Panting for pants

Recently, as I started learning how to drive, it made me realise that my closet needs something which would be car-friendly. Since one needs to drive in quite flat shoes (ugh), separates like pencil/straight skirts are out – it’s a terrible combination on me. Circle skirts work, but hey – my driving instructor lets out a quiet sigh every time I try to fit a long wool circle skirt with a petticoat into a B-segment vehicle.
Soooo it was time for pants.


Even though I rarely wear pants, I really like the lines of 1950s pedal pushers and 1960s cigarette trousers; I decided to recreate them with model 108E from 8/2010 Burda’s Jackie Kennedy Onassis themed editorial. I used vintage wool mix gabardine. The pattern was a delight to sew and needed only few alterations (I skipped the pockets and tightened the waist). My shirt is Simplicity 2154, which was released as a 1960s reprodution – made in cream cotton it has already been worn over and over again.


Even though this outfit does feel too modern, I surprisingly get lots of wear out of it. I’m glad I gave it a go :) I invite you to read more on my blog,



So, I’ve been studying a lot lately and I simply needed a break! And what better way to relax than sewing something, right?

I’ve been eyeing this fabric for a long while now. It had been on sale, then back to it’s original price and the last time it was on sale I finally decided to buy some yards. Hopefully I’ll find it again online so I can buy some more and make a swing skirt or a dress with a fuller skirt. It’s also a 100% cotton (so a total desaster in terms of wrinkles :/ )

Anyhow, I didn’t have a lot of time so I skipped on the lining of the skirt (which I will add in a week or two, depending on how much time my exams will leave me) and I also need to buy new buttons. I don’t like the white ones.

Let me show you :3



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Dig My Wide Collar – 1973 Simplicity 6110 Blouse

Simplicity 6110, copyright 1973

Simplicity 6110, Misses’ Blouse, Skirt and Pants

Seventies fashion always makes me smile.  I absolutely love the exuberance of this era’s designs:  cheerful, big buttons, the oh-so wide pointy collar that spreads from sleeve cap to shining sleeve cap, it all makes me grin.

S6110 frontAccording to the envelope, “This design has the new narrow shoulder look.  The shoulder length of the pattern is shorter and the head of the sleeve is higher.”

I sewed this up using Michael Miller’s “Little Lifesavers” quilting cotton.   This type of fabric is perfect for the way I wash and wear clothes.  That is to say, hot water, high heat in the dryer, and I’ll likely spill something down the front every other wearing.

S6110 back full lengthFitting was simple, as there is no bust dart.  Instead, the front is gathered into yokes.  By comparing the measurement of the pattern to a blouse that fits, I determined I only need to make a rounded upper back and swayback adjustment.

I also shortened the sleeves about an inch and a quarter.  Otherwise, they end at my elbow crease, making my waist look wide.  Between the wide collar and the short, cuffed sleeves, it appears I have a waist (I’m actually pretty square).

Can you dig my exuberant collar?

Can you dig my exuberant collar?

I wanted to emphasize the very pointed collar and cuffs.  I tried Pellon 950S, ShirTailor, which gave a crisp feel to both.

Sewing the blouse was incredibly straight forward.  The instructions are clearly written, and the diagrams quite helpful.

Cuff Detail

Cuff Detail

The oversize buttons that I love didn’t look quite right down the front of the blouse.  I happened to have two sets of the same orange buttons in different diameters.  What can I say?  I like orange buttons, so I have a lot of them.  The three-quarter inch diameter buttons matched the scale of the little lifesavers, and I like the effect much better.

But the cuffs, oh, man, the cuffs were made for the orange 1 1/8″ buttons.  The sheer exuberance of oversize orange buttons makes me so happy!


Red Linen Wrap Dress


Seeing as vintage can sometimes seem a little bit prim and higher maintenance, it can feel great to just toss on a wrap dress and be extra comfy. No petticoats or under structure, just a linen rayon blend and an adjustable waist tie!

I’ve made a 1930’s inspired wrap dress before, and I used the same pattern once again, a self drafted number cobbled together from my usual kimono sleeved dress bodice pattern and an A-line skirt pattern. I did change the sleeve shape just a bit to be a bit more square and actually kimono like, as I knew I wanted to take photos of the finished dress in a Japanese garden. The red linen/rayon blend is from Joanns, and they carry this same fabric in several colors in their linen section. I like the addition of rayon, it means the fabric wrinkles a bit less ferociously than a linen would on its own. This fabric also has a nice weight to it and holds a crisp edge well when ironed.

Here is a 1930s pattern image that shows a similar dress, though I think these 30’s numbers are meant to be more casual house dresses and I made mine more formal for wearing out and about.



The most tedious thing about making this dress was making, ironing, and stitching on the self fabric bias binding along the edges. The dress is unlined, and has no facings, so the bias binding encloses all of the raw edges including the hem. I sewed the bias along the outer edge by machine (that was a lot of pins!) and then after folding it over to the backside stitched the entire length down with invisible hand stitches on the back. Time consuming indeed, but worth it in the end for a nice finish!




I am so pleased with how the dress came together in the end and I already want to make another version in the black colorway of this same fabric! Perhaps that will be a project for next year :) For more photos of this dress and my day at the Denver Botanical Gardens visit me over on The Closet Historian!