Hello friends! After the incredible success I had with my first attempt at a proper pattern hack, I was looking forward to testing even more wintery makes that would be appropriate for the chilly weather. I was keen to try all sorts of new heavier weight fabrics and see if I couldn’t create some more vintage inspired, seasonal clothing. However, my laptop took a not entirely unexpected turn over one weekend and simply refused to hold a charge. This meant a lot of hasty backing up onto an external hard drive while I still could, and the generosity of a friend’s brother in sharing his store discount to help me afford a new machine. As someone who rarely buys brand new this all was a bit exciting, but also meant I had to seriously rethink all my immediate sewing plans for the next while due to the budget change. Enter Simplicity 6550.
This beautiful vintage pattern was one of two I picked up secondhand from a Facebook, via one of my groups dedicated to the sale of patterns. I was immediately drawn to the illustrations, and having tried a few Simplicity patterns now I am very appreciative of their more detailed instructions. However, I was dismayed to discover a piece was missing when it arrived, and the others were in a worse state than expected. Doctor tape came to the rescue, and luckily the missing piece didn’t impact View 1, the long-sleeved version I intended to make. But I was still very gentle when prepping all the pieces for tracing, which I always do as a matter of course even with more modern patterns.
The fabric was a stroke of luck when I was out scouting a nearby Op Shop. Of course I was still mindful of social distancing, ensuring I thoroughly washed my hands before and after, etc. But I was delighted to discover that the Op Shop had shuffled some things around and now had a whole section of shelves full of bits and bobs of fabric! I was immediately drawn to the print of this fabric, and then in awe of it’s beautiful drape and the fact that there was easily two and a half meters of it for an absolute steal! I also managed to pick up a few other pieces, but it was this piece that told me very clearly – Make me into a blouse!
The blouse came together beautifully, with the only changes being made to the sleeves. I was very hesitant to slash my beautiful fabric open to create the vent for the cuff so instead left the same amount open on the side seam and created the vent there. I thought this worked very well, and meant that the button was in a somewhat easier to reach spot for the closure. Much to my surprise this was also the first sleeve pattern I’d encountered where I wasn’t feeling the need for a small-wrist adjustment! Although next time I think I will also add side vents around the hips, as the bodice is rather tight on me in that area, I would say this pattern is pretty much a perfect fit!
And the best part is, even though it’s designed for my winter wardrobe I’ll still be wearing it to work in summer because I am the office “cold person”.
Pattern: Simplicity 6550
Views Made: View 1
Pros: Has an all in one collar-facing with only the under collar being separate – which is my preference unless there’s a collar stand, the fit is really nice and the cuffs don’t gape if you have small wrists like me, it’s versatile for both summer and winter.
Cons: It’s an unprinted pattern – which may be offputting for some.
Would I recommend it for beginners: If you already have some experience with making blouses, certainly.
Would I make it again: Yes! And I fully intend to try and make a replacement for the missing piece so I can do the sleeveless version.