1850/60s (Not a Garbardi) Blouse

Once I’ve decided to make a blouse for some upcoming mid 19th century events this summer it all went pretty fast.

I selected an inspiration pic to base my design upon.
7b7d4d08edbf772307a80f15be56bffc 22fcb4ef48632fecc39c391e2f9e1a89
059d04d3e45d5b72b7ba36bc6a2cd407Shoulder and sleeve detail.

I decided to use the white dotted organza I’ve bought on sale a year ago (which I also used as contrast in my Ariel/Camille dress)
IMG_6253Sorry for the dark photo – I was working late at night

I made a pattern using my green 1840s dress bodice as a base.IMG_6114

To keep the blouse from being totally see through I made a lining in a soft loosely woven cotton fabric. IMG_6267Thin french seams on the lining.

I basted the blouse together, combining darts (in the lining) and gathers (in the organza) to get the right look for the bloused waist. IMG_6255Here you can see the gathered organza (left) and the darted lining (right).

Once I tried it on I found the lining to be a bit high in the neck and cut it down about 4-5 cm.IMG_6259

I stitched the sleeves using french seams and rushing at the cap.
The cuff is just one reinforced, folded piece of organza, closing with a button, to which I gathered the sleeve to. IMG_6274

IMG_6281Sleeve set.

The biggest mistake I made on this project was steaming on fusible interlining to the buttonhole stands. Once sewn to the thin blouse the buttonhole stand looked really bulking and heavy (and white).
So I ripped them of, and not having enough lining fabric left to cut new ones I carefully peeled the interlining of the fabric. IMG_6269What a mess.

Once re-sew (without the interlining) the buttonhole stand looks much better, and it was time to move on to the collar and buttons.IMG_6283Its just a slightly shaped thin strip of organza and lining folded over to make the low standing collar.IMG_6311Then I made all the button holes by hand, added the pearl buttons and sewed on a piece of bias tap to make a casing for the cotton cord used to control the fullness and size at the waist.

IMG_6312Looking neat from the outside…
IMG_6313…And just as neat from the inside.

The finished blouse:

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IMG_6309

IMG_6303

IMG_6294

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The Facts:

What: a 1850-1860s blouse/waist

Pattern: I drafted my own using my green 1840s dress bodice and pictures of extant blouses.

Fabric & Notions: 1 m dotted white polyester organza, 0,5 m soft white cotton, 12 plastic buttons, thread, buttonhole thread, 80 cm bias tape and 1,2 m cotton cord.

Time: About 10 hours.

Cost: About 100 Sek (16 Usd) – Everything was bought on sale or leftovers from previous projects.

Final thoughts: I like the look of this blouse, even though I’m not sure the polyester content will keep me as cool as I would have liked in the summer heat. I may make another one out of a more suitable fabric someday, but for now I’m pleased with it. And It was such a quick and easy project.

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6 thoughts on “1850/60s (Not a Garbardi) Blouse

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