Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Vtg Mail Order 1839

How I got this vintage pattern is kind of a mystery to me. I either received it in a pattern lot from ebay, got it from a flea market (unlikely since it's my size. That never happens!) or possibly one of you kind souls who sends me goodies sent it? :) I just can't remember!

In any's a mail order pattern and I do not have the envelope, and there is no identifying company, just a number: 1839. It's a bust size 38.

While I really like the 3/4 sleeve blouse and the late 1940s skirt silhouette, check out that very, very sweet cap sleeve version of the blouse! Lace trimmed placket and collar! Gathered yoke!

I chose a lavender eyelet (that I had stashed away for Lu. Shh.) for my version:

It turned out so, so cute. And, it was surprisingly easy to fit. I'm telling you, I truly believe patternmakers of the past either way understood the geometry of the human figure better, or they were using more realistically proportioned bodies to begin with. Or both. Note the inverted pleats in front to further shape the bodice.

Here's a close up of the lace-trimmed collar:

I used a "French edging", and gathered by hand using the pull thread in the lace header. (If you've never used French laces, it's pretty awesome. It's cotton, so the "look" is very dainty and pretty. Also, there are 2-3 header threads that you can use for gathering and lace-shaping.) I didn't add any interfacing to the collar, since I was using an eyelet.

I added lace to either edge of the placket, but did not gather it. I thought it would be easier to keep pressed that way (cotton lace wrinkles!) I used shell buttons.

The back at shoulder level is taller; it wraps around to the front forming a yoke above the front shoulder gathers.

The back neck has two small pleats or darts (they were shaped like darts, but they formed pleats because of the direction they point.) I love darts in the back neck! Eliminates all my back neck fitting difficulties.

The little cut-on cap sleeves had to be widened about 1/2". I just started the side seam a 1/2" lower than the dot. I turned up a tiny hem, 1/4" twice. The pattern above shoes a lace edging on the sleeve too, but I think it would make me itchy.

The bottom hem is also just turned up twice and stitched.

Other minor alterations: I did a pivot/slide to add to the waist & hip. I did a sort of FBA by slashing through my (traced) pattern from the middle of the shoulder to near the hem and spread 3/4". I lengthened the front & back by 1/2". I also dropped the height of the front pleats by 1".

I love this little top so much! I'll try to get a photo or two of me wearing it tomorrow if the weather is nice. I hope to cut out one more before summer is over too! I've also traced the 3/4 sleeve version, and I'm excited to try that one too!

Hope you're all having a productive week. :)

This post is cross posted at We Sew Vintage!


  1. Adorable! I would have thought lavender + eyelet + lace would add up to way too much, but it doesn't. I do like those bodice shaping darts.

  2. I love this blouse. Lavender is one of my favorite colors and the lace is perfect!

  3. It is interesting how styles go round. I was looking at an 80s pattern in my stash that has the same collar and yoke treatement (but with shoulder pads!)

  4. What a pretty blouse!

  5. Anonymous6:53 AM

    I love the color and the lace trim! Pretty.

  6. That's a lovely little blouse! So feminine!

  7. The blouse looks terrific!

  8. What, no action shots? Sheesh. I think I have that exact same fabric stashed from when the Evil Monkeys were, you know, toddlers...

    just saying.

    No, I am not being ugly because I'm JEALOUS that you can wear these types of blouses and I (apparently) can't.

    Am not.

    Word ver. = "grill". Really? How boring.

  9. This is gorgeous! I have some light purple eyelet, too, but it's fairly see-through -- I could totally see it going to a incredible use like a blouse like this.

    And btw, I'm planning on sewing another top not on my SESA list just because I want to use your piping tutorial ;)

  10. The blouse is very feminine. The lace is a lovely detail.

  11. Anonymous6:32 PM

    The blouse is sooooo pretty. The fabric, the delicate design detais. Just keep repeating, "I must not covet thy neighbor's garment nor thy neighbor's sewing skills." Great job!!


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