I thought it was appropriate that the first garment I would use my prize winning Janome Atelier 6 sewing machine to make should be vintage. I already had a 1970 blouse pattern cut out since December 2019 and so this was the perfect opportunity to get it constructed.
The pattern I used is Style 2949 which has three variations – sleeveless, short sleeve tunic top and, the one I chose, a long sleeve blouse. I’m not sure where I acquired this pattern but I think it was among a batch I bought a few years ago. The size 14 is one up from what I would normally choose but I figured that 1970s patterns were not as generously cut as they are today and that minimum alterations would be required for fit probably just being limited to taking in the side seams slightly.
The fabric I had chosen for this project was a patterned polyester with a silken sheen in ‘de facto’ 1970s brown. I had chosen this fabric partly for its retro feel but also to pair with some RTW brown corduroy trousers that already had a seventies feel to them. From a distance the fabric also has a jersey like appearance. I actually think this pattern would look good made up in a medium jersey or even towelling both popular fabrics from the seventies. I don’t know about you but I think it is about time for towelling to have a resurgence.
Construction progressed well considering I was getting used to a new computerised sewing machine. The front has unusual long curved darts which involved some easing along the top curve. I really loved the large collar on the pattern but made up it felt huge and so I reduced its width by half an inch which keeps its style but doesn’t feel overwhelming. The topstitching on the collar, yoke, notch opening and cuffs is a nice feature as it is sewn 3/8 inch away from the edges as opposed to the usual 1/4 inch. The zip on the blouse neck is inserted by hand after creating and topstitching the notched opening. I guess I could have risked sewing the zip in using the machine but I am quite happy to hand sew and in some cases feel it offers more control than machine sewing especially in difficult areas.
The long bishop sleeves are gathered into a cuff which fastens with two buttonholes which gave me the chance to experiment with the one step buttonholer on the Janome Atelier. Having not had much success with the buttonholer on my Janome Sewist, which you can read about here, I wasn’t expecting much but the operation of this machine was pretty amazing and impressive. Maybe I am now converted to one step buttonholers! The finishing off was done seventies’ style with small hems on the facings and zig zagging of the seams. However, this fabric did fray considerably and the overlocker would have sorted this but I just didn’t feel like rethreading the overlock machine which is already set up in the colour of my next planned project.
All in all I’m very pleased with the result. As much as the fabric was difficult to work with due to its slippy nature and constant fraying and given that at the same time I was acclimatising to a new machine, I feel the blouse has turned out well and is the perfect partner for my RTW trousers.