1937 dress

voor 21.20.14This my first garment for this year’s Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge: A dress design from 1937, made using a reproduction pattern from EvaDress (which I bought with my prize from last year’s Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge).


The pattern was easy to use and the instruction were clear and easy to follow but I struggled a bit with the fit. I’m so used to drafting my own patterns and knowing how they are going to fit…

zijWhen I made a muslin using my size according to the sizing table, it was way to big. Even when I went down a size, it was still pretty roomy. I agonized a bit over period accuracy and then decided to try and make it so I would wear this dress. Which is how it became like this.

I shared those considerations both on my blog and on We Sew Retro – Sew & Tell and I got a lot of great advice.

I think the dress is OK as it is now but I will probably try and make it again in something like a very soft cotton or a viscose/rayon crepe.

You can read more about it on my blog.


DuBarry 5612 (1943)

I whipped this up for Valentine’s Day so I would have something nice to wear while I stayed home with my cat, eating Fig Newtons and watching “Fast N Loud”.  Yeah.

DuBarry 5612 (1943) does not say “easily made” on the front . . .

DuBa 5612 packet

. . . but don’t let that deter you.  I did a few tweaks for personal fit (long torso, low bust, wide upper back) and had to reengineer the sleeves because smooth sleeve caps as-drafted are always and forever a lie, but after that, the I could have sewed this in my sleep.  I made one muslin just to check and then dove headfirst into my good dress fabric (well, relatively: Cotton from Joann’s).  There just isn’t anything to tell–it practically sewed itself.

DuBa 5612


My first swing skirt ♥

When I woke up last wednesday morning, my only idea was to wear a navy swing skirt for a birthday party that same evening…But I don’t have a navy swing skirt ! So when my man & kids left for an afternoon at the pool, the calm was the perfect occasion for sewing one, and I was ready for the evening. I just made it after seeing some tuts on YouTube and it turned out great !

It’s a very simple project and I was so shy to show it here because of all the talented ladies who are posting : such amazing clothes and pictures ! But I just looove my new skirt and I’m proud of myself ♥



Vintage 40s Style Halter Tops

40s Vogue halter topsI have recently been doing LOTS of sewing for a charity store where I volunteer as a seamstress & these two upcycled vintage scarf halter tops were made using instructions in an original 1940s Smart Accessories booklet in the Vogue Knit series of publications. The black halter top was made from a plain vintage silk scarf & I added a 1950s brooch (I stitched a small section of lingerie foam onto the backof the V neck to support it); the Rome halter top is made from a vintage acetate souvenir scarf with satin ribbons stitched to waistline & neckline.  In fact, I have been sewing so many upcycled scarf projects lately that I realise I absolutely MUST buy an overlocker before too long as it is so difficult neatening the edges of silky scarves … I am going to the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in Birmingham next weekend & will be checking out the various brands xx  More of my vintage sewing projects on my blog here 

Simplicity 2475 – 1958 Maternity Top

I actually got this finished a week or so ago, but then I got sick (again) and we’ve had yet another snow storm since then so it’s still been a little crazy around here. This is my second project of the year, and the second installment in my sewing for the 2015 Vintage Pattern Pledge. It’s Simplicity 2475, which I was given in a large pattern stash (almost all children’s and maternity patterns) by a friend when I found out I was pregnant with my first.

1958 maternity sewing pattern Simplicity 2475

The pattern is from 1958, and after making a version of a similar top the first time around I knew I wanted to make myself another one. They’re super comfortable, and with a few more weeks of warm weather before this kiddo is born I wanted another lightweight top that wasn’t skin tight. This is yet another 100% stash buster as well! The fabric is from the massive stash my mom and I accumulated (and still resides at her house), the bias binding is left from finishing all the seams in my Robson Trench last year, and the buttons were from a huge button stash that a friend of mine inherited when her husband’s grandmother died.  I opted for view 2, but changed the welt pockets to patch pockets since this lawn is so light. I didn’t want the extra strain on the fabric and was also concerned about the pocket bags showing through badly. Forgive the weird light. With yet another 8+ inches of snow outside, the already odd lighting available in my house is even worse.

1958 maternity top

the front curves of the yoke don’t match perfectly, as the fabric was kind of a pain and I was tired when I was sewing, but for something I’m going to wear for 2 months I wasn’t super concerned about going back and trying to fix it.

Simplicity 2475

Simplicity 2475 Maternity Top 1958

The buttons, as I said, are some I got from a friend after she inherited a HUGE button stash. They’re really pretty little pearl shirt buttons. I’m not sure how old they are.

patch pockets in floral lawn 1958 maternity top

I’m really happy I decided to do patch pockets instead of welts. Not only were they much easier, but I like the little touch of green in the bias binding at the top. It helps break up the print a little bit. I’ve got a black and a pink pencil skirt I plan on wearing this with that both look cute, especially with a little sweater. I’m actually working on a wearable muslin of some maternity shorts out of leftover denim, but the front sections are doing something really weird because of the some bias pulling, so they’ve been put on the back burner for bit, but if I do get them finished they’ll look SUPER cute with this. So summery! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last real push of winter before spring arrives. We’ve got pretty good temps predicted for the coming week, which will be a relief, but if it gets super cold again after that I may have to hide under a rock. Hope everyone else is keeping warm!

Making My Wedding and Reception Dresses

I have finally completed my blog post on constructing my wedding dresses.  As some of you may know I got married last October and was crazy enough to make not only my wedding dress, but a separate dress for the reception. I don’t have as many construction pictures would like to share the few I do have. The pattern I used for my wedding dress was the 1934 Evening Gown With Drop Sleeves from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library.

The VPLL ships fast and does a very nice job in packing your order. Look how nice my little bundle of patterns were! I ordered three patterns in all. Each time you purchase a pattern, or leave a review, you earn points towards future purchasing. They patterns are printed on a nice quality paper. The instructions are pretty clear and easy to follow with some additional information provided as well.

My first task after receiving my pattern from the VPLL was to resize it. While the VPLL does offer some patterns in multiple sizes, this was not one of them. This pattern actually goes together rather well, despite my fitting issues. For the bodice I treated the lace and lining as one. The lace pieces were first basted to the lining and then the bodice was sewn together. Next the bias tape binding was added to the neck edges and arm holes. I didn’t have any white or off white on hand so I used peach which I think made a nice contrast to the lace. I made a few small changes, mainly to omit the extra large fluffy sleeves and to add a RIDICULOUSLY long train.

You can read more about my wedding dresses here.