My Fall for Cotton 1940s Girl Friday Blouse Is Finished!

1940s Girl Friday blouse - Decades of Style pattern, Fall for Cotton, photo by Chuleenan Svetvilas

I finished my Fall for Cotton project – the 1940s Girl Friday Blouse from Decades of Style – with not a minute to spare. Really. I was still working on it yesterday and realized I had to hustle if I wanted to get photos done before sunset. It was after 6 pm and I still had to hem and iron it! And this sort of explains my expression in this photo. I couldn’t find my cream-colored strappy sandals right and the clock was ticking so I just threw on some makeup, grabbed my vintage wool hat and tripod and walked a few blocks to to this side street for my impromptu photo shoot with me and my digital camera. Yeah, no photographer so it was weird just staring into the lens. In the back of my mind, I kept wondering, “Is this really in focus?” and “Crap, I’m losing light!” and “How long is 10 seconds?” I’m just doing this on my lunch break so the nitty gritty details on making this blouse will have to wait for another post this week. In the meantime, I’ll subject you to more photos of my blouse, which took far longer than I thought it would to make. There really aren’t very many pattern pieces but I must have spent more than 30 hours making it! Hand embroidery on the collar, side invisible zipper on the left, seam tape on the hem, hand stitching the bottom two collars together and hand stitching the hem. You can read about some details in the post My Fall for Cotton Project – Sewalong Update. And I wore the wrong bra with the blouse – you can see it in the back view photo. A darker bra wouldn’t have been visible. The fabric is a vintage lightweight Swiss dot cotton voile.

1940s Girl Friday blouse - Decades of Style pattern 1940s Girl Friday blouse - Decades of Style pattern 1940s Girl Friday blouse - Decades of Style pattern 1940s Girl Friday blouse - Decades of Style pattern 1940s Girl Friday blouse - Decades of Style pattern 1940s Girl Friday blouse - Decades of Style pattern

If you’ve made any Decades of Style patterns, I’d love to know what your experience was like. I found the pattern to give rather minimal instructions in some areas. So this would NOT be a good pattern for a beginner. I’m glad I finally finished this blouse and I don’t think I would have if I didn’t have a deadline. So thank you Rochelle of Lucky Lucille and Tasha of By Gum By Golly for the Fall for Cotton Sewing Challenge!
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Author:Chuleenan

Chuleenan Svetvilas is a writer who sews and collects hats and shoes. She is a fabric addict and loves classic films and vintage clothes.

33 Responses to “My Fall for Cotton 1940s Girl Friday Blouse Is Finished!”

  1. October 29, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Hi Chuleenan:

    I want to thank you for sending the vintage swatch to me. I was in the process of moving, but my girlfriend is forwarding the swatch to my current address. I wanted you to know that it had indeed arrived though. Can’t wait to put my own eyes on it.

    Cheers,

    Lyric

    • October 29, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      You’re welcome! Good luck with unpacking!

      • November 26, 2013 at 9:01 am #

        It’s here! It’s here! I’ve finally seen it, Chuleean. I am blogging about it right now!!!!!

        • November 26, 2013 at 10:14 am #

          Great, Lyric! I’ll check it out!

  2. October 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Wow, this came out beautifully! I love how the collar turned out. That fabric is gorgeous, it looks like linen. Great job!

    • October 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      Thank you! The fabric is a really lightweight but surprisingly loosely woven cotton. It was pretty delicate so I had to be really careful when I turned the collars right side out. I’ll be doing another post with construction details and plenty of pix.

    • October 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      And if you want a swatch of the fabric, just enter a comment on my follow up post on the making of the blouse. I’m giving away five swatches of the fabric. ;)

  3. Mary Kay
    September 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Your 30 of sewing was certainly worth it; its a gorgeous blouse. Well done.

  4. September 30, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Your blouse is beautiful! The fabric, the color, the pattern, your workmanship- it is all so wonderful and perfect!

    • September 30, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

      Thanks so much! I just found out that my fabric is actually from the late 1940s. I contacted the fabric store – Maxie’s Daughter (in Philadelphia) – and they confirmed the decade! It just all came together. =)

      • September 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

        That is so cool! Makes it extra special.

        • September 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

          Yes! I’ll definitely take extra care when I wash it. I actually prewashed it in a gentle cycle and let it air dry.

  5. September 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Beautiful!! You did a great job, and that collar is such a standout design feature. I can’t speak to Decades of Style, but it’s been my experience that vintage pattern instructions sort of assume that you know how to make clothes, and the instructions aren’t always the clearest–especially for beginners like me! But you’ve got an amazing blouse now, and that’s the important part. Can’t wait to read all the details soon!

    • September 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      Thank you! Decades of Style creates patterns from vintage styles. So it’s actually a contemporary company. Thus the instructions could have been written for today’s sewists and people who would have liked a more step-by-step approach. I’ve made a dress from a vintage pattern before and the instructions were really minimal in that one – less info than this one. ;)

  6. September 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    What a striking blouse. I love the collar so much. I suck at sewing without instructions. My virtual hat goes off to you.

    • September 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      Thank you! Yes, the collar (or should I say collars?) is a really nice detail in this pattern. The instructions could have been better. I spent a lot of time contemplating how I was going to finish a particular seam. The patterns doesn’t offer any suggestions on that.

  7. September 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Fabulous!! Yes, now I’m most definitely moving it up the sewing list : )

    • September 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      Thank you! I’ll be looking for yours!

  8. September 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    I just love this outfit! The collar alone is a work of art, and your photo styling sets the perfect mood. Enjoy every moment that you wear this piece!

  9. September 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    It turned out really great! That collar is so wonderful!

    I really like the second photo in the post. I know what you mean about trying to take timer photos – it’s hard!

    I’ve never used a Decades of Style pattern (simply because none of them have really called to me yet), but I do know they are more advanced than most. You did a fabulous job! =)

    • September 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      Thank you! I am very happy with the results. I’m not not sure I would ever make it again but it would take a lot less time because I wouldn’t have to pause and ponder how I wanted to do something. The pattern doesn’t provide a whole lot of construction details. A lot is left to you to figure out on your own.

      • Francesca
        June 13, 2014 at 12:52 am #

        Gorgeous blouse, and your styling doesn’t look rushed at all…. I have a couple of patterns from DoS, and have only made one – the Stardust skirt -I know that their base pattern is probably taken from an unprinted pattern, being a 30s style, but even so, I found it a bit too roughly drawn for my slightly anal/perfectionist side – and the instructions somewhat lacking too. My skirt wasn’t a success, but that could be my fault as I fell inbetween sizes and took the lazy way of using the smaller size and taking my (preferred) 12cm allowances – works for me usually! Anyway, I know from experience that trying to draw round an unprinted pattern piece on to paper to keep it for future use is a huge pain, which is why I now use my vintage pattern pieces like I use modern ones – ie weight down and cut! So that could be the reason for their slightly roungh outlines.

        Re vintage pattern sewing instructions – well, they vary – some are rather abrupt, but usually I find they go into lovely detail and I learnt how to do hand made buttonholes from one of my patterns :)…

        • June 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

          Thank you, Francesca! Yes, tracing a pattern can be a pain, especially when you have a lot of pattern pieces.

          I’m sure instructions do vary but I seem to have a knack for picking vintage patterns that require me to fill in the blanks. ;)

          Thanks for visiting!

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