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31 July 2016

A blouse from 1937, Eva Dress 573

I finally got around to making one of the Eva Dress patterns that I won as the random prize winner in the Red Dress contest at Pattern Review. The final motivation came from, what else, another contest; the Vintage Pattern Contest 2016 at Pattern Review.

The pattern is #573 originally from 1937 and it is actually for a dress. I didn't have enough fabric for the whole dress (fooled again by a 45" width!), so I had to settle for a blouse this time.

This is the first time that I use a pattern from Eva Dress and I was very pleased with the quality of the pattern paper. It is heavy bond paper, none of that tissue paper so prone to ripping! You do need to cut out the pieces from a giant whole sheet of paper, but that is no different than for other pattern companies. The only thing that I found a bit difficult were the notch markings. For some reason each notched is marked not with one, but two parallel lines. Since there are multiple sizes printed together, the notches come often on top of each other. So to have twice as many lines as usual is really too much. Perhaps that is how they were in the original 1937 pattern? Anyway, that is the only thing I can find to complain about so I'm being a bit picky. For the rest the pattern pieces are very carefully and clearly marked.

Along with the pattern pieces you receive a leaflet that contains very clear copies of the original instructions. These include everything you need: the croquis of all the pattern pieces, the pattern layouts for the various sizes and fabric widths and then the step-by-step instructions clearly illustrated.

So the pattern was a pleasure to work with, but the fabric on the other hand... I used a silk georgette because I fell in love with the colorful print (what else is new!). But I had forgotten how tricky it is to sew with silk georgette. Give me a lovely wool any day! If I was ever so lucky as to work in a couture atelier I think tailleur would be the side for me, definitely not flou. But I complain too much. Careful handling of the fabric and sloooow sewing saw me through.

I sewed french seams throughout, and turned all hems over twice. The instructions say to finish the sleeve hems with a bias strip, but I skipped that and just turned them over as well, to the outside to "fake" the bias binding look. Please don't look to closely at my stitching... tailleur is my thing I tell you, not flou.

The pattern shape is lovely. It "hugs" the waist and creates a blousing effect at the back also.

I made size 18 which corresponds to a 36" bust and should be my size. The fit at the waist is good but I think the shoulders are too big, because the shoulder seam falls over my shoulder by a centimeter or two. This is not uncommon for me, as a pear shaped my shoulders are the smallest bit. For the next version I think I will try going one or two sizes down at the shoulders.

The sleeve has three tiny darts that shape it very nicely, so it is worth letting the shoulder line fall where it should.

The front of course is where the main action happens. There are two pieces for the waist, two side "flange" pieces that form the shoulder and armhole and the two scarves that make up the draped front before wrapping around the neck and back to hang at front.

I have to say that IRL there are not as many gathers and not as much fabric as is shown on the pattern drawing. The only thing that I changed on the front was sewing the two scarf fronts together rather than use loops and buttons. Too much work for this flou-handicapped seamstress. Plus I get the feeling they would have been too heavy for the georgette.

Still, I'm quite happy with my new silk blouse.

One thing though, before I think about making the full dress I'm going to wear this blouse a couple of times to see how the tied scarf feels and behaves when worn. The georgette is scratchy enough that the scarf doesn't quickly become loose, but I suspect that a silky satin would be more slippery.

And of course, I submitted the blouse to the Vintage Pattern Contest 2016 at Pattern Review.

2016 Vintage Pattern Contest


  1. What a delightful blouse. Beautiful fabric and lovely pattern. Worth all your effort!

    1. Thanks! I definitely recommend Eva Dress patterns if you want a challenge and an unusual shape.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Sandra, and thanks for stopping by.

  3. oh my gosh that is gorgeous. What a perfect use of that beautiful fabric. Love it!

    1. Thanks Beth! it is nice to have a win every once in a while :-)

  4. What a beautiful piece of fabric you chose for this. It is a very pretty piece of work. Lovely.