1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 7653 – make all the dresses!

By on January 25, 2016

I’m sure I’m not the only WSR sewist who sees a fabulous vintage pattern and needs to make all given variations of a dress! This pattern, Butterick 7653 was that pattern for me. For ages.

I was initially attracted by the elegant neckline, both back and front, and the pleats on the slim skirt version, such simple details.

Butterick 7653 pattern

I started with this project in 2013…the pattern is a size too small, so that held up the works a little and I’m glad I didn’t rush it. By the time I decided to tackle it again, I was more confident, and had more experience in fitting for my body, and lining dresses, and it was a quick and easy make. I think I had some kind of fitting-to-body mental block!

So, here are the results of this particular sewing dream, the slim skirt version is my favourite, I made it in a polyester crepe, navy blue with white polka dots.

Butterick 7653 complete tall

I love this dress!

Butterick 7653 complete nice darts

Those pleats..

Butterick 7653 complete nice neckline

…And the neckline…

Butterick 7653 complete 2

I wore this to my husband’s MFA graduation, and we went out for a coffee after (thanks to babysitters…) and it was so fun to wear and, well, I just love it!

On to the full-skirted version. I didn’t quite have enough fabric to make the skirt as full as required, I had a couple of metres of this lovely silk from a friend, and it was perfect for this dress, the drape of the bias neckline especially, so I went ahead with it.

Butterick 7653 finished front neckline detail

I added a waist-stay to this as the skirt was fairly heavy, and I added little bra-strap holders as the the neckline is so wide.

Butterick 7653 finished bodice and skirt detail

I went for wide box pleats on the skirt, and tried to reproduce the look of slim skirt pleats, which were slightly overlapping, as you may be able to see from the pattern envelope illustration. I think this worked reasonably well, without adding too much bulk in the waist area.

Butterick 7653 finish nice shoulders

And while I was short fabric for the very full skirt, adding a petticoat helps to re-create that gorgeous 50s silhouette.

Butterick 7653 petticoat

Here’s the back of the dress…

Butterick 7653 back finish tall

Do you have favourite dress pattern? That you have to keep making? I don’t know if I’m done with this one yet.

Butterick 7653 finished tall twirling2

I accessorised with my nana’s flower hat and gloves, and some old rose style earrings.

Butterick 7653 accessories2

More photos and the story on my blog of course xox

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1960s | Pants / Trousers | Vintage Sewing

Another vogue 6435 jumpsuit….

By on November 26, 2015

Vogue 6435 blue hat back

Yet another 60s style jumpsuit!

Vogue 6435

I made this little baby earlier this year, using some dark green wool crepe. I had made the true-to-the-pattern version for summer, (Vogue 6435) and enjoyed styling it 1920s for a Speakeasy party. I loved how versatile it was, how comfy, and stylish. And, while I can still reach around to unzip it, how these jumpsuits have become fun, unique everyday wear!

Vogue 6435 blue back

The first version used straps, and I wanted something that I could wear across the seasons, so I used a kimono bodice pattern I adapted from a 50s dress and the wonderful wide leg pants. Voila! Happiness.

The same week I finished the green wool crepe jumpsuit, I cut out another one, using some woven acrylic deep/navy blue I had in my stash… Kind of awful fabric, but in the real world with kids and grime, and once a fortnight laundromat missions, it’s amazing, foody finger smears just wipe right off, if they even stick! The fabric is not so scratchy, I lined the bodice, but not the pants, the fabric has a great drape and is not too hot.


It is nice with a brooch, a necklace.


But add a belt, and gloves…


And it’s fun!


I love the 1920s, and this is great for the easy wear, beach pajama look (I need to find a halter top for another one..). I also love the 60s with the sci-fi futuristic Spacewear, and like to imagine the people of the world living in harmony and stylish jumpsuits….but that’s another story! I love how changing the accessories makes this little jumpsuit work with many stylish decades. Eep, can’t wait to make another one….

More over on my blog, of course, Vogue 6435.

Angela xo

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 2137 the wriggle dress that almost wasn’t

By on November 18, 2015

Butterick 2137…this project sat in my ‘to-sew-to-fix-can’t-deal-with-it’ pile for a long time. I finished it early last summer, loved it. Wore it. But didn’t get around to taking good photos to blog it.

Butterick 2137 neckline2

This neck line is the reason I couldn’t face it. I cut this out of my fabric, which was not really enough for a dress, but I had to make into something wearable as it’s just sew lovely, and was from my nana’s stash. A bit special.

Butterick 2137 neckline

When I cut this out, I was short of fabric for all the facings, and needed to add a false hem, so really short on fabric, but it Would Work. What I was not that prepared for was that when I cut it out, I needed to make a hollow bust/chest adjustment (which is now even more apparent as I am no longer a breastfeeding sewing mama). So I had to deal a bit, with body not working or pattern not working…happily I persevered, I sewed the bias on three times, first attempt the print showed through the white tape (oh no!) so figured I’ll skip the white detail at the neck and make it a bias facing…but then I was not happy with that. So, unpicked the facing, realised that all that sewing, unpicking and fiddling around had stretched the neckline even more. Major neckline gaping…Urgh.

So then, I put it away, despairing a bit, also needed to improve my attitude, and my skills?

In the end I just decided to make two pleats to reduce the gape and add a, um, ‘design feature’….I used two thickness of bias binding to finish, and viola! Happiness.

Butterick 2137 tall again

I had been looking at heaps of lovely patterns, and some really sweet details like gathered bodices, around the bust darts, and some of those really simple pleats or details that are so typical of beautiful vintage sewing patterns. So, lots of inspiration, and a bit more confidence to make the dress work.

Butterick 2137 tall3

I love the print, and the dress is perfect for summer.

Butterick 2137 tall

I’m also wearing my other nana’s earrings!

Butterick 2137 check out my earrings

Here’s the original pattern for those who enjoy them as much as I do…


More on my blog, of course, Mermaid’s Purse, Butterick 2137.

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Another vintage Franken-pattern, a jumpsuit based on Vogue 6435

By on September 7, 2015

A couple of years ago, I swore that jumpsuits, house pajamas, but not onesies, would be the way of the future. It just took me a while to make my own! And I’m in love.

Vogue 6435

I made version ‘B’ of this pattern, Vogue 6435, earlier this year, and loved it. But it was really only suitable for warm days, the height of summer. Un/Fortunately, that was not good enough! I needed more, and I needed them fast.

Vogue 6435 bodice

So, I teamed up the pants with my go-to vintage kimono blouse pattern and voila! This is my dream outfit. Can’t stop wearing it!

Vogue 6435 tall2

It goes perfectly with my cape made from the same fabric, so I am very happy.

Vogue 6435 tall3

With the cape…

Vogue 6435 and cape

It was not smooth sailing with this project, and I have more details and photos over on my blog of course. I cannot wait to make another one!

Vogue 6435 and cape detail

Happy sewing, Angela xo

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1960s | Dresses | Hats

Turning a vintage curtain into a frock, Simplicity 6220

By on September 3, 2015

Simplicity 6220 dress2

I have been working my way through some unfinished projects over winter, and this is one project I have finished, and am very happy with. I picked up this lovely vintage curtain, in excellent condition early on in my vintage style sewing days.


I love the body in the fabric and decided that it would be challenge to sew up a dress from it. I used the original lining from the drop to line the bodice, but needed more to line the skirt, so used some polyester from my stash.


Simplicity 6220, pattern.

I’m so glad I completed it! Do you have projects that sit for a while? Sometimes I have some challenges that I cannot overcome, or I just get a bit bored, or, ahem, distracted by some new exciting idea.


I have more photos on my blog, I accessorize with some vintage gloves, my nana’s hat, vintage faux pearls.


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1950s | Capes

Vintage inspired drafted cape

By on August 3, 2015

green cape sitting

I started this cape project earlier this year, it’s a flow on from my big ‘separates sewing’ days from 2014. I made a cape last year, but was not quite sold on it, and wanted one with a decent collar, so I modified my original 1950s pattern, drafted a collar and voila! I cape I’m very happy with.

Butterick 6039 pattern

Butterick 6039, my starting point, (the older project is here). I have more photos and project details on my blog, I used the last of some lovely wool crepe and a remnant of cotton silk for the lining, and a button from my stash.

green cape standing

I attached a hook and eye for the closure, sewing the button on top, as I couldn’t commit to it! And I’m still undecided about the best closure. Ha!

green cape standing back 2

I’m really happy with this cape, it adds real warmth, without too much weight, it is easy to wear and (I think) it’s a simple way to add some elegance to a more casual ensemble. And it looks great closed or unbuttoned.

green cape standing collar open

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1950s | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 1573 for summer

By on July 5, 2015

Simplicity 1573 collar complete

It’s midwinter for me at the moment, but I thought I would share a summer frock I completed a while back, Simplicity 1573 in a pretty floral cotton.

Simplicity 1573 pattern and fabric

This dress has such a gorgeous skirt!

Simplicity 1573

I love the shape of the shoulders too, the only trouble I had was with the cummerbund. It came out really bulky, so I’m back to the drawing board and will try another fabric for next summer. At the moment, I either use this wide white belt or a slim black belt.

Any suggestions for cummerbund success? (Just take a look at the shape of that shoulder…)

Simplicity 1573 bodice on manequin


Happy summer sewing!

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