1950s | Blouses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 2475 – 1958 Maternity Top

By on March 6, 2015

I actually got this finished a week or so ago, but then I got sick (again) and we’ve had yet another snow storm since then so it’s still been a little crazy around here. This is my second project of the year, and the second installment in my sewing for the 2015 Vintage Pattern Pledge. It’s Simplicity 2475, which I was given in a large pattern stash (almost all children’s and maternity patterns) by a friend when I found out I was pregnant with my first.

1958 maternity sewing pattern Simplicity 2475

The pattern is from 1958, and after making a version of a similar top the first time around I knew I wanted to make myself another one. They’re super comfortable, and with a few more weeks of warm weather before this kiddo is born I wanted another lightweight top that wasn’t skin tight. This is yet another 100% stash buster as well! The fabric is from the massive stash my mom and I accumulated (and still resides at her house), the bias binding is left from finishing all the seams in my Robson Trench last year, and the buttons were from a huge button stash that a friend of mine inherited when her husband’s grandmother died.  I opted for view 2, but changed the welt pockets to patch pockets since this lawn is so light. I didn’t want the extra strain on the fabric and was also concerned about the pocket bags showing through badly. Forgive the weird light. With yet another 8+ inches of snow outside, the already odd lighting available in my house is even worse.

1958 maternity top

the front curves of the yoke don’t match perfectly, as the fabric was kind of a pain and I was tired when I was sewing, but for something I’m going to wear for 2 months I wasn’t super concerned about going back and trying to fix it.

Simplicity 2475

Simplicity 2475 Maternity Top 1958

The buttons, as I said, are some I got from a friend after she inherited a HUGE button stash. They’re really pretty little pearl shirt buttons. I’m not sure how old they are.

patch pockets in floral lawn 1958 maternity top

I’m really happy I decided to do patch pockets instead of welts. Not only were they much easier, but I like the little touch of green in the bias binding at the top. It helps break up the print a little bit. I’ve got a black and a pink pencil skirt I plan on wearing this with that both look cute, especially with a little sweater. I’m actually working on a wearable muslin of some maternity shorts out of leftover denim, but the front sections are doing something really weird because of the some bias pulling, so they’ve been put on the back burner for bit, but if I do get them finished they’ll look SUPER cute with this. So summery! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last real push of winter before spring arrives. We’ve got pretty good temps predicted for the coming week, which will be a relief, but if it gets super cold again after that I may have to hide under a rock. Hope everyone else is keeping warm!

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 3345 redux – Some vintage maternity wear for the Vintage Pattern Pledge

By on February 23, 2015

Hey there! It’s been a hot minute since I had a sewing project to share with you all, but today I’ve got my first finished project of the year to show you! It’s actually also my first finished project for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge of 2015, AND as just a little icing on the cake, it’s also a 100% pure stash-buster. I did not make any further financial expenditures for this project. Every single thing on it, from the fabric to the notions (and the pattern) was stuff that I already owned. While it’s not “technically” true, I am telling myself that this dress was consequently a “FREE” dress, which makes it even better and totally fits in with my attempts at stash busting and project budgeting this year. All good things.

Anyway, this is the second version of Simplicity 3345, the first of which can be seen here.

I made a couple of minor changes, mostly taking the side seams in slightly, in order to get a little better fit on this one. I think by rights I probably should have done a full bust adjustment as well to get the fit really perfect, but that’s more work than I wanted to put in on something I was only going to wear for a couple of months (and be changing sizes the whole time anyway). I shortened the hem (from the pattern length) by about 5 or 6 inches, so it hits me just at the bottom of my knee like the illustration. I’m not all that short, and even with a three inch hem allowance you’d have to be 5’10” for this to hit you where it does in the illustration. I intended on getting pictures of this one on myself so you could see how it looks on a legitimately pregnant human, but my husband is never up during daylight hours and the tripod is broken, so Tabitha will have to suffice yet again.

The bow is actually a pin that goes on the playsuit from which I scavenged the red fabric (it was from the skirt portion of the playsuit, which I think I maybe wore once and decided needed to be put to better use), so I can move it around, which is fun. It looks pretty cute at the neck, too. The back sash pieces don’t perfectly line up with the front since I was working with the width of the previous skirt’s ties, but my usually super anal retentive self was ok with it because I was doing some awesome stash busting/recycling.

You can see where I had to piece the ties to get the length I needed for this, since the skirt ties were much shorter. I hand-picked the zip like I normally do, since it’s actually one of my favorite bits of hand finishing. I think they just look so much nicer, too. The zipper and waist elastic were also things I had in my stash already, which is why I went with a bright red zipper instead of a matching one, but I think bright zippers can be fun sometimes anyway.

Just so you can get an idea of what these dresses look like on a real person, here is a picture of version 1 from Derby two years ago. I was about 36 or 37 weeks.

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1930s | 1940s | Accessories

Irish Lace

By on October 4, 2014

Technically not sewing, but it’s from a vintage pattern, and I know there are some other knitters/crocheters on here who I thought might like to see this.

In what little time I have to sew and knit lately, I’ve managed to grab a few moments here and there to  work on a new sort of project for me. A couple of years ago a good friend gifted me with a pretty massive stack of vintage and antique crochet and knitting books, ranging in age from about 1915 to the 1950s. The vast majority of them are crocheted lace patterns (plus one KILLER 1930s knitting book, which I’ve got plans for later this winter), and while I’ve never been much of a crocheter, some of these lace patterns are just too pretty for me not to try my hand at it.

I decided to try and stick with something fairly simple for my first go ’round, so I picked this fabulous Irish lace jabot pattern. There is no dat on the pattern, but I’m guessing it’s from around 1940. It has taken me MONTHS (ok, honestly I have no idea when I started this thing, but if feels like eons ago) to finish this thing. Mostly since I only had little bits of time here and there to work on it, and even then I couldn’t work for very long in a sitting because it started to make my hand cramp after a while. Maybe this should tell me something about my tension?

1940s crocheted irish lace jabot ruffle

1940s crocheted irish lace jabot ruffle

A lot of these patterns call for size 50 crochet cotton, but I had a hard enough time finding 30 anywhere. I’m seriously doubting whether 50 even still exists, but it seriously has to be about the size of hand-quilting thread because the 30 is pretty darn tiny. Anyhoo, this pattern was not only simple, but it was one of the few that called for 30 to begin with, so I guess it was kismet. After the foundation rows the jabot is worked back and forth in a “U” around the center, building outward in a series of simple 7-chain loops. The final three rows are done with an alternating 7-chain loop and double crochet shell. I was kind of winging it on the final rows, since I couldn’t tell from the picture exactly what the edging was supposed to look like. In theory, this is right. Either way it looks pretty, so who cares, right? The entire piece is about 18 inches long, and gets folded in half when worn. I have no ideas what I’m actually going to wear it with since almost all of my clothes have “V” or scoop necks, but I’ll figure something out. It’s just too awesome not to wear.

1940s crocheted irish lace jabot ruffle

I still need to hit it with a little bit of starch to get the ruffles to hold really well, but overall I’m really happy. I’d say for a first lace project it was a success. Has anyone else been trying their hand at something new lately? I’m always keen to learn new skills (because I clearly don’t have enough projects already). Even if I only end up doing something once I can at least say that I have.

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1940s | Blouses | Rompers / Playsuits | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Playsuit Sew-Along

By on July 11, 2014

I participated in the Vintage Playsuit Sew-Along hosted by Stephanie over at The Girl With the Star-Spangled Heart. I’m a few days behind on the final playsuit posts because I ran into a few technical issues (first my iron died and then my skirt was too small and had to be fixed), but I finally have all four pieces finished and photographed. I’ve shown you all the patterns before, so I won’t go into much of that today; it’s pretty much be a photo post, but I will explain a little about this skirt. The pattern illustration indicates that this is a fairly full, A-line garment. Let me tell ya. It’s not. At all. The skirt actually turned out looking a whole lot more 70s than 40s. It’s a super narrow A-line, and that plus the mid-calf length really make me feel like I need to part my hair in the center, go braless, and carry a macrame bag. That being said, I do still like the skirt, it’s just not quite what I had originally planned on. The other issue, was that despite all the pattern measurements and everything checking out, the skirt was entirely too snug, causing pulling at the pockets and the button placket over my stomach, not to mention the lack of room in the waist. Not appropriate for pizza feasts, this one. I had already done a lot of the finishing and really wasn’t looking forward to taking everything apart and recutting the waistband, etc, so what I ended up doing was adding a placket extension to the underlap in order to give myself some room to shift the buttons over. That made a huge difference. I also had to shift the buttonhole placement quite a bit so that I wasn’t getting the gapping across my stomach that was happening with the original placement. Despite the issues, I’m pretty happy with the end result, and it will work well with all of my solid t-shirts/camisoles and sweaters as well. So here it is, followed by the other three pieces.

 

 

 

For more information about the patterns I used, along with a few more pictures of the garments themselves, the previous two posts about the sew-along can be found here and here.

 

-Evie

 

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Vintage Sewing

What kind of iron do you use?

By on June 26, 2014

I’m in the market for a new iron, and since I’ve never actually owned a “new” iron (yes, I’ve been using other people’s castoffs, for shame), I’m not 100% sure what I want to get. I don’t mind spending a little bit more, because I want to get something that’s going to work really well and last a long time. What are your favorites?

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Challis shirtdress: My new favorite.

By on June 2, 2014

I made myself a new everyday dress. It’s from a mail order pattern I’ve had in my collection for a while. I don’t have an exact date on the pattern, but it looks like a very early 40s design. It’s Anne Adams 4811. I wanted to make something a little different than most of what I have in my current wardrobe, and this softer styled shirtdress was just what I was looking for. The rayon challis print that I used for it makes for an incredibly light, comfortable summer dress.

I interfaced the collar and front facings to keep the edges nice and crisp and support the buttons/buttonholes in this fairly limp-bodied fabric, and the drape and feel of the whole dress is wonderful. I ended up needing to grade all the seams in at the waist, as well as grading them in slightly over the bust and through the shoulders. The pattern as is was surprisingly rectangular, despite the very shapely envelope illustration. I’m very happy with the final fit of the dress. The only other real change I made was to shift the bust gathers up about 1.5 inches (as some of you may have seen in my query from not too long ago). The original position of the gathers was ridiculously and unflatteringly low, even if it had been an earlier 1930s, droopy chested dress. Moving them up made a HUGE difference to the overall look of the dress. I actually wasn’t sure how much I was going to like it once I started assembling the pieces, but now that it’s finished I honestly think it might be my new favorite dress. I kind of want to make three more.

 This dress will definitely be getting a lot of wear this summer and into the fall. It’s nice to have something with a slightly different silhouette than most of my other clothes, and the colors make me really happy. I’ve got enough of the fabric left for another project, and I think I may whip up some sort of 1930s style Hooverette, or maybe another version of my other favorite dresses:

 

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Vintage Sewing

Move the bust gathers or no?

By on May 13, 2014

I’ve got a quick question for you all. I’m working on a dress right now form an early 40s pattern. It has bust gathers on the side-front panels along the princess seam. I gathered according to the marks on the pattern piece, but the position of the gathers once I tried it on seemed incredibly low to me. I shifted the gathers up about 1.5 inches on one side of the dress to see if that worked better, but can’t quite decide whether I should go ahead and stick with that alteration or just follow the original markings.

The gathers on the left in the photo are obviously the ones that I moved up. This has resulted in a slightly pointier bust shape, but also adds a little visual lift (which can’t hurt any of us, right?). The lower gathers keep a nice smooth line over the bust though, which is nice, except that it makes things look a little droopier (it sits a little more smoothly on me since my mannequin hasn’t nursed a baby and her bust sits a little higher).

So, keep them where they were and maintain the smoother line…or move them up on my actual bust point and deal with some kind of pointy boobs?

Thanks!

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