1950s | 1960s

Faux Crop Top (+ Tutorial)

By on April 6, 2016


Last year I happened to stumble across McCall’s 4933 (available on etsy here!!) and noticed that it was not a crop top, as it seemed, but a faker posing as a crop top. I couldn’t find it in my size so I did some sleuthing and the back of the pattern envelope shows that it is basically just an extra long top with a big tuck in it–I can do that! You can too!

I used my go-to crop top pattern, Simplicity 3480 which I think is from 1959 or 60. All you do is straighten out the side seams, making your top reeeeally long, and then take one big tuck at waist level to create the “overblouse” effect. It looks like the hem, but it’s really just a long pleat.

I’m a firm believer in wearing just about anything that makes you feel good, but if you feel like you can’t (or don’t want to) pull off a crop top for whatever reason, or you just want something a little different, is is easy to transform a regular top pattern into one for a tuck-in crop top. I’ve made a couple of these fake crop tops (or “tuck-in blouse with look of short overblouse” as the original pattern described them), and I loveeee them. They’re so easy to wear and offer good coverage while looking cool and, as my mom said, “neat and tidy.” You can see the full tutorial here!!

allie J.

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1970s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 8013, a retro 70s gown reprint

By on December 29, 2015

When Simplicity released their latest (I think) retro collection I totally swooned over this 70s dress… but its 10 yards of fabric, which can get expensive. Solution? Use rayon! While this would look stunning in a silk chiffon or charmeuse, rayon has all the drape and none of the sheen, making it a bit more flexible–it can be dressed up like a gown or down like a maxidress!

I really enjoyed sewing this pattern–I made no size alterations (I cut between an 8 and a 10) but I did change a lot of the construction.

Read more about this project on my blog, allie J.

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

My Wedding Dress: Simplicity 5343 (1963)

By on December 22, 2015


my handmade vintage wedding dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

I got married in May and for it I whipped up (ha!) a ballet pink silk version of Simplicity 5343 from 1963.

I knew I didn’t want to wear a white, strapless gown and I knew I wanted pink, and when I stumbled across this pattern on etsy I knew it was the one. The Dress. I loved the lace jacket and the pleats on the skirt, the bow belt, and the simple silhouette.

handmade vintage wedding dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

I did make some construction changes, underlining and lining the bodice (the original just had facings) and adding some boning to the dress, and totally changing the jacket construction for a more couture look (the original was simply cut and finished with bias bindings, I used Susan Khalje’s method for overlapping lace for a seamless look). Just try to spot the seams in the photo above!!

handmade vintage wedding dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com


I also made this crazy 60s veil 🙂 My inspiration was Priscilla Presley!

You can see more photos of this project on my blog, allie J.

Thanks, y’all!

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1960s | Vintage Sewing

An Easy 1960s Nightgown (+ tutorial!)

By on December 15, 2015

1969 nightgown | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Hello! Today I have a project from a few months ago that I never shared. It’s a bit unseasonal for us northern-hemisphere ladies but hopefully our AUS friends will feel right at home 🙂

I used McCall’s 2137 as the base for this nightgown. However, that pattern has some construction quirks, so I decided to modify the pattern to suit my own needs. Overall though, I think this is a very sweet little nightgown, breezy enough for even the hottest nights of summer.

You can see more about this project on my blog, allie J.

And bonus!! I wrote a tutorial simplifying this already-easy pattern so you can make one yourself with no pattern required! You can find that here. Hope you like it! 🙂

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 7737 (1968), v. 2

By on December 8, 2015

Hello! I have a bit of a project backlog to share, so expect to see a few post from me in the coming weeks 🙂 First up is version two of Simplicity 7737. Compared to version 1, which I made years ago at the very beginning of my sewing career, this one is a bit more subdued.

wednesday addams dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

I used a black rayon twill and white cotton for the self-drafted collar. Drafting a collar yourself is very simple, making it easy to add a sweet touch to basically any dress pattern you own!

wednesday addams dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

I really love this pattern–It has become my go-to for an a-line shift dress. Yay for tried and true patterns!

See the full post on my blog, allie J.

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 7737 (1968), v. 1

By on September 30, 2015



Hello again, retro sewing friends! Today’s dress is Simplicity 7737, from 1968. This was actually one of the first things I ever made, back in 2009 or 2010! It is not perfect but was really a miracle it turned out this well without any alterations (especially since my copy is a wacky teen size I think?). You can see I totally copied the colors and trim from version 3 🙂


You can see more pictures on my blog, allie J.

Thanks for reading!

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Simplicity 6220 (1965)

By on May 30, 2015

It’s wedding season! Guess who needs 5 million spring/summer cocktail dresses? (Hint: it’s me!)

simplicity 6220 | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

I made Simplicity 6220 in this pale aqua silk thinking it would be good for spring/summer with bare legs and wearable in winter with white or black tights. Three-season dressing!

simplicity 6220 | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Here is a close up of the v-shaped princess seams. This was what drew me to the pattern.

simplicity 6220 | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

I posted more about the construction of this dress here and more photos of me wearing it here!

Thanks for reading!


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