Vintage fabric and clothing have always held a fascination for me. Who wore or bought them, where have they been, what did they see? That age-old proverb springs to mind ‘if only walls could talk’ change that to ‘ if only vintage fabric could talk’ and you know how my mind works. As a lifelong sewing fan, I do of course, have storage filled with fabric. Much of it vintage and all of it collected over many years. I find it hard to cut into vintage fabric and vow to wait for that special project. Occasionally serendipity steps in and the perfect marriage of pattern and fabric is formed. Therefore, may I introduce you to my second Liberty Thea, Boho Blouse, sewed from vintage fabric that has been in my care for 8 years.
Vintage fabric from the 60’s becomes a blouse worn in 2022.
Soft and subtle gold and greys, 100% cotton, no damage and enough to make a wearable blouse, Liberty Thea Boho blouse number 201 to be precise. A style that reminds me of the cover of my favourite childhood book Little Women. Louisa May Alcott has a lot to answer for when it comes to my fantasy grown up wardrobe! I have made this pattern twice before; one version is still unfinished and the other you can see on my instagram grid.
I wanted a unique, casual Blouse, & to wear it as an everyday item.
The reason I do not agree with saving clothes for best is because it usually means you don’t get to wear them very often. I like to be able to wear dresses and blouses as everyday clothes. this blouse had its first day out paired with jeans and loafers. Safe to say I hit the mark with this one! The vintage fabric guarantees a unique item of clothing
Tips for Handling and Sewing with Vintage fabric
Always check the fabric for weak spots, sometimes damage from sunlight cause faded areas to become weakened and delicate. The last thing you want when you have cut out the pattern pieces, is discovering a front panel is weak and rips to a hole when you sew it. Some older fabrics are simply not suitable for clothing and would be better used on a quilting project.
Pre-Wash the fabric by hand with a mild detergent. You will soon discover if it is suitable for wear or not. I was lucky I had 2m of 100% cotton strong enough to handle a few more years of wear and tear. If the weak areas cannot be avoided, they can usually be fixed with some inter lining. Perhaps try using lightweight fusible interfacing.
The best thing about sewing with vintage fabric, is being able to guarantee you will never. ever see anyone else wearing it! Using vintage buttons and cotton lace adds to the feel and the style of my latest vintage piece.
In my opinion the Liberty Thea Blouse comes up small, I am a 12/14 and cut a 16 to make sure it fitted across my shoulders and was long enough for my arms. I have sewed both collar versions and can recommend the good old grandad collar as being more suitable for an everyday easy to wear comfy blouse. The choice of fabric is of course up to you, but I love to mix a modern traditional style with vintage fabric when and where I can. Afterall, Little women or prairie style is so rock n ‘roll these days. Think of The Vampires Wife (oh those beautiful dresses) . . .I rest my case.
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