I can’t get enough Victorian ruffles and pintucks. After drooling after cute Victorian looks on Pinterest I finally bought McCall’s M2045 that is part of their Cosplay collection. This pattern has all the elements a Victorian blouse needs: pintucks, lace and lots of ruffles. Just to start easy, I went with the simplest look that only had 24 pintucks and no ruffles. I got this Lady McElroy cotton shirting for free through the Minerva Crafts blogger network that I am a new member of.
My project didn’t have a good start. I had ordered my M2045 pattern online and, only after I had opened the parcel, I realised that I had ordered a wrong size range. Due to all the details I felt that scaling the pattern down could only lead to disaster. The only thing I could do, was to order another pattern and gift the first one to a friend.
After receiving the right sized pattern (UK 8 to 14) I could finally start. My measurements pointed me towards the size 12 but the actual pattern piece measurements made me to chose the size 10. This ended up being a good choice and I didn’t have to make any size related modifications.
This pattern is not something that you should try to sew in one sitting. I spend one evening just making the 24 pintucks. I seamed the blouse with French seams to make it look neat from the inside, too. However, I did not try to achieve historical accuracy and thus made all the 16 buttonholes with my sewing machine. The mother-of-pearl buttons I found at the Recycling Centre covered them anyway.
After the sleeves were sewn on I was able to try the blouse on. I realised that the sleeve puffs were huge. I basically looked like an American Footballer! Luckily I hadn’t yet sewn on the cuffs! I ripped out the sleeves and reworked the sleeve pattern using the puffed sleeve pattern from B6563 as a model. After my modification, I still had puffed sleeves but they were much smaller:
Since I left out the ruffles, my blouse looks quite plain in Victorian standards. I think this might be something that the ladies could have worn for sports or for work. However, I realised that I can add a bit extra femininity by tying a silk scarf around my neck and adding my late mother-in-laws cameo brooch to finish the look.
I like how the pin tucks add interest even to the blouse back:
I also made myself a Victorian inspired watch pendant to wear as a necklace:
For this, I used a ready made watch pendant to which I added the beads and the chain.
Even though I just finished this blouse, I am already planning more history-inspired makes. I have been collecting old patterns and pattern drafting books, some of them original, and my fingers are already twitching to start a new historical sewing project.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and thank you for reading! You can find this blouse later at the Minerva Crafts Blog. Happy sewing!