So I decided to dive into the 2014 Historical Sew Fortnightly hosted by the wonderful Leimomi. She hosted the same event last year but most of the sewing I did fell outside of the dates for the challenges. This year the date has been extended to 1945, so my WW2 pattern stash can finally be put to work!  The first challenge was in spirit of the WW2 campaign for ‘Make Do & Mend’ a huge task for those on the home front in Europe and the US because of rationing. Ironically I chose a pattern that would have worked for last years challenge; a reprint of Simplicity 1353 dated 1934 from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library ( also has a reprint of the pattern in a larger size, the one from VPLL is a medium) The pattern consists of a hat, collar, gloves, and a purse. I made the collar for this challenge from fabric left over from my 1937 skirt.

I had to cannibalize the scrap piece left to match the grainlines but it worked! I also lined the collar in some of the fashion fabric because of the reveres that would show the lining and also I wanted the front piece line in the flannel for warmth and stability. The other bits of lining came from my 1936 suit skirt  lining (again post to follow) but those grainlines don’t match up because the word cannibalize doesn’t even cover what I had to do to those scraps though I am proud to say I only had to piece together one section of the collar. This pattern is a good example of the “expectation and reality” of sewing because unless you are magic those points don’t come out as pointy as the picture and the revers aren’t quite as picturesque as the drawing, (till you press them within an inch of their lives and then tack them down.) But I am insanely in love with this piece and I do plan on making more.
The Challenge: # 1 Make Do & MendFabric: 100% Brushed Cotton in a Blue and Black Herringbone pattern and Navy poly/cotton lining.Pattern: Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1930 Ladies Hat, Gloves, Purse and Collar Ensemble a reproduction of Simplicity 1353
Year: 1934

Notions: One Button

Hours to complete: It took 4 days of on/off sewing

First worn: Not yet. Audrey had the pleasure though I do plan on wearing it for an upcoming lunch date.

Total cost: Pattern $15 but since it has four items I’m saying the pattern for the collar cost $3.75, Fabric from stash, Button and thread also from stash. So all in all it cost me $3.75 to make.1930 Ladies Hat, Gloves, Purse and Collar Ensemble


Help Please

by Chastity on July 9, 2013 · 15 comments

in Vintage Sewing

I was thinking about making Simplicity 0260 and I was wondering about what size to cut out. I usually cut out a 12 with a 34″ bust but the wearing ease on the pattern says it comes out to 41″. That seems like it’s going to drown me in fabric. I looked at a size 6 and the final measurement is 37 1/2. To me that sounds like a better option but I’ve never had to do this before because I usually work with original vintage patterns and there is not nearly as much ease to deal with. Any advice on the subject would be greatly appreciated.


Happy Independence Day Everyone!! (well now it’s a bit late because I didn’t get my picture up in time)

This year I decided to make a dress for the 4th. M was going to take me to Community Days to walk around and then Saturday are the fireworks but we watch them from the roof. I didn’t tell M what I was making and only gave him hints over three days. I sent him a picture of the fabric, told him the pattern was from 1939 and then told him it was a dress. I used Du Barry 2347B from 1939  and made it with short sleeves. I love the dress. It’s light and airy because of the seersucker fabric which was a blessing because it was sooo humid at the fair. I took 6″ off the hem because I’m so short and I had to hack off almost 4″ on the sleeves because they were too long. I will have to redo the buttons because I bought 5/8″ buttons instead of 3/4″ and it makes a huge difference with the bound buttonholes.  I went to Joann’s to get the new buttons and because of their Independence Day sale I also walked away with a curved ruler that includes a French Curve and Hip curve plus instructions on how to alter patterns. The dress needed five bound buttonholes in the front and then it had a side zip too. To complete the outfit I wore a belt my grandmother gave me and my WW2 weekend hat with a navy sash tied around it. I love that hat, it is going to be my go to hat for everything I think. I have fabric to make this up again but with long sleeves and maybe it’ll get done before I go to England for a semester.
The Scoop:

Fabric: I don’t know the specifics but it was from JoAnn’s and it’s 100% Cotton I think it was in the shirting section
Pattern: DuBarry 2347B
Year: 1939
Notions: Zipper and 5 Buttons
Hours: Four days of off and on sewing
First worn?: July 4th 2013
Wear again?: Yes
Make again?: Yes, but I’m going to make it with long sleeves and in purple flannel but I’m sure I’ll make it with short sleeves again it’s such an easy style to wear

Total cost: Pattern $7 Fabric $12.12 First set of Buttons $1.24 Second set of Buttons $6.00 and Zipper $2.49 Total coming to $28.85



by Chastity on June 16, 2013 · 4 comments

in 1940s

well it’s actually a bathing suit from Mrs. Depew Vintage but I figured I would make a playsuit first and then go for the bathing suit. I made the one piece with a chambray colored lining and a pretty floral for the outside. I bought the PDF pattern from Mrs. Depew and started to print and tape it all out. I found that I was missing one piece and I contacted her; not only did she send me the missing piece (I had been sent an older version by mistake) she also gave me a complimentary pattern for the inconvenience. I love dealing with her because she is so sweet.
I had to size the pattern down which I did by cutting both pieces of the lining into thirds and taking out a half inch at each cut to bring the measurements from a 30″ waist to a 26″ waist and the 36″ bust to a 32″ bust. For the outside I took off 1.2 centimeters of each piece  in the middle. This was the first time I actually graded the pattern before I started cutting.

I ended up cutting the bottom shorts part off of my mock up and redoing it with a different pattern pattern because the Mrs. Depew pattern was made for swimsuit material, not non-stretchy cotton (kind of a no brainer there but I didn’t really think about it.) After fixing some minor problems I have to say that this playsuit was a complete success! The only other adjustment I made was to put a panel in the front and side front pieces because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut out the front in one piece and to make it look like it actually belonged there I treated the side fronts the same. I added two green buttons on the front near the straps for decoration. Also I had to adjust the hem on the shorts so they wouldn’t peak out from under my skirt.  M says he loves it (though I have suspicions that it is because of the somewhat shorter length…) and I plan on making another one at least. The only thing I plan on changing on the next one it to make the waist a tiny bit bigger. That idea  came to mind because the first time I wore this out it was to breakfast with a friend and we ate a lot of food!

The Scoop:
Fabric: 100% Keepsake Calico Cotton Symphony Denim Blue 3 yards (one from the first try and two for the second leaving me with a yard extra) and 100% Cotton Keepsake Calico Flowers Cream 1.5 yards

Pattern: Mrs. Depew Bathing Beauties and Butterick 2198
Year: 1940′s bathing suit pattern mixed with 1960′s shorts pattern
Notions: One zipper and two decorative buttons
Hours: I try not to keep track between the redrafting and failed first run it took a good bit of time.
First worn?: July 14th 2012 to lunch with Julianne
Wear again?: Yes!  I wore it to the beach last summer and this summer for Arts on the Avenue 2013
Make again?: Yup but with more waist room
Total cost: Pattern $5 Cream Flower fabric $8.39 Chambray type fabric $5.97 Buttons $1.37 and Zipper $3.29. The thread was from my stash, so the total comes to $24.02