Saturday, 11 March 2017

Birds on the Wire, Georgette blouse

I have had the pattern for this blouse for a long time and can't remember where I bought it. It is a Women's Realm pattern which looks as though it originates from the 1960s. I don't think that Woman's Realm have a pattern archive on line so I couldn't check the date.

The pattern itself is very simple. It has no writing on the tissue paper, all of the markings are holes or notches cut in the paper, which must have saved money on printing. Another feature of the pattern is that it gives instructions for making the button holes by hand!

I had to learn this technique in sewing lessons at school in the 1970s when I made my first blouse and it nearly put me off sewing for life. I chose a very fashionable blouse pattern for its day with 4 buttonholes on each cuff and lots more down the front, My Mum had an automatic buttonhole attachment on her Singer machine but my teacher, Miss Croft, wouldn't allow me to use it. I spent hours sewing tiny, neat buttonhole stitches by hand, finished my blouse and wore it quite a lot. Most of my classmates never completed their projects and I have never made buttonholes by hand since! Did I benefit at all from the knowledge that I could, I am not sure.

The fabric for this blouse is another remnant from Leicester Market which I loved at first sight. It was the very last piece and I had to buy it. From a distance it looks like scallops and close up it is row upon row of little owls.

Although the fabric is sheer it was very easy to work with. It had a firmness to it and didn't stretch or slip. The most challenging part was the cutting out because the design has straight and diagonal rows which are very obvious from a distance.

I have used french seams throughout, apart from the armholes which I neatened with a zigzag stitch.

The collar is cut on the bias and I think it sits very nicely because the fabric is fine.

I finished the cuffs with bias binding made from the same fabric. I was so pleased that the cuffs were just the right size so that I could push them up to my elbows when I am doing things like cooking and washing up and they don't slip down. This is probably just good fortune. If my arms were thinner or fatter I wouldn't have been so lucky

I like the back detail with buttons down the back and the pointed collar. I took  a lot of care to match the horizontal stripes across the back but something slipped and I ended up a whole stripe out so I have had to compensate.

I have entered this blouse in  Dressmaking Magazine's Dressmaker of the Year competition in the Vintage section. This is the first time I have ever entered anything into a competition so it has added some extra stress to the sewing experience. I admit that I was tempted by the free pattern for every entry. I can't resist a freeby. We had lots of attempts at taking a photo for the entry so here are some samples. I paired this blouse with the skirt I made in my last post here and think it goes very well
Giving instructions!

Nice smile!

Whoops, eyes closed!


  1. Love the owls fabric, Rosemary and how it turned out. Looks fantastic!