Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Show your Patriotism with a July Sew-Along

By on May 11, 2017
Join the #4thofJulyProudDressProject and/or #FlagsOfTheWorldDressProject

With the success of the #EasterSringDress2017 sew-along (see the roundup here) I’ve teamed up again with some amazing seamstress to bring you the next big sew-along.

Renta from Running In Style contacted me, along with  Judith of Judith Dee’s World and Bianca of Vintage on Tap, to team up and host two sew-alongs in one.

Announcing the #4thofJulyProudDressProject and the #FlagsOfTheWorldDressProject 

The idea behind both is to show your patriotism and make a dress or outfit that represents your country or nationality with the big reveal the week of 4th of July.

Vintage Ideas

While the sew-along doesn’t stipulate any specific pattern or style, I’d love to see some vintage style dresses in the big round-up.

4th of July Dress from early 1900's
4th of July Dress from early 1900’s

A quick search on Pinterest for 4th of July fashion will yield lots of ideas from early nineteenth century gowns to 1950’s novelty dresses.

Matching Mother and Daughters 4th of July 50's dresses
Matching Mother and Daughters 4th of July 50’s dresses

Of course red, white and blue also often bring a slew of nautical inspired outfits as well. I’m not sure why, but I love the idea of a nautical dress for 4th of July.

Nautical 4th of July dress 1900
Nautical 4th of July dress 1900

Join the Fun

If you plan to join in the fun post your creations between Saturday, July 1 thru Friday, July 7th  on Youtube, blog or Instagram using the hashtag #4thofJulyProudDressProject and/or #FlagsOfTheWorldDressProject 

1930's actress Marion Shilling in her firework stockings
1930’s actress Marion Shilling in her firework stockings

For full details on the sew-along and to sign up be sure to see my full blog post at: http://wp.me/p3yKY3-2Cv 

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1950s | 1960s | Jackets | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A “White Christmas” -inspired Skirt Suit

By on January 7, 2015

After sitting on the pattern for waaay too long, I finally got up the gumption to sew Advance 7745 with some red wool that I snagged for super cheap at the thrift store.  Needless to say, I love it.

I omitted the collar called for in the pattern, in part because I didn’t like it and in part because there wasn’t enough fabric!  I’m thinking I’ll get a little white fur peter pan collar to finish it off for winter, and I might find a leopard print collar to swap out for fall and late spring.  The pattern didn’t call for lining the jacket, but I opted to make up a quick lining with some leopard print stuff from JoAnn Fabrics.  I was hoping for a plaid, but no such luck…

I was thinking of adding the belt at the bottom of the jacket (seen on the short-sleeved view on the pattern, barely) but I had quite a hard time picking buttons and finding a matching belt buckle might take a while.  All in all though, I’m super happy with how it turned out!

More pictures of the project are on my blog here and some pictures of the skirt without a jacket over it are in this post.

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Green Holiday Dress, McCalls 6121 from 1961

By on January 19, 2014
McCall's 6121 front
My travel mug has a sweater that matches my dress. McCall's 6121, front.

For the holidays, I made a green and red dress. I picked up this wonderful festive green fabric while in Ghana, West Africa, and it has served me well for several projects. I started with a sloper from 1961, and I turned the tight round neckline into a boat neck with a slight scoop. I laid out the pattern pieces so that the medallion and the “V” would be in the front of the chest, the dark blue edging along the waist, and the other medallions strategically placed.

I have not decided if this dress is hideous, or it is so kitschy that it is totally fabulous. I like the nice cap sleeves and snug bodice of McCall’s 6121, so I have made this basic pattern with all sorts of alterations, such as different necklines, collars and cuffs, princess seams, or as a button-up shirtwaist dress, etc.

Technical

This pattern was a snap to put together. The darts make it easy to fit any shape. Since I am shortwaisted, I shortened the backwaist length by one inch. Next time I might shorten it by an inch and a half. I raised the bodice front dart by three-quarters of an inch. Then I raised the side front dart by half an inch, and at the same time re-angled it and shortened this dart length. If I had not raised and re-angled the side front dart, it would have intersected the bodice front dart.

McCall's 6121 vintage sewing pattern from 1961
McCall's 6121 vintage sewing pattern from 1961. Notice that I changed the neckline.

Also notice above, my travel mug has a sweater that matches my dress. I always match all of my accessories to my clothing (shoes, purse, and hat) so I absolutely cannot have my travel mug a glaring mismatch.

For more information on this and other projects, please visit WesternSpinster.com.  Happy New Year, may the coming year be filled with joy and laughter!

McCall's 6121 back
McCall's 6121, back.
McCall's 6121 side
McCall's 6121, side.
McCall's 6121 holiday dress
All I need to make this a true holiday dress is a Star of David on my head and some ornaments. McCall's 6121.

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1950s

Slightly Belated Easter Dress

By on April 10, 2012

I made this dress for Easter out of a table cloth I bought for $3 at a thrift store.  It’s pretty ridiculous but I had fun making and wearing it.  I have also got a fantastic suggestion to make a dress for every holiday.  Is anyone else in?

Sorry the picture is kind of tilted.  I either need to fix my dress form or start making clothes for women with one leg shorter than the other. As always more on my blog.

 

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Dresses

Christmas Is Coming!

By on December 18, 2011

I didn’t wait until the very last minute, I promise. I actually finished these a few weeks ago but am a very lax blogger! My girls and I of course needed new holiday dresses – they have grown, and I have acquired a crinoline petticoat. 😉 I had gobs and gobs of Sheri Berry 12 Joys of Christmas fabric that I acquired on the cheap after last Christmas. Retro holiday themed prints = my ONE weakness.

First up was mine:

I really used the pattern more as a suggestion than as a hard and fast rule. (That is a trend with me, as you’ll soon learn.) For one, the kimono sleeves don’t work with my GIANTNOVELTYPRINT, and for two, the full pleated skirt uses a ton of fabric and is really best suited to home dec width material. I drafted in set-in sleeves, switched the skirt for a simple dirndl-style, and voila.

I am very pleased with it, as you can see. 😉

Next up were my daughters’ dresses.

 

 

 

This time I got the brilliant idea that I should just re-invent the wheel and make them as a  blouse/skirt combo instead of a one-piece dress. This way I can just switch out the skirts for different seasons (I may or may not already have some Kaufman Appleville for spring) and save myself a bit of trouble. I’m not sure if this really saved me any effort, since I had to re-draft a lot of the pieces! The blouses are Kaufman Pimatex, and the skirt waistbands are black cotton velveteen since a girl’s holiday dress without velveteen is a travesty. I also made my younger daughter’s blouse with an attached petticoat since she doesn’t have a poofy slip (older daughter has a nice vintage one which I fortunately found at the Goodwill and saved myself some trouble). Rambling aside, here are my cuties:

Now we are all ready for the holidays!

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