Emboldened by my success with the princess slip, I requested another pattern. The E0191 blouse.
Having a lovely blue eyelet and a matching chiffon remnant that had seduced me with it’s pretty blue pattern and ten peso price (about seventy five cents US) in my stash I decided to use them for my muslin.
The only changes I made to the lining were slashing and spreading the bottom of the front pattern piece to add four inches, for a total of eight additional inches in the front waist. I made the lining first and tried it on. It fit perfectly though I thought that the neck and armscye seemed a bit too tight. The waist hit my natural waistline after I gathered the sides.
When I altered the blouse body, I decided to add an extra inch to the front because I felt that the chiffon would look better if it was fuller. I think I should have added more to the center front too, so I could have made deeper pleats.
Originally, I made the collar out of the chiffon backed with the lining fabric and trimmed with purchased bias. I had a roll of matching blue bias already, so I chose to use that instead of making my own bias binding. I didn’t like how the collar and the cuff trim looked so I appliqued some funky tie-dyed lace that I had salvaged from another garment. I think the collar and cuffs shrank somewhat because of the extra stitching. The collar was way too tight so I extended the overlapping pieces to make it bigger.
Trying everything on before I added the sleeves, it all fit. After I added the sleeves, the underarm and high bust area started pulling and was slightly uncomfortable. When I attached the lining to the shell, I made the armscyes deeper hoping that would help the problem. It did a little bit. I’ve been staring at the blouse for a few days now, and I think, to my horror, that I sewed the left sleeve to the right armscye and vice-versa. Comparing the way the sleeves hang in my version to how the sleeves hang in the drawing seems to confirm my suspicions.
Another problem that I had was that since I made the collar bigger, the neckline for the lining didn’t match up with the neckline for the shell. I should have fixed that in the pattern rather than doing it as I sewed the two pieces together.
The idea of removing the sleeves and reattaching them correctly doesn’t really appeal to me. I have visions of the chiffon fraying while the armscyes grow deeper and deeper and the sleeves shorter and shorter. Once I determined that I was not going to be wearing this version of the blouse, I decided to try two different variations of the bead trim. I like the one on the right best. Since I already had a white eyelet sash from another dress, I used that instead of making a new one.
I made tiny overcast seams or French seams because the chiffon frayed. If I make this blouse again, I am going to make the optional basque but also add a basque to the front too. That way I can tuck the blouse into the skirt, or I’ll make another sash and attach the blouse like I did this time.
The pattern went together easily, the instructions were sufficient and clear. Any problems that I had were self inflicted, I don’t recommend using chiffon as a muslin, but I think it does make for a very pretty blouse.
Updating the E0191 Blouse information
- Pattern Name: E0191 Blouse
- Sewer’s Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced
- Pattern Rating: 3 – Good/Average,
- What skill level would someone need to sew this pattern and why? I think you need to be at least have done some sewing in order to make up this pattern. Matching the lining to the shell can be tricky. The neckline on the shell changes shape as you pleat it which can confuse someone who hasn’t done much fabric manipulation.
- Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were clear but not enough for a beginner. If not, what needs to be changed? The pleat instructions need to be clearer in how to handle them, how deep etc. The sleeves could use match point marks for the back and front.
- How was the fit/sizing? The sleeves and neck were too tight, even after I removed the sleeves.The neck was tight also. Did it correspond to what you thought? The sizing was fine.
- Did you make any pattern alterations?yes If so, what alterations did you make? I added 4 inches to the width at the bottom of the lining and five to the shell by the slash and spread method. I made the collar a bit wider. here they fit or design alterations? The first was a fitting alteration, since I have full bust. The second was also for fit, the collar felt too tight and high.
- Other notes:It looks very period, especially when attached to a sash. I did not like the way the armholes bound. I took the blouse apart and removed the sleeves to confirm whether the fit was due to how I inserted the sleeves or not. They were still too tight and high to be comfortable.Pattern Review Checklist
- Pattern Description minimal
- Pattern Sizing short waisted, but probably fine for the period because pattern suggests attaching it to a sash
- Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? yes, except for where I widened the collar.
4. Were the instructions easy to follow? The directions were clear enough for me, especially after reading the blog post about applying bands.
5.What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Matching the lining to the shell was not easy. I should have added more fabric to the middle for the pleats.
6.Fabric Used I used a cotton blend eyelet for the shell and polyester chiffon for the shell
7.Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added width to the bottom of the shell and lining as a full bust adjustment using the slash and spread method. I used purchased bias tape instead of making my own.
8.Would you recommend this pattern to others? Only if they wanted a 1912 shirtwaist to wear with a skirt, the front is too full to be flattering with a modern outfit.
Conclusion I don’t plan on sewing this blouse again. If for some reason I did, I would add five inches to the shell and lining where the gathers go and three to center for the pleats to make them more obvious. I add a quarter inch to the shoulder and cut the armholes a bit deeper. I would also add a little more width to the sleeves. I would cut the bias binding out of chiffon to minimize bulk. I would also make a lace collar or not use the collar at all.