Early 1920s Cardigan

One garment from the 1910s and 1920s that often gets overlooked is the belted cardigan. However, it’s actually a classic piece of fashion history from this time period and often pops up in period dramas based in these eras. Women wore them about the house to keep warm before central heating became the norm, you could probably equate them to modern day hoodies!

1920s wool cardigan

I’ve always found them fascinating and have always loved to have one, but most were knitted and I, very annoyingly, cannot knit. So, when I saw this original 1920s wool jersey one on Pinterest I knew I needed to try and make my own version. It would be a perfect challenge for my next Vintage Pledge.

Early 1920s outfit

And here it is! I based the design on an original 1930s cardigan sewing pattern I had, although the 1920s detailing of the large patch pockets and double button belt were just guess work.

Top stitching detail on 1920s cardigan

Sportswear inspired clothing was just beginning to creep into fashion during the early part of the 1920s and one detail that was used in the majority of these garments was top-stitching. I added loads of it to this cardigan to really give it a sportswear feel which was a huge challenge, trying to keep it straight and neat everywhere!

If you would like to read more about how how I made this early 1920s cardigan and see more photos, feel free to pop over to my blog.

El Burro Skirt using Simplicity 3478


I have made this skirt before to go with the bra top I wrote about here (http://kittenscloset55.blogspot.com/2013/06/bra-top-and-skirt.html) and I love the ease of working with one direction fabric with it. The cut and pattern is very straight forward and the only real tricky part are all the pleats!

The Pleats:

I used the artist tape tick to complete pleats that are nice and straight and away I went. The pleats go all the way down the skirt so it is very important that you are meticulous in their construction. There were a whole-lotta notes on the tape on which way to fold the material. After a lot of pressing and basting I had the base of my skirt. Then it was just the zipper and the waistband.


The Details:

Fabric: Joann’s novelty print cotton
Lining- none.  Just a petticoat if I want extra fullness.
Pattern: Simplicity 3748
Year: circa mid 1950s (reprint of a pattern)
Notions: zipper (I am finally using some of my vintage metal zippers!) and interfacing.
Changes: Made the waist band wider.

The finished product:


I actually wore this out to a show/dancing the other night with a petticoat under it. I was pleased that the did not stick straight out when I was turned so I do not have to wear swing shorts or a slip while dancing.

This came from my pile of undocumented projects. Read more about them here: http://kittenscloset55.blogspot.com/2016/04/undocumented-projects.html

Retro Butterick ’60 B6242

Hello All,
Finally got my sewing mojo back in order. Now that spring has sprung here in Vancouver, BC, it’s put a little extra pep in my sewing foot.
I love retro patterns. They’re just are so classic and elegant and when worked in a great fabric…BAM!
There was a pattern sale over at my local fabric store, like I need more patterns, picked this one up as it looked fairly easy to construct. I found a nice cotton fabric over at IKEA and knew the two were meant for each other.  The fabric has a bit of optical illusion to the pattern so I planned the pattern piece layout.


The cummerbund is interestingly crafted.  There is a waistband piece and the cummerbund part is cut on the bias, gathered up and then stitched onto the waistband.  The waistband sits flat on the inside of the dress.  Also, it creates more stability and structure because it’s a snug fit without a girdle!

The sleeves have darts.  Love the darts!


It was an easy sew up apart from the miles of gathering in the cummerbund and skirt waist.  Forgot that I don’t like the task of gathering that much.  However, I have found that I am much more patient and willing to hand stitch much more than I used to.  Zippers now are always hand picked in.

I’m really pleased with the outcome.



Best part is it fits perfectly and it got rave reviews at the office!


Highly recommend this pattern.  Looking forward to making it again in the slim skirt view.  I have some more fun IKEA fabric waiting!

Thanks for reading.  Looking forward to posting more of my retro adventures soon.



a sporty suit

pakThe magazine Beyer’s Junge Mode featured this casual capri suit on a page dedicated to summer fun in and near the water… It does seem like the kind of thing to wear when you go sailing, don’t you think?

dichtI’m not much good around boats though and I didn’t have that much time for pictures so I modeled the suit on my tiny balcony.

uit2The pattern is from 1956. I made toiles for both pieces and ended up taking the trousers in by about a dress size. I didn’t change much about the jacket. It is supposed to be a loose-fitting design so I’m fine with how wide it is. I did add pockets though.

This is also my third project for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge.

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

Marilyn Monroe’s Brown Check Dress

Fans of Marilyn Monroe will recognise this stunning dress as a Travilla Designed costume for the movie “Gentlemen prefer blondes”


Well I had been planning to make my own version of this lovely wiggle dress for sometime, so when I was searching through my fabric stash for a fabric for a different project, and I came across this brown houndstooth stretch which I had put aside for this very dress, I thought it was about time to bring it to life.


The pattern drafting and garment construction was quite simple and explained a little more in depth on my blog. The dress has cut on kimono style sleeve, a few darts here and there, and it stretchy enough to slip on over my head, so no closures were needed. It is very comfy, and quite warm, so I think I will be getting a lot of wear from this dress over the coming winter.


Here are a few photos of me wearing it (as it fits me better than my mannequin) the first was this morning before I had make up on, an the second was when I returned home this evening, and the lighting was less than great, but you get the idea.



I just love Marilyn Monroe and reproducing some of her fabulous movie outfits. Some of you may remember my version of the white seven year itch dress last year, and I am already planning my next one, which will be another outfit from “Gentlemen prefer blondes” want to try and guess which one?