Monday, September 23, 2013

Finished: 1940s Style Mae Blouse

You guys, I finally made something! It's been almost a month since I've posted a finished sewing project. I've been working hard and I have a lot of sewing and knitting projects going on, but also real life and my job has stepped in and I've been so busy.

(Also, I keep noticing in articles that saying you're "busy" is now being called a humble brag - it's not. Saying I'm at home knitting with my Netflix at night is my way of bragging. Who brags about working all the time?!)

Anyway, exciting news: I made a blouse! It's my first ever blouse, and I'm pretty proud. When I saw the 1940s style Mae blouse released from BlueGingerDoll, I knew right away I had to have it. Me being me, I thought to myself, "Well, scallops are too hard so I'll just make it a v-neck. And buttons... Nope. Wonder if I can make that a zipper?"

Of course, then it's not the Mae blouse, it's just a general, somewhat boring shirt, so when Abby decided to do a sew-along, I decided to leap in and figure out scallops and buttons. And they worked! Mostly.

So there's no ease in this, and as I fall in between sizes, I cut an 8-10-12.

I used a quilting cotton with a vintage print for the fabric, which I'm not particularly fond of. It's fairly stiff, which I obviously expected, but I'm wondering how this blouse would look with something with a bit more drape and give to it.

Also the print, which I picked because it's vintage, makes it a bit too vintage. The boyfriend summed it up fairly succinctly: "Oh, are you making another outfit for when we move to the farm?"

Of course, when I finished, he changed his mind: "Wow, I love it. Your boobs look great."


The fabric choice isn't bad, it's just not my usual style. (I bought because it looked vintage, not because I loved it. Terrible mistake.)

On to my new skills: Scallops! So when I first started sewing, I tried making a scallop-waisted skirt and failed miserably. However, this time I followed Abby's tutorial for perfect scallops and they came out perfectly! I couldn't be happier with my sewing.

Actually, I followed all of her sewing tips and tricks so this blouse is probably the most well-made thing I've ever sewn. Definitely check out her sew along.

Not perfect, but not bad for a first try.
Also, buttonholes are surprisingly easy. I was worried about measuring and getting the length right, but the machine does everything for you. Very simple. Attaching the buttons is slightly harder because if you're even 1mm off, the fabric pulls. It's an easy fix, but mildly annoying.

So I did encounter a strange problem while sewing the Mae blouse. When I put the finished blouse on and pulled the front of the shirt down/shoulder seams to the center, the front looked gorgeous but the back buttons puckered. When I pulled the back down/shoulder seams back, the back laid flat but the front neckline puckered.

Figuring it would be easier to fix the front rather than the back and the buttons, and figuring that the problem was too much fabric in the front, I ripped out the shoulder seams and took out an inch or so of excess fabric front the front of the blouse.

Of course, that meant that the neckline was moved up and I lost part of my scallops. It was very, very sad.

Minimal puckering, sans a few scallops.
Of course that also makes the blouse look a bit more matronly. The top still puckers, but it's not as bad as it was before.

Does anyone know what caused that? User error? Something I need to change with the buttons? Do I need to make some sort of adjustment before I cut out the fabric? Was it just that my buttons were off and I needed to move them and I ruined my scallops for no reason??

I still love the top and I'm considering this a work in progress! Or at least, a learning process for my next Mae blouse.

LinkConnector Validation


  1. Your new Mae looks really sweet Kristin! Your photos look great. Sorry I can't help you with your shoulder issues, hopefully somebody can though.

  2. You look stunning! I too am not that in to vintage (love your bf's comment about moving to the farm, lol!). What I do like about this top is the fit and the scallops, which definitely contribute to the flattering form your bf noticed. Can't wait to see your next one!

    1. I completely agree! The blouse is so flattering on everyone I've seen. My next one definitely needs a lower neckline though. ;-)

  3. I love the top as is! I clicked over to see how the instructions look, and now I can see how there were supposed to be more scallops on the neckline. I have no idea how to fix it though. :) Still, super cute top!

  4. Cute! I like the button back. These are great photos too!

  5. I'm trying to picture the problem you described...I'm seriously wondering if its a bust adjustment rather than a shoulder issue. Maybe a full bust adjustment would help? I think your top is fab- I always dress like I'm moving to the farm! (I'm saving for the farm lol)

    1. I hope it's not an FBA - I hate doing those! (Or at least, they seem like such a headache!)

  6. Lovely!