1940s | Vintage Sewing

Decades of Style 1944 House Dress

By on June 20, 2013

Sew Retro Readers,
It took me weeks at home recovering from surgery to finally complete my Decades of Style 1944 House Dress. I bought the fabric online from Gorgeous Fabrics last year . (Note to self: I am going to start attaching tags to my fabric with date and source). The colors of this dress were inspired by a Rose Bowl game here in Pasadena – actually the BCS Championship in
Pasadena (Univ. of Alabama v. Univ. of Texas). I thought I am going to make a dress to wear with my brother to the next Alabama championship – it’s only taken me over three years. The dress above, is with no flash, and below, with flash.

I also wanted to make this pattern for quite some time as well.  I made a toile, first, and made the adjustments.  Then I underlined all the pieces and serged the edges.  I changed my serger thread to maxi-lock – and guess what?  Perfect serging!  Just as I was about to purchase a Babylock evolution.  Blast!

My final thought is that this pattern is drafted ridiculously well.  I made only minor changes overall.  Apparently, it has been redrafted from the original pattern in today’s sizes by Decades of Styles – which I love.  It took me a week to make this dress after the toile.   This dress I really focused on construction techniques – and I still wasn’t 100 percent happy with the execution.  Yes, I would definitely make this again, most likely with vintage-insprired fabric.

More details cross-posted at my blog, Pammie & the Ps.

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1930s | Vintage Sewing

Sweetheart Overalls

By on April 17, 2013

Even though it’s not exactly Spring yet here in Wisconsin, I’m soaking up sun whenever I can find it!  Last weekend my husband was kind enough to snap a few shots of my new Decades of Style 1930s Sweetheart Overalls (using his 1951 Oshkosh Truck as a most appropriate prop).  More details and pics at my blog.

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A housedress from Deacdes of Style

By on August 9, 2012


This summer I completed the housedress from Decades of Style, a project I started more than a year ago.

The pattern
The pattern is a reproduction pattern from 1944. I actually ran across the original pattern at one point and the original had another sleeves option. This pattern however only contains the short wide sleeves. It has a princess cut, a square necklines, buttons down the front and diamond shapes pockets. It comes in nine sizes.

The layout was very clear and it was easy to cut out and sew. I was a bit apprehensive as a princess cut rarely works for my figure, but there is an extra bust dart that helps to shape that area, so it worked out surprisingly well.

My adaptions
I did several. I omitted the ric-rac braid and I also changed the shape on the pockets. I kept the square necklines, but I didn’t finished the same way as the pattern suggested. One thing I noticed when I finally started on the project again was that I had added some girth since I cut it out. It simply wouldn’t work to overlap the fronts for a button closure. I was thinking of putting in a zipper, but then I realized that the dress was actually wide enough to pull over my head. Having recently purchased to authentic 40’s housedresses that both are pulled over the head, I didn’t feel that that was too much cheating. However, if I ever need it, it’s easy to open the front seam and put in buttons.

Slightly wrinkly after a very hot day.

I made it out of fine cotton and it turned out to be a very light and comfortable summer dress for hot days. Nothing fancy, but perfectly wearable outside your home. I have some fabric left, so I think I will make a belt to give the dress a bit more shape. In retrospect I ought to have fiddled a bit more with the fit around the bust as it looks slightly wonky there. However, I really liked working with this pattern and I think it ought to be fairly easy to make sleeve and neckline variation.

X-posted at my own blog

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1930s | Vintage Sewing

1930’s Sweetheart Overalls

By on November 14, 2011

How nice to be in Sew Retro’s new home – I haven’t posted on the new site yet, good to be back.

A real treat to make these. A sweetheart of a pattern from Decades Of Style pattern company (pattern no: 3008) – the instructions are bold and clear. They took me two days to complete without much fiddly finishing off.

What else can I say in praise of these overalls – they are really comfy, I went out dancing in them last night – rigorous Lindy Hopping in very hot sweaty conditions. They stood up to a lot of twisting and leg kicking – I did remember to reinforce the crotch seam mind you.
The fabric was a cheap polyester, for ease of care really – I made the overalls as a dancing outfit specifically and they’d need a good old wash after each outing. I’d make them again in a nice medium weight suiting for posh wear I think.

More sewing details can be found on my blog, I did have a few button hole nightmares!

The cheesecake photo shoot serves to show off my newest Cruiser Bike that I got in the summer.

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1920s

1920s Tulip Kimono

By on October 25, 2011

Hello all! First time posting on the new site so here goes.

This is the 1920s Tulip Kimono from Decades of Style made with a rayon “Van Gogh” print and a chambray contrast. Closes with a loop and button posie. The robe is unlined and all the seams in the chambray are covered while most of the seams in the rayon are French seams. It’s very comfortable!

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