sewing saturday! 1940s linen blouse, part two

sewing saturday - linen blouse diy

Sewing Saturday! Prior to vacationing, I took some time to finish the linen blouse I started the week before, sewn from a vintage 1940s pattern. Check out the part one post here.

This time, it was all about piecing it together as well as sewing in the details like darts and back pleats (which I've never done before). As in, I still had about 75% more progress to make.

First step of part two.. sew in the front shoulder darts.

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I then sewed and finished the sleeves and bust pocket. I sewed the sleeves at the inside seam, trimmed them and serged the edges, sewed the serged edge in 1/4 inch, then pressed it about an inch inside and sewed it shut, forming the sleeve hem. I did the same for the pocket - serged the edges, folded the edges in by 1/4 and sewed them, then pressed the top of the pocket by about 5/8 inch and sewed it in place. Note - serging the edges isn't required.. I just like serging. If you don't have a serger, simply press 1/4 inch on the outer edges inward and sew those in place.

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Next step? Conquer the back pleat. I've never done something like this before, although you can see this type of pleat in vintage button-ups and blazers (also some modern ones).

As you can see from the photos below, I vertically pressed an inch inward on each side of the very middle of the back blouse piece, forming a line where the two folds met in the dead center of the blouse (this is on the outside of the blouse). This forms the back pleat. I then topstitched the back pleat in place at two spots - a horizontal line of stitching about three inches wide towards the center of the blouse, and then a couple of vertical lines of stitching at the top. After the pleat was finished, I sewed the back bodice piece to the front bodice piece at the shoulder and side seams.

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Collar time. The collar piece resembled a rectangle with slightly curved sides. I folded it hot dog style, right side inward, and sewed the two far ends closed. I then folded it right-side out, pressed it, and sewed it to the bodice neck edge, right sides together, one on side of the collar. Once this was done, I trimmed the inside seam edge. The other side of the collar (that is not attached to the bodice yet) needed to be finished, so I pressed in the edge of it by 1/4 and layered it over the inside seam, sewing it in place. Then, it's up to you whether or not to topstitch the collar. Final step is to create a collar crease by folding it over the edge and pressing it in place.

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Finishing touches! I then sewed the pocket onto the bodice on the lefthand side and sewed the sleeves onto the bodice. I finished the bottom edges of the blouse by folding it inward by three inches and sewing it in place (just like the sleeve hem but longer).

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Aaaaaand you've got a finished blouse.

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That's it for now. Happy Sunday! Ours is rainy here, and it broke the heat that Nashville has been suffering through. We took a little dog walk around the block to celebrate and the road was steaming. I love hot weather rains.