I had been looking around for a pattern for this style of bodice for a long time and finally found Sense and Sensibility Patterns' Swing Style Blouse pattern about a week before Aviation Day. Because I was short on time I decided to get the e-pattern, which worked out fine except for some reason I had some sizing issues that I think may have been due to that, but I'm not sure.
Here's my mock up cut down to the size I ended up doing against the pattern. For some reason it was really wide. It was an easy fix, but still.
My pattern pieces all cut out...
The next step was to cut out collar and front button lining part. Since this was on the pattern piece for the front piece of the blouse and I didn't want to cut it I marked it out by placing pins along the line and turning it over and marking where the pins were with my marker. After it was all marked I removed the pins then traced along the lines with my Dritz Styling Design Ruler, basically playing connect the dots.
Next I marked the front darts. Normally you would also sew these at the same time, but I waited until the bodice was sewn together to make sure I wouldn't need to make them a little bit bigger than the pattern called for.
At this point I also marked out the button holes and where the buttons would go.
I decided to serge (or actually zig-zag since I don't have a serger) all of the edges, which I'm really glad I did because this cotton ended up fraying pretty badly and it just makes the blouse feel much more professional and sturdy.
It went together easily, the most difficult part being the collar. But the nice part about this pattern is that the collar is built in, so it's all one piece!
This was my first attempt to sew the collar. Because of the awkward points it was difficult to stitch without catching the fabric. I ended up having to do it again but the second time turned out much nicer.
After I stitched the second piece to the collar and the button hole lining to the bodice I understitched it along the front. This technique was new to me at the time, but it's something I'm going to be doing a lot more often! It's basically stitching the seam allowance to the lining which gives it a straight edge.
Since the instructions to the pattern didn't show how to do this I had to look online, and I found a great tutorial HERE.
Back to the collar... The next step here is to roll the edge of the lining twice and stitch down on the inside. The instructions said to just top stitch this part because it won't be seen when the collar is folded outwards, but I decided to do a Stitch in the Ditch instead just as an extra measure.
Here's what it looked like from the inside...
And this is what it looks like on the outside. You can't even see the stitches! I'm really glad I did this instead because when I wore it the collar didn't quite cover it all the way.
Next is the sleeves!
The first step was to run a basting stick along the top between the marked lines.
After that I stitched it together at the seam before gathering it and sewing it to the bodice.
When the sleeves were sewn on I tried it on and went to work on the darts. The original size ended up being perfect!
When the holes were done I stitched the buttons on.
All that was left at this point was to finish the sleeves. I wanted to do a rolled hem, but the instructions don't tell you how to do them even though they say you can do them. My only dilemma was that I wasn't sure how to stitch them.
In the end I just rolled it up about half an inch, ironed it, rolled it up another inch, and ironed it again without stitching anything. It seemed to stay just fine, although I was wearing my coat all day on Aviation Day.
Since my hair is longer than most girls hair in the 1940's and it refuses to curl I have get creative. This ended up being a really easy do and it was nice to not worry about it getting messed up in the wind. I think I'll make a tutorial for it soon.