1940s | 1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Significant birthday dress

By on January 2, 2017

ooobop party dress

This is the dress I made for my significant birthday party in December. Inspired by a Dior dress I saw in a magazine which I could never hope to create but which kickstarted the need for a puffball skirt. It’s a full circle plus 16 extra inches around the waist for four box pleats, two at the front and two at the back. The hem is all gathered up into a mini a-line underskirt, both of which are attached to the bodice at the waist seam.

ooobop in the woods

The bodice is from a vintage Weldons pattern, undated but I’m assuming late 40s, early 50s. Just by nature of the really basic instructions and the hair do on the illustrated cover!

weldon 3833

I used a black and red, two-tone dupion silk which was a dream to work with. And I sewed cockerel feathers to the yoke, just because!

ooobop party dress back

 

More details and photos over at ooobop!

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1940s | 1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

By on September 3, 2016

Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

I’ve been wanting to tackle this dress for a long time. Don’t know what I was afraid of! It came together quite simply. But it helps that I’ve sewn vintage dresses before. The instructions on the back of the packet are minimal to say the least and include things like:

“Make darts in the back bodice where shown by dotted lines in diagram”. Quite literally the diagram which is the tiny pattern layout illustration on the back of the packet. So it’s anyone’s guess, really!

“Gather upper edge of side fronts to fit hip yoke of front as in sketch and stitch together matching VV to VV.” Again, helped by the fact that I’ve managed inset seams before when quilting so I know a thing or two about clipping and pivoting. It could have caused a tantrum or two otherwise!

Blackmore 8194 vintage sewing patternI made it in a hurry, like the day before the wedding so there’s room for improvement. I graded it up a size but could do with adding an inch of ease at least at the waist I was hesitant to do this for fear of losing the lovely silhouette but I think I can still retain the line by cutting and slashing from under arm to waist.

blackmore 8194 green vintage dress

As for the era… Blackmore Patterns finished trading in the 1940s by all accounts so I would naturally date the pattern from late 40s but Wikia Patterns says 1950s. So it’s anyone’s guess really!

My favourite details are the keyhole neckline and the skirt gathers on the hip yoke.

blackmore 8194 vintage dress

I’m definitely going to have to make this again. Has anyone else tried this pattern before?

More info on the making of this dress and others over at ooobop.

 

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Vintage Sewing

Retro Butterick ’56 No: 5813

By on June 27, 2016

big vintage sewalong

So this was my contribution for McCalls Big Vintage Sewalong. A blog tour amongst other things to promote a range of patterns that will in turn raise money for The Eve Appeal.

I chose Butterick 5813, a fabulous fitted dress with a neat little collar detail. I chose view A bottom right on the pattern cover:

Butterick 5813

I used a lovely Italian brocade which had a lovely drape but enough body to hold the shape.

Butterick 5813

It’s fully lined, sleeves and everything and feels gorgeously weighty and luxurious! I feel slightly guilty about using an invisible zip instead of a lapped one. I’d have liked to have finished it properly but at least the zip is completely invisible in the side seam so you can’t instantly tell!

Big Vintage Sewalong Butterick 5813

This pattern isn’t a quick and easy one. None too difficult either but just a bit time-consuming. More details and photos over at ooobop!

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1960s | Vintage Sewing

A 60s worky shirt-dress

By on July 12, 2015

simplicity 6772 vintage shirt dress

I do like a vintage shirt-dress. I’ve made two previously: the 1940s Shoe Dress and The Shirt-Dress Revisited. But this one is 20 years on from those and definitely more understated!

I made it from cheap suiting from Shepherds Bush market. Mainly to test the pattern grading needed to get this to fit. But I’m glad it worked as well as it did because I’ve ended up with a totally wearable test garment.

simplicity 6772 shirt-dress

The sleeves need a bit of messing with though. Way too much ease for my liking and the shoulders are a little too big on me to be fair.

It’s got 12 darts which do their job on creating a great silhouette. None of that ballooning at the back!

simplicity 6772 back view

I do love the little kick pleat too. Far more sophisticated than a slit!

Next one is cut out with adjustments made and ready to tailor tack so hopefully be back soon with a new and improved version!

simplicity 6772 sewing pattern

More waffle over at ooobop!

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Retro Butterick ’57 halter-dress

By on June 17, 2015

butterick b4512 retro dress

This pattern is one of many that’s been waiting patiently for a special occasion. None more special than my sister’s wedding! But with all the excitement, we forgot to take blog-worthy, colour, full length shots. So we took a lovely evening stroll down the river last night, while the light was still good.

butterick b4512 retro dress

There were no major issues with the pattern though I did have to take an inch out of the upper bust. There’s no elastic in the back section so I had to make sure it fit closely to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions!

butterick b4512 retro dress

Very happy with how it turned out. And can feel a selection of these in different colours coming on! Once I’d got the fit right, it was very quick to put together. Only the bodice is lined and I used a self-drafted circle skirt pattern I’d already created to save having a central seam as per the pattern.

butterick b4512 retro dress

 

I’m wearing the dress with a fab tulle petticoat I found in a charity shop but it looks just as good without when a slightly less dramatic look is required!

 

More details and photos over at ooobop!

 

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Vintage Sewing

Vintage Simplicity 4687

By on May 17, 2015

simplicity 4687 vintage dress

It’s amazing how quickly I can rustle up a dress when I need to. Just a question of the right pattern, the right fabric and no serious fitting issues.

I’m not sure if this pattern is 50s or 60s but its a pretty simple shift dress all the same and works just as well 50-60 years on.

simplicity 4687 sewing pattern

Rather a lot of ease was a good thing as far as waist and hip was concerned but I did have to take a bit of bagginess out of the bust. Next time round, with a bit more time on hands, I’ll grade it properly.

simplicity 4687 vintage dress

It’s not lined but then the fabric is a great mid-weight cotton with a bit of stretch so there’s no need. The neck and armscyes are faced and I made sure to understitch so the facing lies super flat. I overlocked the seams which isn’t very authentic, I know, but I did hand-stitch a 2 1/4 inch hem.

Feels so good to wear a dress out in the evening of the day that you made it!

More about that over at ooobop

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1950s | 1960s | 1970s | Accessories | Hats | Vintage Sewing

Faux Zhivago: self-drafted faux fur hat

By on December 29, 2014

handmade faux fur hat

December is definitely a month for quick satisfying projects that can slot into the madness of work, shopping, entertaining and visiting! And a faux fur hat is most welcome when the temperatures take a dive into freezing.

handmade vintage style fur hat

December is also a great month for finding the best range of faux fur. This fur is so soft and silky and feels so real I had to double check the backing to make sure it wasn’t! It’s a bit pricey but you really don’t need much more a hat of this kind.

I’ve got fond memories of snuggling up on the sofa with my mum, lots of years ago, watching Doctor Zhivago on the telly. So this hat is cosy in more ways than one. It has a wonderful vintage vibe but I can’t attribute it to any one era. 50’s? 60’s? 70’s? or 2015’s? Maybe it’s just timeless!

I’m planning on posting a tute and a pattern real soon so keep an eye on my blog for more details.

In the meantime, I’d like to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year! x

Handmade faux fur hat Doctor Zhivago style

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