1930’s Inspired Summer Blouse

I was really inspired to recreate a 1930’s one piece top that I had seen in a picture….so I did!  I made it out of some silky plaid fabric I had lying around my sewing room, and even though it proved tricky at times to hem, it is the perfect weight for the summer.  To see the pattern and tutorial, please feel free to hop over to my blog!




Have a wonderful Monday everyone!



Vintage Simplicity 3733

Hello everyone! Long time reader, first time posting.

My name is M and I document my knitting and sewing on miss__m on instagram (that’s two underscores). I love knitting and sewing my own stuff. Mostly because the range of actual vintage in Australia is expensive and rare.

I have made a bunch of dresses and skirts from reproduction patterns. But this was the first time I had ever used an actual vintage pattern. This is Simplicity 3733 from 1951. I made view 2 with a waistband and huge patch pockets. I will suggest to anyone who is going to make this to trace the line of the pockets onto the right side of the fabric. I didn’t. Massive regret. But we got there in the end!

Love these massive pockets.

Love these massive pockets.

The pockets are huge, and can so easily fit my phone and keys. The waistband structure is enough to hold the weight. The pockets could probably comfortably hold a laptop – who am I kidding they are large.

I let the skirt hang for over 24hrs because I thought the pockets would really pull with their weight. They didn’t. Happy!

Flared skirt, waistband

Flared skirt, waistband

I love this skirt. I would make it again, yes to pockets and yes to the waistband. I like how secure a waistband feels. Though, I would extend the waistband to allow for a button of hook and eye closure. The pockets are what make this skirt for me. I am seeing versions with contrast piping, or ric-rac, or contrast fabric!


1930s Wallis Simpson Inspired Blouse

Wallis Simpson, double collar blouse, 1936

I have coveted the beautiful double collar blouse Wallis Simpson wore during a cruise with Edward VIII in 1936 ever since I first saw the photograph many years ago. I love the fact that despite it being a very simple design it has lots and lots of gorgeous detailing on it. I also love the way it fits her so perfectly, so I was inspired to make my own version for my 1930s wardrobe. However, I didn’t want to do a direct copy of it but rather take the details of it and make my own version.

1930s burgundy outfit

I drafted the pattern myself from some old pattern blocks I made at college and it took two mock ups to get the fit just right. I wanted it to fit snuggly enough that it looked like a tailored shirt but also loose enough so I could move in it. The measurement across the shoulder blades was the trickiest, mainly because I was trying to do it on myself in the mirror!

The olive and burgundy berry cotton fabric came from my favourite fabric shop, ClothSpot and I knew it would go perfectly with the calf length burgundy skirt I’d recently made from an original 1930s sewing pattern. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do in terms of the detailing and what colours I wanted them to be but it was worth taking the time to get it right.

1930s Double Collar Blouse

The largest of the two collars was also self drafted using my oh-so-faithful pattern cutting book, Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wearspacer by Winifred Aldrich. I then traced it again and took about two centimetres off the outside edges to create the second one. The burgundy cotton was from my very big fabric stash and the ivory was rushed to me by ClothSpot after I discovered that I only had white or cream and neither of them were quite right.

Self covered belt buckle

The buttons are self-covered just like the ones on Wallis’ blouse and I also had the belt buckle covered for me by the London Button Company. I’d never used them before but I would highly recommend them to anyone, they were very quick and very helpful when I had questions. As the name suggests they also do buttons, all of which you can have covered in your own fabric, as well as a good range of buckles.

The buckle and the belt, which I made myself, is done in the same wool crepe type fabric of the skirt so it can be worn on top of the blouse or around the waistband of the skirt. This allows me to tuck the blouse in if I wish.

If you would like to read more about my version of Wallis Simpson’s 1930s blouse and see more photos, feel free to pop over to my blog.

A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far Far Away…


Hello everyone! Long time no post :) I thought I’d pop over here to admire what everyone else has been working on, and to share one of my own recently finished projects. There was an awesome Star Wars themed event at the local aviation museum last weekend and I knew I wanted to combine my love of the 1940’s with the Star Wars theme. Enter some truly great black and gold cotton from Joanns and an idea was born!

I used my favorite (self drafted last spring) kimono sleeve basic blouse pattern and got to work. The blouse buttons up the back and is fitted almost like a dress bodice with 4 darts in the front and two in the back. The edges of the sleeves are simply serged and them turned over with a hand stitched hem and the neckline is finished with a self fabric facing. The blouse only took me half a day to complete, which was good as I made it the night before the event!






For more photos from the event, check out the full outfit post over on The Closet Historian! Thanks for reading :)

“I dream of Tiki” sew-along part 1

It’s finally here! Week one of the Hawaiian dress sew-along! This week, we’ll do the prep work.

1. Tracing/cutting the pattern pieces

2. Assembling a bodice muslin

3. Making fit adjustments before cutting into fashion fabric

4. Preparing fabric

I always choose to trace my pattern pieces, not only to preserve the original, but to allow for customizations that can be saved for the future. I used the sweetheart bodice pattern from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book attached to a basic circle skirt. I also used Gertie’s yellow floral cotton poplin fabric from Joann’s. (I saw a dress she made here, and fell in love!)

Pattern page from Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book

Traced pattern pieces

After your pieces are traced or cut, I strongly recommend making a muslin, or practice bodice to check for any fit issues before cutting into your good fabric.

This bodice is very basic, so there aren’t any complex markings to trace. I would recommend tracing wheel and chalk tracing paper if you have a lot of markings to transfer. It’s really easy, and a quick way to mark your pieces!

Bat muslin

I used some scraps of a random cotton fabric I had for my practice bodice, because I was out of muslin at the time.

Once I have all the pieces sewn together, I like to pin  it to my dress form inside out. This makes it easier to mark where changes need to be made.

Muslin side-seam

When making alterations, make sure the side seams and center front are lined up, and to make equal changes to both the left and right side.


At this point, I usually make the changes to the muslin pieces as I have marked, then lay them on top of the pattern pieces, and transfer those changes. (I like to re-use the pattern pieces, so I want to make sure the pieces are accurate to avoid making the same alterations in the future!) However, you can also just make the changes to the muslin pieces and use them as the altered pattern (if that makes sense??)

Pieces on lining

To prepare your fabric, make sure you prewash in whatever way is appropriate for the fabric type you chose. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have the cut edge perfectly straight. In Gertie’s book she calls it “grain perfection.” Essentially, you are ensuring everything you cut is perfectly in line. Some fabrics can be torn along the grain, some need to be cut in the method demonstrated below. It might be a little time consuming, but it’s probably worth it ;)

Grain detection 2 Grain detection 3

If you end up with some extra time this week, feel free to cut your pieces to prepare for the bodice construction next week! Think about how structured you want the bodice to be. I opted for some interfacing and boning to give mine a good amount of support.

Feel free to leave your questions and comments, and also post your progress on the WSR Sew and Tell Facebook page! I’ll start a thread each week to share progress and discuss any issues anyone may come across! Good luck!


A Lemon Dress (Gertie mashup)-Sewn by Ashley

Also, my girl, Lily Rose.

Also, my girl, Lily Rose.

I’m having a serious love affair with Gertie’s latest line of fabrics. I swear, this lemon fabric screamed “BUY ME!” I heard it. To make things even Gertie-er, the pattern is from her newest book.

One bodice, so much structuring.

One bodice, so much structuring.

The bodice is her sweetheart strapless bodice, and the skirt is the three-quarter circle skirt. In honesty, the combination was ripped straight from her recent makes. Did I mention I knocked this out in two days? I’m a slower sewist, so for me, that’s huge! For more info, check out my blog, Sewn by Ashley