Sew For Victory Outfit: Skirt and Blouse from Simplicity 3688

SFV Front

One of the first blogs I was drawn to when I started reading about sewing online was the brilliant Lucky Lucille. I loved the site’s focus on vintage clothing, the sneak peeks inside the finished garments, and seeing Rochelle’s sewing skills. I know it sounds obvious that if you can sew, it logically follows that you can sew whatever clothing you want, but Rochelle’s blog really helped me to realise the impact personal sewing can have on your style and the breadth of options it opens to you.

When I signed up to take part in Sew For Victory 2.0, I decided that two things would guide my project: 1. to actually sew an outfit for the challenge – something I’ve never done before; 2. to sew something for summer, as most of the clothes I’ve sewn so far have been suited to cooler weather.

SVF Fabric

I don’t have any authentic 1940s patterns, but I picked up Simplicity 3688 – a 40s reproduction – in a recent Simplicity sale and bought some lovely Irish linen for the skirt and a sweet flower-pattern Liberty lawn for the shirt. (I think I’m more drawn to patterned fabric after Sew Dolly Clackett!)

I left out the sleeve headings and the front bodice pleats on the shirt because, while I don’t want to completely eliminate the 40s design elements, I find looser clothing more comfortable and wasn’t sure how often I’d wear a blouse with strong shoulders.

The skirt is a snug fit though, because I got a bit overzealous with my French seams. Going overboard by a tiny fraction when making French seams isn’t much of an issue if you have just two side seams to work on, but the cumulative effect across several panels is another story! That said, I think this is the best-finished garment I’ve ever sewn and I’m really pleased with the result.

Here's a weird side-selfie showing the lapped zipper more closely

Here’s a weird side-selfie showing the lapped zipper more closely.

Both items were really easy to sew – the directions are quite clear and the design elements are simple enough that it doesn’t take too long to put it all together.

 All of the Sew For Victory projects are being compiled through the group Flickr page – take a look through all the lovely creations!

SFV Back


24 thoughts on “Sew For Victory Outfit: Skirt and Blouse from Simplicity 3688

  1. Wow what a beautiful colour combination. I love your choice of your fabrics – the linen skirt will be lovely if we get some sunshine this summer and the Liberty print looks so cheerful. You will get lots of wear out of these two items in different combinations for MMM!!
    I agree with the French Seams issue I have gone a bit overboard on those in the past and created a rather snug fit due too.
    Jen at Grainline Studio has just done an excellent post about how to calculate French Seam allowances which I will most definately use on my next me-made garment – follow this link:

    • Thanks for that link, Caroline, Jen’s put some very handy tips together alright. I’ll definitely be following them the next time around too! This is actually just one of three skirts I made recently (!) so, like you, I’ll be wearing a lot of skirts over the next while! 🙂

  2. These are both great! I LOVE the colour of the skirt, and the shape and lapped zip. And the blouse fabric is gorgeous, they go together so well.

    • Thank you Lynne 🙂 It’s a great pattern – the style of the skirt and the blouse sit great together. I will be trying my hand at the trousers before too long, but have a mind to make more summery blouses from this as it’s nicely fitted without being constrictive.

  3. Beautiful – fits you like a glove! Particularly love the fabric you used for the blouse. The lapsed zipper is a really nice detail in itself too. Ace make.

    • Thanks Ingrid! There were some design details on the blouse that really helped the fit, especially the sleeves. Planning to make a few more now to see me through summer 🙂

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