Thursday, March 10, 2011

70s does 30s Blouse - New and Improved!

As a swing dancer, I'm always on the lookout for vintage-y pieces that aren't precious real stuff. Silky blouses with flowy long sleeves are one of the hardest garments to find and are highly coveted among my friends. We get our inspiration from these dancers, among others:
Whitey's Hopper Maniacs, better known as Whitey's Lindy Hoppers

So every time I see a 70's necktie blouse with lovely gathered yokes, pintucks, bright colors and bold prints, I'm sad that it looks so darn 70's! They're affordable, sturdy, and cute. But the necktie just won't work.

A couple weeks ago I needed a "shiny shirt" for a performance, and rather than risk wearing real vintage I pulled out this F21 blouse from the pile and attempted some Swing Era Transplant Surgery!

Here's the steps in case you want to try:

Put the blouse and mark the new collar. (My seamline is marked with the blue pins on the viewer's right.) Try it both buttoned up and unbuttoned. I went as wide & long as I thought I could get away with!

Mark your edgeline (where your pins were). If you're smart, use disappearing ink or chalk. I'm not smart and usually use a Sharpie cause it's handy, so I made tiny dots...hope you can see! Your lines should be more or less straight - no need to curve the collar tip.

Transfer markings to the opposite side.

Staystitch a line 1/8" inside your edge to stabilize the layers.

Carefully cut along your edgeline, and apply Fray-Check if needed.

Grab your trim, swap out the thread colors on the machine if needed (I changed to black on top and white in the bobbin), and apply trim along the entire collar edge to cover your raw edge.

If your trim is double sided (like rickrack) you can just fold it back at the corner instead of trying to turn the corner - it's a tight corner, so it's worth finding doublesided trim!

My project's a little messy, but that's not visible unless you're photographing it on macro. :)

Here's the finished product - I love how the contrasting trim highlights my new collar!

If you try this project, send me a link or a picture - I'd love to see!


  1. WOW! What a lovely refashion! I'll have to try this one!!

  2. That is TOO cute! I want one now!

  3. My goodness, isn't that completely adorable! What a great idea.

  4. You're a genius! I know what my next few sewing projects are going to be now!

  5. You've already affected my subconscious. Mary asked me what she could do to improve a questionably-vintage polka dot jumper and without thinking I said "ric rac!"

  6. Isn't rickrack the answer to most of life's questions?!

  7. I like your blog! I found it via Tuppence Hapenny Vintage's blog (last post actually and was really appreciative of your comment) =)

    Anywho, I'm inspired by your sewing, I must learn!! So, Hello and I'll be seeing you via! :)


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