1920s | 1930s | Mail Order Patterns | Pattern Drafting | Skirts

Creating a Skirt from a 1930’s Dress Pattern

By on June 11, 2017
My Finished Skirt
Vintage Pattern Lending Library Pattern #T3221
Vintage Pattern Lending Library Pattern #T3221

Recently, I’ve given myself the task of creating a “Miss Fisher” wardrobe, inspired by the Australian TV series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  If you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend to head over to Netflix and watch immediately.  The main character, Phryne Fisher – Lady Detective,  has a fairly AMAZING wardrobe, circa 1928,  filled with a variety of wardrobe staples – wide leg trousers, skirts, matching camisoles etc., and some downright outrageous statement pieces – embroidered coats, custom cloches and coordinating accessories.   All of which I’ve been sketching and analyzing as much as I can with repeated viewing of all the episodes.

The first stop on this journey is the staple pieces.  These are garments I can coordinate with many things.  With Summer approaching, a light weight skirt is was in order.  After struggling to find a skirt pattern I liked, I found a dress that had a great skirt –  Vintage Pattern Lending Library Pattern #T3221.

The pattern is quite sweet – a column shape through the body, with 6 small darts that gently shape the waist, and a skirt that has arched seams along the hip line and fluted panels that give it a nice little fare at the hem.  The pattern comes in one size – created for a 36″ bust.  I measured the pattern and found that it was a good fit for my hips at 42″ but that I would need to shape the waist to fit my own.   It was a fairly easy process:

  1. The pattern was cut at the natural waist line which is indicated at the center of the darts on the pattern. I squared a line at the CF, folded out the darts and shaped a nice waist.
  2. The darts were re-distributed into two darts (each side) at front and back and positioned somewhat centrally on each half of the skirt at front and back as well.  I new I wanted a 32″ waist finished, so my dart depth was determined by measuring the pattern at the waistline, subtracting the different and dividing the darts up accordingly.
  3. Then a waistband pattern was made – 4″ high x 34″ long.  This accounts for 3/8″ seam allowance and a 1 1/4″ tab for the button on the waistband.

The fabric used was a beige colored textured rayon jacquard.  The skirt sewed together beautifully, as per the pattern instructions.  I did serge the edges before assembling, to prevent fraying.  The bottom edge is a simple turn and turn 1/4″ clean finish hem.  And the standard zipper was inserted using a hand picked method.

Hand Picked zipper on the side opening
Hand Picked zipper on the side opening
My Finished Skirt
My finished Skirt

I’m really happy with the results, however, my 13 year old daughter thinks it should be several inches shorter.  What do you think?

See more of my projects and vintage inspiration on my blog or connect with me on instagram!

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1950s | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Vintage Sewing

First Time Re-Sizing: Anne Adams R4769

By on May 15, 2017

I have spent a long time trying to build up the courage to attempt re-sizing a vintage pattern and I finally took the plunge last week. While I definitely need to work out a ton of kinks, I could not be happier about finally trying. After a lot of unpicking and re-stitching I was able to stitch up Anne Adams R4769 in a wearable size!

You can read more about my adventure (and all of my mishaps) with this garment over at my blog. This experiment has rekindled my passion for sewing and I now can’t wait to start on another one!

Until next time . . . happy sewing!

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1950s | 1960s | Dating Patterns | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

A Fish Trap Tiki Dress

By on November 2, 2014

It’s just about summer down here in Australia – and that means it’s time to start sewing summer dresses!

I’ve just finished a ‘Design by Clothilde’ pattern 3170, and it’s from 1960 (although I tried my darnedest to make it looks 50s).

And the pattern – isn’t the neckline killer?!

The fabric is an Indigenous Australian design called ‘Fish Traps’, another Babbarra Women’s Centre print from Spotlight. Thank goodness I got it for $7 a meter on sale, as this sucker took five meters! (The fabric was originally $20/m).

I’m in love with these Babbarra prints, they looks really ‘tiki’ in my opinion!

I had to re-size from a 36″ bust to a 40″ bust (and the waist of course), but it worked out fine. I completely lined the bodice and added some side boning for stability.

I also changed the skirt from a pleated circle skirt, to box-pleated skirt cut straight on the grain – the fabric pattern would have looked a bit odd otherwise.

If you’d like to read further, I have more on my blog!

 

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1940s | Dresses | Introduction | Mail Order Patterns

Marian Martin 9154, WIP

By on April 19, 2014
pattern envelope picture
Mailing envelope says "Marian Martin"

Hi, everybody! I really enjoy reading this blog and figured I’d better start contributing.

So, here ya go!

I love this style of dress and wanted to make it up even though it is three sizes too small for me based on bust-as-high-bust measurement.
I used the Threads article on slash and spread pattern grading.
My first muslin (bodice only) was plagued with large ripples on the back.

front of dress
So the second muslin – the full version in yellow flowers shown here – I assembled out of order from the pattern instructions, leaving the shoulders last.
Yes, it was a pain, yes it was worth it.
I adjusted the dress to accommodate my lopsided shoulders, then stitched it together.

I took horrifying shortcuts on this, doing nearly everything on the machine.
The material, a thin, unlabeled synthetic from Walmart was not too bad to work with, but the double fold bias tape would have been better single fold.

Back of the dress, showing the V neck
No wonky ripples!

Because my waist is one size larger than my bust (I’m 1/3 of the way done with my weight loss), the dress does not overlap as much as it ought, so there’s a pin at the V keeping my bra band out of sight. I’ve also pinned the back as I don’t have two buttons on hand at the moment.
So I can’t say it is done, but I can say it has a lot of promise.

I like the set in belt, which defines my waist a bit. I like the scallop details – even the pockets, which I might modify to protrude a little less next time. I even like the yellow flowered print, something I was very unsure about to begin with.

standing with hands in pocketsThe pockets are very high up on the skirt. Awkward to get my hands in there. Are they supposed to be that high?
When I graded the skirt, I added length through the middle of the pocket as well as the skirt. I may move that grading line to above the pocket altogether for my next try at this pattern.

A lot more of my ramblings about this project, and pics of the wonky ripples, are available in a post on my blog, Waltzing Sieves. You can also read there about my plans for a vintage-flavored wardrobe as a treat for when I’m skinny again.

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1960s | Mail Order Patterns | Spadea | Vintage Sewing

1962 Jacket from Authentic Chanel Pattern

By on January 6, 2014
Jacket made from Chanel Pattern

I made this jacket using a pattern released in 1962 by the Spadea company. From my research, it appears to be the only officially licensed Chanel jacket pattern ever released, and it was drafted directly from a retail Chanel jacket, that was sold in the US by the Suzy Perette company. I loved the 60s boxy look, and the extremely thorough instructions, which made constructing the collar and welt pockets a breeze. You can check out details at on my blog, jetsetsewing.com. http://jetsetsewing.com/2013/12/04/im-tired-of-coco-how-about-you/

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1960s | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Vintage Sewing

The ‘cut out dress’ from the 1960s

By on September 10, 2013

Hey there We Sew Retro community.  I had a fabulous time at The Auckland Vintage Textile Fair, I pick up some lovely sewing patterns a pair of gloves and I came across some mail order ‘cut out dress’ packages, complete in their original packages.

This one with lilac fabric is a ‘Woman and Home’ cut-out dress, the rest are ‘Woman’s Weekly’ ones.

All ordered from London and posted to New Zealand Aotearoa.  I love them, I am keen to make one up – but might have to trace one and try it.  I have more photos over on my blog, mermaids purse, and I would love to hear from anyone who has come across or used them before.

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1940s | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Vintage Sewing

Mailorder 8111 quirky shirt dress

By on May 28, 2013

You might have already seen this if you are following my blog as I wrote about this dress on there last week.

I am currently working my way through my so far unused pattern stash and this pattern caught my eye. The unusual front flappy button detail got me interested in making a version of this dress. I’m sometimes unsure about such details as they can look a bit over the top when they are actually made up but I’m quite happy with the final result.

I think I will use the pocket on other future sewing projects. It’s such a simple design with the added buttoned down bar.

There are more pictures over on my blog if you are interested. Thank you very much.

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