Vintage 50s blouse with monogram

simplicity 2195 blouseThis is vintage Simplicity 2195 . . . or a great substitute for a bowling shirt fit for a game with the Spoolettes! Who are the Spoolettes you may well ask? Well hop over to Sew Dixie Lou to get a little insight.

vintage 50s blouse with monogram

I’m gutted I didn’t get any photos of our fabulous sporting event. But if you want a bit of inside info, Charity Shop Chic has posted some great ones here plus you get to see her amazing bowling shirt refashion too!. We sure did rock Bloomsbury Lanes with all sorts of complimentary comments coming from the staff.

I struggled to find an actual bowling shirt pattern but I’m quite glad I found this one as it works very well as an every day shirt. I wore it to lunch today at Carluccios with Mr O. Teamed with self-drafted half circle skirt and my favourite ankle boots from Office.


simplicity_2195_4I knew the hand embroidery was going to be a challenge for me. The last time I entertained such a thing was at the age of nine. But I thought this would make a lovely project to take on holiday back in August. (An efficient bit of planning on behalf of those Spoolettes meant that this sewing challenge fitted in superbly with my holiday!)

So first in the suitcase was the needle and thread and a hoop and a half made shirt with a piece of freezer paper ironed in position. As with most things I didn’t spend too much time reading up on the best way to go about this and the only transfer pencil I had was red, so I traced my initials from the original transfer, supplied with the pattern, on to the freezer paper. I couldn’t bear to cut up and ruin the original!

I had, however, read somewhere at some point, that ‘padding stitches’ were a good idea to raise the ‘satin stitches’. And so I set about tracing the edge of the monogram with some small running stitches.


A long process but not too much hardship when you are sat outside a beautiful Maltese villa, watching your children have so much fun in the pool, whilst all 40 degrees of sunshine warms your toes!

All was going swimmingly until I came to pick off the darned freezer paper. Gah! Never again. It took sooooo long!!

padding stitchesBut once it was off It was a pleasure to sew. A bit wonky here and there but it worked, kinda! Just wish I had used some stabiliser on the reverse to stop the stretching that happened too.


I’ve got plans on making a gingham one, just as the pattern cover pic. Yes I’m still harping on about gingham but I happened across some gorgeous egyptian cotton gingham. Well at least that’s what the lady sold it to me as! But to be perfectly honest, it may be a way down the list as this sub-zero-like weather does not inspire me to make anything other than slankets right now!

simplicity_2195 pattern


I completely forgot that I’d asked the waitress to take the following photo. Feast your eyes on a table full of splendidly hand-made bowling shirts sported by an amazing team of beautiful and talented Spoolettes…


26 Replies to “Vintage 50s blouse with monogram”

  1. Love the monogram – clever you. The freezer paper part sounds fiendish though – is there a less stress inducing alternative – for when you’re not chilled out by a Maltese swimming pool?

    1. Thanks Wendy. If I could suss how to easily make my Mac a PC I would have done it by machine. I have a fancy sewing machine that apparently does that kind of thing but technology failed me or rather I got fed up with trying to make it work so it was actually quicker by hand in the end!

    1. Thanks Siri. It really does come together so easily. I shortened the sleeves as I didn’t have that much fabric… plus it was more bowling-shirt-ish. But I’m defo going to do another.

  2. When I clicked on this post over my morning coffee my eyes were still bleary – I read ‘vintage 50s blouse with Mammogram’!! What’ll they think of next, I thought to myself, rubbing my eyes, heh heh. Your blouse looks gorgeous, and the embroidery is perfect! I love to embroider – it really makes a vintage repro item special.

    1. Hahaha! Your comment made me properly LOL! Thanks so much. Not sure when I’ll ever get the right amount of time to do it again but it was worth the effort 🙂

  3. Amazing job – love it!!! Of course red & black = WIN!!! 🙂

    Isn’t that always the way… then again, if you sew a summer blouse now, when summer actually comes, you’ll have a brand new blouse you (almost) totally forgot about and be really excited to wear! 😀

    1. Cheers, lovely! Will I ever escape from black and red? Er nope! And hey, yes you are absolutely right. A bit of summer prep is a always a good move 🙂

  4. As always sooo stylish. Your embroidery is awesome, I love it. And I have loved seeing a whole gaggle of self sewn bowling shirts! What an outing !

  5. Lovely blouse! I have this pattern as well, and it’s a lot of fun to see what it actually looks like made up. Some extra inspiration to get around to making mine someday.

Leave a Reply to sewbusylizzy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.