For this outing I opted to go with an actual 1940s Butterick Pattern #4381. What drew my attention was the clever little “Bustle” back on the jacket. I think if the ruffles had gone all the way around to the front it might have been called a peplum, but as it was only on the back the pattern referred to it as a “bustle”. I also really liked the way the front of the suit looked so fitted, but the back of the jacket had this flirty little ruffled bustle and the skirt had a lot of softly gathered fabric with great movement. So feminine!
Now, you can see from the picture it was a Size 14 w/a 32” bust and a 23” waist! LOL Might be more like a size four by today’s measurement standards. I needed to scale it up to my size, and knew it was going to be a challenge.
|Finished hem on Left & Right w/unfinished hem in the middle|
Next, there were so many little ridiculous sewing instructions that I wanted to cry. I am including a photo of just one. I have two finished hemmed edges and a third “middle section” that ends up unfinished that now has to be hand tacked to line up correctly with the other two hemlines on the jacket. You can see exactly what I was working with in the picture of the pattern instructions. Those were the easy fixes. The rest was a struggle. It was the instructions; I just could not make them work to my full satisfaction. I think I ripped it apart more than it was actually sewn together. The collar was a nightmare from the get go. It had an interior facing that was attached after the exterior portion was attached to the jacket bodice and it had squared edges at the shoulders. The collar itself has a softly curved edge. I knew where I needed to get to; I just could not get the pieces to fall into place easily. There are eleven pieces or twenty-two pieces total to the bodice after you doubled it, and I opted not to line this jacket due to a time constraint. I finally resorted to an age old panacea, wine! After a couple of glasses, I was ready to get back into the ring with this jacket and wrestle it to a finish!
I wore the finished ensemble with some basic black 2” T-strap pumps, a vintage black handbag, vintage beaded black ¾ length gloves, and I finished it off with a vintage black felt tilt hat with some greenish blue feathers and net veil. I am such a fiend for hats with veils. I really made the entire outfit so I could wear the hat!
My hairstyle was researched as well. It was a low, thick “Victory Roll” on the sides and back, and was finished off by pulling the front sides up into a soft bun that I then used to anchor the hat pins to for the tilt hat.
Fromthe first day I took the pattern pieces out of the envelope (very carefully as both the envelope and the pattern pieces themselves were very fragile) to the day I wore the outfit was only seven days. It was a big challenge, and I am proud that I pulled it off.
PS: Yes, I know that Simplicity has a pattern similar, but it lacks the draping in the back of the skirt that I liked, and does not have the double ruffled bustle back on the jacket either. Plus, I wanted to work with an actual vintage pattern