1950s | 1960s | Dating Patterns | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

A Fish Trap Tiki Dress

By on November 2, 2014

It’s just about summer down here in Australia – and that means it’s time to start sewing summer dresses!

I’ve just finished a ‘Design by Clothilde’ pattern 3170, and it’s from 1960 (although I tried my darnedest to make it looks 50s).

And the pattern – isn’t the neckline killer?!

The fabric is an Indigenous Australian design called ‘Fish Traps’, another Babbarra Women’s Centre print from Spotlight. Thank goodness I got it for $7 a meter on sale, as this sucker took five meters! (The fabric was originally $20/m).

I’m in love with these Babbarra prints, they looks really ‘tiki’ in my opinion!

I had to re-size from a 36″ bust to a 40″ bust (and the waist of course), but it worked out fine. I completely lined the bodice and added some side boning for stability.

I also changed the skirt from a pleated circle skirt, to box-pleated skirt cut straight on the grain – the fabric pattern would have looked a bit odd otherwise.

If you’d like to read further, I have more on my blog!

 

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1940s | Dresses | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

Mad About Plaid! (Vogue 8811, c. 1940)

By on September 15, 2014

Hands up who loves a good plaid?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I came across this plaid fabric in my local Spotlight, I knew immediately that it was perfect for Vintage Vogue 8811.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the dress has my favourite design detail – a pocket!

The Good:
– Everything? I love the drape of the skirt, the fit of the bodice, the fabric. Also, one of my best side zipper insertions.

The Bad:
– nothing

The Meh:
– I think I need to make a further short waist tuck, as it’s probably still a fraction long in the torso. I can live with it though.

Mods:
– Not using shoulder pads
– Made sure the plaid didn’t make a ‘+’ shape at my bust apex (boobs) as that would look awkward…. Hello girls!

This pattern is super easy, I’d definitely recommend it as a different way to use tartan/plaid fabric.  It’s also a great everyday vintage style, perfect for work.

As always, more about it on my blog…

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

An Emergency Bolero (Pauline Pattern 2217, c. 1940s)

By on August 25, 2014

I’m sure we’ve all been there – no jackets/boleros/cardigans in your wardrobe matches your chosen outfit?!?  I had that dilemma the day before the Sydney Fifties Fair, nothing matched my chosen dress (a 1940’s rayon day-dress by Mynette).

Luckily, I had Pauline 2217 sitting on my sewing desk and the bolero seemed to be the answer to my emergency!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love all the details on this bolero – the winged collar, the strong shoulders, the faux pockets. The pattern is from the later part of WW2, with the focus on the military-inspired shoulders. It’s economy standard, i.e. no seam allowance, no facing pieces provided, instructions printed on the back of the packet.

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Ouch, this pattern was hard to put together.  The instructions consist of two sentences, basically: sew the pocket flaps on, sew the side seams together, attach the collar, set in the sleeves, face the edges. Not a pattern for the faint-hearted!

And it complemented perfectly! The length hit me where it should (just above my waist) and the fit was so good that I didn’t need to make any adjustments. The judges must have liked it too, as my partner and I also won the ‘Best Dressed Couple’ competition.

If you’d like to read more, or see photos from the Fifties Fair, just head on over to my blog

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A Tuscany Summer Dress (Vogue 8789, c. 1957)

By on August 3, 2014

I was really lucky and found some amazing 1950’s border print cotton (from Stella Dallas in New York), and knew that I had to do something a bit daring. I wanted to really emphasise the stripes, and the diagonal version of Vogue 8789 seemed perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially I was really scared when I was cutting up the fabric – no going back to get more from the store… The printed cotton seems to be farmers in Tuscany (I think?), lots of sheep, fields and manor houses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pattern is very easy, although I do recommend making a muslin of the bodice first – the bias allows a lot of ease. I ended up cutting a 16 bust and waist – normally I’d taper out to an 18-20 at the waist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I normally only use vintage/repro patterns from the late 1930s to early 1950s – so making a style from 1957 was a bit outside my normal comfort zone.

If you’d like to read more about it, I have a post on my blog here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for letting me share!

xxx

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

I can’t afford a real Shaheen… (Butterick B6019)

By on March 15, 2014

Hi guys and gals!

I’ve finally finished making Gertie’s Shaheen-inspired sarong dress (Butterick B6019) and I hope you like it!

The pattern:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My version:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This pattern was HARD! If you want the full story, it’s on my blog here.

The fabric is an indigenous hand-printed cotton from the Babbarra Women’s Centre, available from Spotlight (Australia).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dress definitely needed a little bolero, and Butterick 6087 (from 1952) looked like a good match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the dress nearly drove me mad, the bolero was very easy – which I greatly appreciated by the time I came to sew it!

If you’ve been thinking of sewing this pattern, definitely give it a go but don’t get down-hearted if it’s a bit of a struggle. Unpick, resew, keep going – you’ll have a killer dress in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1940s | 1950s | Dresses

It’s a wrap! (1940’s cotton wrap dress)

By on January 25, 2014

It’s summer down here in Australia, so it felt like a good time to make Anne Adams 4705 (circa late 1940s/early 1950).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My version is made from quilter’s cotton purchased at Spotlight last year, and took about 4m of trim.

I’m pretty happy with this dress! It went together quite easily (except for all the hand-sewing of facings eep), and let me indulge my obsession for ric-rac trim!

The only major modifications I had to make were a sway-back adjustment to stop gaping, and to enlarge the hip pieces to fit my measurements.

Never skimp on making a muslin, even if it just confirms the pattern will fit you straight out of the packet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would I recommend this pattern? Yes, it’s easy to sew (if a bit fiddly with the trim) and easy to grade to different sizes.

Would I sew it again? Possibly, but I have a few other house-dress patterns I’d like to try first.

As always, more on my blog 🙂

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1940s | 1950s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 2118, Rockabilly Summer Tops

By on January 5, 2014

Just sneaking my last bit of vintage sewing into the end of 2013 – some basic women’s summer tops using Simplicity 2118 (circa late 1950s).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the pattern sleeve looks like – I went with View 1. Apparently they are bra tops – I couldnt image wearing this as a bra!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didnt realise how versatile this pattern was until I made it up – it only takes an hour or so, and uses under 1.5m of fabric.

The pattern has plenty of ease, and I didnt need to do a FBA to size up  like I would normally (I have a 39 inch bust, the pattern is for a 38 inch).

The golden rod fabric I used is a new quilter’s homespun (mercerized cotton) from Spotlight here in Australia. It’s got a really nice polished feel to it, and comes in some fab retro colour ways.

I made it again in black poplin for my Christmas Day outfit, plus a 1940’s tablecloth turned into a skirt.

I would recommend this pattern if you can get your hands on it; easy, versatile and a great wardrobe builder.

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