Late 1970s Krizia playsuit

Some of you may have seen my post on McCall’s Krizia patterns, released in the late 1970s to early 1980s. I sewed up the playsuit from one of my favourites, McCall’s 6624, a playsuit and wrap skirt pattern from McCall’s “Carefree” line.

McCall's 6624 by Krizia (1979)

McCall’s 6624 by Krizia (1979)

It’s a short and strappy playsuit, with the bodice and shorts pleated into a midriff band, a combination zipper fly/button front, and shaped side vents on the shorts.

I had a sparkly stretch knit found at Fabricland that seemed suitably disco. The pattern isn’t specifically for stretch knits, but one of the recommended fabrics is synthetic jersey.

My wife photographed me by an awesome local graffiti mural—a collaboration between two Toronto artists:

More photos and construction notes on my blog

My Favorite Halloween Costumes

My Favorite Halloween Costumes

By Tam Francis

I have wonderful memories of my mom making costumes for us as kids and I have carried on the tradition. As we approach the Halloween season, I thought I’d share some of my all time fave sewing projects starting with one of my favorite classic movies: The Wizard of OZ!

Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, Flying monkey Wicked Witch

Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, Flying monkey Wicked Witch

Of course, wearing vintage on a regular basis, I play dress-up more than most. As my children get older they have taken charge of their dressing up and their costumes have become less elaborate, so they don’t need mom’s help. I thought I would share some of my favorite Halloween Homemade Costumes. The above picture is my two kids and my friend’s daughter (Dorothy’s costume was store bought).

Wizard of Oz Witch and Flying Monkey Look Back

Wizard of Oz Witch and Flying Monkey Look Back

This was one of my favorite years. We had agreed to go with a Wizard of Oz theme, which may not be original in itself, but how many flying monkeys have you seen? I’m not sure why it thrilled me that my daughter wanted to be the wicked witch, but it was fun to make her costume and the fact that she thought outside the box not wanting to be Dorothy or Glenda filled me with glee. The Flying Monkey, was a horse of another color.


vintage butterick halloween

Vintage one-piece Halloween costume for Flying Monkey

At the time there were NO patterns for flying monkey costumes. Perhaps there are now, but when I made his costume I used a standard one-piece body suit (like the Butterick pattern) which I made in furry gray fabric. The jacket was pure fabrication. This was BEFORE DVDs were popular and we had The Wizard of Oz on video. I paused, and rewound and paused and rewound and hand drew the monkey jacket design. And talk about a pain in the emerald city, all the piping was crazy to sew. Of course I could have painted it on or done something less elaborate, but my mother’s voice is forever in my head telling me to do it right.

A couple years later I convinced my husband to do a couples costume and hoodwinked him to be one of the guys from the Brush and Wash from Wizard of Oz (you know the part where they’re in Emerald City and getting spruced up to see the Wizard). I had always loved the color green and the cute 40′s gals who did the hair trim! I fabricated my husbands hat and my collar and sleeve cuffs. I used a 1940s pattern for the dress body, but fit it a tiny bit long in the waist for me. Although it still worked, it scrunched up a tiny bit at the waist. It was amazing to swing dance in though!

Wizard of Oz Brush and Wash Couple

Wizard of Oz Brush & Wash Couple

I’ve done some other crazy costumes through the years like the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland (hand painted skirt–sheesh), and a vintage Marie Antionette. For more check out my blog


Do you have a favorite Halloween costume you’ve made?

Constructing Cigarette Pants, & a Flat-Lining Tutorial


Hi all!  I’m documenting the process of drafting and constructing my 1950s cigarette pants, and this time I’m flat-lining them (an underlining technique that also functions as a seam finish).   Lots of photos, as well as full instructions if you want to try it yourself, are here at my blog:

Constructing Cigarette Pants: Flat-Lining

along with the first two posts in the series, Drafting Cigarette Pants and Drafting Cigarette Pants, Part 2.

Happy sewing!

Last dress of Summer



Well, maybe “first dress of Fall” would have been a more suiting title but it doesn’t make as nice a reference to a song, right? Right.

Just wanted to share this quick dress (only took me a day from start to finish) made from the fabulous free pattern available at Sew Mag. It was my third attempt. First two were pretty much ok, but this one came together especially nicely. I like the way my zipper insertion seems to be gradually improving and I’m learning to take more care about details like gathering the skirt evenly and making the seams in clean lines. It’s my sixth dress ever and I believe I’m still under ten self-made garments. Getting better and loving the process!

Feel free to take a look at my blog for more photos of the dress if you like it.

A Spooky 50′s style dress

Hey everyone! I just wanted to share my latest creation from a self-drafted pattern.

Given that Halloween is creeping upon us, I wanted to make something that had a little bit of a spooky charm to it.

I made this 50′s style dress with a gathered circle skirt, lace trim on the hem and pockets in the side seam!  I decided to use a facing instead of fully lining the bodice.  The fabric is a black cotton stretch sateen, because it is so comfortable!  I also made a belt to match the trim with a glitter lucite buckle.


Modeled by my darling friend, MIssy Cae

This is my favorite design so far! I will definitely be making more with other colors and prints!

xoxo Rocksie


1940s “film noir” style outfit

Hey everyone!

After a long summer break from internet update, I am back with a feww projects to share.

Here is the first one I woul like to show you : An outfit I named my “detective outfit”, a nice lady on my blog called it a “film noir” style outfit, and I really like it :) .


This is composed by a silk shirt and a black long skirt.


Here is the skirt pattern, Mc Call 7488. I am very sorry I can’t find the shirt pattern anymore…


Thanks for reading, don’t hesitate to come and visit my blog for more pictures :)