For some reason the 1940s fashion doesn’t stop fascinating me. I have been watching Agent Carter on Netflix and only because of the costumes! Lately, I have noticed that I have need for solid coloured skirts that would be much easier to combine with my colourful tops. Simplicity 3688 sewing pattern is like a capsule wardrobe for the 1940s.
I bought the Simplicity 3688 sewing pattern a long time ago but I never really reviewed it. This is a set of 1940s garments: a skirt, a blouse, a jacket and a pair of wide-legged trousers. The size range AA has the sizes 10 to 18 (EUR 36 to 44) and the size range BB the sizes 20 to 28. However, a word of warning: The sizes have much less ease than normally with the big four patterns. This time you must follow the size table rigorously since otherwise you are left with garments that are too small!
I have only made the pants out of all the patterns that came with it. (See the Me Made May ’18 picture above.) The pants are really nice but a bit tight at the waist, even though I sized up at the waist. This time I knew this and finally chose the size 14, which is way larger size number than my normal 8 to 10. But then, the size is nothing but a number and the most important thing is to get a garment that fits!
I found this really pretty grayish green wool at the remnants section of Materials in Helsinki and it was just perfect for the project. Originally the pattern did not include any lining but the wool just requires it, since it is way too itchy without. I had just enough light green lining to match, even though I had to piece together two smaller pieces to make up enough material for the lining. But it’s lining, so no one will see the extra seam. Besides, in 1940s people would have done the same to save the fabric!
I forgot to steam the wool before cutting and sewing it. This resulted in a lot of frustration when I was trying to press the seams flat while sewing. The wool wanted to shrink and pucker in an ugly way and I spend something like an hour taming all the wrinkles. Luckily the skirt still fit me after this steaming and pressing process!
This is a very easy make and suitable for beginners. I never even opened the instruction booklet. I used an invisible zipper instead a regular one since I like the look of an invisible zipper more, even though it is not really 1940s thing. I found a good button in my huge button collection, so I did not need to buy one.
The finished skirt
I am really happy with the finished version. I couldn’t resist wearing it straight away even though this May heatwave is not really suitable for wool skirts. Finally it was cooler than I expected; wool as a natural fibre is breathing and the fabric is very lightweight.
I look at the seams and see some need for more pressing but this heat is not really a weather when I want to spend hours ironing!
I don’t have many skirt with this width. The skirt is wide enough to allow easy walking and moving but you’ll have to sit down carefully so that you don’t crease your skirt. This is not really something that you think about if you still on a chair like a proper person. I, however, am always sitting on the floor with my sewing, since I don’t have a cutting table. For that the wider skirts are a bit more handy since I can just spread the fabric all around me.
About the blouse…
To keep with the spirit of the Me Made May ’18, I wear the skirt with my Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse. I made this without the center front seam which I replaced with a keyhole neckline. If I am correct, this blouse hasn’t really been on the blog before, at least I didn’t find it when I searched for it.
I have now tested two of the patterns that came with Simplicity 3688. Even though the waist is a bit tight with the trousers I’d still say that they both fit nicely. The waistband would be easily fixed with the trousers and otherwise the fit of the trousers is close to perfection. In fact, I am planning of making these trousers again at some point.
I am still to test the blouse and the jacket. The blouse looks very nice but I do not think that I have so much need for a jacket of this style, since I am more of a cardigan type of person.
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P.S. Have you noticed my Skirt pattern calculator? Try it out to create a pleated skirt pattern for yourself!