1940s | Children | Dresses | Kids | Vintage Sewing

A Little Vintage Sewing

By on February 11, 2014

Hello Vintage Friends,

While I’ve been a faithful reader for the last year I didn’t get to sew very many vintage patterns. This is something I’m determined to change in 2014! I started with a January birthday and broke out an adorable 1940 McCall pattern. It was the perfect project to ease me back into the vintage sewing world.

I was worried it would be too short on her but it ended up fitting perfectly. All the construction details and the happy recipient can been seen on my blog. Happy Sewing Everyone!

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1950s | 1970s | Children | Dresses | Kids | Vintage Sewing

Retro Baby Dress and Nappy Covers

By on September 21, 2013

It may seem mental to be making baby clothes before I’ve even given birth, but these last few weeks might be my last chance to get any sewing done for a long time!

Dress Pattern:
If memory serves, I bought this vintage Style 1106 pattern (published 1975, Size 1) from the awesome Snooper’s Paradise in Brighton not long after we moved here a few years ago. How frustrating must it have been trying to sew for children before multi-sized sewing patterns became the norm? Such a small window of opportunity for each pattern to be of any use to you! This is actually the second time I’ve used this myself, the first being for my friend’s daughter Surayya that I made in Africa wax fabric. When I made that first version I wouldn’t have guessed that the second time I’d use it would be for my own little Missy! I also recently leant this pattern to my friend Kate so she could rustle up a birthday present for a mate of her’s daughter, thus getting more use from this than it possibly ever got from its original owner!

Dress Pattern changes:

Kate and I both came to the conclusion that the neck opening seemed a little tight, so we both made that a little wider on our respective versions. I also added a couple of cms to the length, plus only used 3cms of the suggested 5.7cms (!) hem allowance to make it a bit longer. What is up with those crazy-short hems on kiddie dresses of the 1950’s/60’s/70’s?! I’m hoping that our little girl will be able to wear it for a longer period of time if the length is a bit more generous. Kate and I also decided to opt for small poppers to fasten the top back opening instead of buttons because we’d narrowed the neck yoke and creating button holes would have been a bit of a faff on the new reduced dimension.

Also, I created a slightly different sleeve shape pattern for this version. I wanted something less frilly or puffy than most of the sleeved versions included in this pattern already so that this dress can be worn with a cardigan over the top (seeing as this outfit should be coming into use next Autumn/Winter).

Nappy Cover/Pants Pattern:

The matching nappy cover pants are made using Newlook 6818 pattern. I changed the pattern slightly to make them look less ‘bloomer-esque’. It’s not a vintage pattern and I haven’t used vintage fabric, but I think the style of the pants and the floral fabric have a sufficient retro vibe to justify their inclusion on this blog, I hope you agree! I’m not sure how seasonally appropriate they will be for when this outfit comes into use, it’s possible that wooly tights might be in order at that point, but who can say?! Making these nappy covers is so quick and so much fun, and I’m sure she’ll get some use from these ones even if it isn’t with the dress.

These nappy cover/pants are sooo quick and fun to make. I really hope they turn out to be useful because I could happily sew them again and again. Here’s another version I made from the pattern from a small piece of vintage linen that’s been in my stash for over a year:

I’m no expert but I think this fabric might be from the early 1950’s. The print is so pretty:

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Children | Kids | Modern Patterns | Rompers / Playsuits

A Sailor’s Romper

By on September 17, 2013

If I could I would dress my boy in vintage baby clothing all the time! There is something unique in vintage pieces or vintage inspired pieces and I love to incorporate vintage style in outfits that I make for my son. Here is a summer romper that I created back in July.

The bodice is fully lined (another thing I enjoy about sewing clothes myself) and I ended up adding piping that wasn’t called for in the original pattern. Oh, and yes that is a vintage bike as well!

If you would like to see more pictures please head over to my blog!

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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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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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1960s | Dresses | Kids

One for you and one for me!

By on December 31, 2012

Hello all! I’ve got two projects to share with you. One was a last minute Christmas gift for my 4 year old cutie. I made both dresses – girl and doll – in a single day, it was right before the kids got out for Christmas break so I had to hustle! The girl dress is a vintage Simplicity, probably from the early 1960s, and I used a modern reprint for Bitty Baby’s matching frock. Fabric is Lecien ‘Flower Sugar,’ one of my all time favorites.

Both dresses came together really fast, and for once, my evil buttonholer made 4 good buttonholes in a row without skipping or jamming! It’s a Christmas miracle!

It’s hard to get a 4-year-old to hold still to get a decent picture, but here she is on Christmas morning!

Once I was done with all my Sewing For Others, I decided to make something for myself. (Gasp!) One of the best ways to ease the post-Christmas letdown is with a novelty print shirtwaist.

I was trying out a new pattern – Simplicity 5745 from 1964 – and while it came together nicely, it was huge in the bodice. Maybe I really am a B36 and not a B38… that would be nice. Still, it’s a fun dress and pairs nicely with a crinoline and pearls.

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