An Emergency Bolero (Pauline Pattern 2217, c. 1940s)

I’m sure we’ve all been there – no jackets/boleros/cardigans in your wardrobe matches your chosen outfit?!?  I had that dilemma the day before the Sydney Fifties Fair, nothing matched my chosen dress (a 1940′s rayon day-dress by Mynette).

Luckily, I had Pauline 2217 sitting on my sewing desk and the bolero seemed to be the answer to my emergency!













I love all the details on this bolero – the winged collar, the strong shoulders, the faux pockets. The pattern is from the later part of WW2, with the focus on the military-inspired shoulders. It’s economy standard, i.e. no seam allowance, no facing pieces provided, instructions printed on the back of the packet.


Ouch, this pattern was hard to put together.  The instructions consist of two sentences, basically: sew the pocket flaps on, sew the side seams together, attach the collar, set in the sleeves, face the edges. Not a pattern for the faint-hearted!

And it complemented perfectly! The length hit me where it should (just above my waist) and the fit was so good that I didn’t need to make any adjustments. The judges must have liked it too, as my partner and I also won the ‘Best Dressed Couple’ competition.

If you’d like to read more, or see photos from the Fifties Fair, just head on over to my blog

A Completely Reversible 1930′s Silk Brassiere

Sewing #610
Recently I’ve been on a complete lingerie sewing bender! I made a silk crepe de chine bra and was so delighted with the comfort and luxury of it that I decided to host a sew-along and make a few more.


I started with the fabric from an old pair of silk charmeuse pajama pants that hadn’t survived my restless sleeping for long, and then found a lovely black silk blouse at a thrift shop for the lining (can you tell my fabric order was woefully late in arriving?).

For the pattern, I used my 1930′s French Brassiere reproduction pattern and I couldn’t be happier with how well this bra fits!

I’m a huge fan of using historically accurate sewing and embellishment techniques so I included a few tutorials on adding spiderweb silk roses and French knots, covered truing darts, adding straps and closure options, and voila! A completely reversible silk bra!



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Depending on the top I’m wearing, I can wear the bra in blue or black to suit my fashion needs and if I wear a really low-cut top (not that I have so many of those) the rosettes and French knots are a lovely little accent to peak out of my neckline.

If you would like to join in (it’s never to late and I’m always happy to answer questions!) or if you would just like to learn a few bra sewing techniques, you can find every step of the sew-along here, on my blog A Few Threads Loose.

Happy Sewing!

Anna Signature


Another odd top

The wrap top I posted last week didn’t come alone. After that, I tried another modern tutorial for a retro design. The wrap top had only one pattern piece, this top is even more simple: a rectangle of fabric, two seams, that’s it.


I made this red one first but wasn’t happy with the fit. It looks fine in the picture but it seemed like there wasn’t enough fabric at the lower edge to wrap it properly. It makes a nice shrug though.

3voorFor the second version, I made the center back seam a bit shorter. Now, it’s easy to wrap and if you wear it over the skirt, the points give a nice vest-like effect.

More about it and more pictures on my blog 

Vintage Inspired Polka Dot Dress

I have not posted any sewing projects in quite a long time. This pass spring I had back surgery and was unable to do any sewing while recovering. Now that I am pretty much fully recovered I have gone on a sewing spree. I used McCall’s retro inspired 6331 bodice pattern to make this dress. I drafted my own skirt for this dress as I wanted to have pockets, and I knew that I didn’t have enough of the polka dot fabric to achieve the length I wanted. Overall I am pretty happy with this dress.



Not-a-Gum-Drop Skirt

Despite my fears about gathered skirts turning out shaped exactly like gum drops, I finally took on the most basic of basic skirts this summer. A friend got me this gorgeous fabric that just screamed to be made into a late 50s, early 60s border print skirt, and when fabric screams, I try to listen.

It turned out much better than my highest hopes! I now have a strangely practical bright purple skirt that really just feels lovely. It’s so beautifully simple, just a couple of self-drafted (if you can call it that) rectangles to the appropriate dimensions. There’s more info and pictures on my blog here, if you’re curious.

The Allie Dress – Notebook Inspired

Who doesn’t love the film ‘The Notebook’?

Well I do.

I don’t care how soppy and girly that makes me.


I like it so much that it inspired a sewing project. As a result of a sewalong based on the film I chose one iconic outfit to recreate for myself.

Now because I don’t do things the simple way,  I chose the iconic bikini as my source of creativity. The only issue being,  there was no way I was being pictured in a bikini for my blog.

I had the idea to make a few tweaks and turn it into a dress – perfect for the summer which, ironically, is now coming to an end. In my defense, when I originally made this, summer was only just beginning.

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The dress consists of a full, gathered circle skirt (with a big net underskirt underneath of course!) A shirred back, halterneck and sweetheart bust with gathers.

I knew I would have to make the dress from scratch, pattern and all, and what use is making a pattern and not being able to share it with people? Hence resulting in a busy month or so of drafting and redrafting, digitizing and photographing.

Now who doesn’t love a vintage inspired free sewing pattern!?

Notebook Dress

Click HERE to go through to my original blog post where you will find lots more pictures and the dress pattern to download for free, as well as  some pdf instructions to help you construct the blighter :D

I hope you have fun sewing up my latest pattern and I would love to hear what you think so please do leave me a comment, and of course I am dying to see your own versions of the Allie Dress, so feel free to send me pictures or links :D

Happy Sewing