Children | Kids

Retronaut Awesomeness

By on June 12, 2012

Hi all! I am a huge fan of this site. I was trolling it this morning stirring up some inspiration for kids clothes. I love the little girls dress patterns but hate putting in zips or button plackets. They have a bunch of color photos from the 1940s of kids wearing regular everyday clothes. One pic in particular had a family of little girls all wearing matching dresses and you can tell how they were finished. Drawstring waists and just a button and loop closure for the neck. Duh! Head slap! So simple! I love seeing practical interpretations of the patterns, no one had time to outfit all their kids with tons of buttons and zips and deep hems and such.

I can’t snag the photo for some reason….

Anyway, thought I would pass the site along, great inspiration for every decade!

Happy sewing y’all!

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Advance 8574 – Part II

By on June 5, 2012

I just love this pattern. The sleeves are just right, the bodice is roomy but too roomy, the collar is easy to sew, and it’s pretty easy and fast to put together. I used a vintag Peter Pan cotton fabric I snagged from an estate sale for $2. The buttons are vintage too. I picked them up in a little antique store for about $0.15. They are a heavy plastic, almost like Bakelite but I don’t know if buttons were commonly made from that.

I didn’t do much to alter the pattern. I added a bit to the bodice length and shortened the bust darts by maybe half an inch. I used an old tablecloth scrap for the collar and quilting bias binding for the cuffs. I shortened the hem to just above the knee caps and omitted the pockets (which I regret). I used French seams on everything but the skirt to bodice joining. I covered that bit with seam binding. It was pretty uneventful but a great closet staple. I love that it’s a vague pink too, like a dusty rose. I feel pink makes me look too young so I like to work it in in a print.

On a completly unrelated note, I scored three great 1940s
“mommy and me patterns” from a recent barn sale trip. Should I do matching dresses or do a contrasting them?

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Vintage Sewing

The Fabric Holy Grail

By on May 20, 2012

I need some help, big time. I just got this amazing fabric yesterday from my favorite barn sale. Its perfect, no stains, pin holes, color bleaching, nada. It’s about 6 or 7 yards (i havent measured yet) of 36 inch wide cotton. It’s pretty sheer but sturdy, and after looking at some other pictures floating around the interwebs I thinks it’s most like voile. It looks too loosely woven to be lawn. So, what the heck do I do with it and how do I sew something so loosely woven without it puckering? Very short stitches?

I’m scared of it. I’m scared to cut it, I’m scared to think about cutting it. I’ll never find fabric in this quantity and quality again. And it was $2. Total. What type of dress would this look best as? If I’m very careful I can get two dresses or at the very least a dress and a blouse.


I was thinking maybe this one. It seems to have a good vibe to it.

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Vintage Sewing

Another Simplicity 4640

By on April 28, 2012

Here it is, finally done! A couple snafus but no dress is complete without them. I seamed the back to save fabric (I really should not have, I think that was where my snug shoulders come into play). It’s a bit smaller than the other one I made, only by about 1/2 inch. The only thingS I changed were lengthening the bodice by an inch and snipping off the pointy bottom bodice detail and adding cuffs.

The fabric was pretty easy to sew and I love that I won’t have to iron it. I had planned on making a belt from the chambray but I like the look of it as it is.

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1940s | Dresses

Seersucker, pajamas only?

By on April 24, 2012

I’m having a hard time with this one y’all. The perpendicualr nature of the stripe allignment was taken right from the cover of the pattern. I initially wanted to make 40s pajamas with this lovely estate sale find fabric. Then I said “no way, look at those cool stripes. A dress you shall become!”(Simplicity 4640). However now I’m thinking maybe it looks too pajama-ish. What are your thoughts? Was seersucker a material widely used for day dresses?

The buttons are white plastic little balls from my stash and I’m going to add a more 50s winged cuff to the sleeve, in the blue, with a button attaching the wings. Thoughts?

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Pattern help!

By on March 26, 2012

I have been on a mad hunt for a dress with a bodice similar to this. Anyone have a recommendation? eBay and etsy are hit or miss; I’ve been doing mostly 1950s dress searches thinking I would have the best luck with that era.

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Vintage Sewing

Fashion show

By on March 25, 2012

I have Been busy busy busy! Let’s get this thing rollin’.

This baby is a Ladies Home Journal mail order #2853 from the 50s. I used a thrifted and probably vintage sheer cotton with bright pink flowers. I finished the dress with French seams. The buttons are from my stash and the buckle is very vintage mother of pearl from my stash as well. The bust was for a 34 but I figured it would fit okay and Not be too baggy however the waist size wasn’t given. Well, it was a tad snug. I always seem to forget the expectation of women wearing girdles in this era. The dress had 16 waist darts. I was in sewing hell for a while. I do love it, especially the cuffs.

This is Simplicity 4640 from the fabulous 40s. I copied the pattern cover exactly. I used a bright blue broadcloth, vintage ric-rac (who doesn’t love tons of ric-rac) and vintage buttons both from my stash. This is the first princess seam dress I have done and I am in love with it. I think this dress is on my favorite top 5 dresses I have made. I didn’t follow the directions (or read them) so when I got to attaching the skirt to the bodice it was a hot mess. More of that is on my blog though.

The navy polka dot number is Advance 8574 from the 50s. It’s kimono sleeves and a big gathered skirt. I had to shorten it significantly to use my fabric but it’s still awesome. The fabric is thrifted micro polka dots arranged into tiny triangles. It gives me a bit of a seizure to look at sometimes. This dress started out as a muslin bodice but I liked it so much that I finished it off. I also used snaps (albeit crooked) to close the bodice. I have a vintage snap putter-on’er that I used for the first time too. I also used a side invisible zip which I try to avoid. I hate putting in buttons and zips, it’s like the buttons should let you into the dress. It it’s such a tease.

Next up is a Mail Order #9116 pattern from the Milwaukee Post (I think) and from the 50s. The bust ended up being too big. I tried fixing it with the button placement and it helped but didn’t fix it. The whole dress actually was a bit big but I think if I put it in the dryer a couple times it may shrink up just a squidge. I used new buttons and navy broadcloth. It was fairly easy to construct and I may make another in the sleeveless version.

As always there is more on my blog. I think I took up just about enough space today. Thanks!

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