Condo Blues: How to Sew a Retro 1940's Polka Dot Top

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

How to Sew a Retro 1940's Polka Dot Top

I bought all of the materials to make a cute vintage short sleeve blouse to add a little diversity to my normal t shirt and polo shirt summer wardrobe. I let the project fall to the bottom of my To Sew list as the  costuming I'm most confident in making took priority because I very rarely, almost never make day to day clothing from scratch. Mending and tailoring I can do with my eyes closed but I'm almost ashamed to admit that until I got a computerized sewing machine two years ago I have never sewed anything with my nemesis - buttonholes - in my life.

I figured it is about time I sew a little bit outside of my comfort zone and make this cute summer blouse.

how to sew a vintage pinup style short sleeve blouse
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in a cute red polka dot fabric you can find here. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) I have a thing for polka dots. They are such a happy pattern!

how to sew a vintage womens shirt
Another quarantine hobby has been learning how to style my hair in Victory Rolls.
Like my Betsey Johnson glasses? You can find similar heart sunglasses here. 

Gertie, yes, that Gertie from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. I'm thrilled someone makes vintage and retro style clothing patterns for real women's bodies and measurements using modern sewing techniques and instructions.  It is way easier than a actual 1940's vintage pattern that assumes you've been making all of your own clothing since learning how during home ec in school.

It was an easy to follow pattern and came together quickly even though I am out of practice on darts and buttonholes. As long as I marked them per the pattern (instead of winging it which I sometimes do) they came out fine. Go me! 

Best of all, her pants patterns HAVE POCKETS! I liked the shirt pattern so much I checked her book Gertie Sews Vintage Casual (you can buy it here) out from the library thinking it would give me tips on sewing everyday causal clothing. It does but I was surprised the book comes WITH CLOTHNG PATTERNS INCLUDED! I immediately bought a copy because it has pretty much every type of clothing (pants, shorts, skirts, dresses) I'd like to make, ways to hack the patterns to make them fit my curvy self, and it is way cheaper than searching for and buying all of those clothing patterns individually.

I think my next sewing challenge will be a pair of shorts with a zipper. Sewing shorts with a zipper and pockets can be fiddly but it is probably the only way I can get a pair of shorts that aren't too short or too long that fit my curvy self - with pockets of course.

Rather buy than DIY? Check out these 1940's 1950's retro vintage clothing for women ideas - and more! - below!

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