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Vintage Sewing

cherry dress

By on March 20, 2007

dress plans
Isn’t it funny how ideas marinate together in your head without you even realizing it? Here is what inspired me to make this dress, in roughly chronological order.

  • First I saw some gorgeous retro rockabilly dresses, some of them cherry print, like this one at Pinup Girl Clothing and this one at Daddy-O’s.
  • A dancer I saw at a recent dance in Rochester, totally cutting a rug in red shoes and a cream/red retro flowery dress kind of like the outfit on this page.
  • notamermaid’s lemonade dress and erin’s post about it, suggesting we get ready for summer with, among other things, fruity print dresses.
  • The perfect cherry print fabric was on sale this weekend. There were only 2.5 yards left on the bolt, so I took it all, not sure whether I could find a cute retro pattern for that amount.
  • But rummaging through my patterns at home, I found the perfect thing! a Vintage Vogue (#2858) from 1944, with a cute neckline, simple construction, and only requiring 2.5 yards of fabric.

Here is how it came out!

cherry dress

Here’s my review of the pattern. I love this dress and plan on making more like it. I’m especially happy that I finished it in time to dance in it this weekend! I was considering using red piping in the seams, to make them stand out, but since I’ve never made this pattern before and wanted to finish it asap, I left the piping out. It would make more work for me if I had to re-sew the seams (and since I wasn’t sure if the seams would all come out in the right place and right shape – maybe I wouldn’t want to emphasize them!)

You can see that I made a few alterations. I removed the front gathers (I just re-drew the front skirt piece using the bodice piece as a guide) and I shortened the skirt a bit. If I have enough fabric left over, I’ll add godets in the skirt seams to make the skirt flare out a bit more; the skirt is very straight and I’d like to have a little more room to dance.

This was my first successful attempt at a Vintage Vogue pattern! (my unsuccessful attempt was a 30s evening gown that somehow came out too big). I’m really happy with it and found the pattern easy to follow and the fit was perfect without alterations. I’m between sizes and this time I made the smaller size.

By the way, I totally need this hat to wear with it.

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Vintage Sewing

Coquette Blouse (1928) by Eva Dress

By on February 25, 2007

I read a review of this pattern at the Pattern Review site and fell in love with it. I of course had to order the pattern. I did so and also ordered a 1950’s style blouse pattern and a 1945 skirt pattern which I hope to make in the near future. I had to make several fitting adjustments as regretfully I am a little larger than the measurements for this blouse. All turned out I well I think. Those adjustments included full bust adjustment, adding width to waist and lengthening the top by 2 inches.

Here are two photos of the blouse, tucked and untucked.

It was a great experience using some sewing techniques that were different from my usual ones. The fitting adjustments were also a great opportunity to learn more about adjusting patterns to make them fit(successfully). This is a blouse for the upcoming spring season. You can read more about the making of this blouse at Danvillegirl Sewing Diary. Now that I have the fit down, I plan to make at least two more.

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Vintage Sewing

Presents and projects

By on February 9, 2007


I wish I could say that I made the jacket with the Singer machine, but the jacket was actually finished last month and I only got the machine a few days ago. The jacket is Simplicity 4047, made in aquamarine velvet, with a taupe lining. I made it to go with a gold-coloured lace wiggle dress I bought awhile ago.
The Singer was a birthday present from my roommate. It’s serial number dates it back to 1930, and it still works! She also got me a couple boxes of attachments, but they haven’t arrived yet. I’m really hoping they will include the ‘Ruffler’ foot. I’m thinking that I’ll test out the machine on the shirt from the same pattern set.

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Vintage Sewing

Which Challenge Was This Again?

By on January 27, 2007





This may have been the Novemeber Challenge extended to January, I’m not sure..
Make something from a ‘current retro pattern’ so – behold Simplicity Pattern No. 4044, 1940’s suit. I’ve only managed to run up a pair of pants so far, and they are incredibly comfy!

I had to adjust the darts on the waistband as my waist isn’t as narrow as the pattern, but they’re a good fit. I was having a good old moan the other day about not being able to find any nice fabric locally. I’d really love to make the short sleeved pant suit for summer and will have to do a thorough fabric search, something with abstract flowers I think 😉

These pants will be great for jiving in, I just need to make a few cotton shirts that tie at the waist now…

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Vintage Sewing

Vintage Vogue 2934 (1950 Jacket)

By on January 7, 2007

This is from a current Vintage Vogue pattern (2934) for a 1950’s jacket. The jacket is actually quite simple to make, however it is a bit time consuming as the lining is entirely hand sewn. The fabric flower was made from scraps of vintage kimono and a wool blend felt. The instructions from Threads magazine #128.


It was a fun project to work on. This one is black wool with a lilac satin lining. I plan on looking for a beautiful piece of velvet or silk to make another one to have one hand for “special” occasions.

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Vintage Sewing

Party dress

By on December 29, 2006
This is a dress I made for the office christmas party. Its a sheer, shimmery material with flocked brown polka dots over a brown duchess satin (the white at the neck is just the slip my dummy is wearing) and from a vintage simplicity pattern. The last 3 inches of hem are just the sheer material, which is why they look a little different in the picture.

It was actually a pretty simple pattern. I’m working on a version with sleeves for day. Its black wool gabardine with a houndstooth inset in the front. I don’t know what to do about the skirt, though: I don’t think the gab will hold the shape of this skirt well. So I can do an ad hoc dirndl, ad hoc pleats, or – ? Skirt suggestions welcome, and I’ll post the new version when its done.

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