Getting Jazzed Up With Emmy Design

Emmy Design Review

I’ve been aware of Emmy Design for a little while now, but I have never actually purchased anything from them. The main reason for this is they offer such a huge array of vintage style clothing that I’ve never been able to decide on the one thing I wanted to buy! So, when an email popped into my inbox from the company asking if I would like to review a garment from their current ranges I was super excited. Only problem was I had to choose that item. Cue hours spent going through their website trying to wheedle it down.

Emmy Design is a Swedish vintage production clothing company who cover the classic eras of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The company was started by designer and fashion design graduate Emmy Nilsson with a vision of creating feminine, well-fitted garments that embrace and enhance the female shape. And she’s certainly done that and more! Each range has something for everyone, from the 25 year old trendsetter to the 65 year old classic beauty and they all come in an amazing size range that stretches from UK size 6 to 24. I honestly don’t know any other vintage reproduction brand that produces that many different sizes.

After several days of popping back to the website and looking at everything yet again, I finally decided on the Hepcat Holiday Blouse in red floral from their Spring/Summer range. I was very drawn to this because it felt so summery and had a real late 1930s / early 1940s look which is just perfect for me. I could imagine it teamed with so many other separates I already own, including my navy blue wide leg trousers and a yet to be revealed turquoise 1930s style skirt.

Emmy Design Hepcat Blouse

In the end I teamed it with the white linen 1930s style skirt I made last year and my incredibly apt Swedish Hasbeens, which I’m still trying desperately to break in! I also had this great idea of creating a really fun photoshoot with lots of bright red balloons to match the blouse, but as with most great ideas it didn’t turn out quite as I had imagined it in my head. The main problem was that, because of the gorgeous weather we had over the weekend, there was absolutely no wind and the balloons just ended up looking sad and lifeless. Ah well!

1930s Emmy Design Outfit

Emmy Design Hepcat Blouse Shirring Detail

From a distance the Hepcat Holiday blouse looks as if it’s just red and white, however the flowers also contain a beautiful pastel yellow and a light turquoise which is such a lovely touch. It allows it to mixed and matched with lots of colour and I love how they’ve teamed it with pastel yellow shorts on the website. As I don’t ever bare that much of my legs, I may have to think about a pastel yellow skirt, or maybe even a pair of super wide beach pyjama trousers.

Emmy Design Hepcat Blouse Waistband

The blouse also has loads of design detailing in it. On the shoulder there is a small amount of shirring which creates very period authentic gathering across the front panels. The sleeves are really big and puffy and are then pulled in with a pleat at the cuff of the sleeve to give it that perfect 1930s/40s look. And to finish off, the waist is pulled in to sit on your natural waist with a handy waistband.

Emmy Design Red Hepcat Blouse

1930s Casual Outift

I ordered the size 38, which in UK terms is a size 10. It fits really well all over, with the waistband not being too tight or too loose and the front button placket not gaping at all (that’s a relief!), however, I did have one problem and that was the width of the shoulders. Unfortunately they were a little wide and as a result the puffy sleeve head was sitting on the top of my arm and not on the edge of my shoulder as it should be. This didn’t deter me though and all I did was extended the shirring on the front so it went right under the collar and added a little bit to the centre back, just below the collar. This worked perfectly as it pulled in the shoulders just enough so the sleeve heads sat in the right place.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, that must’ve been hard and only experience seamstresses could do it. Well, actually no. I have an original 1930s sewing book and I had a look in there how shirring was done by the average homemaker at the time.

All you have to do is set your machine to the widest straight line stitch, sew five horizontal lines, one underneath each other and about 8mm apart. Make sure you secure one end and then leave the other end open, and with long threads, before cutting them. Once all five are done, pull the long threads through from the right side of the fabric, so all of them are on the wrong side. Evenly pull each stitch line so it gathers in the fabric and then securely tie the long ends and cut off the excess. Of course, this technique shouldn’t be used where the shirring needs to stretch but it’s great for detailing.

1930s outfit- Vintage Gal

All in all, this is a great versatile top that can be worn with so many things and in so many ways to create different looks. It’s also great for taking on holiday (it’s aptly named!) as it’s made in 96% polyester and 4% spandex, so you can just throw it into your suitcase and it won’t need ironing once you’re ready to wear it. It made it all the way from Sweden to me and it didn’t meet my iron! It’ll probably well really well too, which is always a bonus.

Outfit Details

Hepcat Holiday Blouse – Emmy Design
White 1930s Skirt – Made by Me
Red Clog Sandals – Swedish Hasbeens
1930s Style Sunglasses – eBay
1950s Red Patent Handbag – Poot Emporium, Frome
Red Seam Stockings – What Katie Did
Red Drop Earrings – Made by Me


Disclaimer: Emmy Design kindly provided me with the Hepcat Holiday Blouse in exchange for this review, however all views expressed are my own and reflect my honest opinions.


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. That blouse works really well with your skirt. I’m drooling over that wonderful red patent handbag. But most of all, I’m loving your hair in these photos, Cate. It’s just perfect. xxx

    • Aw, thank you Ann. Yes, that’s one of my most favourite handbags. I did mean to mention my hair in the post, but completely forgot! I’m a very happy bunny because it’s long enough again to curl and style it in a 1930s style, yay! xx

  2. Dear Cate, the whole ensemble is lovely. I tried to curl my hair with rollers the other week and think I used too much setting ? lotion and I looked like Coco the clown. Had to wash it out so bit disheartened but am gonna try again. X

  3. You look amazing! I love red and white together. I love the 1930s. I love Emmy Design. Basically it’s all just love over here 🙂

  4. So pretty, lots of lovely design elements. Loads of inspiration looking at their site, I’m going to make a work shirt like their Diner shirt I think ;o)

    • Yes, they so many wonderful pieces don’t they? Their Diner shirt is gorgeous, very versatile. xx

  5. Looking fab, it’s a gorgeous blouse. I have to admit I couldn’t have done the amend that you did, I am wayyy behind the average home dressmaker of the ’30s! I have heard very good things about Emmy, may try out something soon x

    • Oh, I’m sure you could manage it if someone showed you! It just probably sounds a bit scary because it’s something you’ve never done before, but honestly, it’s very simple. You should definitely try something from Emmy Designs, I’m sure you’ll love them. You’ll just have a hard time deciding what to buy! xx

  6. I adore red, and red and white is so summery. The blouse is beautiful in its own right, but I love it with the combination of white linen skirt, red shoes and red seams (I’ve got some red on nude but I don’t wear them that often – a white skirt is the perfect answer!). Really beautiful. Karen x

    • Thank you Karen! I love wearing red and white during the summer, it feels so fresh. No, I don’t wear my red seam stockings that often either, they definitely have to be teamed with the right outfit. xx

  7. What a fun, elegant blouse in a perfectly summery print. The colours make me think – in a totally positive way – of a classic red and white picnic blanket spread out over a field of wildflowers.

    I’m wild about your whole (beautiful!) outfit here and really appreciate the detailed review. I’ve been coveting Emmy’s offerings for ages now, but with the weak Canadian dollar (+ the usual step shipping and import costs) I haven’t taken the plunge yet. One day, I sincerely hope.

    Have a splendid week, my lovely friend!

    ♥ Jessica

    • Thank you Jessica! Yes, I can see the red and white picnic blanket too, it’s such a classic summery image. I do hope you get to try Emmy Design soon, they have so many lovely things. Have a wonderful weekend xx

  8. I adore that line of clothing but sadly they are not in my budget right now. However after seeing how marvelous you look in your blouse I might need to splurge. Fantastic look!


    • Hehehe! Their blouses are probably the more cheaper end of their range and they really are very lovely. They also have a great sale section at the moment so it may be worth having a good look through there. Sadly the things I really considered getting in the sale are out of stock in my size now 🙁 xx

  9. What a pretty blouse! I love the print – so very summery! Also, I have some seriously hair envy. Your hair is beautiful and is so perfect on you!

    • Oh, thank you Sara, you’re making me blush! It’s taken me a while to get it long enough again to curl it properly but I’m so happy I can wear it like this again, I missed it so much. xx

  10. Wow that blouse is great! Im very excited to hear about this brand as its one repro place Ive never heard of/ Thanks so much

  11. Goodmorning Cate,Buongiorno,
    what a charming look!…so stylish & summertime outfit!
    You’re always so Unique,Creative and Chic in Your Fabolous Outfits!

  12. Emmy Design are such a fantastic company, I love how authentic all of their pieces look and the range of decades too! That blouse is a lovely summery piece, I can easily see the way it will suit so many different combinations. I got so excited when I saw your skirt because I have so many vintage photos saved of similar ones, you did a great job – I’m hoping I might be able to find something similar one of these days 🙂

    • Yes, the 1930s skirt seems to be quite an elusive piece which is such a shame. A repro brand really needs to start doing them as so many people have said they wish they could find one like mine. Maybe I should offer up my pattern! 🙂 xx

  13. Beautiful blouse! I love it with the white skirt but I think it will be amazing with your navy trousers.

  14. I have only just become aware of the brand, but they have some really lovely pieces! Well done on the clever amendment to make your blouse fit perfectly. Such a delightful outfit!

    • Thank you Christina! Yes, they have such an amazing array of different goodies on offer, it’s so hard to choose just one thing to buy.

  15. I have been looking at Emmy designs for their past couple of collections and they really do produce some lovely looking items. I have yet to buy anything but I am tempted. It was good to read an honest review of their product. I really like the shape and fit of the blouse and the length, finishing at the natural waist, is lovely. You picked a good one, it suits you and makes a fab outfit.

    • Thank you Kate-Em! I’d highly recommend their stuff and I’m already thinking about what to buy from them next. I do know they’re getting ready for the next season at the moment, so I can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned. More tempting clothes, I should imagine! xx

  16. Ahh, I love love LOVE your accessorizing! This is a beautiful blouse, you wear it well. The fitted waistband is a very special touch and I feel it makes it a little more casual. I’m very impressed by this brand! Great job fixing the blouse to make it perfect for your body, I had to do something similar once with a piece I got from a repro vintage designer and it was SO worth it!

    ♥ Lauren

    • Thank you Lauren! Yes, I think it gives it a slightly more casual look, but I like that, so many vintage looks I see are really dressed up, so it’s good to go a bit casual sometimes. I was tempted to send the blouse back and exchange it with the smaller size to see if it was narrower on the shoulders, however, the waistband would’ve been too tight. It was definitely worth looking at how I could alter it slightly to make it fit me. xx

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