1940s | 1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

By on September 3, 2016

Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

I’ve been wanting to tackle this dress for a long time. Don’t know what I was afraid of! It came together quite simply. But it helps that I’ve sewn vintage dresses before. The instructions on the back of the packet are minimal to say the least and include things like:

“Make darts in the back bodice where shown by dotted lines in diagram”. Quite literally the diagram which is the tiny pattern layout illustration on the back of the packet. So it’s anyone’s guess, really!

“Gather upper edge of side fronts to fit hip yoke of front as in sketch and stitch together matching VV to VV.” Again, helped by the fact that I’ve managed inset seams before when quilting so I know a thing or two about clipping and pivoting. It could have caused a tantrum or two otherwise!

Blackmore 8194 vintage sewing patternI made it in a hurry, like the day before the wedding so there’s room for improvement. I graded it up a size but could do with adding an inch of ease at least at the waist I was hesitant to do this for fear of losing the lovely silhouette but I think I can still retain the line by cutting and slashing from under arm to waist.

blackmore 8194 green vintage dress

As for the era… Blackmore Patterns finished trading in the 1940s by all accounts so I would naturally date the pattern from late 40s but Wikia Patterns says 1950s. So it’s anyone’s guess really!

My favourite details are the keyhole neckline and the skirt gathers on the hip yoke.

blackmore 8194 vintage dress

I’m definitely going to have to make this again. Has anyone else tried this pattern before?

More info on the making of this dress and others over at ooobop.

 

Continue Reading

1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

An Emergency Bolero (Pauline Pattern 2217, c. 1940s)

By on August 25, 2014

I’m sure we’ve all been there – no jackets/boleros/cardigans in your wardrobe matches your chosen outfit?!?  I had that dilemma the day before the Sydney Fifties Fair, nothing matched my chosen dress (a 1940’s rayon day-dress by Mynette).

Luckily, I had Pauline 2217 sitting on my sewing desk and the bolero seemed to be the answer to my emergency!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love all the details on this bolero – the winged collar, the strong shoulders, the faux pockets. The pattern is from the later part of WW2, with the focus on the military-inspired shoulders. It’s economy standard, i.e. no seam allowance, no facing pieces provided, instructions printed on the back of the packet.

IMG_2744

Ouch, this pattern was hard to put together.  The instructions consist of two sentences, basically: sew the pocket flaps on, sew the side seams together, attach the collar, set in the sleeves, face the edges. Not a pattern for the faint-hearted!

And it complemented perfectly! The length hit me where it should (just above my waist) and the fit was so good that I didn’t need to make any adjustments. The judges must have liked it too, as my partner and I also won the ‘Best Dressed Couple’ competition.

If you’d like to read more, or see photos from the Fifties Fair, just head on over to my blog

Continue Reading

1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Update for Du Barry 5932

By on April 8, 2014

Many thanks to everyone who gave advice for finishing this dress.

I used this cotton Donna Wilder Fabric

 

I took off all the ruffles, took it in at the waist, shortened the sleeves, and hemmed it to hit right at the knee.  I would have liked a navy belt to go with it, but I don’t have a navy belt buckle yet, so I added my vintage red flower buckle belt I created for another dress last year.  I wore it out last weekend when a friend and I went to Colonial Williamsburg (which explains the large tag and the large straw hat on my head – my friend and I do Revolutionary re-enactments, so the hat will become one of my props!).   And I even got a few compliments on the dress from other tourists there!  This one is sure to be worn many times.

 

 

Can't resist acting like a model

Continue Reading

1940s | Vintage Sewing

1940s Red and White Swing Dress

By on February 19, 2014

Hi All!

I’ve finished another sewing project! This one is a mid 1940s day dress. I knew the pattern would be a touch large for me, but I went ahead and made it up anyway without making any alterations. And guess what? Yup, it was a little too big! Well, actually it’s quiet wearable but a bit too roomy in the bust area for me. And that’s perfectly OK because I’m hoping this dress will work for someone else.

The dress is made from a red and white striped cotton that is light and slightly springy. It’s machine sewn but the neck, sleeves, and hem I finished all by hand. The fabric really drapes and moves beautifully so I think this would be perfect for swing dancing! I believe it’s a cotton/rayon or cotton/nylon blend. It was a left over piece from my fabric stash so I’m not really sure.

The neckline has a great key-hole detail and closes with a hidden hook and eye. There is also a zipper on the left side. I did not add the bow at the neck as shown in the pattern but that can be added in a jiffy! I added a black bow belt for contrast in the pictures, which sadly are a little washed out. I soooo need a new camera! The fabric is really a nice bright red in person. This dress is listed on Etsy if anyone is interested. I also have a few more pictures on my blog.

Continue Reading

1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1940’s Dress

By on June 24, 2013

So I made my second 40’s dress. I am beginning to really understand the old patterns and sometimes think they are actually easier then the modern ones and am getting better each time. I really love this one with all of the buttons and neck line. Although the pictures do not show this so well, it really does nip in at the waist like the pattern picture, very feminine.  With researching rations and coupons of the wartime, buttons were used rather more then metal zippers. Fits really comfortably and I love the material. Perfect for this hot weather.

Another one showing the dress with my new 40’s replica shoes, love them and sooo comfortable. I am so not good at having my picture taken, usual reason you see my items on a mannequin.

Continue Reading

1940s | Dresses

1946 “Owl Eyes” Challis Dress

By on April 15, 2013

Hello fellow vintage sewists!

This dress is probably one of my favorites that I’ve made for myself.

Butterick 5281

This dress is a 1946 reproduction Retro Butterick 5281.  The fabric I used is Anna Sui “Owl Eyes” Rayon/Cotton Challis.  I’ve never sewn with challis before and found it to be a pretty easy sew fabric.  After prewashing it got pretty soft and goes perfect with the light tan cotton batiste that I used for the lining.  I used a cotton twill for the belt and added some fuschia buttons for a faux closure on the bodice.  I made this dress to enter in Fabric Mart’s Julie’s Picks contest (which starts this week for voting!) and also for Lucky Lucille’s Sew for Victory.  I wore this to a meeting last week and it got some rave reviews!  There is nothing that I don’t like about this dress and as it’s a very wearable vintage inspired garment, I definitely plan to be sporting it for years to come. 🙂

Butterick 5281

 

Happy Sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

Further info/photos on my blog

Continue Reading

1940s

1940’s Sew for Victory Dress

By on April 3, 2013

Hello and today I am showing my first dress I have ever made in this style. This was a challenge for me, I learnt a lot about dress making and many some new contacts.  I chose this shirt style dress unbeknown to me a collar is not that easy especially for a beginner but here it is and it turned out well.

Here is a close up of the darts, there were a few all around. The buttons I got from Etsy, they were new old stock so I was pleased to find them. This took me just over a week but that was sewing everyday. I am very pleased how this turned out and fits.

I am now setting myself my own challenge to make a full 40’s wardrobe from dresses, blouses, skirts to suits……Happy Crafting!

 

 

 

Continue Reading