Autumn sewing: blouses and shirts

A/W11 Blouses
This is my first Polyvore set! I know I’m approximately 5 years too late for the Polyvore party, but it’s great, isn’t it? Saves lots of time messing around in Photoshop.
One of my A/W11 sewing resolution is to make more shirts/blouses, and there are lots around at the moment for inspiration. I’ve picked out some favourites above in a nice Autumnal colour palette. Luckily this is all fantasy shopping, as they range in price from ‘cheap as chips’, to three times more than my sewing machine cost’

I find it frustrating shopping for blouses on the high-street, as they never fit properly and they’re normally made with 100% polyester so cheap you trail a shower of static sparks whenever you move. But they’re pretty rewarding to sew; they don’t take much fabric and there’s lots to customise. It’s probably wise to avoid using too many ruffles, ribbons, and bows, in case you evoke the Grayson Perry effect, but in general you can mess around with them however you like.

I am planning on sewing one with a flat/Peter Pan collar, which is apparently big this season. The Peter Pan collar’s been around for a while – Carole Lombard was putting her name to them in the 1930s:

Carole Lombard 1930s blouse pattern
Image source: Etsy seller iandrummondvintage

They were perched on top of these AMAZING sunray darts in the 1940s (I want this pattern so much! If you are a 30 bust you must buy it)

Vintage 40s Blouse Pattern Vogue 6226 Size 12 Bust 30
Image source: Etsy seller lisaanne1960

And they went very modern in the 60s. Loving the bowl haircut on the left.

1960s Peter Pan collar mod version
Image source: Etsy seller HeyChica

I think it’s best to draw a veil over what happened to the poor Peter Pan collar in the 80s.

My plan is to use the Built By Wendy shirt pattern from the first Sew U book and add a drafted flat collar. I’ve also pre-ordered the brilliant new Jasmine pattern from Colette Patterns. I’ve been looking for something like it for ages – it reminds me a lot of the Topshop blouse which is bottom right in the collage above, but it’s bias cut so you don’t even have to sew any buttonholes. Bonus.
Do you have any favourite blouse/shirt patterns? What’s the difference between a blouse and shirt anyway?

3 thoughts on “Autumn sewing: blouses and shirts

  1. Jane September 7, 2011 / 12:28 PM

    You’re so funny! Grayson Perry is my frill barometer too, I always tone it down if I think I’m teetering too far into his (or Claire’s) territory. I’ve also pre-ordered the Jasmine pattern: I did a New Year plea asking if anybody had a pattern for the perfect blouse I’d seen. I didn’t get any replies but all was not lost as the Jasmine blouse is basically IT. I can’t wait to make it. x
    PS. Are blouses for girls and shirts for boys?

    • yesilikethat September 7, 2011 / 1:12 PM

      Oops I should have said Claire not Grayson! I totally love Claire’s look but think it’s a bit hard to carry off for us ordinary mortals.

      Not sure about the shirt/blouse thing – Whistles are confusing the issue by having separate categories for shirts and blouses on their website (all for ladies). I guess a shirt is slightly more mannish looking? We need a resolution on this important topic!

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