Thursday, July 9, 2015

1940s Blouses by Du Barry

Here is another outfit post from the MAAM WWII weekend. I have more more planned but I'm still waiting on a few photos from a photographer. (I had the opportunity to do a really awesome photo shoot!! I can't wait to share!) Be sure to check out the official event photo gallery, you'll spot a few photos of Cori and I in there if you look carefully. Although I only ending up wearing one, I made myself two new blouses using Du Barry 5172. This is a great little pattern that dates from 1941. I think it's my favorite blouse pattern by far! It incorporates many of those vintage details that I really enjoy.

The sleeves have a set of small pleats at the ends and little pouf shoulder. The front of the blouse is constructed with shoulder yokes and the collar is a simple rounded shape. Another thing I like about this blouse is that instead of being straight from underarm to hem, the blouse is cut to fit the torso. My first blouse was made from a white figured cotton muslin that I purchased on sale from Joann's Fabrics. (Note to self. Gotta get some pictures!) I wanted to trim the white blouse with lace as shown on the pattern envelope but couldn't fine any I liked. The red and white stripe is a cotton fabric that came from my mom's fabric stash.

Photo by Neal Howland

Photo by Neal Howland
Although the pattern doesn't say to, I decided to cut the shoulder yokes and placket for the buttons on the bias. This helped to break up the stripes and add a little more visual interest to the blouse. I had a couple people ask me about working with stripes. I personally really like working with stripes and plaids for some reason. Most of my historical clothing is made using stripes, checks and plaids. (see my cross barred gown.) Stripes can be your best friend or worst enemy. Be patient. I often find that stripes can really be helpful when lining up pattern pieces. It can be fun challenge! Depending on your project you may need to allow for some extra fabric if you are worried about matching up the stripes like I did with my Dorr Mill Hoodie. Pin carefully! Then baste or sew. Craftsy has some good tips here, there are also a few here as well.

My skirt was made using Du Barry 5296. I love this skirt! It has a slim fit and a generous pleat in back for easy of movement. I have a lovely blue and white pin striped wool that I want to use to make the whole suit as shown on the envelope. The blue linen I used was left over from an 18th century frock coat that I made for my brother a few years back. It wrinkles easily but linen is so comfortable to wear especially when the weather is hot! This skirt has become a good vintage basic and mixes and matches well with other items I have. I've worn this skirt about 5 or 6 times now!

For the dance Saturday night I changed into my linen pants (Simplicity 1306) and flats. After wearing heels all day, something I'm not use it, my Bleyer Liddy Hoppers felt like heaven. They are super comfortable dance shoes! I bought mine when I was still in high school and dancing all the time. (Wow, how many years ago now?! Yeah, it's been a few.) Sadly I don't get to do much dancing these days so I'm soooo out of practice. Cori doesn't really dance and the closest swing dance scene is a good 2 hour drive from home. But I did manage to get him out on the dance floor that night, it's a lot of fun dancing to a live band!

One of the official event photographers, Big Bloc Photography LLC, took these photos of us and our friend Max beside the MAAM's B-25J bomber Briefing Time. You can see his complete gallery, along with tons of other great photos from the air show here. I love the Kodachrome coloring! Cori and Max are wearing their 1940s LADP uniforms. They were the only two from the police group able to make it to the airshow this year. We're hoping for a bigger turn out next year.

Outfit Details
Blouse - Made by me, Du Barry 5172
Skirt - Made by me, Du Barry 5296 
Pants - Made by me,  Simplicity 1306
Shoes - Wingtips from Blyer
Victory Pin - local antique shop

Photo by Neal Howland
Summary of the Patterns
Fabrics: Cottons for blouses, linen for skirt
Pattern: Du Barry 5172 (blouse) and Du Barry 5296 (skirt)
Year: 1941
Notions: Buttons, thread, and snaps, zipper and matching lace hem tape for skirt
How historically accurate is it? Pretty darn good! Cotton is perfect for the blouses. I don't know how popular linen was used for clothing but it's what I had and I love it.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? The button holes for the blouses. I dislike them but I'm getting better the more I do.
Did you change anything? Surprisingly, no. Both patterns went together very well. I had some fitting issues with the waist of the skirt but nothing major.
Time to complete: About a four hours for each blouse including buttons and button holes. About the same for the skirt
First worn: June 2014
Total cost: About $6 for each pattern, less then $10 for the white fabric. Buttons, striped fabric and linen fabric from the stash.
Notes: Linen does wrinkle easily but it's so comfortable especially when the weather is hot. I love this skirt and need to make another!


  1. A fine job there Emily, looks great. Particularly like the contrast direction of stripes. x

  2. The blouse is brilliant and you did splendidly to have the yokes on the bias. And who doesn't love a Peter Pan collar! It's the little details that I really love about the clothing of the past and that they fit with nicety, it's just something that lacks these days. Applause to your brilliant ensemble!

  3. I am MADLY in love with your blouse! That's it. I need to do more 1940s sewing RIGHT NOW!!!

    1. Haha, thanks Lauren! I've been trying to add more separate to my wardrobe. This is by far my favorite pattern right now.

  4. Oh, I've fallen in love with that blouse! Bias yokes are a really fantastic addition :)

  5. Such a great outfit combination! The multi color V pin seems to be a very versatile accessory :-)

  6. I love how you added the visual interest the with bias cut yoke and placket ~ stripes are so effective when broken up into different directions. It really is a super cute make! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  7. The blouse is wonderfully made and so pretty! Love the yoke and sleeves in particular ♥

  8. It only took me a million years to comment, but I LOVE your blouse!! You always make the prettiest ones!!
    This settles it: I need both striped fabric AND many more vintage blouse patterns.
    Gorgeous outfit, and I love how you and your husband look so 1940s together!! :)

  9. Finally got time to comment. That blouse is stunning!! I wanna make a similar one stat! And I love how the kodachrome look photos turned out, Oh man those look great!!

    Carla, TinyAngryCrafts

  10. I just love this blouse! Is this real Kodachrome? I love looking at old vintage photographs with Kodachrome.


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