1950s | 1960s | Jackets | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A “White Christmas” -inspired Skirt Suit

By on January 7, 2015

After sitting on the pattern for waaay too long, I finally got up the gumption to sew Advance 7745 with some red wool that I snagged for super cheap at the thrift store.  Needless to say, I love it.

I omitted the collar called for in the pattern, in part because I didn’t like it and in part because there wasn’t enough fabric!  I’m thinking I’ll get a little white fur peter pan collar to finish it off for winter, and I might find a leopard print collar to swap out for fall and late spring.  The pattern didn’t call for lining the jacket, but I opted to make up a quick lining with some leopard print stuff from JoAnn Fabrics.  I was hoping for a plaid, but no such luck…

I was thinking of adding the belt at the bottom of the jacket (seen on the short-sleeved view on the pattern, barely) but I had quite a hard time picking buttons and finding a matching belt buckle might take a while.  All in all though, I’m super happy with how it turned out!

More pictures of the project are on my blog here and some pictures of the skirt without a jacket over it are in this post.

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1940s | 1950s | Blouses | Pants / Trousers | Rompers / Playsuits | Shirts | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A Watermelon Playsuit

By on July 16, 2014

I made a new playsuit!

I’ve been wanting to make another playsuit in fun colors ever since last summer’s adventure, and when I saw a watermelon print fabric at Joann’s I snapped up the last few yards that were left on the bolt.

I ended up compiling four patterns to get the basic pieces:  Simplicity 4395 and Vogue 3282 for the bodice and Simplicity 3688 and Butterick 7761 for the shorts.  I also put together a simple dirndl skirt without a pattern.

I’m super pleased with how it came out… I really like the high waisted shorts, and the watermelon fabric is such fun.  I even made a little matching belt out of an old cheapy kid’s belt from Target.  It’s a little messy, but it will do for now.  I’ll definitely make the shorts again, although I may lengthen the inseam a smidgen!  I’m also thinking of making another top option out of my remaining watermelon fabric & opinions on that would be awesome.

More pictures of the play version, the dress version, and the construction details can be found on my blog!

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1960s | Dresses

Butterick 9428 with some creative changes

By on March 3, 2014

I’m (mostly) happy with how this dress project turned out.  I had just enough fabric from a friend to squeak it out, and it’s still not totally done (it’s missing a hook and eye and one dang button), but I’m pretty pleased.

The main problem I had was that once I’d gotten the whole dress together, nothing I did would convince the collar to look like the pattern picture!  I ended up folding it over and tacking it down instead, and I can see now that I need to tack it down a little further, because it got pretty rumpled in the test wearing.  I’d really like to make the view with the front scallop detail once the weather warms up a bit… at least that one has a straightforward neckline.

More pictures and babbling on my blog.  And, uh, if anyone sees another green heart button like these, let me know, will you?  I’ve only got six, and I need seven.

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Vintage Sewing

Butterick 7461, or, Project Housecoat

By on December 5, 2013

When my fiance and I moved to Massachusetts for school, I knew that one thing I wanted to purchase or make was a very warm housecoat.  I’d purchase the pattern for Butterick 7461 last summer and made the shorter version out of a kimono that my mother and I made while I was in junior high, and the fit and style were great and the pattern was quick and easy (like it says on the package!) so I figured it would be perfect for making a longer housecoat.

I procrastinated on the hand finishing for ages, but… it’s DONE!!  And I love it to bits and wear it constantly.  For more construction details and lots more pictures, keep reading…

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1940s | 1950s | Pants / Trousers | Rompers / Playsuits | Shirts | Skirts | Swimwear / Sunwear | Vintage Sewing

The “Summer Wardrobe” Playsuit

By on September 18, 2013

 

Hello!  I haven’t posted in a good while, but now that summer is, sigh, on its way out… I figured I ought to stop waiting to get “the perfect pictures” and share my summer sewing project.

Since I couldn’t find (or afford!) the real deal, I was on a quest to create a 1940s/50s -inspired playsuit.  I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to the brainstorming process (plus more on my sewing board before I realized that things were getting out of hand…), but what inspired me most were these “Weekend Wardrobe” sets that Charlotte of Tuppence Ha’penny posted about here.

I have a million pictures, and I could not make my mind up about which ones to include, so I’m going to put the rest of them and the rest of my shpeal behind a cut here so that I don’t take up the whole page!

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1940s | Pants / Trousers | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Variations on a Theme: Simplicity 3688

By on June 17, 2013

Pants and I don’t get along particularly well.  If they fit over my hips and rear, they gape terribly at the waist, and pants that fit at the waist won’t go up over my thighs.  Evidently, the only solution is to sew my own!

I’ve seen lots of rave reviews of the wide-legged pants pattern in Simplicity 3688, and since I picked the pattern up for a song at one of those lovely pattern sales.  I made up the first iteration (my “Wearable Muslin!”) out of some sort of olive green mystery synthetic that  I picked up at Goodwill for about $5.  This pattern has a fair amount of ease, and I ended up mostly cutting out a size 14, but tapering in to a size 10 at the waist.  I feel like the back darts pull a little bit (maybe I need to make them shorter?) but otherwise the fit is perfection!

I made a second iteration in a black cotton twill, which had a lot more body than the first fabric I used.  I also ended up adding about three inches to the length, because although I don’t think of myself as a particularly tall person (I’m 5’6″!) I was only able to put a very narrow hem in my muslin without making them too short.  This time, I was actually able to put in the folded hem that the pattern calls for!  They look a bit rumpled in the photo because I had been sitting all day, but I think that I (mostly) like them.


The third iteration of the pattern is another wearable muslin–I wanted to see if I could transform the pattern into some sort of wearable summer shorts.  These are made of some sort of cotton canvas with a tiny floral print that I found at Goodwill.  Unfortunately, the high waist + white shorts + tiny print makes me feel like I’m wearing boxer shorts!


I also somehow manage to construct the shorts completely catty-wompus… The zipper somehow ended up on the RIGHT side, and the button is all backward.  Fortunately, these are just grubby work shorts and I’ll be making a few more pairs in nicer fabric for actual wear.

I’m currently working on one more pair of shorts in a stretch cotton sateen.  The first zipper I put in broke (!!!!) so I need to replace it and hem the shorts still…. But that’s part of a bigger project, so I’ll share that once a few more of the pieces are done!

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1950s | Dresses

The Butterick Morning Coat, version 1.5

By on April 13, 2013

I’ve been meaning to fix the terribly half-a–ed facings I made on my first attempt at Butterick 7139 for a while, and when I found it in my mending pile this week I decided that better facings weren’t worth the effort.  Instead, I decided to unpick the facings, dig out my leftover fabric, and test out the sleeves.  I actually rather like the effect!  They join to the body a little awkwardly, and they could use to have more poof at the top.  I have plans for another version of this dress in a heavier fabric (flannel, maybe?) and I think I will add the sleeves next time.

The original.

The update!

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