Big pockets from 1951

3bbe7194fdd32f11eb01e29c59500004I found this picture in a magazine, Beatrijs, from 1951 and loved it. When I found this fabric, a fairly fine wale corduroy in bright orange a few months ago, I knew it had become this dress…

fotoAnd now it has and I love it. Every time I put this dress on, even when it was no-where near finished, it makes me smile. It’s a happy dress.

I drafted the pattern myself (Beatrijs is a ladies’ magazine, it doesn’t focus on sewing. There is the occasional draft-your-own project and it had a mailorder pattern service but there are never actual patterns included. And this picture was an illustration for an article about practical fashion).

voor:zijThe bodice was a tried-and-tested version, the skirt is absolutely new. It doesn’t have side seams (except in those upper hip bits which go into the pockets) and the darts are converted into those little seams with which the pockets are attached.

As members of Sew&Tell may know, I started second-guessing myself about the collar on Friday but, with all your input, I decided to stick with the larger collar. And I’m really happy with it.

More about it on my blog

Simplicity 7702 – 60s shift dress

My first shift dress. I usually go for more tailored looks but when I saw the fabric half price in Jon Lewis I couldn’t resist. It was really nice to work with an easier pattern with only a few pieces and I am finally please to report that set in sleeves aren’t causing me too much grief these days.

Really happy with my first sew of the year. Hope you guys like it :)

Simplicity 7702

Simplicity 7702

Simplicity 7702


More details over at my blog.

DuBarry 5986 (1944) St. Patrick’s Day

Actually, I learned yesterday that March 17 is also St. Gertrude’s Day.  She’s the patron saint of travelers, mental illness, “against mice”, and cats.  I’m picturing an eccentric lady with cats in an RV.  Anyway . . . I guess I’d better start planning a cat-themed dress for next year.

DuBarry 5986 is adorable:

Dubarry 1944 5986 packet

but the “Easily made” bit is a half-truth at best.  It did assemble easily, I’ll give it that.  Actually getting it to fit, though, was an uphill battle.  I’m usually a pretty standard bust 34, with a few minor tweaks for fit, but that wasn’t an advantage this time around.  My pattern was missing the bodice back, but I borrowed a similar one from another 1940’s DuBarry pattern and went on my merry way.

I added 1 1/2 inches width to each side of the skirt front because it fit, but the gathers looked chintzy.  We’re not really on fabric rationing any more, anyway.

At it turned out, things were too short, too blousy, not blousy enough, etc.  It took me six and a half (six, with the last one altered on a second go-round) bodice muslins to get this thing right.  And it was worth it, mostly.  It will never be my favorite dress, but it’s cute, and I might like it better if I made it out of a better fabric.  The holiday-themed cotton is adorable–green and gold shamrocks on black–but the fabric itself is pretty cheap and not very lovable.

Dubarry 1944 5986 done

Hemmed it a little too short, too, and I need different shoes.  These are nice and green but they’re 1970’s and kind of pinchy.

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 ♥