1970s | Blouses | Dresses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Summer of Gingham (McCalls 6339)

By on August 7, 2017

 

I just finished my second gingham project of the summer, McCalls 6339 from 1978.  I’m pleased with how it turned out.  It is comfortable and has some interesting details, like flat-felled princess seams, self-bias binding on the bottom edge of the blouse, and a darted, then gathered full skirt.  For more details and photos, please visit the sewing blog that I share with my husband: Mr and Mrs Rat

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1920s | 1930s | Blouses | Downton Abbey Inspired | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

A 1920’s Blouse Done 3 ways with One Vintage Dress Pattern

By on June 25, 2017

Three Blouses from One 1920's Dress Pattern

As part of my quest to build a “Miss Fisher” wardrobe, I’ve sewed up three little blouses inspired by separates her character wears in different episodes.  This post will show you the 3 blouses I have made, starting with one pattern.  The base pattern is the Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1920s Ladies Frock with Pleated Skirt Inset – Reproduction Sewing Pattern #Z2773.

Here is my Finished Blouse 1. I love it and wear it all the time!

 

For the first blouse the fabric was made from a printed stretch silk charmeuse and coordinating white silk habotai collar and tie ends.  I kept the tie exactly as on the pattern, making the ends contrast and the tie the same fabric as the blouse.

For blouse #2,  there were a few revisions to the pattern/construction – namely adding a loop under the collar to hold the neck tie, omitting the bottom band (with added length) and omitting the contrast tie bottom on the neck tie (adding length here again).

Close up view of front neck
Front view of finished blouse

Blouse #3 has to be my favorite so far.  It’s a departure from the other two but was easy to create using the same pattern. I sketched it after watching Series 2 episode 3 (Dead Man’s Chest) and decided to modify this pattern to get the look.  This version was made in a printed paisley cotton lawn and the flat piping was made from white seersucker scraps that I had floating around as well as white covered buttons (joining sleeve ends) that were also floating around in my stash. On a related side note, there was some great conversation about Miss Fisher’s blouses in The Miss Fisher Philes podcast , when they discuss this episode (Series 2 episode 3 (Dead Man’s Chest)), making reference to Miss Fisher wearing more separates than dresses.

If you would like to read more about how exactly I revised the pattern to create each of these looks, visit my blog post here.

See more of my projects and vintage inspiration on my blog or connect with me on instagram!

Thanks and Happy Sewing!

Jennifer Serr

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1980s | Blouses | Shirts

Two Versions of Butterick 4625

By on May 25, 2017

 

 

 

I’m learning the benefits of sewing tried-and-true patterns, and Butterick 4625, dating from the 1980s is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  I love the fit of the blouse, the shape of the sleeves, and the collar options.  The top version is made of brown cotton I found at the thrift store; I added little sleeve-heads out of scraps of the same fabric to help the puffed sleeves keep their shape.  The second blouse is made of striped stretch cotton-blend shirting, also found at the thrift store.  I moved the buttons up slightly on the front band, and didn’t add any collar, but otherwise constructed it much the same as the first.  In both photos, I’m wearing my home-made blouses with home-made skirts, made from 1970s era Simplicity 7880.  For more details on sewing construction, and more photos of both blouses, please visit mrandmrsrat.weebly.com.

 

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1920s | Accessories | Bags / Purses | Blouses | Embroidery | Hats | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A 1920 Ensemble

By on March 15, 2017

This outfit is my foray into the world of the late teens and early 20’s.  I used two patterns from Past Patterns, dated to circa 1920, for both my blouse and skirt, while my purse was made from a tapestry remnant and Vogue #7252, from the year 2000.  My hat is a thrift store find which I decorated to make-do and my shoes are close reproductions from Jeffrey Campbell.  I used primarily cotton for all pieces – even thread!  There are so many fine details to this set – the blouse has my hand-stitched floral designs on the neck, shoulders, and sleeves while I used old original glass teens/20’s era buttons for the front closure of the blouse.  There are real brass buttons along the pocket panel of the skirt…and check out those awesomely enormous pockets as big as mini suitcases!  My background was one of the very first “arcade” indoor shopping malls in our country, a lovely Gothic place built in 1919.  To see and read more, please visit my blog post here.

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1940s | Blouses | Pants / Trousers | Vintage Sewing

40s separates

By on March 12, 2017

I normally sew big skirted dresses but I got a bee in my bonnet to make some pants for practicality in the cooler months. I have seen many lovely renditions of Simplicity 3688. Since I already had the pattern in my stash it was a natural choice.  I made these pants up in a linen/rayon blend from Jo-anns. For the top I pattern hacked Simplicity 1590 by removing the peplum and and changing up the darts. I sewed this up in a premium broadcloth from Fabric.com

 

I added a little embroidery to the collar points of the blouse for something a little extra special.

 

To learn more please visit my blog

 

 

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1960s | Blouses | Skirts

Two-piece dress based on Simplicity 4906

By on December 27, 2016

Hello everyone,

This will be my debut on this page. I have been sewing vintage-inspired clothes for some time and recently started using authentic patterns from my favorurite era, 1950s-1960s. My newest project is a two-piece dress, based on Simplicity 4906 pattern.

What I like most about this pattern is how it fits on the shoulders. Made from non-elastic fabric it does not constrain movement. And the wide collar has enough room for a woolen scarf in a matching colour.

The original pattern

I altered the top a bit, as the original had short or 3/4 length sleeves and I wanted long, plus I eliminated a side zipper – who needs a zipper in a loose-fitting boxy-shaped top? Also, I decided not to use the original skirt pattern as my fabric was too thick for a skirt with a long back pleat. I went for a Burda skirt pattern from 2/2013 issue, but to my disappointment, the pattern did not work with my fabric either – elastic band are not friends with thick fabrics… Anyways, I ended up making a simple skirt with darts and a waistband. But the overall result is I think satisfactory. I also used the original belt pattern, which was meant for the dress, but can work with the top as well.

Top with black pants

The greatest thing about two-piece dresses is that you can wear them as separates.

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1930s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

1930s Bishop Sleeve Blouse & Pocket Detail Skirt

By on December 8, 2016

1930s blouse and skirt

Do you ever have an idea in your mind that never really pans out when it comes to your sewing? Yep, that’s exactly what happened here. Both the blouse and skirt were going to be very different to how they actually turned out, mainly due to not having quite enough fabric for either of them!

The white silk with navy polka dots is actually a vintage fabric I picked up at a flea market. It was very narrow and as a result, the originally planned pattern of McCalls – 7053, from their Archive Collection, just didn’t fit. So after abandoning this idea, I decided to use the top half of this beautiful original 1930s dress pattern instead. It’s been sat in my collection for a while totally unused, but boy am I glad I used it this time.

Vintage 1930s Buttons

It worked out beautifully in this fabric, despite having to redo the front yoke many, many times. The issue was that it needed to be lined to give it some stability and the join at the bottom, where the button placket areas overlap, was incredibly fiddly. After many attempts, both on the machine and by hand, I finally got it to sit right. However, after all that stress I gave up on trying to do buttonholes, so just sewed the buttons in place.

1930s sleeve detail

Instead of finishing the sleeves with a mid-forearm cuff as shown in the pattern, I decided to add a long cuff right down to the wrist. I absolutely love this style of bishop sleeve, it’s so classically 1930s, and of course keeps your forearms warm! I finished it off with four buttons and rouleau loops to allow enough room to get my hand in and out.

The fabric itself, unfortunately, has weakened during the pre-wash and making up stages. As a result, I’ve decided to only wear it on special occasions and to try and find another white and navy polka dot fabric for a more wearable version. I think it would work well in a crepe or a soft cotton lawn.

1930s blouse yoke detail

The skirt was drafted from another original 1930s pattern, which I’ve used multiple times as it’s such a simple design so can be changed to just about any style. The fabric is a deep mustard linen, which I bought from My Fabrics and a dream to work with. It’s quite a heavy weight linen so can be used for both summer and winter.

The design itself was taken from an original 1930s skirt I own but haven’t yet worn. I love the little pockets on it, so decided to replicate them here with a slightly different style button tab. They worked out quite well I think and give such a lovely interest to the front of the skirt, along with the deep single kick pleat on the centre front.

If you want to read more about it, and see the gorgeous original 1930s navy suede shoes I wore with it, just pop on over to my blog.

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