Dresses

Gertie’s shirtwaist dress

By on April 6, 2013

This is my first make from Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, which I bought as soon as it was out but had yet to make anything from. I used a red cotton with a woven check pattern. For anyone considering making this but worried about fabric quantities, I got this out of 2.1m of 60″ wide when the requirements say 3m! The only pieces I missed out were the back yoke lining (I cut a small neck facing instead) and the pockets, which could easily be made from a different fabric anyway. So in all I would think you could easily get it out of 2.5m or less.

 

 

The only alteration I made was to the shoulder width. I took the excess off the back shoulder edge only, then gathered the front in to match it, creating an extra gathered detail at the shoulders.

I used little black buttons with a swirl pattern. I bought a ton of these in two sizes I love them that much! It can be hard to find new buttons with a vintage appropriate look sometimes.

All in all I love this dress, and will definitely make it again. It was quite quick and easy to put together and comfy to wear all day.

Hats off to my not yet three-year-old for taking the photos.

 

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1940s | Pants / Trousers | Vintage Sewing

Sew For Victory: Simplicity 3688 Dungarees

By on April 1, 2013

Another Sew For Victory project here! For mine I made something I always seem to be in dire need of: trousers. I used the ever popular Simplicity 3688 repro pattern, which I’ve made once before, but with a twist. I used the bodice of a dress pattern to draft a bib pattern to make them into dungarees (overalls, for the US readers).

They are made in a soft slightly brushed navy cotton drill with a small amount of stretch, just enough for comfort. I made the bib bodice detachable by adding buttons inside the waistband to attach it to, so I can wear them just as trousers too. I lined the bodice with a lovely repro quilting cotton print that I now wish I had more of for a dress!

I put side seam pockets in, with a small facing section of the main fabric at the opening edge of the back half of the pocket to help prevent the lining peeking out if the pockets. Anyone know a technical term for this? I feel like it ought to have a specific name.

Anyways, I suspect they’ll get worn to death- I’ve already worn them four or five times in the couple of weeks since making them!

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1940s | Pattern Drafting

Haslam Sytem of Dresscutting

By on October 29, 2012

Pages from my latest purchase, two books of drafting from the Haslam System, dating from the late 40s.

One contains draftings for lingerie, blouses and skirts, and some maternity wear:

 

The second book is for Spring and Summer designs; lots of dresses with some coats and suits.

Lots more including some drafting diagrams for lingerie on my blog here.

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1960s | Children | Coats | Kids

Butterick 9955: A Little Winter Coat

By on October 23, 2012

This is the coat I have made for my daughter in time for the colder weather. It is made from Butterick 9955, a late 50s/ early 60s pattern, and a thick wool blend tartan fabric.

I gave her free choice for the lining, and this is what she went with, a cotton print with flowers and butterflies. It clashes like crazy, but she loves it. I added a brushed cotton interlining, sewn as one layer with the lining fabric, for extra warmth.

 

I did bound buttonholes, and made the collar in cotton velvet. It also has a detachable hood, which buttons on below the collar, though I have yet to add the buttons. The hem is all hand sewn. First I finished the edge of the tartan layer in bias tape, which I slip stitched down. I then catch-stitched the lining hem onto the outer hem, between the layers.

More details of the construction can be found here and here.

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1950s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Cherries and circle skirts

By on September 3, 2012

Two pieces I recently finished up. The blouse is from a late ’50s “The People” mail order pattern. I love this style of yoke and had been after a pattern like this for some time: this one has the bonus of coming with a basic 3/4 sleeve button-down blouse too. The fabric is hacked from a dress I picked up in the sales that was far too short for my tastes as it was, with plain polycotton for the yokes.

The skirt is a self-drafted circle skirt, cut in four gores, with deep pockets added for practicality. Made of plain black cotton, and fastens at the back with a zip and a fancy button . A perfect wardrobe staple.

Close-up of fabric detail. Fruit!

 

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