empireroom

In my spare time this summer, I’m adding lots of lovely vintage pieces to my wardrobe.
I bought this pattern before Christmas. McCall’s 8849 circa 1952, an adaption of an Italian Couture Design, as it says on the front.

Straight out of the movie Roman Holiday, don’t you think? I’m picturing myself as the queen of style, Audrey Hepburn, with my new short hair.

The envelope is in very poor condition, but the pattern & instructions were pretty good. And for once I didn’t need to do any alterations.

It arrived from the US in record time & in the 42C/110F temps this week I stayed inside & got cutting & sewing.

A friend was having a Champagne, Canapes & Cake celebration for their wedding on Thursday (when it was 44C) & I decided this would be a lovely cool option.


I used a navy & white cotton sateen for the skirt,$7pm, & white embroidered voile for the blouse, $2pm on sale. (which I didn’t realise until I got home, I would have bought the roll, it’s so lovely)
I miscalculated the voile, as the embroidered pattern stopped about 10cm from the selvedge & I also didn’t realise the blouse was cut on the bias. So I used some scraps from a production blouse for the facing & also for the pocket flaps, so it bought the two pieces together. I also altered the skirt pockets so the weren’t just in the side seam. The buttons are from my Bettina Liano stash. I bound the armhole with bias tape as I really dislike armhole facings.

I think this might be my favourite outfit this summer, & the blouse will go just as well with my vintage pants or my skinny jeans.

I teamed it with my red shoes from Florence, earrings from the Uffizi Gallery & my Mum’s necklace from the 1950′s.

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Summer wrap frock

by empireroom on January 13, 2014 · 4 comments

in Vintage Sewing

I started making this cute frock for Christmas …. last year, I mean 2012.
As usual I whipped it up to a certain point & then other things (school production, 12 dance corsets, Christmas presents) took over & it sat in my sewing room taunting me for 14 months.
Finally a free day yesterday & I sat down with some trashy tv (final season Dawsons Creek – so terrible) & finally finished hand catching the lining, buttonhole & buttons – no need for a hem with this fabric.
Part of the hold up was my completely loathing of button holes, but I was on a roll after 21 button holes on wedding waistcoats for a client.
I think it’s quite sweet.


Blue & white gingham with broderie trimmed edge from my stash.
Buttons left over from a production of Anything Goes 2008.
McCall’s Pattern 7248 circa 1964
No overlocking, as the skirt was in one piece & I fully lined the bodice.
I think I’ll wear it tomorrow for the 40C forecast weather in Melbourne.

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In Australia October is known in many vintage circles as Frocktober. It’s a chance to wear a Frock every day of the month & raise money & awareness for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. It was started by two fabulous Swing dancers.
This year my aim was to go Vintage every time I left the house & raise $1000.
I’m just shy of my target, but I promise to wear my 1950′s style wedding dress tomorrow if I get there.
Here’s a taste of what I’ve worn


Luckily I am a costume designer & was able to borrow back a whole stack of dresses I’ve made from about 10 years of school productions, plus a few from my own personal collection.
I think after this I might be doing a regular vintage outfit every week. it’s been a blast.

https://frocktober.everydayhero.com/au/Mizjayne

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I had a bit of a deadline for this frock. I wanted to wear it to the wedding of a girl whose dress I made.

By the time her dress was delivered, the Melbourne Autumn Winter fashion season was upon me, as well as a musical production I only had a week & very few free hours to sew.

I have been lusting after the Betty Draper cocktail dress from Mad Men season one(?) and also saving this gorgeous piece of Vintage Mark Learner/Learnerson Fabrics cotton sateen for just the right dress & occasion. I decided the wedding someone I used to babysit, who had asked me to make her dress when she was 5, was just the right occasion.
I tolied the bodice on the Saturday before the wedding, then the sewing gods freed up two more half days for me to get this baby done. I was still stitching the hem before I had to dash to work for 4 hours, before the wedding


I used Vogue 9712 & drafted my own ruched panel.
I am so pleased with how it turned out.
I also got to wear my gorgeous wedding petticoat underneath it, although it was close to 40c/100f so I ditched the petticoat after the ceremony.

The petticoat is hanging behind the dress on my bedroom door & was not some weird sleeves, as a few people thought on Facebook post.

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