Christmas dress

A few weeks ago a friend bought the Vintage Burda for me and I already tried a couple of the patterns. I instantly thought that the Grace pattern would make a very classic and feminine christmas dress, not least because it has long sleeves (I just can’t wear short sleeves in winter, even with a cardigan). I used a berry colored cotton for my “muslin”, hoping that I could use it for a real dress if it turned out ok. I cut size 36 and it fits as I suspected – the waist of the bodice is a bit too wide and the bust slightly too tight but overall it was quite ok and comfortable to wear in spite of the non-elastic fabric. I had originally planned to make a christmas dress of a beautiful taffeta that I had received as a gift a couple of weeks ago but time was getting short and so I decided to work with the muslin. It was not quite surprising that I was time-pressed – I usually don’t read the instructions before I actually start sewing and I had failed to notice that the pattern asks for underarm-gussets, an advanced technique that I had never done before. The instruction in the Burda issue consisted of two brief sentences that are probably very comprehensible if you are familiar with this technique but I was completely in the dark. I skimmed through my sewing books and looked for online tutorials and finally guessed what I had to do and cut in the fabric and set in 4 gussets – it looks really ok and I guess my next attempt will be even better.


I had already bought a piece of ruby-red dupioni silk several months ago and made a gathered skirt of it because the colors looked looked great together. The fabric has a very nice drape and shimmer but looks slightly crumpled even directly after I ironed it which annoyed me a bit. To counteract this I enforced the hem with a red velvet trim and a double layer of silk, the shape of the skirt looks way better this way. I also used the velvet trim as a neckband, made two little bows at the front and back, and finally also attached it to the belt. I made the belt to mask that the waist is a bit too wide but when I looked at the pictures I noticed that it rather emphasises it. I really liked the common thread of the red trim though so that’s ok in the end. The sleeves are supposed to be 3/4 sleeves but are more like 7/8 on me, I will make them a bit longer next time. The zipper is handpicked, which was quite time consuming but looks so nice (unfortunately I have no detail pictures of it!). All in all I am really happy with my “muslin” christmas dress, even though it is not perfect. Last weekend we took a few pictures in a forest near Bergisch Gladbach, next to an industrial facility with ice covered gas tanks. It was just above 0 degrees celsius and I was so cold but am quite relieved that the pictures don’t show that all too much… :-)

You can find more pictures on my blog!

DSC06437 DSC06470

Vintage wrap-blouse

vintage wrap blouse

I made this blouse using vintage pattern Bestway D.3,109. It looks to be one of those mail order style patterns from the 50s. I can’t see a date so I’m going by hair and shoes on the cover image!

Bestway D3109

It’s a wrap-over top, held closed with two vintage buttons. The third button is for decorative and balancing purposes! The bottom two buttons sit just above the waistline at the base of the two waist darts. It could really do with a fourth hidden button to keep the under wrap layer in place. But for now, I’m tucking it in my pants!

lighthouse shirt buttons

The back is cut in one piece with extended sleeves and the front yokes form the sleeve fronts.

I love the shape of the neckline and how the collar just lays flat across the collar bone. I’ve not seen this style on any other garment to date.

And as most 1950s patterns go, I love how it’s nipped in at the waist for that flattering silhouette.

lighthouse shirt

When I came to choose the fabric, I knew I needed a crisp, 100% cotton fabric but I didn’t bank on finding a lighthouse print! I think it worked perfectly to achieve the whole vintage repro style!

vintage lighthouse blouse

For more vintage and modern hand-makes, please pop over to ooobop!

Tailoring process – Leack-Way pattern 12348

Hi everyone!

This time I’m here to share and ask advices about tailoring.

The fact is that I am currently finishing my first suit jacket. I’ve named it “hell in thread” because It took soooo many hours to hand sew it haha! Hope I’ll be faster next time! :)

I’ve been looking through many websites and some tutorials to make it the best I could, But exchange is the best way to learn, for the one who writes and the one who reads :) .

As this post has many pictures I am going to show very few of them here, you are welcome on my website to check the others :)

teaser explications sur photo



Thanks for reading!

A 1950’s Embroidered Peasant Dress

Wow! It sure has been a long time since I’ve posted over here!  I sure am glad to be back in this space. :)

I’m so happy to share my embroidered 1950’s peasant dress with you.

50s peasant dress 1

This dress is made out of a turquoise cotton broadcloth and I used Simplicity 3893, a vintage pattern from the 1950’s.

I’ve loved peasant dresses for a long time and have always wanted one.  My inspiration came from many photos I’ve seen over the years of peasant (or patio) dresses from the 50’s.

[sources: via Pinterest]

I freehand embroidered the neckline with pansies, which took me a couple of months to finish.  This was the first embroidery project that I’ve had for a very long time and made me happy to get back into it.  I considered doing some more embroidery on the skirt, but went with ribbon instead.

As this dress is basically a tent, I always intended to wear it with this silver and leather concho belt that I also made.

This dress was truly a labor of love for me from grading it up substantially to spending many nights on the couch embroidering it.  It’s something that I’ve always wanted and a dress that I love to wear, so it was definitely worth it.

Happy Sewing!

For more photos/info, please check out my blog:  Mrs. Hughes

Claire McCardell Dress from a 50s Spadea Pattern

This fall, I used a rare early 50s Claire McCardell pattern, released by Spadea, to create a copy of an original McCardell dress:

Janet in McCardell


There’s a version of this same dress in the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institutes’ online collection.

The dress was made from New Zealand merino wool jersey bought at The Fabric Store in L.A. I chose wool jersey because Claire McCardell popularized dresses in that fabric in the U.S. during the 30s and 40s.


Attaching piping

The dress is very wide, and gathered at the neckline. The front of the underbust is gathered, and 15 feet of self-fabric cording is attached to it, to be used to gather the waistline. McCardell created the concept for this adjustable design in the late 30s, when it became known at the “nada” dress.




I made this dress for my sister to wear while she was speaking at a “Dance and Fashion” event at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology last month, where one of the subjects was Claire McCardell. She even gave me a shoutout during the Q & A! Here’s more information about the making of the dress:

Janet at FIT


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