1950s | 1960s | Dresses

Brocade Wiggle Dress

By on December 3, 2014

The holidays are upon us, and that means it’s time for party dress sewing! The wiggle dress that was so popular in the 1950s and 60s makes for a superb va-va voom party dress, and with the right fabric, perfect for this time of year. The pattern for this one is from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, and the fabric is a silk brocade from Britex in San Francisco.
Rosie Wednesday Wiggle Dress

Rosie Wednesday Wiggle Dress

The dress has princess seams on the front bodice, and a side dart to provide extra shaping. The sleeves are kimono in style, so there are also underarm gussets. A necessity if you want to be able to move your arms while you wiggle! There’s also a vent at the back to allow extra movement. I love the deep V in the back especially.

Rosie Wednesday Wiggle Dress

Rosie Wednesday Wiggle Dress

I feel like such a movie star in this dress! I think it’s such a testament to how wonderful sewing is. I would have never considered wearing something like this until I started sewing. But when you can make it to measure just right for your figure, it’s comfortable and glamorous!

You can see more details on fit and construction on my blog. Happy holiday sewing to you all!

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Sewing for Disney’s Dapper Day

By on March 18, 2014
Disney Dapper Day

I recently attended Dapper Day, a vintage-themed event at Walt Disney World in the Magic Kingdom. It was a Disney and vintage-lover’s dream! I sewed two dresses for the occasion, one for me (in red) and one for my friend Andi (in blue).

Disney Dapper Day

Disney Dapper Day





For my dress, I sewed Butterick 8408 ,a 1958 pattern. I love the bow detail at the neckline and waist. It had some interesting construction details, included a zipper inserted into a dart! The skirt was also tremendously full, which ended out working great for petticoat-wearing.

Butterick 8408

For my friend Andi, I sewed a pattern I designed and drafted myself that has a bit of a nod to the 1940s. It has six darts at the neckline, cap sleeves, and a full skirt. I call it “The Marfa Dress,” after a town in Texas that has mysterious lights.

Marfa Dress for Disney

It was the most magical of days! See all my Dapper Day posts on my blog.  There’s loads more there about the event, as well as construction details for both of our dresses!

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1940s | Rompers / Playsuits

1940s Wearing History Overalls

By on November 14, 2013
Rosie Wednesday Wearing History 1940s Overalls

I know PinhouseP has shared her 1940s Wearing History overalls before, and I just couldn’t resist sharing with you the pair that I stitched up! This is such a great pattern to sew up, and the overalls are so much FUN to wear!

Rosie Wednesday Wearing History 1940s Overalls


Rosie Wednesday Wearing History 1940s Overalls

I also had to get a shot of this Rosie doing her best Rosie the Riveter pose.

Rosie Wednesday Wearing History 1940s Overalls

See more on  my blog, including a bit more about the construction and pictures of the lining I added, plus some more about the 1949 Ford Pickup featured in the photos!

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A Novelty Print Halloween Dress

By on October 25, 2013

Halloween is almost upon us! In honor of the day, I stitched up a novelty print dress inspired by this vintage ad.

Vintage Vogue 8811

I used Vintage Vogue 8811 for the pattern. It matched the silhouette of the dress from the ad just perfectly! The spiderweb fabric is completely sheer and tulle-like in texture, so I underlined the dress with a black cotton.

Vintage Vogue 8811

I love dressing up for Halloween, but there are only so many places/events where you can wear a costume. A spooktacular frock? I can wear it all month long!

See more photos, including a vintage bat button I used at the back neck slit and a close-up of my novelty brooch!

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Channeling Jackie Kennedy with the Emery Dress

By on September 11, 2013

Doesn’t this dress remind you of some wonderfully classy dress Jackie Kennedy would wear? It’s Christine Haynes’ newest pattern, the Emery Dress. I think it’s the darling bow that really does it. I just love the 1960s vibe!


I used a teal linen for the fabric on this dress, and although it gets terribly wrinkly, it was a dream to sew and feels wonderful on. This pocket also has inseam pockets, which are wonderfully convenient.

I’m already addicted to this pattern and will be stitching up two more versions of this dress on my blog this month, what I’m calling “Emery Month”

See more and follow along on my blog 







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Dresses | Embroidery | Vintage Sewing

An Embroidered Confection

By on July 26, 2013

This lovely number was inspired by a vintage dress I spied on Pinterest. I used Simplicity 1873 for the pattern and did the floral row in cross stitch.

Here’s the inspiration dress, from a fashion blogger in LA who found it at a vintage shop.


I’ll be doing a tutorial next week on how I did the embroidery on the dress if you’d like to stop by!

More on my blog right now about this dress:

  • More fun pictures! I took these while on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg.
  • Modifications I made from the inspiration dress.

See more

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Vintage Sewing

Getting a Good Fit & Some Retro Separates

By on May 15, 2013

After my favorite pair of store-bought cigarette-style pants had too many mends to be functional anymore, I decided I needed to bite the bullet and sew my very first pair of pants. When Gertie released a pattern for high-waisted capris through Butterick, I knew I had found what I was looking for!

How I Knew Fit Would Be… Interesting

Following the method outlined in Fit for Real People, I had created a “body graph” that helped me map my body and compare it to the big pattern companies. Much to my surprise, I discovered my left leg was chubbier than my right!

My body graph.

Once I did my muslin, I immediately could see excess fabric on my right leg. Thanks to the body graph, I knew why so I could fix it!

Learn more about the body graph method and how it impacts how I fit. I also have written a limerick in ode to Chubs, my left leg that’s a 1/4 of an inch bigger!

The Finished Product 

Here’s my pants, in all their glory!

Butterick 5895

I also sewed a 1950s blouse, Simpicity 2195, with some reproduction feedback cotton. I think it looks pretty smashing with the pants.

Simplicity 2195

Take a gander at the full outfit together.

Now I can say I have conquered pants! I liked the pattern so much I went out and bought fabric in denim for summer and a plaid wool for winter, so I’ll be making these lovelies again soon. Happy sewing!

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