Sunday, April 21, 2019

McCall’s 9054 (1984) : Liz Claiborne Blouse with Released Shoulder Tucks

I made View B from this 1984 collection of Liz Claiborne blouse patterns in a Cotton Poplin:

Liz Claiborne worked and designed for other people until 1976, when she launched Liz Claiborne, Inc.  She is widely considered to have helped invent American women’s sportswear. Her clothes, mid-priced and of good quality, were popular with all those “working girls” of the 1980s.  You know, the ones dressed in suits, skirts and blouses who commuted to work in sneakers?

These are casual but crisp blouses.  They all have interesting little details.   View B has rolled up sleeves with tabs and something called “back and front released shoulder tucks.”   I had never heard of this design feature before. Turns out the effect they have is to make a kind of demarcation at the shoulder where a dropped or raglan sleeve might start.  It also helps tame all that fabric under the arms. You know, there’s a little 80s oversized-ness going on here….might need a belt to get it under control….!

Here’s a picture of the tissue pattern on the fabric with the directions on how to make these tucks, and how the "released shoulder tuck" looks once sewn.

As for the rolled up sleeves, I knew I didn’t want “the wrong side” to show when the sleeve was rolled up and fastened with the tab.  So I extended the sleeve with paper when I was cutting out the blouse so I could fold under a huge amount of fabric at the sleeve edges, so when I “roll up” the sleeves the “right” side will show.

Because I made this change and because the sleeves taper, It took a little finagling to get the sleeves to look alright.  I pinked the sleeve edges, folded the fabric under to make a giant hem and catch-stitched the pinked edge to the inside of the sleeve.   Then I was ready to roll, literally.

I had some buttons I got years ago for something else that never got made. The square shape is a nice contrast to the ovoid and circle shapes in the fabric, and the light blue shade matches well.

I styled this with a white pencil skirt I made.  I used View E from Butterick 5466 (copyright 2010 and out of print) out of some leftover white stretch jean-like fabric I had.    

I am wearing vintage 1980s purple earrings that I filched from my mother.   I am also wearing a vintage 80s white belt to complete the look. The purse is by Ralph Lauren, given to me by my husband for Christmas.  Not 80s but looks good with this ensemble.

I like this blouse untucked with white jeans, also.  This outfit has an early 1960s look, like something I threw on for a casual outing that might involve boats.

This blouse puts in me in mind of the pastel M&Ms they sell at Easter.  Not sure if these colors qualify as pastels necessarily, but I definitely feel ready to meet the Easter bunny in this outfit.  HAPPY SPRING!

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