the sew weekly: the “never, ever again” blouse (mccall 6336)

The Facts:

Fabric: Liberty of London Tana Lawn “Gold Delfi”
Pattern: McCall 6336
Year: c.1940s
Notions: four 7/8″ buttons, pre-made bias tape (stash)
Time to Complete: 7 hours
First Worn: January 19, 2012
Wear Again: I think so…
Total Price: ~$35
Challenge Theme:  “Buttons”

Just a few words on this one:  this is why I go to Jonathan’s, people!  I know that, as someone striving to increase my skill set, I should embrace buttonholes, see them as an additional opportunity to bring quality to my garments, and take pride in my willingness and ability to make a bound buttonhole.

I.  Do.  Not.

I was always wary of bound buttonholes, but now I pretty much hate them.  They (more than) doubled the amount of work necessary to complete a basic 40s-era blouse to over 7 hours.  The 4 hours I spent making the basic blouse back and adding the buttonholes were long and miserable and left me with an aching back, strained eyes, and a suspicious smell I am convinced came from over-use of the iron.  I was actually unable to do much more for the rest of the day beyond lay on the couch, flat on my back, waiting for it to relax again.

I will give myself this much credit, though:  I was able to do them.  No major mistakes, no major issues, they are not perfect but they are perfectly serviceable.  I used Summerset’s bound buttonhole method, and she was basically correct in her assurances that with proper marking and preparation, the actually sewing is both minimal and minimally difficult.  I marked the buttonholes two ways, using tracing paper and a pricking wheel and also thread tracing.

That was overkill.  One of my subsequent issues was pulling out all of the thread tracing.  I did not succeed.

So at the end of the day, all I can say is thanks, Mena, for forcing me to stop putting off a bound-buttonhole garment. And thanks for reminding me why I am so grateful that Jonathan Embroidery is only 15 blocks from my front door!

Pattern Description:
basic blouse has button back with neckline and sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing:
sz 12/30b.  i re-sized it using my moulage and it ended up nearly identical, which was cool.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
close enough for government work.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
i did not use the instructions.  the basic blouse itself was easy to assemble, and i used summerset’s bound buttonhole method to get the buttonholes in.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
i loved the cutout neckline and the button back.  i’m starting to have a real issue, however, with the cap sleeve styles of this type of bodice.  it’s always too big and floppy to be flattering and i  haven’t yet decided how i want to fix that.

Fabric Used:
liberty of london tana lawn “gold delfi” from purl soho

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
nothing major.  as i said, i did adjust the sizing based on my moulage to get a cleaner fit in the back and at the bustline.

Conclusion:
this is such a 40s wardrobe staple that it will definitely stay in rotation, but it will never be a favorite.


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9 Responses to the sew weekly: the “never, ever again” blouse (mccall 6336)

  1. Marina says:

    Really love your blouse! And your pictures! Should have done it looong ago ;-)

  2. Marina says:

    Ah, forgot, maybe consider either shortening your sleeves, or gathering the edge and then binding it. If you insist, of course! I mean it’s a vintage pattern – you either work it as is, or add a small modern touch – just a matter of personal preference… Feel free to ignore my advice, though :-)

  3. puu says:

    i think i either need to lengthen the sleeve for a proper fluttered sleeve, or shorten the cap so it sits more properly at my shoulder. you should see the shoulders on these things compared to my moulage :-)

  4. wundermary says:

    I think this blouse looks really nice. Congratulations on the buttonholes, will you be picking up a buttonholer for your machine, next? :)
    These 40s silhouettes were for women with quarterback shoulders (I can say that, I’m one of them) and can be a little bit much on someone with a average to sloping shoulder. You could adjust the amount of “wing” by pining the point where the sleeve cap leaves your shoulder, then slope down from there to the edge of the sleeve on your pattern to remove some of that fullness. Don’t forget also, that at the time, this pattern was likely executed in a light to very lightweight rayon, which also makes a difference. Then, it would have been worn under a suit and it would have just peeked out.

    • puu says:

      Excellent points, all of them! I will be redrafting theshoulder be t time
      And yesterday I did wear a suit jacket, so it all worked out :-)

  5. ElleC says:

    I think your blouse is lovely, a perfect marriage of pattern and fabric. I admire your bravery in daring to make bound buttonholes. I don’t have the nerve.

  6. cjgal says:

    I love this, it’s a smart piece and the keyholes in the front make it very unique. To me this looks almost like a modern take on a 40’s (though it isn’t) so its very wearable. Great job!

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