Corsets and Crinolines
Rocking Horse Farm
Regency Bib Front Gown
Sense & Sensibility
1914 Afternoon Dress
Pattern Rating System
Folkwear's Armistice Blouse
The first things I noticed about the pattern is that it doesn't always tell you to use a French seam method on the majority of the seams, or to clip curves. This can be confusing to the amateur seamstress. I used the French seam method on all the seams that would be exposed, and was sure to clip the curve of the neckline, as I couldn't get the collar to lay right before I did this. The other sewing related problem was the sleeves. The sleeves appear to have little or no extra fullness at the cap. I had to run gathering stitches along the cap of my sleeves in order for them to fit into the armholes properly. This is not a terribly "bad" problem, as I like the look of the gathered sleeve I ended up with.
This pattern does require a fair amount of handsewing, which can be daunting to the newer seamstress or those who don't like to do a lot of sewing by hand. There are also a large number of buttonholes, so if you're like me and usually prefer to do buttonholes by hand, you might want to reconsider using a machine buttonhole.
There were a few design features that I would re-work the next time I made the blouse. The first and most noticeable was the vestee (the rectangular piece in the front). It is quite low, and even though I raised mine some, it was still a little too low for my taste for every-day wear. Next time, I think I'll raise it another 2" or so for a daytime blouse. (If the blouse is worn as evening or special occasion wear, the lowness of the neckline would be fine.)
I would also adjust the waist tie. Although this is optional, I like the fact that it is attached over gathers in the back of the blouse, keeping those from shifting about while you're wearing it. However, when I wore the blouse with a straight skirt, the tie added too much unsightly bulk around the waistline. To remedy this, I would take a smaller "tie" (just use the pattern cut down) of approximately "5" long, and attach that over the gathers as directed. This way I can still have the control over the gathers, yet none of the bulk of the ties.
The third and final item I would change is cuffs. While I liked the fold back cuff, it was much too big for me and kept slipping down over my hand. Since the cuff does have buttons you don't need a whole lot of ease to get your hand in and out. I would make the cuffs narrower, or eliminate the fold back cuff altogether, leaving just one cuff.
After all the problems I ran into with this blouse, I am still very, very pleased with the final blouse. It is a very comfortable design that is tailored yet feminine, and can be combined with a more modern skirt style or pair of nice slacks for a updated vintage look.
If you would like more information or to purchase this pattern, please visit Folkwear's website.-Reviewed by Miss C.
This pattern is rated I.
Artwork is October (1877) by James Tissot, courtesy of CGFA.
©2003 Across the Ages