This simple little blouse has everything going for it! It is a small wonder project, literally, in colors that make me smile from the inside. It is a little remnant of happiness and I need every ounce of that I can get at the moment. The radio silence here has been because I have seriously been knocked down by sickness for two very long weeks. Now that I’m slowly crawling back into humanity, it’s good to post something that is yet another amazingly simple design which calls for very little to make something so fun and creative.
All of us who sew probably possess or have found leftovers in an amazing fabric that are substantial enough to save yet small enough to stump creative expression. Or perhaps you have seen or own a vintage or modern scarf that you love but have no use for. Not only is this post’s simple top the perfect answer to such dilemmas, but it also only took 2 hours to come together…aaand there is more than one way to wear it. Plus, my version is in my favorite colors of pink, purple, and turquoise. I’m in heaven!
My trousers are an older make, see their blog post here. They were made of a colored denim and an early 40’s vintage original pattern. My earrings are old originals from my Grandma.
FABRIC: a 100% rayon challis, in a Kathy Davis Designer brand print
PATTERN: Vogue #5524, circa year 1945 (check out the original garment label that was hiding in the factory folds!!)
NOTIONS: …nothin’ but thread…and a quarter in monetary change!
TIME TO COMPLETE: under 3 hours, closer to two. It was made in one afternoon on July 16, 2019..
THE INSIDES: cleanly French seamed
TOTAL COST: about $7
This pattern is so much smarter than is looks at first glance. A one yard project is always great, but this top design calls for a square 36” scarf as an optional material source. How awesome is that?! There are so many absolutely lovely vintage scarves that would be stunning made up into this blouse. As the envelope cover illustration shows, a scarf with an all-sides border would give such a unique look. But wait – that’s not all (cue the selling point)! There is no designated front or back either, and this is reversible! The draped neck can be worn in the front (which I prefer) yet will also work worn in the back. There is no zipper or buttons, no facings, and very few seams for an easy, simple, fun project! I am thoroughly tempted to whip up a dozen of these in all different fabrics and colors, trying out drafting a long sleeve adaption, too! There is so much potential here. It is the epitome of smart 1940s wartime rationing that did not cut corners with style at the same time…truly a smart design.
The way this top works being reversible, with no closures needed, relies on the cut of the bias grain. Each bodice piece is tucked into a corner of the one yard (or scarf) which is laid out flat, single layer, not folded. This is why this pattern would work so well with a square scarf. There is one small and odd-shaped sleeve piece that needs to be cut twice, and I also squeezed out a belt as well, but that is all. The pieces just make it. What an efficient little number this pattern is! So many sewists have a hard time understanding or even working with the bias grain, and this pattern would be great place to start
To enhance the drape of the cowl neckline, the pattern instructs you to choose a moderately hefty button and attach it to the inside point with a thread chain. I like to keep my buttons for being seen (most of mine are treasured vintage pieces from Grandmothers on both sides of the family) and I pictured that danging button as perfect for being caught up and snagged in the wash machine. Instead, I made a tiny square pocket, just the size of a quarter in change. Only one side of the pocket opening was stitched down to the inner drape point. This way I can remove the weight easily before washing and even control how much drape I want – sometimes I go for two quarters or a lighter weight dime in the tiny pocket. Versatility is everything to me when it comes to my own sewn wardrobe!
I didn’t change a thing to the pattern. Its sizing is broad – merely a range bulked into a small, medium, large rather than the traditional numbers. Even though this looked like possibly a size too big for me, I went with it because I figured a pop-over top never hurts to have some extra room. I like the loose and flowing fit, but for a different fabric I might size down next time. I left the blouse length as-is and it is almost too short to stay tucked in easily, yet I must say it is a good length to be just as nice untucked. Of course, I did leave out the directed adding of shoulder pads.
I realize that I have been posting a lot of one yard or less and remnant projects, and I will take a break. However, they are really as good as I tout, and really necessary to counter the fast fashion of today. I have an inkling that it might be an unrealized, underlying mission to find and use as many of these one yard projects in my lifetime as possible. Such economical projects are not as well advertised (or as easy to find in modern patterns) as I think they should be. This one is the cream of the crop in my opinion, which is why I am considering offering copies of my Vogue #5524 pattern (at a minimal price) for your own enjoyment. I have not decided how or through what method I would offer the patterns because it would depend on the interest. Please, just let me know if you would be interested in a copy by commenting to this post or send me a message. I will keep all of you posted!
In the meantime, I will follow up this post with something different, but connected to this post – a smorgasbord of inspiration about ways, both vintage and modern, to wear and use scarves. Curious after finding this pattern, I ended up coming across too much more scarf inspiration not to share. Get your one yard squares ready!