1950s | Children | Dresses | Pattern Sizing

Enlarging infant pattern Simplicity 1443

By on July 5, 2013

Simplicity 1443 UNCUT Vintage 50s Adorable Baby Infant Layette Sewing Pattern with Embroidery Transfer One Size

I’ve posted an infant dress from view 2 of this pattern.  I like it enough I decided to make it bigger.  My first try at making it a size two was so big that with the hem let down it fit a size 6.  I did a second one and got closer to size two.  The photo shows the dress before hemming.  I feel I am not done with these yet.  Sash maybe?   The smaller dress needs a brighter accent, but I am proud of the bias binding I zigzagged around the sleeve openings.  I make the neck opening with a casing and tie so the neckline is adjustable.  These dresses should grow at least 2 years.  Maybe more.

Any thoughts on the styling?  My idea is something between the simplicity of a pillowcase dress but more attractive than most peasant dresses.

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1940s | Children | Kids

40’s baby sunsuit

By on June 17, 2013

A friend cleaned out their old family home and gifted me with the patterns she found.  This is the oldest, note no markings on the patterns.  From a day when everyone sewed and knew what to do!  : )

The good stuff on the back…

I like this pattern because of the wider shorts like legs.  More comfy for chubby baby thighs.  The back needed elastic and the straps were long, so I made them adjustable.  Here it is part way done being modeled for adjustments.  I sewed up the sides for this, to make sure it was OK before adding snaps and that gave me the idea to make a second one without snaps.

And the finished sunsuit…

And the second sample…

What do you think?  Snaps or no snaps?

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1960s | Children | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Gumdrop 60s

By on June 16, 2013

I’m in the midst of making my Pride and Prejudice and Zombies costume, but as much as I’m enjoying it, there is a whole lot of cream going on with the dress.  I decided to whip up a colourful little dress for my friend’s wee girl.

If you have read my previous posts, you’ll know that I was lucky enough to receive a box of 68 vintage patterns for my birthday from a friend’s mum.  This little dress is the first pattern used from that amazing gift.

Butterick 4246 with the pink linen found in the envelope.

I used this Butterick 4246, View B – Sleeveless A-line dress with large bow detail in back.  When I opened up the envelope, I found the pink linen and a pink zipper tucked inside.  I was told by the gifter, that her family member remembers the pink dress!

Gum drop quilting cotton from my stash.

I found just enough of this quilting cotton to make the dress in my stash.  I love how colourful and cheerful this fabric is.  I like to use quilting fabrics for kids clothes.  They usually hold up pretty good to wash and wear and they’re easy to work with.

I’m addicted to using Hug Snug – even in kids clothes.  If I had just over-locked the seams, the dress would have been whipped up in an afternoon, BUT as I said – I’m addicted.

Here are pictures of the finished product:

Simple front.
Back of dress with the sublime bow.
Finished seams with Hug Snug.

Now, back to the zombie dress with me!

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1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | Aprons | Children | Dresses | Jumpers / Pinafores | Kids | Vintage Sewing

One piece at a time Christmas dresses

By on January 8, 2013

I named this past year’s Christmas dresses after the Johnny Cash song because they’re frankenpatterned from three vintage patterns each.  The collar and cuffs are done with Victorian fagoting stitching, the pinafores are thirties for the bigger one and forties for the smaller one, the bodice and skirts and collars are fifties dresses, and the sleeves are late sixties-early seventies.

 

 

The red and white ribbons are bias cut, hand-dyed silk and a sort of a nod to candy canes.  🙂 I also inserted entredeux into both the bodices and the pinafore skirts and the dresses underneath have beading lace on both the skirts and bodices.  Gracie requested a Christmas dress that wasn’t “itchy” and didn’t have puffed sleeves and had a twirly skirt, so this was my answer.

 

 

Once again, I used CRIN in the hem, and had a crinoline to go underneath to make the skirt nice and full.  I learned that you need to use a size 70 needle because the 80s and 90s can lead to hitting parts of the CRIN and runs in it.

 

 

The pinafore or as Gracie calls it the “fancy apron dress” is made so that with a slip, it can be worn as a separate dress when the weather gets warmer.  It’s hemline is also finished with CRIN.    I made matching bows from silk satin ribbon, which I really don’t recommend because they were so limp!  (Plain old polyester grosgrain has much more body and stiffness!)

 

Grace claimed that she’d rather wear baby sister Nicole’s dress because it was cuter!  (And here I thought I’d gone to great lengths to make them matching dresses!)  I’m afraid I don’t have pictures of the girls wearing them because all of the more affordable portrait studios have moved out of town, so we gave Sears a try and only came out with one portrait, which was a Christmas present to Mommy and Daddy.

 

The fabric is red with gold stars, but aside from the color, it’s a non-Christmas Christmas print.  I’m hoping they’ll get more wear out of them that way.

 

Nikki’s bow is on a headband because she’s rocking the baby mullet right now and doesn’t have enough hair in front to hold a bow yet.  I’m starting to look for vintage boy patterns now, ’cause they’re getting a baby brother, but since I know it’ll be a year to 18 months before he’ll fit into toddler 6 months patterns, I’m just not in a hurry!  More on this project on my blog, Granny Lane Sewing.

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1930s | 1940s | Children | Dresses

Mystery dress

By on November 28, 2012

Hi all! I haven’t posted anything in a long time but I hope to catch up soon. We are in the midst of moving so most of the sewing stuff is either packed or in boxes and there seems like no end in sight. So, to keep myself somewhat occupied I have started to “organize” all of my piles of mystery pattern pieces I got from a barn sale this past summer (I have tons of pics on my blog). When sorting through them initially I found several chunks, for lack of a better word, of pieces pinned together. They have no envelope, no picture, no labels, and all are unprinted pieces. The first pile I was able to easily discern is a little girls princess seam dress. I’m guessing late 30s or early 40s based on most of the other small sized patterns in the stash. The only part I cant figure out is the shoulder. I think the funny sticking out piece is a pleat. But what in the heck is the inserted piece (#5) that goes with it? I haven’t made anything that resembles this and I don’t have any other patterns that have a piece like this (I don’t think, it’s so hard to keep track).

I have traced the pieces so they are easier to see and marked everything too. I know everything fits together and I’m not missing anything. There are two sleeve variations, a waist tie, and a collar. I also have no idea how to close the dress. There are no dot or notches indicating a closure area and I don’t think it can slip over the head. The neckline seems too high for that. I was thinking of just doing a back button and loop since its a little girls dress. My best guess is that is around a size 3 or 4. My daughter is almost 3 and she is very tall. This looks like it would fit loosely. The SA also appear to be a 1/2 inch. Any help is most welcome!

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1950s | Children | Kids | Sewing Machines | Vintage Sewing

Little Betty

By on November 5, 2012

Little Betty toy sewing machine

I bought this adorable “Little Betty” toy 50s sewing machine on ebay this week, because for $25,I couldn’t resist it!

After playing with it for a bit, I was able to thread the top of the machine, and by cranking the handle, I got some sort of “sewing” happening. (Yes, it has a proper needle, and the foot raises and lowers like a “real one). Only problem is, it looks like something has to be done underneath, in lieu of a bobbin arrangement, and this is the part I can’t work out. No instructions came with the machine, and it is made in Britain.

top side of work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know, it’s actually just an ornament for my sewing room, but it’s bugging me!

I’m wondering if anyone else has come across one of these, and knows how to thread it?

underside of work

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1960s | Children | Coats | Kids

Butterick 9955: A Little Winter Coat

By on October 23, 2012

This is the coat I have made for my daughter in time for the colder weather. It is made from Butterick 9955, a late 50s/ early 60s pattern, and a thick wool blend tartan fabric.

I gave her free choice for the lining, and this is what she went with, a cotton print with flowers and butterflies. It clashes like crazy, but she loves it. I added a brushed cotton interlining, sewn as one layer with the lining fabric, for extra warmth.

 

I did bound buttonholes, and made the collar in cotton velvet. It also has a detachable hood, which buttons on below the collar, though I have yet to add the buttons. The hem is all hand sewn. First I finished the edge of the tartan layer in bias tape, which I slip stitched down. I then catch-stitched the lining hem onto the outer hem, between the layers.

More details of the construction can be found here and here.

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