The Bel Blouse - Style 2986

I love the BBC series 'The Hour'. I love the styling, the stories and I especially love Bel Rowley and Marnie Madden's clothes.

Imagine my delight watching the first episode of Season 2, to discover I had a pattern that had a detail that was SO CLOSE to a beautiful shirt Bel was wearing AND a shawl collar similar to a suit she was wearing in (I think) the same episode!

How gorgeous is that shoulder pleat detail? And yes, these are photographs of photos taken off our computer. I'm too Amish to know how to do it any other way.

So a couple of months ago I was popping tags at my local Savers mega op shop, and came across this little gem for the super price of 99c, and despite my mother's voice in my head warning me that all the pieces may not be there, I could see in my minds eye how awesomely vintage views 2 and 4 were. I took the 99c gamble, and turns out not only was it my size, and not only were all the pieces there, but it was AWESOME to put together, and I now have the means to make a complete Bel Rowley-esque outful if I could find some teal silk (I already have the red fabric for a pencil skirt).

This is the first vintage pattern I have made up, and it went together so well! I made the short sleeved view 4 being summer here. Its got these super cute gathers on the shoulders, and on the back, with a really easy shawl collar. I'm guessing its from the 70's.

The shoulder gather construction was really interesting - you make the gathers along the bottom line of a dart, then slash the fabric down the middle of the dart, and then stitch the dart. I did try and do it without slashing to keep it looking neater, but the dart ends wouldn't line up, so I followed the instructions, and just finished the raw edges by zigzagging. The rest of the shirt I was pretty much able to french all the visible seams which made me happy. The fabric I used is a lovely cotton voile, blak with a white spot rimmed in a tiny bit of taupe. It was from my awesome local fabric shop bargain table, for $2/metre!

I prepared the facings in a bit of a different way - I found a great tip here at Sew Convert for finishing facings without an overlocker. Before you iron your interfacing on, sew the wrong side of the fabric and the non-sticky edge of the interfacing to each other along the edge that you would normally just neaten (ie the edge that won't be stitched to the garment), trim the seam allowance, turn it in the right way (so that the wrong side of the fabric and the sticky side of the interfacing are now touching), and iron it and voila - you have a lovely neat finished edge of your facing. This totally satisfies my neat finish OCD.

This is the wrong side of the facing

This is the visible side of the facing - who'd know?

So here's my 1970's shirt, inspired by 1950's styling. The buttons are shell buttons I won as part of a super goody bag of patterns, fabric and notions from the lovely Megan Nielsen as part of her recent birthday give away. So yeah - add it up - 99c pattern, about $3 worth of fabric and free buttons - sweet as.