Simplicity 1590

So Simplicity 1590 is finally finished! I chose View A and it’s been on my sewing table for the past two weeks completely finished but without buttons. I’m in love with this adorable top and it’s exactly what I need more of in my wardrobe. I was really unsure how I would feel about the peplum but I really like the way it looks now that everything is put together.

I was short on fabric so I had to do the front facing in solid white. *pouts* I hate doing that on a piece I plan to wear that isn’t a muslin. But in the end it turned out alright!

I got my overlocker/serger back up and running, after much fussing and fighting, and was able to finish the inside seams of this blouse as well! I’m so pleased with how much more professional and finished it looks. In fact I’m kicking myself in the pants for not getting it back up and running sooner. Oh, how many garments could have been saved and worn longer!

I actually got over my fear of the buttonhole with this project. The pattern only calls for five, but I decided I didn’t like the open flap at the bottom front of the peplum, so I added a sixth button. I honestly don’t’ know why they scare me so much, but I think I was just afraid to mess them up. My machine has an automatic buttonhole feature and I’m so in love with how easy it is to whip them up!

My new headless helper Millie gets her debut with this blouse also! So, everyone meet Millie, as in Thoroughly Modern! I love that song, it’s one of my favorite dance tunes, so I thought it would be the perfect name for her! I honestly don’t know how I’ve manged to sew anything worth a darn before having her assistance. It’s amazing!

I noticed that the front hem is longer on one side than the other. But it’s minor and totally fixable I believe. I also have a button that is slightly lower than it should be and it is puckering. Again, totally fixable.

Lastly, some up close and personal pictures.

I’m very pleased with how this blouse turned out and I’m really looking forward to wearing it once the subzero weather we are currently experiencing here in Central Ohio decides to go back to wherever it came from.

This completes the first of my Vintage Sewing Pledge 2015 makes! It’s also going toward my Wardrobe Architect Challenge for 2015 for making a capsule wardrobe (which, I’m admittedly quite behind on as things have been a bit hectic at home). I’ll have to remedy that quickly and get caught up. Perhaps this weekend.

Thanks for following along with that long post! Check me out at www.shessewbettie.blogspot.com and follow along on Instagram @misskacysews!

1941 Bathrobe

For better or for worse, so much of my vintage sewing tends to be for plays – I work in theatre and my husband and I do a lot of community theatre, so I end up doing a lot of costume pieces for myself… which then work their way into my personal wardrobe. :)

This time around I’m playing Edith in Noel Coward’s Blithe Sprit, who comes out at the end of the play in a nightgown and bathrobe.  She’s the housemaid – so nothing too fancy – but I definitely wanted something that looked distinctively 1940’s.  I chose this sweet 1941 housecoat/dress pattern from EvaDress, partially because it was so sweet looking and partially because I wouldn’t have to do too much modification in sizing.

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The pattern calls for the dress/housecoat to be joined at the CF and zip up – I decided to finish off the CF edges and leave it open, like a bathrobe.  Because of that, I didn’t insert the sash into the waist as shown – I made that separate.  The only other modification was lengthening the sleeves (in the photos they still need to be hemmed) and leaving off the trim, other than on the pockets.

Due to fabric constraints I wasn’t able to pattern-match the plaids on the CF and SF pieces – I’m (mostly!) okay with that. :)  I love the swoop of the skirt and how nicely it fits – much more feminine than a modern bathrobe pattern!  Made out of lovely heather grey wool plaid flannel, with one pretty pink stripe in the tartan.  I used vintage pink rick-rack for trim.

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My First Pencil Skirt!

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I’m excited to have finished this little project as it represents several firsts! It’s my first make of the year that counts towards my Vintage Pledge. It’s the first time I’ve made anything out of either of Gertie’s books (I have both). It’s my first time sewing a lapped zipper, which, thanks to online tutorials was fairly straightforward.

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It’s also the first time I’ve made a pencil skirt at all, since I tend to gravitate towards the opposite extreme of very full skirts. It was a nice change not to have to spend tons of time hemming yards and yards of fabric! I’ll definitely be making more of these. :-)

I added a fun houndstooth lining, I just love little surprises inside garments.

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I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this one!

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More pics of the inside and outside on my blog here.

A Floral Blouse from Maudella 1326

Hi Everyone!!!

This is my first post here, so I hope you like it!

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The Pattern and Fabric (and a button that didn’t get used)

Here is my first sew for the 2015 Vintage Pattern Pledge, a pink floral blouse made from a vintage Maudella Pattern. The pattern I have is for a 36″ bust, so firstly I had to grade it up to 44″ bust to fit me. I usually have to grade up my vintage patterns as I have as they are so hard to find any where near my size.

Original V graded up Pattern

Original V graded up Pattern

The Fabric I used was a lovely piece of pink floral print cotton, gifted to me from a friend. This top will mostly be worn tucked in to skirts or pants, but it looks fine left out as well

Half made - tucked into some high waisted pants

Half made – tucked into some high waisted pants

I altered the pattern slightly, as I found the shoulders too wide for me.

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Having a glass of wine at the in-laws

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The sun was bright

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But the View is Magnificent

To see more about the construction of this blouse, you can read my blog post about it here.

Happy Retro Sewing!

Dixie O’Dare

Free Vintage Patterns and Vintage Sewing Books

Looking for something to read on the bus? Check out these free vintage dressmaking books, including a pattern drafting system from the 1950s that looks rather nifty.

If you’re not familiar with how the pattern drafting systems work, it’s like having small pattern guides (think of the pattern piece schematics on the back of your sewing pattern envelope) that you scale up to your individual measurements using a specially marked ruler or measuring tape. In the Dressmaking at Home book here, you’ll find the details for the ruler on page 7.

Edit: these might look a little quirky on mobile. If you’re having trouble, jump on an actual computer.

Dressmaking at Home (pattern drafting system from the 1950s)

The New Dressmaker by Butterick Patterns (1921)

The American System of Dressmaking (early 1900s)

 

Home Dressmaking and the Art of Good Dressing

A note about copyright: I didn’t make any of these documents available on Scribd and Scribd’s terms of use specifically prohibit the upload of works for which you do not hold the copyright. I haven’t dug down far enough into the murky world of copyright infringement to be able to say if these works are infringing or not, so I’m taking Scribd at their word that these works are not infringing anyone’s copyright. Copyright holders can file a takedown notice on Scribd here.

Vintage Modern Dress for Valentines Day

Vintage organza print with silk/linen blend underlining.

Vintage organza print with silk/linen blend underlining.

I love to sew vintage and nothing inspires me more than a fantastic, bold and beautiful print.  When I was visiting my favorite vintage fabric source, Upcycle Exchange in St. Louis, I came across this print that just screamed BUY ME!  It was an amazing vintage organza.  It was perfect and I decided it would make for the most perfect valentines day dress.  I knew exactly which pattern to use – the zip front day dress form Gertie Sews Vintage.  It has been a favorite patter as of late.  It has just the right flare to feel vintage but not so much that I feel like I am in a costume.  The collar is just lovely and I like the ease in just zipping it up and out you go!

The amazing floral print organza needed something underneath, so I decided to underline the dress with this amazing silk/linen blend I had in my stash.  It has been so long since I worked with linen and it really threw me on the cutting.  After some very slow cutting, I decided to use fusible tricot cut on the bias to re-enforce all of the edges.  Assembly was a bit slow too as I had to hand-baste all of the layers together on the bodice.  After some time in assembly, I put it on the dress form to hang.  Wow did that bias really stretch on the silk/linen!  I am super happy with the final result!

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