1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Made from Curtains | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 270

By on September 29, 2013

Hi! It’s been a good minute since I was able to post something! I recently participated in the fall for cotton sew along. This is what I made (:

I used Simplicity’s 2370 from 1957. The fabric I used is 100% cotton for “home decor” purposes, but thought a dress would suit it better! Now I can tell you all about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good: This dress was extremely easy to sew and fit perfectly!


The bad: I messed up the skirt back by cutting it in half. However I was able to fix it by moving the darts and tailoring out the excess material.


The ugly: The dress fit great everywhere, but the pleats at the midsection created this ugly poof!! It made me look like I had a beer belly. I couldn’t the skirt in from the side because then I would not be able to walk or sit. After going back with the iron, I was able remove some of the poofyness. Missy from Technicolor Cutie, Tasha from By Gum, By Golly, and my mom had the genius idea of sewing in the pleats together to create darts. I did not attempt this because by this point I wasn’t too bothered with the poof after the extra ironing. I will probably have to do this in the future though because I don’t want to take an eternity to carefully iron the darts every time I wear this dress.


and now I can present to you…my finished dress!


For more pictures or curious about the fabric, you can check out my blog, Through the Alley

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1940s | 1950s | Mad Men Inspired | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Half-circle chic

By on September 15, 2013

Half circle skirtMy adventures into pattern drafting are not as yet very adventurous but I am learning very slowly but surely.

This is my first half-circle skirt. I made it from some cheap poly-crepe as a tester before I went to wool-crepe. But I am more than happy with the result. It hangs really nicely, thanks to the nature of the drape and also to a heavy stretch satin lining!

The hem was a nightmare to get straight. My own fault for not letting it hang first. The stretch in the bias resulted in an extra 2.5 inches at the front and back, compared to the side seams. So I dutifully unpicked and started again. A long process. But once I’d accurately trimmed and finished with bias tape, it worked a treat.

Half circle skirt

I incorporated a lapped zipper on the left side with two military style buttons on the waistband.

I love the timelessness of this style and for a simple black skirt it feels really more classy than it should! It’s so girly and swishy! More photos and info over at ooobop!

half circle skirt


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1960s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Vintage Sewing

Red 60s Dress

By on June 18, 2013

I made this dress from Simplicity 6555 which dates from 1966. I used a vintage double knit polyester I purchased on eBay.

I decided to hand picked a vintage metal zipper. (Why don’t they make met zipper anymore, they seem so much better?) because hand stitching virtually disappears in this fabric. The stitching on the zipper, sleeves and hem are completely hidden.

I also bias bound the sleeves with some lighter weight fabric from a previous project, as the fabric was bulky and I didn’t want to add any extra bulk. I used seam tape to bind the waistline seam / stay the waist after I tried on the dress and realized the waist seam allowance was making the waist seam stick out, despite being pressed.

I am very happy with how it turned out. I feel like Jackie O. in this dress. I am especially in love with the cut of the bodice and the interesting seaming.

Much more info here


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1960s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Vintage Sewing

The Holloway Dress

By on June 13, 2013

Here’s some proper pictures of The Holloway Dress (Simplicity 3575, 1960). Although I’m no where near the babe of this dresses namesake is; I’ll try my best to live up to the va-va-voom attitude of many people’s favorite Mad Men character. If only I had her assets right? The dress is a bit wrinkly. I wore it to work so my desk sitting caused some creases, I don’t think it held up too bad in that regard though.

I thought I was going to have to do an adjustment to take some of the ease out of the bust. Although, since I’ve washed the dress and taken these pictures, I don’t think it’s actually all too bad. Especially for a wearable muslin, as I plan on doing the full skirted version of this pattern later. I’m also fairly certain that dresses from 1960’s usually were cut more generously than we are used to in modern clothing.

The pattern was missing the waist stay piece, so I just decided to leave it out. All the seams are serged, and there’s an invisible zipper in the side (one of my best!). The fabric is either a high quality quilting cotton or shirting. I’m not for sure it was an unmarked clearance bin bargain.

I can’t wait to make another version of this dress soon! Also, I’ve grown very fond of this grass green color! More than one person told me it should be my color.
This is also posted over at my blog HERE.

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1960s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired

Another Megan Draper Dress

By on April 24, 2013


I decided to double up on to-do tasks and stitch up my very first version of Colette’s new Laurel for JuliaBobbin’s 2nd Mad Men Challenge. I was inspired my Megan Draper’s colorful, modern prints (as were some other challenge participants!) and lucky for me I had the perfect stretch cotton in my tub already!

I had a great run of luck on this project, because I did not make a muslin for this pattern, but I think it fits rather nicely! The shift style and the gathered sleeve cuffs, paired with my wild paisley print, make this retro dress very late 60s, dont you think?

More on my blog, here.


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