Subversive Femme

FO: The Universal Blouse (Simplicity 3288, c. 1950)

With the heat kicking in down here in Sydney it’s definitely time to start summer sewing – and what’s better than a blouse that can be worn with anything?

I’ve had Simplicity 3288 in my stash for ages and actually thought it was a dress until I took a closer look just recently.

It’s actually a top and skirt pattern. The pattern envelope didn’t look very inspiring but I thought I would give it a go – and I’m sure glad I did!

The blouse is bias cut and has little winged sleeve cuffs – plus two versions of collar and collar-less.

The collar-less version (2) is a cinch to make, and I went for pink cotton homespun version with ric-rac trim to match the pattern picture.

To enlarge it to fit me, I added half an inch across the top of the shoulders, and half an inch width on each side seam. It worked perfectly.

The ric-rac trim on the sleeves are definitely my favourite bit.

But you can’t stop at one right?
So here’s the same blouse (Version A), but with a collar in white rayon.

1950s vintage sewing patterns pattern blouse simplicity 3288


novelty cigarette brooch 1950s

The white rayon is definitely my favourite version of this blouse – the fabric is nice and cool to wear and perfect for summer.

And finally, Version A in minty green cotton homespun.

I chose this colour to match a 1950’s John Wolf border skirt, and the colour is so close that a few people thought it was actually a dress.

1950s bakelite western brooch 1940s lucite jewelry vintage

And the perfect colour to show off my new lucite and bakelite vintage brooch!

Fabric used:
Cotton prima homespun, and pure rayon

Very easy. Takes about 1-2 hours to make one.

Pattern Mods:

  • Added half an inch across the shoulders and at the side seams. Enlarged sleeve cuff to fit/
  • Shortened bust dart length by an inch to stop pointy boob.

Would I make this again?
Yes, definitely! I need one in navy rayon, and mustard cotton.

I think the lesson I learned is perhaps don’t judge a patten by it’s envelope?

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  • Reply
    December 6, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Oh your blouses are absolutely darling!! If I saw the pattern just as is, I probably would have passed on it, glad you made it up! I think I like the green one, it's so cute!

    Carla, Tiny Angry Crafts

  • Reply
    Emily Daly ferguson
    July 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Love ing reading through your blog,very inspiring and thoughtful.This looks like the perfect shirt, I found the pattern for sale for 16 nz dollars on etsy,it’s a size 16,what size did you start with?

    • Reply
      July 2, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      Hi hon!
      Oh my that’s a very complicated question. I normally buy a 36-38″ bust pattern and do a FBA adjustment to make it fit best. I think this one was 38″.
      I wouldn’t recommend buying a size 16 pattern if you’re a 16 in the shops – go by the measurements in the envelope as they’re very different xxx

  • Reply
    Emily Daly ferguson
    July 3, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks heaps,the one I was looking at was a 34,I’ll keep looking.got the FBA sorted.

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