8" plain shell.