1950s | 1960s | 1970s | Blouses | Jackets | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Denim (Simplicity 8458 and McCalls 2592)

By on November 15, 2017

 

I’m wearing two new vintage sewing projects in these photos: my peplum top made from the late 1960s/early 1970s pattern McCalls 2592, and a 1950s skirt from reproduction pattern Simplicity 8458.  For more details about the process of sewing each pattern, please visit my sewing blog.  Please click here for more information and photos about the skirt, and click here for more information and photos about the blouse/jacket.

Continue Reading

1930s | Pattern Sizing | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A Tweed Skirt From a Vintage Sewing Pattern

By on November 6, 2017

The Bay Area Sewists met up at The Sewing Room (my Sewing School) a couple of weeks ago to talk with me about pattern measuring.  This is often a step overlooked by the home stitcher and I will admit that I fall prey to the impatience of just wanting to sew up and finish something without first making sure it will fit me. Case in point – This 1930’s skirt pattern.

Front Skirt

 

Back Skirt

So, this tweed version is my 3rd attempt at making this Vintage Pattern Lending Library style #T1047 skirt.  It’s labeled 30″ waist. The first time I sewed it up, I added 1″ to the pattern, overall, because my waist is 31″ and I figured that should be enough.  Well, as it turns out, that was not enough. and the skirt I made was much too small.

You might think I would have learned my lesson, but instead, I just cut out another skirt but added added several inches to the hips and waist, based on the garment I tried on before.  I wasn’t totally off base, and in fact, the skirt fits me pretty well, however now a little too big. Sadly, I never even changed the pattern. What was I thinking? no notes, no nothing.  Well, it did give me the opportunity to share this experience with you….If you would like to find out more about how I created this well fitting version using a more methodical process, head on over to my blog, where I go into more detail.

Until next time….Happy Sewing!

Continue Reading

1970s | 1980s | Blouses | Skirts

Gingham! (Simplicity 5900)

By on August 31, 2017

 

I’ve been sewing with so much gingham this summer!  This particular checked cotton, which I bought on sale in the LA fashion district for 99 cents a yard a few years ago is especially light and perfect for the hot days of late summer and early fall.  The 1980s-era pattern I used to sew this blouse was a surprise: the sleeves are very puffed!  And the fit is quite good without any adjustments—you know how wonderful that feels for a seamstress!  I’m wearing it with one of my 1970s-era Simplicity 7880 skirts, made of $2 a yard black poly-cotton broadcloth.  For more information about the pattern and the construction (and more photos), please visit the blog that I share with my husband: Mr and Mrs Rat.

Continue Reading

1970s | Blouses | Skirts

Late Summer Muslin (Simplicity 7880 and Simplicity 8356)

By on

 

 

This blouse and skirt are both made form 1970s-era patterns, and have become favorites in my summer wardrobe.  I made them from unbleached muslin bought on sale at JoAnns fabric stores.  They wash well, are light and breezy on hot days, and only get softer with wear.  For more information about the patterns and construction, please come visit the blog that I share with my husband: Mr and Mrs Rat.

Continue Reading

1970s | Blouses | Dresses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Summer of Gingham (McCalls 6339)

By on August 7, 2017

 

I just finished my second gingham project of the summer, McCalls 6339 from 1978.  I’m pleased with how it turned out.  It is comfortable and has some interesting details, like flat-felled princess seams, self-bias binding on the bottom edge of the blouse, and a darted, then gathered full skirt.  For more details and photos, please visit the sewing blog that I share with my husband: Mr and Mrs Rat

Continue Reading

1950s | Modern Patterns | Skirts

A Retro Gertie Butterick B6285

By on July 30, 2017

This skirt was almost the death of me! But it’s finished and I love it and I want to make more and more and more and… you get the idea.

This pattern is quite gorgeous. Mine is made from a heavy cotton sateen from Spotlight in the most vibrant red and black.

Pockets. Can life get any sweeter?

 

 

It was paired with a black eBay petticoat which is a bit scratchy, hence the slip underneath that. It was toasty warm and certainly made my Monday much more agreeable.

Those with a keen eye will notice the slash neck top is the Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade. It’s such a great staple top and I’ve been making more of them over the weekend.

Swing and/or twirl around to my blog to read the story of the skirt.

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading