Heather's Vintage Pledge Project: Hollywood Love Affair

Heather of Handmade by Heather B. makes beautiful clothes in classic prints - 1940s style is her speciality, and I am always envious of her perfectly put-together outfits with vintage accessories:
What's buzzin' cousin, I'm Heather B. Some of you may know me and my side kick Froggie from the uncreatively named blog Handmade byHeather B.  (Giving things snazzy names doesn't run in the family.) Over there I talk a lot about cake, squirrel-like sewing tendencies and vintage sewing exploits.

This year I've fallen hard for 40's patterns and seem to be in a Pokemon-like game of trying to catch them all. There's so much to like about that era. The glamour, the elegance, the fact that I never have to worry about hemlines being too short to bend over with my cake padded back side.  It's perfect!  I may have told Froggie to starting buying shoulder pads in bulk.  Heaven forbid we go outside with droopy shoulders.

For VP July I decided to pick a pattern from the Hollywood Patterns part of my stash.  This company has a soft spot in my heart due to their fashion illustration style. I also like that they published patterns copying garments worn by Hollywood starlets. If only we could get such a thing today. I be tempted to hand over my first born for "Agent Carter" patterns. One does have to make sacrifices for fashion you know, just don't tell my husband.

Without further ado let's put on our jaunty tilt hats and dive into Hollywood 1412.
Pattern Details
Number 1412 from Hollywood Four Star Patterns. This unprinted pattern has no copy write date, so I'll say it comes from the mid to late 40's. Hollywood 1412 features a "jacket blouse" (Not making this up, that's what it's called in the directions) with a darted bodice. Jacket blouse also has a pointed collar, button front and a peplum. The bottom half is a below the knee A-line skirt with 6 panels. The skirt closes on the left side with a zipper and hook and eye.

I picked it because that lady in blue has so much sass. She's only got half a chair but that's not gonna stop her from striking a pose. She's not even paying attention to her friend Betty's conversation because she knows she looks good.  *End Scene*  In truth the fashion illustrations do have a lot to do with my purchasing decisions, but in this case that isn't the whole story.

My very first vintage pledge garment for the year was a similar design, Hollywood 1032. That pattern had a different collar and was shaped with princess line seams instead of darts.  I made it up in a plaid cotton shirting and found it to be one of my favorite things to wear.  That pattern really sold me on the whole jacket blouse idea. You get the structure of a jacket but it's a lot easier to wear and layer. At least this dame found herself really wanting to make another one. Enter Hollywood 1412, a pattern with the same silhouette and just enough design changes to keep the sewing interesting.
Fabric and Notions Used
- Cotton Swiss Dot bought from Gertie's Etsy store a number of years ago.  It wasn't until finishing this project that I realized the pattern completely obscures all the design details. Oops!
- Some plain black vintage buttons from my grandmother's button stash.
- Store bought shoulder pads that were covered with the self fabric.
- Invisible Zipper and hook and eye for the skirt closure.
- Black snug hug for all the hems. 

Sewing it Up

This was a drama free project thanks to proper muslining and well mannered cotton fabric. Even all the buttonholes went in without having to do any ripping. Huzzah!

Fitting info
The copy I purchased was a size 32" bust which was then graded up to a 36" bust.  After that I made my usual fitting changes:
- Adding 1/2" more ease to the waist and hip area. (My bottom half is more of a size 38.)
- Making a 1/2" forward adjustment to the shoulder and sleeve cap 
- Dropping the bust darts 1"

No style changes were made to my garment. I even kept the hem length specified by the pattern.

As usual 40's era directions are brief compared with today's patterns. Since I don't need a lot of hand holding this wasn't a problem. I would classify it as an intermediate project because some precision sewing is needed around the collar area. Other than that you just need to know how to set sleeves and use your button hole attachment. (Yes I skipped the bound buttonholes. Don the ribbons of shame!!!)

Final Verdict
Jacket blouses where have you been all my life? It's a shame we didn't meet until now. Part of what I like about this type of pattern is that you get an outfit that works together and can be mixed and matched with other pieces. The blouse looks great with a solid black skirt and vice versa. Oh and it goes with all the black hats, allll of them.

When Fall rolls around I may sew the long sleeve version for the colder months. This time in a less distracting fabric so you can actually see the collar and buttons. (Froggie make a note of that and text me in September.) If peplum suits are also your cup of tea I'd highly recommend Hollywood 1412. With the two sleeve lengths you can make it up for more than one season. It's also comfortable and fun to wear!

Well you eager beavers, that's the skinny. Now it's time for me to take a powder because the frog and I are in cahoots with the local anchor clankers. See you on the dance floor.

Thanks, Heather! I love the whole ensemble, those Hollywood Patterns are so elegant. And who knew that a 'jacket blouse' was a thing?! Hooray for Hollywood!

K x


  1. Oh Heather...you look absolutely fabulous! Thanks so much for taking part :o)

  2. Sigh, I love this outfit and wish I could pull it off!

    1. Such a great outfit, isn't it? Bravo Heather!

  3. I love it. You did a great job!

  4. Oh hoorah for the jacket blouse! Gorgeous ensemble Heather, you really do suit those 1940's styles. x


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