1940s

I made a new playsuit!

I’ve been wanting to make another playsuit in fun colors ever since last summer’s adventure, and when I saw a watermelon print fabric at Joann’s I snapped up the last few yards that were left on the bolt.

I ended up compiling four patterns to get the basic pieces:  Simplicity 4395 and Vogue 3282 for the bodice and Simplicity 3688 and Butterick 7761 for the shorts.  I also put together a simple dirndl skirt without a pattern.

I’m super pleased with how it came out… I really like the high waisted shorts, and the watermelon fabric is such fun.  I even made a little matching belt out of an old cheapy kid’s belt from Target.  It’s a little messy, but it will do for now.  I’ll definitely make the shorts again, although I may lengthen the inseam a smidgen!  I’m also thinking of making another top option out of my remaining watermelon fabric & opinions on that would be awesome.

More pictures of the play version, the dress version, and the construction details can be found on my blog!

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Because it is summer somewhere….

A friend had an amazing piece of fabric and wanted a vintage bathing suit made from it. The border print fabric had 9 individually blocked and decorated ballerinas and the pattern that she really liked was Simplicity 2441 (sorry about the photo quality of the fabric… )

Being woefully short of fabric to actually make the bathing suit, I started to experiment with placement of the ballerinas on the fabric with my computer first (because I am pretty sure I will never see fabric like this again!)

 

We finally came up with a design that involved my completely discarding the plain blue fabric (because there wasn’t enough, and I couldn’t find a perfect match) and patchworking the border print fabric to the 8 panels of the bathing suit skirt. Apart from being a bit busy on the inside of the bathing suit, it ended up being not too noticeable from the outside. And I still have a leftover ballerina!

And the best part of all is that she got to wear it earlier this year on the last day of summer here in Australia at Red Beach –  so you could say it was sea-worthy.

 

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I participated in the Vintage Playsuit Sew-Along hosted by Stephanie over at The Girl With the Star-Spangled Heart. I’m a few days behind on the final playsuit posts because I ran into a few technical issues (first my iron died and then my skirt was too small and had to be fixed), but I finally have all four pieces finished and photographed. I’ve shown you all the patterns before, so I won’t go into much of that today; it’s pretty much be a photo post, but I will explain a little about this skirt. The pattern illustration indicates that this is a fairly full, A-line garment. Let me tell ya. It’s not. At all. The skirt actually turned out looking a whole lot more 70s than 40s. It’s a super narrow A-line, and that plus the mid-calf length really make me feel like I need to part my hair in the center, go braless, and carry a macrame bag. That being said, I do still like the skirt, it’s just not quite what I had originally planned on. The other issue, was that despite all the pattern measurements and everything checking out, the skirt was entirely too snug, causing pulling at the pockets and the button placket over my stomach, not to mention the lack of room in the waist. Not appropriate for pizza feasts, this one. I had already done a lot of the finishing and really wasn’t looking forward to taking everything apart and recutting the waistband, etc, so what I ended up doing was adding a placket extension to the underlap in order to give myself some room to shift the buttons over. That made a huge difference. I also had to shift the buttonhole placement quite a bit so that I wasn’t getting the gapping across my stomach that was happening with the original placement. Despite the issues, I’m pretty happy with the end result, and it will work well with all of my solid t-shirts/camisoles and sweaters as well. So here it is, followed by the other three pieces.

 

 

 

For more information about the patterns I used, along with a few more pictures of the garments themselves, the previous two posts about the sew-along can be found here and here.

 

-Evie

 

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I’ve posted variations of this dress before, along with the gory saga of fitting the pattern.

I actually finished this version of the dress for the Fourth of July, 2013, and wore it on a day trip to Camp Hearne, but I haven’t posted it because I didn’t have the matching bolero done.

The bolero needed a little tweaking, but nothing like the dress pattern did, which is fortunate because I might otherwise be posting this for the Fourth of July, 2027.

Pardon the squinting.  This is on the courthouse square in El Dorado, Arkansas, where the weather was incredibly lovely but sunny.

This photo is also proof that not all introverts are shy.

Almost everything was closed because of the holiday, but we went for breakfast at Jimmy B‘s (I highly recommend the Western omelet) and then wandered around for awhile, just because.  There was one antique shop open.  My brother got some old Ball jars to use as samples at work (he’s an archaeologist, except in Arkansas it’s spelled “archeologist”, because you can do that when you’re the most geographically beautiful state in the Union), and I got a Napco sitting Great Dane and a Frankoma “Good Luck” trivet, which has horseshoes on it, in case I someday achieve the cowboy-themed kitchen of my dreams.

In case anyone is wondering: The buttons are decorative only, but there are two hooks-and-loops on the inside edge of the jacket to keep it closed.  I will very definitely be using the jacket pattern again to go with my sundresses–this was awesome as a coverup for sun/air-conditioning/situation-appropriateness.  Also, because people always ask, the boots are Ariat Heritage r-toes.  I also have them in brown.  They’re super comfortable.

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