Thursday, September 19, 2013

1940s blouses rock!

I want to just take a moment to give some love to the blouses of the 1940s.

Why do I love them? Let me count the ways!

  • Rayon and silk, so luxurious and flattering though not clingy (look at the drape of those sleeves!)

  • Back yokes and gathers, such an elegant way to add a little room in the back

  • Super feminine details like ruffles, pintucks nifty pockets and the like take on the masculine shirt

  • Fabulous ruching, gathering, shoulder yokes and all kinds of details that say: 'Darts? How pedestrian!'

  • Side zippers, ok not exclusive to the 1940s, but still great - no chance of popping a button or pulling across the chest


The number one reason I love 1940s blouse is - the waist tucks!

Like upside down pleats that come up from the hem to the waistline, they shape the bottom of the shirt to your hips and release that fabric at the waist, so that it 'blouses' out by itself. When you tuck it in, there's no messing with getting even gathers around your waist. And no re-tucking required every time you go to the bathroom. It's just so neat and makes so much sense - why did we ever give up the tucks?

I'm currently sewing Simplicity's repro 40s blouse pattern 1692. The model on the front is wearing hers untucked, poor darling is unaware of the radical benefits of tucking in a 'tucked' blouse!


  1. In the quest to find a vintage dressmaker in Sydney I've just discovered you, and your blog. And I have to say I totally share your love of 40s blouses. There's something so incredibly elegant yet sexy about them. Love love love! Now more to the point - do you make them for sale?

  2. I had no idea that that style originated from the 40's. I love them! I've not yet tried vintage sewing but I'm eager to try. Unlike you, I shy from sewing garments because I can never, never, never get a good fit. But I just got Nancy Zieman's Pattern Fitting with Confidence video and her method looks promising. I'm going to attempt an easy top using her method and then tackle the vintage blouses if I'm successful. Hopefully those patterns are available and I don't have to happen upon one in an estate sale. I too love the vintage look but I'm not a fan of tucking in my blouse due to the lack of an hourglass figure. But peplums or upside down pleating? Love it!

    1. Good on you! Remember that when patterns say bust size, they generally still draft for a B cup. So if you are a C or higher you are always going to have fit troubles...Use your high bust measurement when choosing patterns, and learn to do an FBA. It works magic! If you want more info, message me direct.
      There are a couple of Simplicity repro patterns of 1940s blouses that you should be able to buy in stores. Good luck with your project!