Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

I’ve been wanting to tackle this dress for a long time. Don’t know what I was afraid of! It came together quite simply. But it helps that I’ve sewn vintage dresses before. The instructions on the back of the packet are minimal to say the least and include things like:

“Make darts in the back bodice where shown by dotted lines in diagram”. Quite literally the diagram which is the tiny pattern layout illustration on the back of the packet. So it’s anyone’s guess, really!

“Gather upper edge of side fronts to fit hip yoke of front as in sketch and stitch together matching VV to VV.” Again, helped by the fact that I’ve managed inset seams before when quilting so I know a thing or two about clipping and pivoting. It could have caused a tantrum or two otherwise!

Blackmore 8194 vintage sewing patternI made it in a hurry, like the day before the wedding so there’s room for improvement. I graded it up a size but could do with adding an inch of ease at least at the waist I was hesitant to do this for fear of losing the lovely silhouette but I think I can still retain the line by cutting and slashing from under arm to waist.

blackmore 8194 green vintage dress

As for the era… Blackmore Patterns finished trading in the 1940s by all accounts so I would naturally date the pattern from late 40s but Wikia Patterns says 1950s. So it’s anyone’s guess really!

My favourite details are the keyhole neckline and the skirt gathers on the hip yoke.

blackmore 8194 vintage dress

I’m definitely going to have to make this again. Has anyone else tried this pattern before?

More info on the making of this dress and others over at ooobop.


My Vintage Suit ~ The Vintage Suit Sew Along


Suit jacket pattern, Simplicity S-128 and skirt pattern, Advance 8443

Did you join us in the Vintage Suit Sew Along? It’s been keeping some of us vintage sewists busy for the last few months.


Inspiration for my dream suit


More inspiration

I opted for a lovely houndstooth fabric that was passed to me by a friend de-stashing, and for this I re-vamped one of my best hats, adding some fabric to co-ordinate with the suit.

My vintage suit sew along

I took my time with the toile, and getting the best fit….

My vintage suit sew along tall looking down nice shot

And I’m really happy with how it turned out, the shaping of the jacket is very true to the pattern illustration, with a nice wide hip skimming hem.

My vintage suit sew along swirl2

Some detail, bound buttonholes, cuffs and side seam pocket.

My vintage suit sew along gloves, cuffs

I have many more photos on my blog, and you can have a look at the making posts there too! Also, there are a couple of other makers working on their suits, soon to be shared, so take a look at the other makes while you’re there x

#vintagesuitsewalong #vintagepledge

Lingerie Design: A Complete Course & Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook

I let out a prolonged “ooooooooh” when these two big beautiful books landed on my desk so I thought you might like to see them.


The first is not technically a sewing book but I guarantee you’ll reference it constantly in your sewing if you love to sew vintage. We used Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook as a giveaway prize recently and honestly I had a hard time letting it go to the winner. Imagine me wavering in a post office parking lot, clasping the packaged book and intoning “My preciouuuuussssssss” for a solid five minutes.

This book is both beautiful and huge. You’re going to put it on your coffee table and every coffee break from that moment on will last at least four hours as you get lost in the pages and pages of photos of necklines, cuffs, pockets, fastenings, darts, and flounces.

If you’re the kind of person who likes seeing a photo of a garment’s inside as much as the outside, I’m pretty sure you’ll love this book. You can find Vintage Details on Amazon here or trot down to your favorite independent bookstore if you have one locally. No room in your budget right now? Don’t let that hold you back – you can always ask for a copy at your local library.


The second, Lingerie Design: A Complete Course, comes at a great time for the sewing community because it seems like more of us than ever are trying to sew our own underthings.

Sidenote: I’ve been a little bit obsessed with this Bra Making Forum facebook group lately…I’ve got the popular Shelley Bra pattern from Pin Up Girls cut out and ready to sew but working through the instructions in this book is definitely next on deck.


What I love about this book is it doesn’t just cover the history of lingerie, the construction details and delicate embellishments, but it shows step-by-step how to construct your own sloper for slips, panties, petticoats, sleepwear, foundation garments and bras. Where the other book is all about inspiration, this is a practical guide to designing, drafting, and construction. Have a squiz at the contents…


Lingerie Design: A Complete Course can be purchased direct from the publisher here or on Amazon here. Again, don’t forget your local library if your budget is tight!


My First Post: Butterick 4838, 1960s Cut Out Cover Up Shift

imageI’m so happy to be contributing here for the first time!

Today I completed Butterick 4838, a reversible summer shift or cover-up with only two pattern pieces. It’s still winter here, but after prolonged illness and also a huge house move I just felt like sewing something – anything – to get back into sewing. I’d always wanted to make this well-known 1960s pattern, because it looks cute, easy to wear, and would be a great summer dress (I suffer terribly with the heat).  I’ve also recently grown out of much of my wardrobe, ahem, so can justify the make because I NEED new clothes.image Really. Especially because my daughter has started stealing all my old ones because she has grown INTO them.

I didn’t bother doing a test run, as it’s such a simple pattern (please keep tsking and chuckles to a minimum). Contrary to the envelope illustration, where the waist seems somewhat raised and as if the cut-out ends at the back waist, it turns out that the cut-out is quite wide AND low, and not only that, is also quite open and revealing due to the generous cut of the mod, shift-like shape. I think if I were standing in a queue and there was someone right behind me and they bothered to look down, they’d probably be able to see right down to my undies! Whoops. I think I’ll only be wearing this over my swimmers to go down the road to the pool. You could say the clue was in the pattern description, which used the word ‘cover-up’.

Still, I’m happy with it – and I used up some original 1960s psychedelic fabric I thrifted years ago:image  a sheer synthetic, light as air, with a faint crepey texture to it. I have the perfect buttons for the dress – huge lime green plastic ones – but haven’t added them yet as I still havent unpacked my haberdashery stash (I can’t even find the box!). I won’t be making them functional buttons, because it’s loose enough to just be pulled over my head.

I will make this again and make it truly reversible (not just lined like this one) and will adjust the cut-out to be more wearable. I really recommend this fun mod pattern!

Swing high, swing low….and hello!

Swing high, swing low….and hello!Hello! It’s my first post here. I’m Ewa :) I hope I’ll be allowed to become a part of this wonderful community, which I have followed for such a long time!

Some time ago I thrifted over 8 yards of soft navy corduroy. I’ve never really been a fan of this fabric; it reminds me of the children’s clothes of the early 1990s, but there was something about this navy beauty that caught my eye and I decided to give it a try.

1 All the photos taken by my patient Husband ;)


I used a vintage pattern- Butterick 6288. I was so frustrated as 2 of the pattern pieces (the sleeves!) were missing, but I liked the pattern too much to just leave it. So I had to quickly educate myself and draft them on my own.


I decided to make the coat mid-calf lenght, with 7/8 sleeves that can be turned back to 3/4. To make the coat even more fitted in the shoulder area, I moved most of the sleeves’ ease to the sides instead of the top of the cap.


The coat fastens with 7 covered snaps (the button is purely ornamental). The collar and the facings were interfaced with canvas, pad-stitched to give them shape. I blind hemmed the coat, sewed the lining (setting the sleeves by hand) and blind hemmed it as well; it is slip-stitched to the coat along the collar and facings, with small ‘catch points’ along the side seams as well. The back lining is connected to the coat only by french tacks, to let the main fabric drape freely.

1415The not-so-glamourous but oh-so-practical covered sweat pads.

For more photos and more details about the coat I invite you to have a look at my blog, :-) Thank you!

Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable Top

I recently had the opportunity to review the Gable Top from Jennifer Lauren Handmade.

Akram's Ideas: Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable Top

I love this shirt!

If you are looking for a pattern to kick off your autumn sewing, this may be it!

I love everything about this shirt, from it’s ease to put together to the overall look.

The classic slash neckline, the sleeve variations , it’s just perfect.

Akram's Ideas: Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable Top

I also love my fabric choice

I’ve also been wanting to add a striped knit shirt to my wardrobe for a long time. This seemed like a good pattern for doing just that. Plus, I’m so happy that I managed to line up all the stripes, even the sleeves match up.

Autumn maybe still a week or two out, but I’m already planning like a dozen more of these shirts.

Akram's Ideas: Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable Top

I’m so happy with this shirt!

The Gable Top is great example of a modern pattern with a lot of classic 1950’s flare.

To read more about my process for making this shirt check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (