“Barrel coat” re-made

By on November 25, 2014

Years ago, I made myself a winter coat loosely inspired by a picture I have seen but never found again of a 1950’s Balenciaga barrel coat.

jas1It was never supposed to be a faithful copy. I wanted and made a big collar and a back pleat. I always felt the whole thing had a vintage feel without really belonging in any particular era.

The old coat served me well for many years but has really reached the end of its life by now.

voor2So, I made a new one. The fabric is, of course, quite different and I made some small changes but in all the ways that matter, this should be the same coat.

zijAnd I think it will be. This is such a nice kind of coat, like a cocoon.

You can read more about it, with more pictures and some construction stuff, on my blog

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1960s | Coats | Pattern Catalogs

Marfy Patterns

By on October 21, 2014

Has anyone here ever sewn a Marfy pattern?  I found them via Butterick and am in LOVE.  I am, however, a bit intimidated by them.  There are apparently no instructions, and they don’t have seam or hem allowances.  They are pre-cut and single-sized.  I really want to try, but don’t want to waste money on fabric or the pattern and end up failing like I did with the German coat of doom.

Here is a picture of the pattern I want to get: F3472, Marfy Coat

I really want to make a winter coat this winter, one that I can wear with a petticoat and 50s dress.  This is the best pattern I have found so far.  But it scares me!  The only reviews of Marfy patterns I can find are of blouses, which would be a lot easier than a coat.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Help, please!  I’m in love with this coat and just can’t stand it!

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1940s | Coats | Jackets

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #15: The Great Outdoors

By on September 13, 2014

For my second entry for the Great Outdoors challenge I made a red wool version of Simplicity 4366.

I love Ike jackets and I wanted one of my own for a while but then I found the red wool and decided that I would pay homage to the Ike jacket but make it my own. I have to give credit to Tasha from By Gum By Golly for starting the sewing bug for the jacket. Tahsa made a great 1940’s jacket for Rochelle’s Sew for Victory last year (2013) in a wonderful green fabric. From the moment I saw the jacket I knew I had to make one and here it is. The shoulders are gathered into a yoke and the waist of the jacket is gathered into a waistband. The sleeves are gathered at the wrist and finished with a cuff that buttons. The buttons are self covered and the red wool cooperated in waves that Murphy’s buttons couldn’t dream of doing. Oh and I swear the fabric is red the camera appears to have made it a bit pink.

The pattern called for self made shoulder pads but instead of stuffing them I used two layers of crinoline. The crinoline made the jackets shoulders keep their shape but don’t make me look like a linebacker (which I appreciate). The Jacket is also fully lined; the pattern didn’t call for it but I knew I wanted it lined because of the wool. I had to adjust the facing piece because of the change but that was a quick fix. For all of the buttonholes I used my grandmothers Singer 9134 which is cranky but works most of the time. I added the pockets to the front, they’re from Colette Pattern’s blog Coletterie and can be found here. For attaching the pockets I had to wing it since I don’t have the original Colette pattern the pockets actually go to.

The Scoop:

Fabric: Red Tango Wool and Medieval Blue Lining
Pattern: Simplicity 4366
Year: 1940’s if anyone knows the specific date I would be grateful
Notions: 9 self covered buttons
First worn?: Only around the house, it’s not cool enough outside to wear wool
Make again?: Yes but the peplum version in green corduroy with flannel lining
Total cost: Pattern $12 but I’ll say $6 because there’s a skirt pattern with the jacket, Wool Fabric $19.24, Lining $9.98, Self Covered Button Kit $5.99 so total $41.21

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1950s | Coats | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Beautiful 1950s Vogue patterns

By on August 20, 2014

I purchased 5 beautiful 1950s Vogue patterns last week. I received them in the post this morning and I just had to share them with you all.

Vogue 458

Vogue 458








Vogue 274

Vogue 274








Vogue 231

Vogue 321








Vogue 638

Vogue 638








Vogue 1205

Vogue 1205








Yes, Vogue 1205 is a Schiaparelli pattern. Ahhhh! I own a Schiaparelli pattern!!!!!!! It didn’t cost me a fortune and it’s in my size!

As far as I can see patterns 458, 321 and 638 are not yet included in the Vintage Pattern Wiki, so I will add them when I get a chance.

I got these patterns for an absolute steal compared to what they would go for on etsy. They are all my size too!

I purchased these patterns to use them, so to avoid them being added to my stash and never actually made, I will make these up over the next 12 months. As I don’t have a blog, I will post the results here for anyone who is interested.

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Coats | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Paul Blanche Coat

By on June 14, 2014

Vintage Paul Blanche Coat
I didn’t make this coat, only replaced the zip, but I thought We Sew Retro readers might be interested to see it as it’s a vintage coat given to me by my Nan.
Vintage Paul Blanche Coat
I’m also hoping that someone might be able to shed some light on the brand. The label says Paul Blanche but I can’t find any information online. Any ideas?
Vintage Paul Blanche Coat
More information and pictures on my blog: English Girl at Home
Vintage Paul Blanche Coat

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1940s | Coats

A 1940ies winter coat

By on March 16, 2014

This project took what felt like forever and were in fact three years. In autumn and early winter I never had time to finish it and after christmas motivation was gone because I so longed for spring.

It was one of the first vintage pattern I ever bought and I had no experience in sewing with these at all. This led to a number of mistakes and a wrong sizing, most of them clearly visible in the final coat, at least to me.

Fabric is a felted cotton, the lining matches the colour of the burgundy bias binding accentuating the front seams. Pattern is a 40ies Beyer-Pattern, the coat is meant to be a “traditional style”-coat and with it came patterns for different dresses, blouses and skirts, all in “dirndl”-style.

An enumeration of all the things that went wrong as well as more photos can be found on my blog

Thank you very much for reading, love



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1930s | Children | Coats

1930s Toddler Coat

By on March 11, 2014

30s coat pocket

I made our little niece a vintage tweed coat using a 1930s Pictorial Review pattern:

Pictorial Review 6128
Pictorial Review 6128

In true 1930s spirit, all the materials were re-purposed or came from my stash. We had some purple Woolrich tweed and black lining, and I cut the pocket flaps from an old pair of leather gloves. The buttons are vintage Civil Defence buttons from wartime Britain.

This was an experiment in both coat-making and tailoring for me. The pattern instructions said to pad stitch only the undercollar, and because the coat is a size 1 there could only be so much hand sewing. I love working with wool and heavy fabrics, so the project was a lot of fun, especially the pockets and lapels.

Here are some photos of the finished coat:

1930s child's coat front
1930s child's coat - front view
1930s child's coat - back view
1930s child's coat - back view

Here’s a closeup of the front buttons. I also tried out some handworked keyhole buttonholes:

Civil Defence buttons
Civil Defence buttons

For more details and tailoring progress pics see my blog post.

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