Wearing History recently expanded the sizes of her Smooth Sailing 1930s Sport Togs- Blouse & Trousers Pattern. The original pattern package has bust sizes 30-40, and now there’s also a plus-size one in bust sizes 41-53, and waist sizes 34-46.
My previous sewing experience: I have been sewing for 35 years, and I’m used to commercial patterns. I have also used a lot of E-patterns previously. But despite making clothes for so many years I have never before made a pair of trousers with a fitted waistline, and I have never made a blouse. The pattern: This was an e-pattern, which means you need a printer, a pair of sharp scissors, and either glue or tape. Also, a certain degree of patience as you need to cut out and assemble the pattern yourself. I found this pattern very easy to put together. If you print it in colour the sizes all have different colours for making it easier to cut the right size, but I printed mine in black-and-white and still found it easy. You use your bust measurement to determine the size of the blouse and your waist measurements for the size of the trousers. My measurements are exactly a 47 bust and a 38 waist. The pattern pieces are clearly labeled and when sewn together they also fit together very well. The trousers went together like a dream and very quickly. Well, the blouse went together like a dream too, and if you are used to sewing blouses it would probably be a fairly quick sew as well. As it was I referenced the instructions often, but I didn’t run into any problems. I found the instructions clear, and easy to understand.
The fit: I confess, I'm impatient and I didn’t bother with a mock-up. In retrospect, I could have lowered the waist on the trousers a little, but they are perfectly wearable as they are. I have narrow shoulders, and I would have needed to change the pattern to accommodate that, (the pattern includes instruction for that change) but I opted for small shoulder pads instead. Otherwise, there was nothing that needed to be fixed. Both trousers and blouse fit well, but on the roomier side- if you hover between sizes you might want the smaller size. But that also depends on how snug you like your clothes to be. The fabric: I used cotton for both trousers and blouse; red corduroy for the trousers and stonewashed medium-weight yellow cotton for the blouse. The colours were inspired by clothing advice from a 1940s book; to pair dark red with yellow. I would never, ever have thought about it otherwise.
The verdict: I’m super pleased! So comfortable, and I think the clothes look great! I love the colour combo too- very autumn. I’m also pleased that I had enough yellow fabric left for a skirt, and so much of the corduroy to make both a skirt and a 1930s style blazer. So basically I got a whole autumn wardrobe out of this.