Call The Midwife Inspired Top

I planned on making this top before I signed up for the vintage pattern pledge but by the time I found the perfect fabric it seemed like fate had stepped in and now I’m amending my pledge to include vintage inspired as well! For my vintage pattern pledge I vowed to sew up at least six of my vintage or reproduction sewing patterns. Since Coco says right on the pattern envelope that the optional funnel neck is sixties inspired and my inspiration came from a show set in the 60’s, I think its acceptable to count it as one of my 6.

saint-james-striped-interlock-knit-ecru-and-grey-7I decided to keep checking some of my favorite fabric resources regularly and eventually I’d get my Patsy Coco. I got really lucky and found this interlock knit from Hart’s Fabric just about a month after making my pledge! I would have preferred a slightly larger white stripe but come on, look at this fabric, how could I say no when it was roughly a 98% match?

Now that I had my fabric it was time to get serious about construction. I knew I would be using the Coco top with the funnel neck but there were a few considerations to be made. From the screen shot I took and watching the scene over and over, I decided to make the 3/4 sleeve version of Coco because some of Patsy’s arm is clearly visible but I don’t see any bulk that would indicate long sleeves pushed up. There is no indication that the shirt is cuffed but I really like the look of the Coco cuff with the funnel neck, I think it adds more vintage flair, so I decided I would use that pattern piece. There is never a point where you get a good shot of the sides so should I do the slits of not? Since I had never done them before I seriously considered it but was more concerned about pattern matching my stripes and opted against it. Sometimes I surprise myself with the level of detective work that I put into the things I sew.

To read more about the construction (and see the finished top!) head on over to my blog.

A New Frock for the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival

If you live in the Hunter Valley region of NSW in Australia, you know about the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival. Chances are if you are into the classic car scene and live anywhere in Australia you’ve heard about it. Those of you who don’t know about it, it is a whole weekend full of 1950’s goodness. There’s a show ‘n’ shine, lots of bands and dancing, heaps of market stalls selling vintage and reproduction clothing, accessories, homewares and gifts. It is probably the one weekend a year when I really love living in the area I live.

I always make at least one new Outfit for Nostalgia Festival. In fact, my very first 1950’s style dress that I sewed was for this festival. So I guess you could blame it for my obsession now? As I will be in my work uniform for one day of the weekend, I only needed to make an outfit for the Sunday (which is the biggest day of the weekend)

I recently came to possess this 1956 Australian Home Journal, and I knew I had to make the pink dress. So I found some divine pink rose cotton from my stash and set about grading up the pattern. As this is a true vintage pattern, and fabric from my stash, I’m also counting it towards my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, Yay!

Pattern and Fabric

Pattern and Fabric


Bodice minus the sleeve cuffs


Pleating the Fabric for the skirt, goodness there is a lot of fabric!

I did modify the pattern slightly, by adding bust darts at the side of the front bodice, as it was quite gapey in the armscye. I also hemmed it a bit shorter than the pattern says to, as I am not too tall myself, it is still quite long though. I used a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle to help set the pleats. No, I didn’t smell like vinegar, and the pleats stayed lovely and crisp all day

On the Saturday night, after working all day at the festival, I made a last minute decision to make a new petticoat for this dress, as I didn’t like how it hung with any of my other ones. I put it together nearly completely with my overlocker, only using my sewing machine for a straight stitch on the elastic casing. Then I put everything on my mannequin and admired my work.



Unfortunately I didn’t get a good full length shot of me wearing the dress, so here is a quick shot of my Mum and I before we headed out for the day. She came and raided my wardrobe and had me do her hair


Please feel free to head over to my blog to see more of my sewing. Parts of the initial construction of this dress are included in this post, and this post has a few more photos of the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival

New robe, 1954 style

I made a new robe using a Lutterloh pattern from 1954. In the book, it is described as “a decorated robe for the spoiled taste” (my book is the Dutch version, I’m translating literally here). It is also my second make for this year’s Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge.

zwaaienThe fabric I used is a bright blue cotton jersey/sweatshirt fabric which has just a little bit of stretch. The nature of the fabric allowed me to fit the waist piece at the side seams instead of making darts like the pattern suggests.

plaatjeBecause the skirt and upper bodice are wide and connected to the waist piece with gathers, it was fairly easy to fit this thing as I went along.

I made a simple neckline facing instead of a frilly trim and used fusible interfacing for knits on all facings. My robe closes with jersey snaps rather than with buttons and I put them only in waist piece (like in the illustration) although on the pattern there are button positions marked on the top part of the skirt as well.

zij:voorI’m happy with the result. It’s a very different look for a robe but I enjoy the drama of that big skirt and it is really comfortable.

As usual, you can read more about it on my blog.

50ies with an Asian touch

More or less ten years ago, my father gave me a Shalvar Kameez when he came back from a trip to Pakistan. Unfortunately it wasn’t my size and due to the lack of opportunities to wear such a garment in central Europe, altering it wasn’t ranging very high on my schedule.

When Tuppence Ha’Penny published a post on 50ies dresses inspired by indian Saris, I knew what I wanted my Shalwar Kameez to become.

But it took me until this year to finally start this project. I chose a 1955/6 Lutterloh-pattern, a blouse with a matching skirt. It fit without any alterations, I only changed the cut of the skirt a little, using the dupatta, the scarf, as a ruched bottom, the pattern was meant to be plain without the ruffled layer.

Waistband and collar are lined with fusible interfacing, the cotton fabric is very soft and not stiff enough without.

The blouse was made from the top (the kameez), the facings and the top part of the skirt from the trousers (the shalwar), the ruche as mentioned was the dupatta.

The fact that it consists of two parts enables me to wear it as seperates as well, I can well imagine the skirt with a plain white blouse or the blouse with high-waisted jeans.

To see more photos, including one “before”-pic, have a look at my blog, Parva sed apta.

Thank you for your attention,