Simplicity 9723 With a Twist

9723Simplicity 9723 is an approximate 1900′s based stage costume pattern. A friend is having an old West themed Halloween party and my plans to make this and go as a school marm were set.

Unfortunately (fortunately?) when I went to the fabric store, my mind started wandering. Add in that the theme of the party was subtly changed to “post-apocalyptic old West” and I started looking at more fun fabrics than I had originally planned. Somehow that landed me in the section with the pleathers and other odd-ball fabrics I just don’t use.

An hour later I came out of the fabric store a lot poorer, and with almost 20 yards of fabric. I actually over-bought on two of my fabric choices by a total of about 2.5 yards because this pattern is not terribly clear on the allowances concerning the changes I planned on making.

Still, better to over-buy than to not have enough, right?

This pattern calls for the blouse and skirt to be made as one piece, which I did not want to do. It also calls for a lot of trims and laces added, only one of which I used- the collar. After making all my changes and adjustments, I’m really pleased with the outcome and the jacket is so wild!

The ruffles on the petticoat caused me some grief and I had to pleat the skirt rather then gather it because it just would not pull along my gathering threads, but otherwise I feel really good about it. Stop by my blog at Deb’s In Stitches and see more about what I did.

The site seems to be having a loading issue with some images right now- if the pictures of my finished project aren’t loading, please click thru to my blog!

First Fall Frock

Hi everybody! I’m back with another dress. While I’m usually the flared skirt type of girl, I wanted to try sewing something else this time, taking into consideration that Autumn is coming. Actually, the day I made this dress, the Autumn came in her full gloomy glory. So that was a very timely sew!

Sewing this one was surprisingly easy and quick. It only took one day or 12 hours from copying the pattern to making the last stitch on the hem. I had the pattern from a vintage German magazine called Neuer Schnitt, issue 8/1963. Here’s the photo of the original deisgn.

When I was first looking through the bunch of these magazines that I had, I dismissed any type of garment that wasn’t what I’m usually into but then, after more careful reading, I’ve found a multitude of different patterns that I loved and wanted to give them a try. I really liked the kimono sleeves and loved the inverted collar detail in this one. I’d had a fabric perfect for this type of dress: a nice, warm and soft cotton in a sort of greyish or beige-ish colour. The sewing started right away.

Easy! And lovely. And highly practical, I believe, what with the colour and the warm fabric. My only concern is that I’m not sure if the skirt isn’t a bit too wide. It IS the shape that was given by the pattern but I’m not sure it’s flattering. It’s something between A-line and pencil. What do you think? Should I make it more pencil-like?

If you’d like to see a few more photos of the dress, details included, head over to the adequate post on my blog.

50s Reverse Bolero by Edith Head

Edith Head Bolero


I just finished this reverse bolero, from a 50s pattern by Oscar-winning costume designer Edith Head, in time to wear it to an event at the Motion Picture Academy’s “Hollywood Costume” exhibit.


Here’s the pattern I used:

Edith Head Pattern








I made it from raw silk, and lined it with rayon challis. The rolled neckline was very tricky to figure out:

Bolero Neckline







I used vintage Bakelite buttons to fasten the back.

Edith Head Bolero Back






You can find more construction details on my blog:

Irish Lace

Technically not sewing, but it’s from a vintage pattern, and I know there are some other knitters/crocheters on here who I thought might like to see this.

In what little time I have to sew and knit lately, I’ve managed to grab a few moments here and there to  work on a new sort of project for me. A couple of years ago a good friend gifted me with a pretty massive stack of vintage and antique crochet and knitting books, ranging in age from about 1915 to the 1950s. The vast majority of them are crocheted lace patterns (plus one KILLER 1930s knitting book, which I’ve got plans for later this winter), and while I’ve never been much of a crocheter, some of these lace patterns are just too pretty for me not to try my hand at it.

I decided to try and stick with something fairly simple for my first go ’round, so I picked this fabulous Irish lace jabot pattern. There is no dat on the pattern, but I’m guessing it’s from around 1940. It has taken me MONTHS (ok, honestly I have no idea when I started this thing, but if feels like eons ago) to finish this thing. Mostly since I only had little bits of time here and there to work on it, and even then I couldn’t work for very long in a sitting because it started to make my hand cramp after a while. Maybe this should tell me something about my tension?

1940s crocheted irish lace jabot ruffle

1940s crocheted irish lace jabot ruffle

A lot of these patterns call for size 50 crochet cotton, but I had a hard enough time finding 30 anywhere. I’m seriously doubting whether 50 even still exists, but it seriously has to be about the size of hand-quilting thread because the 30 is pretty darn tiny. Anyhoo, this pattern was not only simple, but it was one of the few that called for 30 to begin with, so I guess it was kismet. After the foundation rows the jabot is worked back and forth in a “U” around the center, building outward in a series of simple 7-chain loops. The final three rows are done with an alternating 7-chain loop and double crochet shell. I was kind of winging it on the final rows, since I couldn’t tell from the picture exactly what the edging was supposed to look like. In theory, this is right. Either way it looks pretty, so who cares, right? The entire piece is about 18 inches long, and gets folded in half when worn. I have no ideas what I’m actually going to wear it with since almost all of my clothes have “V” or scoop necks, but I’ll figure something out. It’s just too awesome not to wear.

1940s crocheted irish lace jabot ruffle

I still need to hit it with a little bit of starch to get the ruffles to hold really well, but overall I’m really happy. I’d say for a first lace project it was a success. Has anyone else been trying their hand at something new lately? I’m always keen to learn new skills (because I clearly don’t have enough projects already). Even if I only end up doing something once I can at least say that I have.

pauline trigere dress/dresses Mc Calls 7530

the more pauline trigere clothes I see, the bigger a fan I am, so I was delighted when I saw this on etsy, and in a size 34.  I thought I would give a go at the dress first, but as I am trying to make up these vintage patterns by upcycling, getting the sufficient amount of fabric wasn’t that straightforward, especially as the bodice takes a lot fabric than expected (its especially wide at bust).

McCalls 7530

I made 2 versions, the first one in orange was made to envelope size so I could get a sense of what the full design was like, and the second one in blue I made bigger in the skirt as I am a classic pear.  the blue fabric was so light it had to be starched, and both dresses have short underskirts but I think the gathers are awful on the blue dress (so I dont know if its the starch, the underskirt, or just excessive gathers).  It fits fine but the gathers are too much, and I am thinking of trying some soft tucks instead, but figure I should leave it for a while, and maybe a fresh look at it in a few weeks, the fit of the bodice is divine, and only 2 darts…..more at my blog 


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApauline trigere mc calls 7530


Late 1970s Krizia playsuit

Some of you may have seen my post on McCall’s Krizia patterns, released in the late 1970s to early 1980s. I sewed up the playsuit from one of my favourites, McCall’s 6624, a playsuit and wrap skirt pattern from McCall’s “Carefree” line.

McCall's 6624 by Krizia (1979)

McCall’s 6624 by Krizia (1979)

It’s a short and strappy playsuit, with the bodice and shorts pleated into a midriff band, a combination zipper fly/button front, and shaped side vents on the shorts.

I had a sparkly stretch knit found at Fabricland that seemed suitably disco. The pattern isn’t specifically for stretch knits, but one of the recommended fabrics is synthetic jersey.

My wife photographed me by an awesome local graffiti mural—a collaboration between two Toronto artists:

More photos and construction notes on my blog