Poppies summer skirt

Hi, this is me wearing a skirt I made from an old drafting book. I drafted the heart shape waistband myself.

The pockets on my skirt are thanks to Bex at Subversive Femme. I read her blog and in January 2014 she posted this pattern from a dress she had made. I thought they looked so cool I had to use them myself. I love them!
The braid/ric rac that I used I made myself. I found a tutorial on pinterst on how to do it. It’s basically taking bias strips and playing with the tension on your machine and using the blind hem stitch. I had this fabric in my stash and the colour match is so good to my skirt fabric. Very happy!
I added plastic boning into the waistband. I didn’t have enough poppy fabric so used some spare gingham. Plastic boning is really easy to use – I just zig zagged along the edges. I also used interfacing on the waistband too.
This is the pattern I used from an Enid Gilchrist drafting book. I’ve used this pattern 3 times now for 3 very different skirts.

A Tuscany Summer Dress (Vogue 8789, c. 1957)

I was really lucky and found some amazing 1950′s border print cotton (from Stella Dallas in New York), and knew that I had to do something a bit daring. I wanted to really emphasise the stripes, and the diagonal version of Vogue 8789 seemed perfect.













Initially I was really scared when I was cutting up the fabric – no going back to get more from the store… The printed cotton seems to be farmers in Tuscany (I think?), lots of sheep, fields and manor houses.

















The pattern is very easy, although I do recommend making a muslin of the bodice first – the bias allows a lot of ease. I ended up cutting a 16 bust and waist – normally I’d taper out to an 18-20 at the waist.











I normally only use vintage/repro patterns from the late 1930s to early 1950s – so making a style from 1957 was a bit outside my normal comfort zone.

If you’d like to read more about it, I have a post on my blog here
















Thanks for letting me share!


Style from the 60s!

Hello everybody!

I’m back to share my latest experiments in sewing. Lately, I have been playing around with a couple of patterns from the 1960s, and  ended up with two really wearable dresses. My first go at the rather unexciting  Simplicity #5780 involved some grading that proved unnecessary, and I was really surprised! I loved the style of the dress, however, and decided to try the pattern bodice again. I cut it in it’s original size, but attatched another skirt. A dirndl style this time, as I had not made that before. The result was even more satisfying than the first, and I now have two new favorite dresses from this pattern I initially bough just for the simplicity of it (and because it had a bonus jacket pattern! 2in1 = win!)

So moral of the story, don’t pass up a simple looking pattern. It may be your new favorite :)

See more and read more about both dresses on my blog.  As always, you are all invited!


The 1929′s dress

So, in the end I picked this design to sew for the 1920′s portion of my Vintage Pattern Pledge.

To make it a bit more wearable in 2014, I made it in black crepe.

I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern although I didn’t completely follow the (very limited) instructions. I made the neckline a bit more stable and cleanly finished than suggested.

When I first sewed top and skirt together, it looked like this. Which looks like a 1920′s silhouette but not like the drawing at all.

I ended up making a large pleat at the back which gave me a look much closer to that in the image. I’m still wondering if this is something they just didn’t in the instructions (which again, are really limited, just a few lines for pattern tracing, cutting and sewing) assuming the reader would understand or if it just illustrates my complete lack of understanding of 1920′s fashion…

Anyway, I love the dress as it is now and I’m sure I’ll enjoy wearing it.

More about it, including more pictures, on my blog

1956′s Simplicity 1583

Just thought I’d share my most recent creation.
Since sewing,  I’ve always stuck to the 60′s. I really want to sew some of my older patterns…but I’m a tad overwhelmed. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the age of the pattern. I decided to tackle that fear/feeling with Simplicity 1583 from 1956. The pattern came from my stash.
As for the fabric, it also came from my stash. I can’t find any markings on it, but it was 48″-ish in width. I bought it (2 3/4ish yards) at a thrift store in North Carolina in 2009 for $2.20. I had no intention of ever turing it into an article of clothing, but loved the print. So the mystery remains, is it a replica or true vintage? My gut says it’s a really good replica. I also wish I had some left over to sell!
Oh I suppose I should mention that this is a two piece set, not a dress. I just keep calling it a dress. lol. Well anyways, the skirt was super easy so sew! Just a plain dirndl style skirt. The top was easy until I got to the V shape panels and sleeves. I think it came out a bit wonky, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable. Oh well! The top is still wearable. I’m really looking forward to wearing the pieces with modern separates.
For lots of other pictures, be sure to check out here on my blog, Through the Alley.

Complete 1960′s and 1940′s Outfits

Hello everyone! I can’t say just how excited I am about my completed outfits.

I bought this late 1960′s polyester jacket, and had no cool pants to wear with it. Now I have awesome bell bottoms! I used Simplicity 8009 from 1968. They are black and made out of a really fine corduroy, but it’s more like velvet.



The other outfit I completed was Simplicity 1752 for the blouse and Simplicity 4637 for the skirt. The blouse is silk and has shoulder pads, and the skirt is linen (very wrinkly!!).


The blouse is a yellowy-ivory and the skirt is dark brown if you can’t tell. I’m sorry my pictures are so crappy today.

Thanks for looking!