Sew For Victory Outfit: Skirt and Blouse from Simplicity 3688

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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!

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