Friday, July 19, 2013

Simplicity 1590 - Retro Blouse - View B

Retro Blouse

I saw this pattern on sale a few weeks back and knew I had to have a copy.  I love the peplum and the fitted look of the waist.  Hopefully I will be able to do the pattern justice!

So here we have our pattern layout.  I just managed to get all of the pieces on to the 1.5 metres of fabric required by the pattern.  There were very few scraps left over.

The fabric I used is 100% cotton shirting with a rose/ribbon pattern.  Not my usual taste but I thought it would suit the retro style of the blouse.

This was my first time sewing darts and they turned out rather well.  In my enthusiasm, I sewed the front vertical darts as well.  They are supposed to be done later but it was probably a good thing that I sewed them first - I'll explain later on.

First up, the shoulder seams and then the side seams.  I overlocked the raw edges on each side before sewing the side seams.  Looking good so far...

Next, we attach the peplum.  The curve of the peplum gave me a bit of trouble but everything ended up where it was supposed to be...whew!  I needed to unpick about 2-3 cm from the bottom of the front dart that I accidentally sewed earlier.

Next, the waist ties.  I will now introduce my secret weapon for making ties - cooking chopsticks!
Chopsticks are great for turning things inside-out and pushing out corners - they are tapered enough to do the job and blunt enough not to rip a hole in your fabric.  These ties were really long and skinny so my supersized cooking chopsticks (approx. 30 cm long) did the job admirably.  They also cook a mean stir-fry.

So now for the tricky part.  The pattern says you need to do three things at once - sew the front dart, attach the ties and sew the side of the peplum to the front panel.  As I had already done the dart, I only needed to worry about two of these things.  I inserted the tie in the 'grotto' created by my pre-sewn dart and then pinned and sewed the seam , following the line of the dart down to the bottom.

Now for the collar.  This bit was confusing.  I have sewn a collar with facings before with the collar sandwiching the facing.  With this one, the collar is sandwiched between the facing and the blouse.
As you can see below (basted and ready to sew), the collar is peeking out from between the facing and the body of the blouse.

And there we have it - a very tasty looking collar sandwich!

Now comes the ironing bit.  *sigh*  The peplum needs an enormous, curved double fold hem.  Thank goodness for my ironing guide.  I would have gone potty without it.

Next we add the finishing touches - buttonholes, buttons and the ribbon at the neck.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the finished product!

I also made View A (scoop neck) with some polyester shantung.  You can find the photos here: Simplicity 1590 - Retro Blouse - View A.


  1. Thank you for posting this - I've been swearing all over my peplum all night because I didn't know how the hell it was supposed to match up!

  2. Beautiful work of art... Well done. Love your choice of fabric. Such a figure-flattering design. Thank you for sharing. Now I know the finished product will look good even on me. Great job!