1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 4903

By on January 2, 2016

As part of my 2015 Vintage Pledge I made two of Simplicity 4903. This is a great pattern that I’m already planning to make a third of early this year!


Simplicity 4903 is from the 1960’s and I bought it on Etsy in perhaps 2010. I made version 2 which has a lower neckline and short sleeves, but I opted to do without the self fabric waist bows.


You can read about my first version in quilting cotton here and the second version that I made with baby corduroy here!

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The History Of The Dressing Gown

By on July 23, 2015


For Lingerie Sewing month over on the Sewcialists blog I wrote a review of the Buchanan dressing gown. I had a lot of fun making the pattern, but I also had a lot of fun researching the history of the dressing gown. I thought that as lovers of all things retro sewing related, you would all be interested in this history lesson!

A dressing gown is a loose, open-front gown that is closed with a fabric belt. It is most frequently worn over pajamas or under garments while you are getting ready for the day or preparing to go to bed. Prior to the 19th century, dressing gowns were mainly worn by men as a less confining clothing option and during informal social gatherings. For women, the dressing gown offered a break from corsets and petticoats. Typically a woman would wear her dressing gown while doing all of her day-to-day activities, from eating breakfast to sewing!

Historically cotton, silk and wool are the fabrics used to create dressing gowns and the ladies at Gather Kits suggest light to medium weight fabric with drape for the Buchanan which I think works really well and makes my dressing gown very wearable. To learn more about the history of the dressing gown head over to NPR and to see my finished dressing gown head over to the Sewcialists blog!

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1960s | Shirts

Call The Midwife Inspired Top

By on March 30, 2015

I planned on making this top before I signed up for the vintage pattern pledge but by the time I found the perfect fabric it seemed like fate had stepped in and now I’m amending my pledge to include vintage inspired as well! For my vintage pattern pledge I vowed to sew up at least six of my vintage or reproduction sewing patterns. Since Coco says right on the pattern envelope that the optional funnel neck is sixties inspired and my inspiration came from a show set in the 60’s, I think its acceptable to count it as one of my 6.

saint-james-striped-interlock-knit-ecru-and-grey-7I decided to keep checking some of my favorite fabric resources regularly and eventually I’d get my Patsy Coco. I got really lucky and found this interlock knit from Hart’s Fabric just about a month after making my pledge! I would have preferred a slightly larger white stripe but come on, look at this fabric, how could I say no when it was roughly a 98% match?

Now that I had my fabric it was time to get serious about construction. I knew I would be using the Coco top with the funnel neck but there were a few considerations to be made. From the screen shot I took and watching the scene over and over, I decided to make the 3/4 sleeve version of Coco because some of Patsy’s arm is clearly visible but I don’t see any bulk that would indicate long sleeves pushed up. There is no indication that the shirt is cuffed but I really like the look of the Coco cuff with the funnel neck, I think it adds more vintage flair, so I decided I would use that pattern piece. There is never a point where you get a good shot of the sides so should I do the slits of not? Since I had never done them before I seriously considered it but was more concerned about pattern matching my stripes and opted against it. Sometimes I surprise myself with the level of detective work that I put into the things I sew.

To read more about the construction (and see the finished top!) head on over to my blog.

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