Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 8085 – Help!

By on April 25, 2016

The Dress

It is not complete. I stopped once I realized the flapping disaster as detailed below. It is missing a hem (I plan to carry the bias tape down), the belt (not sure if I am going to make one), and the cute little bows. But I needed advice on this flap-taster!



The Facts
Fabric: Thrifted fabric $6 for about 6 yrds.
Lining– None. I did have on a purchased full petticoat.
Pattern: Simplicity 8085 for dress and Simplicity 4116 for the sleeves.
Year: reprint of 1950s pattern
Notions: bias tape – 2 packages, will be 3 when complete, 2 large/strong hook-and-eyes, 3 snaps (maybe 4 when I am done).
Changes: Added sleeves and length to the shoulder seams.

The construction detail of this dress is detailed here.

But more importantly,  I need your help!  I added about 2″ to the shoulder seam  because there were no other places I could lengthen the bodice. I wanted to make sure there was enough wiggle room in the arm hole to get my sleeve on comfortably. And being so tall I usually always add 1-1.5″ to the bodice. So I tried it on and moved about and it looked like my dress grew wings. It was flapping away! My husband and mom think that this dress may cause a “flap” no matter if I even resize the shoulder seams because the dress has no real closures. Here is the picture of the flap I am talking about:

DSC_0148 DSC_0149


What do you guys think? Do I need to unpick it, or would the results still leave me flapping in the wind (heh heh)?


Continue Reading


El Burro Skirt using Simplicity 3478

By on April 19, 2016


I have made this skirt before to go with the bra top I wrote about here ( and I love the ease of working with one direction fabric with it. The cut and pattern is very straight forward and the only real tricky part are all the pleats!

The Pleats:

I used the artist tape tick to complete pleats that are nice and straight and away I went. The pleats go all the way down the skirt so it is very important that you are meticulous in their construction. There were a whole-lotta notes on the tape on which way to fold the material. After a lot of pressing and basting I had the base of my skirt. Then it was just the zipper and the waistband.


The Details:

Fabric: Joann’s novelty print cotton
Lining– none.  Just a petticoat if I want extra fullness.
Pattern: Simplicity 3748
Year: circa mid 1950s (reprint of a pattern)
Notions: zipper (I am finally using some of my vintage metal zippers!) and interfacing.
Changes: Made the waist band wider.

The finished product:


I actually wore this out to a show/dancing the other night with a petticoat under it. I was pleased that the did not stick straight out when I was turned so I do not have to wear swing shorts or a slip while dancing.

This came from my pile of undocumented projects. Read more about them here:

Continue Reading


Bra Top

By on June 23, 2013

I love the look of PUG’s bra tops but was not OK with spending $60 on one item of clothing. So I decided to make one. I also had some super cute new clip on earings and Bakelite that I wanted to match up with an outfit. So my stripe-y creation was born! If you want to read more about the complete outfit check it out here!

Bra Top-

I wanted it to look something like this: (not in polka dots)


And I got something that looked like this: (What do you think?)

The Facts
Fabric: Kona heavy cotton. $7 a yard.
Lining- Same as the outter construction.
Pattern: McCalls 6350. I love this pattern because you can select your cup size. Why haven’t other companies picked up on this??
Year: modern pattern.
Notions: zipper that separates, boning, bias tape (I had to use some because I got in a jam with the hem).
Changes: Well, I did not make it dress 🙂 and added thicker straps.

I followed the manufacturers details pretty much to the T. I added about 3 inches to the length of the bodice. The added 3 inches was still not enough. Therefore I added the bias tape to hem the bottom of the top. When it came to adding the zipper I made a mistake and already understiched the very top of the, well top. So the zipper needed some magic (some shoving and pinning). It ended up just fine. The zipper top pokes me a little, but I am working on softening it up.

Continue Reading


Colette Jasmine

By on August 8, 2012

I finally finished my Colette Jasmine shirt! I first put a much too heavy of a collar on the shirt and it looked just awful. I ended up picking it off and going to a much lighter nylon. I am happy I did, the look came out great. In this desert heat, this shirt is great to wear!

Next time I would make the collar a tad wider. Due to my football player shoulders the collar looks a bit small in contrast. The shirt looks great tucked in, untucked, with a skirt, or with pants.  I was a bit too fluffy to wear it tucked in on the shirts debut, so I wore it untucked with cigarette pants. More about it here.


Please ignore the goofy face, I had just finished a 9 hour drive!


Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses

Orange Creamsicle.

By on August 7, 2012

I feel like I have been gone forever! Mid July we went on a mini vacation/wedding of a cousin and I have been nonstop since! Making my classroom ready for a new year is consuming my time! I wish it was sewing that was taking me away! Anywho- for the wedding/vacation I wanted a new dress to wear. I decided on a “new” Vintage Vogue 8789 pattern. The fabric was a steal at $1 a yard and I was ready to go! It was my second dress matching lines in a chevron. The pattern was relatively easy. Check out all my dorky pictures and details here!


Continue Reading

Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 3748

By on July 17, 2012

I need some help with the Simplicity 3748 retro shorts. They came out just awful! They look great until I put them on and then they are a hot mess and a 1/2. This was a “practice” set made from some free material, but I am still upset at how they turned out. I am not sure if I need to extend the seat or what (they kinda ride up, if you know what I mean). The short leg-holes are so wide I could become a flying-squirrel with them! I have made the bolero in this set and adore it, I was hoping for the same result with the shorts. I was wondering if anyone out there has attempted to make these before. Any help would be great.

This is a picture of the pattern:

Continue Reading

Vintage Sewing

Darts with Artist Tape

By on

I recently got a snippet (If you have not signed up for them, I suggest to do so 🙂 )  from Colette about ways to improve your dart making skills. And I don’t know about you, but I always fuss over how my darts look! No matter what I do they aren’t perfect; chalk, pins, basting lines all did not result in a perfect dart.

In this snippet it said to use artists tape to mark along the dart lines. I figured, “what the hell?” and went to Joann’s with my 40% off coupon to get some. After much hunting a nice lady found it for me in the fancy painting supplies (not the crafter paint the faaaaancy paint lol). I picked up a low-tack tape and was on my way. Check out the final results here. Do you have any tips or tricks to form the perfect dart?


Continue Reading