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1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 1459 – Vintage 1950s Shirt Dress

By on February 18, 2017

Hi pinups! This dress is the perfect vintage Valentine’s Day dress, which I’ll certainly be rocking well into the Summer. I’ve been keeping an eye on this vintage 1950s Simplicity 1459 pattern for a while as I’m a sucker for a shirt dress, especially a vintage one! So in collaboration with online haberdashery Weaver Dee it felt like the perfect time to try it, paired with a classic floral cotton for a true retro vibe.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Simplicity 1459 – Weaver Dee

Fabric: Poly Cotton Fabric – Navy / Pink Rose Garden – £3.00 per m – Weaver Dee

Notions: Medium Weight Iron on  Interfacing & 22″ & Concealed Nylon Zip [817 Cerise Pink] – Weaver Dee

Sewing time: I spent two afternoons on this.

Modifications: Added 3 buttons instead of 2, and I used a concealed zip instead of a lapped zipper

Fit: Perfect! I know, I’m surprised too.

Difficulty: Straightforward. I was pleasantly surprised at how simply this came together (ignoring my stupid mistake!). I’d also recommend this for adventurous beginners.

Watch out for: Don’t forget to sew the collar points properly like me!

Make again?: Yes!

 

 

For my full review & images, check out my blog The Crafty Pinup.

Thank you!
xo

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1950’s Cocktail Dress Revival

By on February 15, 2017

I hit a sewing bump 2 months ago. I lost all motivation to keep sewing. I stopped even trying to find a project to inspire me and then last week as I was cleaning out my closet I stumbled upon this 1950’s cocktail dress that I bought to fix up over a year ago. My fears of fixing it had sent it to the back of my closet where it had been forgotten.

It was riddled with holes. I started picking it apart piece by piece. This also allowed me to create a pattern out of the dress for future creations!

I created a lace overlay for all of the pieces, basted it on and then re-assembled the whole dress.

Once it was re-assembled I found I had created my dream cocktail dress out of what was once something I had at the bottom of the repair pile.

You can read more about this save over on my blog. In the meantime, I will be busy tackling that repair pile in hopes of finding another gem!

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1950s

Vintage Vichy Blouse Butterick 6217

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Hi y´all,

dear me, it´s been a long time since my last post…but that´s about to change.

My vintage and vintage-inspired wardrobe is going to take shape over the course of this year, yeah.

A first is my new blouse, Butterick 6217, designed by Gretchen Hirsch.

I love the cute bow over the chest, especially as I am an A-cup gal, so this pattern was in my stash quite soon after it came out. It took me a while to really get to sew it up, but the result is really nice.

The sizing of the pattern proved to be a problem though. I cut exactly after the measurements stated on the envelop, but the result was a bodice much too big for my frame. Funny as it may seem, the armholes were too narrow, even on the bigger bodice!

So I cut it out again two sizes smaller, lowered the armhole about an inch and lengthened the bodice about two inches.


Now I´m quite happy with the result and there´s the idea of a second version in white already in my head…

Feel free to check my blog for more information.
Cheers and hopefully sooner than the last time.

Milan

Blusen: eine neue Liebe

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1940s | Coats | Jackets | Vintage Sewing

First Vintage-style Coat, Butterick B5824

By on February 14, 2017

Butterick B5824, Vintage Coat by Vintage on Tap

Not going to lie, I wanna give myself some props for FINALLY diving in and making a jacket. I’ve been psyching myself out for years now and now that the first one is done, I can breathe a sigh of relief. Not to say it was easy exactly- but at the very least it wasn’t the Big Bad Wolf that I thought it was going to be.

Butterick B5824, Vintage Coat by Vintage on Tap

My plaid matching could have been better, but its generally passable. I also underlined the ENTIRE coat, so I can say that this one is officially my warmest coat, even more so than my RTW.

Butterick B5824, Vintage Coat by Vintage on Tap

I lopped off about 4 inches from the bottom of the coat, so it would fall just past my knees. I’m 5’2″ and this thing would have dwarfed me. I also took in the lapels by about an inch and a half so they would be just above my shoulder (most accurate photo for that is on the mannequin)
Vintage on Tap coat inspiration

Another big change I did was to add a belt instead of the button closure. I was inspired by two things-

  • I think the tie is faster to deal with when you’re out and about
  • I didn’t want to deal with bound button holes
More photos of this coat are over on my blog.
Video tutorial for lining technique on my YouTube channel.

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1960s

McCalls 6569: Gold Satin Evening Dress

By on February 11, 2017

This year I made a decision, a decision not be to scared by fabric. For a couple of years now I’ve had some gold satin I brought back from Vegas in my stash and I’ve been so scared to use it having never worked with anything like that. This year it’s my tenth (?!) wedding anniversary and I thought it would make the loveliest dress for our celebratory meal out.

I picked McCalls 6569 for the pattern; a gorgeous sixties evening dress.

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The first thing I did was post in the We Sew Retro Sew & Tell facebook group to ask for tips, it’s one thing I LOVE about the sewing community, you have a wealth of experience and advice online in a group like that and people are only willing to help and wish you luck. So armed with my new found advice I bit the bullet and cracked on. As you may have noticed if you read my blog, I don’t often make muslins of my clothes but as I was working with an unforgiving fabric I thought I probably should get it right the first time, as a seam ripper might not be the best friend it previously had been to me. I measured up, perfect in the bust but 2 inches bigger on the waist and 4 on the hips (not live I’ve had a baby in the last year or anything….). It was going to need a little adjustment.

To read more about the adjustment process and how I sewed my muslin up pop over to my blog.
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So on to the dress….

I spent a whole night cutting out and marking up the pattern pieces (including the adjusted pieces – see my other blog). My, my, what a pain in the arse. It turns out satin is the most slippery material known to man (slight exaggeration, but it did feel like that at the time).

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The following day I sewed the bodice together which went very well but then it was time for the lining. I should say at this point I have never lined anything in my life but as I was sewing with satin I thought it would probably be a good idea just to bit the bullet and do it.

I then spent a long night sewing the lining to the skirt pieces following this, and here was where I made one of my major mistakes. I have no idea how I marked the fabric up wrong but somehow I managed to.

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When it came to the later stage of sewing it together it meant that I had a row of stitching down the back of the skirt next to the centre seam which I then had to unpick.

With a day to go to my anniversary (and after a lengthy trip to the dentist for two fillings) I spent a full day sewing the skirt pieces together. I attached the skirt to the bodice with relative ease and inserted the zip. Mistake number two: I was silly enough to not check that the fabric was taught when I basted the zip in, meaning that when I went to sew it I, again, had a big chuck of stitches to unpick which left a rather messy side zip insertion.

Thankfully it’s a side zip so really no one’s going to see it unless the come up really close to have a look . I finished sewing the lining pieces together at the waist and was quite impressed with how it looked inside out.

At this point I thought I should just leave the hemming to my anniversary and cut my losses before I cried.

So the day of my 10th wedding anniversary (last Friday) I sewed right up to the last minute but I did finally finish my dress with a couple of hours to spare, and I did get all dressed up and we did go out for the first time on our own in seven months. And here I am in my dress!

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Overall I am extremely happy with how it turned out. What do you think?

To see more photos of my mistakes and successes and to read more about it, please have a look at my blog 🙂

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1950s

Is it spring yet?

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I’m sure many of you are like me and can’t wait for the warmer weather so you can don your cotton frocks. Unfortunately I live in Denver so legitimate warm weather is still a ways off  ( though the last few days have been a pleasant reprieve, it was even warm enough for me to take down the Christmas lights!). In any case I started my spring sewing early this year and the first dress was a winner.

 

I used simplicity 8051 and added a bit of hand embroidery to make it extra special. To learn more please visit my blog lizsews.com .

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1950s

Tea Length Formal

By on February 7, 2017

Long time reader/ First time poster!

This dress was a long time in the making. I started it back in September with the petticoat.

I ran into a design block in October and it’s been sitting in my sewing room ever since.  A UFO contest on Pattern Review was the kick in the pants to get it finished and I am so glad I did!

The skirt is from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress book. It’s the box pleated circle skirt. The book’s bodices just don’t work for me but I have had great luck with just using the skirts. The bodice is self drafted and has little grey glass pearls and beads hand sewn to the neckline.

 

Don’t know yet were I will wear it…maybe I should just vacuum the house in true 50s fashion!

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