Sewin in the Rain

Hi Sew Retro community! I just finished this winter coat from McCall’s 5717 and even though it’s a modern pattern I modified it a bit to give the coat a more classic look. I really love mid-20th century coats that extended down to below the knee to cover dresses, and that’s what I tried to achieve here by lengthening the skirt of the original pattern.

Here are some views of the coat taken at Lincoln Center here in New York.

I was really excited about trying my hand at tailoring! There’s a whole lot of pad-stitching, hair canvas, and fusible interfacing in this coat. Rather than follow the pattern instruction, I walked myself through the process with the book Tailoring. 

I used a size 10 at the bodice and size 12 at the waist/hip. The nice thing about this pattern is there are pattern pieces for A/B, C and D cups! The fabric is Italian herringbone wool from Gorgeous Fabrics and a flannel-backed satin lining from B&J Fabrics here in New York.

The lining was attached by hand with invisible stitches and the sleeve lining was attached with fell stitches using doubled up waxed silk thread. There’s a jump pleat at the bottom of the lining for ease and a center back pleat that’s held in place with feather-stitches at the top, waist, and hem. I added side seam pockets and belt loops to the pattern to hold the belt in place.

I also used 4 anchor buttons that were originally from a U.S. Navy pea coat (found on Etsy), which I based off my grandfather’s WWII version. Each button is backed with a flat black button on the other side of the facing in order to relieve stress on the fabric. I also decided to mirror the shape of the anchor in the way I threaded the button to the coat; it wasn’t until after the fact that I realized the thread kind of looks like rope!

I dedicated a bunch of blog posts to the making of this coat if you’re interested in seeing more of the process. You can also see the “reveal” post here: Sewin’ in the Rain

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Hi everyone! I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I’ve posted. Wow. In truth, this is the first vintage pattern I’ve sewn in quite a while. How odd is it to call a 1980s pattern “vintage”?!

Since I last posted, I moved back to my native New York (I was in Virginia last we spoke). These photos were taken on a particularly foggy afternoon.

Pattern: Simplicity 5454 Wrap Skirt (1982)
Size: 12
Fabric: Cotton/Linen Canvas by Echino (2.5 yards from Sew L.A.)
Notions: 4 gold flower buttons (from the Pasadena Flea Market)

I chose Simplicity 5454, a pattern from 1982 that I thrifted in North Carolina a year and a half ago. It’s a skirt that wraps in the back. I love that the skirt has pockets – in all these photos I’m actually holding my cell phone and my keys in each pocket!

The skirt was easy to make, and it includes darts for shaping at the front and back. I ended up shortening the skirt 4″ so it hit just above the knee rather than at mid-calf. The back edge and skirt hem are finished by creating mitered corners with a machine stitch finish. I usually hand sew my hems, but, dare I say, I like this finish!

I had exactly four of these buttons! When I lived in L.A. I had visited the HUGE Pasadena Flea Market every so often, and these were my first sewing-related purchase. Ah, fond memories. They were at a table watched over by an elderly lady who had a ton of random things for sale.

A view of the pockets. This is leftover fabric from my first skirt ever in 2009! I’m glad you can see the fabric (a Japanese print called “Tiny Flowers”) because I think it’s just really sweet and my other skirt is pre-blog. Doesn’t this skirt just scream springtime? A little early, but at the rate I sew I’ll be thankful it’s done now.

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1920s Tulip Kimono

by Sewin in the Rain on October 25, 2011 · 7 comments

in 1920s

Hello all! First time posting on the new site so here goes.

This is the 1920s Tulip Kimono from Decades of Style made with a rayon “Van Gogh” print and a chambray contrast. Closes with a loop and button posie. The robe is unlined and all the seams in the chambray are covered while most of the seams in the rayon are French seams. It’s very comfortable!

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Hello, everyone! I’m Amanda from Virginia, USA and I’ve been sewing for about 2 years now. Very excited to be part of Sew Retro since I get so much inspiration here!

I’m an architectural historian so I work in the past on a daily basis :) I use old photos a lot to help understand when parts of a building were altered, so becoming more knowledgeable about period clothing has helped me date photos by what people are wearing in them. I particularly love classic mid-century styles and dresses, but really want to make more separates this year to create a more versatile wardrobe.

I blog at Sewin’ in the Rain (can you tell by that name that I also love old movies?!). Below are photos of my 1940s “Seabee” Trousers that I made from a Decades of Style pattern.

Thanks, and I look forward to posting here!  ~Amanda D.

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