1950s | Jumpers / Pinafores | Skirts

Retro Restyle: Wool Stadium Blanket

By on January 2, 2014

After many cold, winter days of just dreaming about this project…

I finally awoke to success!

I paired McCalls 3730 and a wool stadium blanket to sew up a fabulously warm and comfy jumper.  The pattern worked up easily with no major alterations.  I was smart enough to leave enough ease through the waistline so that I can actually breath and bend and eat.  And I even have enough blanket left over to make a matching bolero.  More pics on my blog.  Stay warm, Everyone!

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1940s | Dresses | Jumpers / Pinafores

1940s Mail Order 2082, Jumper with Heart Pockets

By on July 19, 2013
1940s jumper dress pattern

I’m still plowing on with my attempt to have a completely wearable 1940s wardrobe – either by buying or making the outfits I want need.

And the latest gap to be filled – a 1940’s jumper dress!

1940s jumper dress pattern

The pattern is Mail Order 2082, and I (hesitantly) used the sweetheart neckline version, with heart patch pockets.

mail order 2082 sewing pattern 1940s jumper dress



















I was a bit unsure about the almost ‘twee’ detailing – I like feminine clothes but this is really femme! Heart pockets?

I think using navy gaberdine, a tough tailored fabric with this girlish pattern was a good match and the style is balanced in the middle.

Surprisingly, the pattern fitted really well with minimal adjustments. Normally I’ll have to fiddle with the armhole depth, waist height, dart placement – but not this time. Minimal amount of mods, listed on my blog.

bakelite 1940s
Sorry for the cat hair! I had to wrestle with my kitty before this photo...

















The blouse is Smooth Sailing from Wearing History (my favourite shirt pattern), made from deco-print quilters cotton with vintage celluloid buttons.

One more photo because I’m so happy with how this has turned out!

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1950s | Dresses | Jumpers / Pinafores

Simplicity 3673 View C

By on May 6, 2013

Yesterday I post View A of this pattern here, and despite its currently wrinkled appearance, I had to make view C with its fitted bodice and fuller skirt. For those of you who commented on it, I do have an iron, just no place to use it, but I will have an ironing board on Wednesday. 🙂

View C of this dress has the same bodice as View A, but the skirt is wider and not fitted. I thought about including the faux belt detail on this one two, but instead opted to keep it as simple as possible. As I made it, there were only 4 pattern pieces- skirt front and back, and bodice front and back. And like View A, it was super easy to put together and I had a new dress in a few hours.

You can see more photos here on my sewing blog.


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1950s | Dresses | Jumpers / Pinafores

Simplicity 3673

By on May 5, 2013
I chose View A on the right.

Simplicity 3673 is a pattern I picked up because of its retro styling. I loved the idea of a jumper, but decided to just wear it as a dress once I finished it. This was one of the easiest patterns I have ever sewn, and I am beyond pleased with how it turned out- it looks just like the envelope images.

This dress is of a style I have wanted to wear for a long time, but wasn’t able to try until I had lost a lot of weight, and I’m happy to say I love it!

I used some deep wine cotton broadcloth I had in my stash or some time, making this a great $15 dress. I love when I get something so good for such a small investment!

I followed the directions almost all the way through, and only made one small change to the dress, and that was to add a large button to the center of the faux bow on the front.

Stop by my sewing blog here and see more photos of the dress.

Excuse my wrinkles, please!

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1940s | Blouses | Jumpers / Pinafores | Skirts

Sew For Victory Outfit

By on March 19, 2013

I am so excited to finally be able to share my Sew For Victory outfit with you all.  I finished this outfit at the start of last week but every time Corey was home to take pictures for me the rain would come back.  But finally here we are.

1940s pinafore skirt blouse

1940s pinafore skirt blouse

When this sew-a-long first popped up I jumped straight on the bandwagon.  I am trying participate in a bit more around the blogosphere this year and I thought this was the perfect place to start.  I already had a 1940’s reproduction pattern (simplicity 3688) in my stash that I knew I could use and after seeing Tasha’s pinafore skirt I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  I did a little google search for some inspiration and came across this pinafore skirt by NudeeDudee which I used as my starting point.  Instead of a pastel I decided to go with a forest green cavalier garbadine that I picked up from Spotlight.  The straps are not actually functional.  The buttons are just sewn on top for decoration.

1940s pinafore skirt blouse

1940s pinafore skirt blouse

Originally I was just going to take photos of this skirt with a blouse I have in my wardrobe.  However, it isn’t 1940’s at all and I thought to myself if I was going to join in a sew-a-long I needed to do it properly.  So I went on a search for a blouse pattern to make and came across this wrap blouse by Mrs Depew’s Vintage.  I didn’t want to buy anymore fabric so grabbed this cream & yellow spotted seersucker from my stash.  The only alteration I made to this pattern was to make a pleat in the sleeves instead of gathering them.

1940s pinafore skirt blouse

1940s pinafore skirt blouse

And this is how the blouse looks without the skirt.  It is a wrap blouse so for the skirt I just pinned the wrap pieces across to the sides.  I really like this blouse, however, if I was to make it again I think I would need to try and lower the v seam in the front so it actually sits below my bust.  I am so glad I decided to take part in this sew-a-long.  It was so much fun!  I have another sew-a-long planned for this year and hopefully I will get to take part in many more.  A massive thank you to Rochelle for organising this sew-a-long.  I have had a lot of fun!

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1950s | Dresses | Jumpers / Pinafores

A Wiggle What?

By on January 10, 2013

“You’re making a what?” my sewing group giggled.

“It’s a 1950s wiggle dress.” I repeated.

“Because back then they made them so tight certain things wiggled when you walked.” I said with a suggestive shake.

Sorry for the lack of wiggling. I’m still learning how to take better pictures of my wearable projects. This pattern was a true gem. To read all the sewing nitty gritty pop on over to my blog. The real question is… does it need a belt?

Front view
Back view


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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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