mail order 1769: i had to have it, but am i really making it work?

honest-to-goodness, one of my first vintage pattern purchases.  call it one of the first 10.  there’s so much to love here, from the classic skirt to that gorgeous top with the ties to the little capelet.  what really captured my fancy?  the idea of styling it with little slouchy socks and loafers.  weird, right?

immediately, i saw it in red.  i knew i wanted red.  i knew i wanted a print that had a vintage feel to it, without going down the road of a cherry print.  i honed in on liberty–my first purchase of liberty–and found a print.

all in a tither and ready to get straight to work, i raced home one night and went downtown to purl soho (this was about 2 days before their big move to the gorgeous new storefront on greene street, so over 18 months ago), where i persuaded the saleswoman to bring up a bolt of liberty of london wiltshire berry in red from the partially-packed boxes in the basement of the shop.  it seemed to me evocative of the vintage cherries trope without going into it.

i traced the pattern.  poorly, because like so many vintage patterns, the directions are almost nonexistent and i didn’t quite understand the way the pattern might fit together.  the pattern has 3/8″ seam allowances, and that threw me off.  it has an interesting center strip of fabric that seems to serve no purpose other than being decorative going down the front, and no directions on where, when or how to attach it during construction.  the ties for the bow offer no guidance on whether they should be faced, finished with bias tape or given a narrow hem.

i attached the center stripe incorrectly and ended up with 2″ extra ease on each side, even though i had made a muslin.  i was incredibly confused and actually had someone re-fit it for me so that i wouldn’t cry and leave it on the UFO pile.  also, the back ripped after a few wearings–probably because it didn’t appreciate my lack of reinforcement on the slight dip in the center back of the blouse.  hence, this (as worn and styled today, not my original construction of 18 months ago):

i think it’s pretty fun:

other variations have followed.  somehow, though, i can’t quite fix the fitting issues i have on this blouse.  i always need to add an extra take-in on the side seams, almost like an extra dart, as you can see here, where i forgot to add them in my joy of being finished:

but you can also see how much i have perfected my construction and finishing of the blouse–look at how nice those ties tie.

and obviously, more liberty scraps have made their way to this top, to help perk me up even when i am feeling schlumpy and poorly styled:

ouch. not a pretty sight.

and i’ve finally started to embrace that center stripe and have some fun with it.  all of the sorbettos floating around the ‘verse have been a great encouragement in this area.

even if i’m still figuring out my optimal strap length.

meanwhile, you can see i have yet to style it with the long, thin skirt, slouchy socks and loafers.  maybe this year…

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One Response to mail order 1769: i had to have it, but am i really making it work?

  1. Sara says:

    Despite all the trouble you had with it, it really looks awesome. I adore the Liberty print and how you emphasized the stripe down the front. It makes me want to try a vintage pattern (currently I’m just making current patterns).

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