1950s | 1960s | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 4827: Maternity Skirt & Top

By on April 3, 2016

I finally got round to making the skirt and top view from Simplicity 4872, which looks to me late 50s/early 60s. I know vintage maternity patterns aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but after extensive research online I really couldn’t find that much that had been made up for me to look at. So if you’re considering making vintage maternity clothes this may be the post for you.

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I should really say at this point that I have never used a pattern with hole punches marking different parts of the pattern (i.e. darts etc) – is there a name for this sort of pattern? Truth is, I’ve always been a little put off and scared by them. It seems a little bit silly now I have used one, as there’s no difference really once you follow the instructions!

IMG_20160331_195200I added some vintage style buttons I had from an old issue of Mollie Makes magazine and voila, my top was complete.
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The Completed Outfit

To say it makes me look huge is an understatement, but here it is in all its glory.

Needless to say we had a good old laugh when we were taking the photos and in the end I gave up even trying to make it look good.

The truth is, the skirt has to have a lot of material because it’s cotton but it does have the unfortunate effect of making me look about twice the size.

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Alas, all was not lost. I actually quite like the top, even if I would rather never wear the skirt.

So I went and put a pair of my skinny mat jeans on and it looked quite good. In fact, I will be wearing it without a doubt.
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If you’d like to read more about the process and let me know what you think, please visit my blog www.staceystitch.com

 

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1970s

70s Gold Maternity Dress: Simplicity 1360

By on February 14, 2016

For my first sew of the year I decided on adapting this new maternity pattern to make a vintage style outfit.

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Thinking along the lines of “if I lengthen this dress and make it glitzy it could totally look 70s disco-a-go-go” I opted for buying in a boatload of gold lame, without really thinking of the consequences.

When the lame arrived I fell in LOVE, It is sooooo beautiful and undeterred I set about lengthening the pattern and cutting the extension pieces out (excuse the slippers).

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I ran a few pieces through the machine to see what the fabric was like to sew. This did not go well. Now, I have always been told to use a zig zag stitch for stretch fabrics (I don’t own an overlocker) but this didn’t work.

After a stressful and annoying night I managed to get the front of the dress completed but only after a lot of turning the air blue and wondering why in the hell it wouldn’t sew like it was meant to.

Truth is, I’m still not sure – is it because the weight of the fabric is too heavy, so it’s not your typical stretch? (If anyone does know please tell me!).

To hear more about me putting it all together please have a click over to my blog www.staceystitch.com

So here I am in all my shiny gold disco glory, pretty happy with how it’s turned out, even if I do look like a preggo space babe from the future.

Gold Maternity DressGold Maternity DressGold Maternity Dress

 

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1950s | Blouses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 2475 – 1958 Maternity Top

By on March 6, 2015

I actually got this finished a week or so ago, but then I got sick (again) and we’ve had yet another snow storm since then so it’s still been a little crazy around here. This is my second project of the year, and the second installment in my sewing for the 2015 Vintage Pattern Pledge. It’s Simplicity 2475, which I was given in a large pattern stash (almost all children’s and maternity patterns) by a friend when I found out I was pregnant with my first.

1958 maternity sewing pattern Simplicity 2475

The pattern is from 1958, and after making a version of a similar top the first time around I knew I wanted to make myself another one. They’re super comfortable, and with a few more weeks of warm weather before this kiddo is born I wanted another lightweight top that wasn’t skin tight. This is yet another 100% stash buster as well! The fabric is from the massive stash my mom and I accumulated (and still resides at her house), the bias binding is left from finishing all the seams in my Robson Trench last year, and the buttons were from a huge button stash that a friend of mine inherited when her husband’s grandmother died.  I opted for view 2, but changed the welt pockets to patch pockets since this lawn is so light. I didn’t want the extra strain on the fabric and was also concerned about the pocket bags showing through badly. Forgive the weird light. With yet another 8+ inches of snow outside, the already odd lighting available in my house is even worse.

1958 maternity top

the front curves of the yoke don’t match perfectly, as the fabric was kind of a pain and I was tired when I was sewing, but for something I’m going to wear for 2 months I wasn’t super concerned about going back and trying to fix it.

Simplicity 2475

Simplicity 2475 Maternity Top 1958

The buttons, as I said, are some I got from a friend after she inherited a HUGE button stash. They’re really pretty little pearl shirt buttons. I’m not sure how old they are.

patch pockets in floral lawn 1958 maternity top

I’m really happy I decided to do patch pockets instead of welts. Not only were they much easier, but I like the little touch of green in the bias binding at the top. It helps break up the print a little bit. I’ve got a black and a pink pencil skirt I plan on wearing this with that both look cute, especially with a little sweater. I’m actually working on a wearable muslin of some maternity shorts out of leftover denim, but the front sections are doing something really weird because of the some bias pulling, so they’ve been put on the back burner for bit, but if I do get them finished they’ll look SUPER cute with this. So summery! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last real push of winter before spring arrives. We’ve got pretty good temps predicted for the coming week, which will be a relief, but if it gets super cold again after that I may have to hide under a rock. Hope everyone else is keeping warm!

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 3345 redux – Some vintage maternity wear for the Vintage Pattern Pledge

By on February 23, 2015

Hey there! It’s been a hot minute since I had a sewing project to share with you all, but today I’ve got my first finished project of the year to show you! It’s actually also my first finished project for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge of 2015, AND as just a little icing on the cake, it’s also a 100% pure stash-buster. I did not make any further financial expenditures for this project. Every single thing on it, from the fabric to the notions (and the pattern) was stuff that I already owned. While it’s not “technically” true, I am telling myself that this dress was consequently a “FREE” dress, which makes it even better and totally fits in with my attempts at stash busting and project budgeting this year. All good things.

Anyway, this is the second version of Simplicity 3345, the first of which can be seen here.

I made a couple of minor changes, mostly taking the side seams in slightly, in order to get a little better fit on this one. I think by rights I probably should have done a full bust adjustment as well to get the fit really perfect, but that’s more work than I wanted to put in on something I was only going to wear for a couple of months (and be changing sizes the whole time anyway). I shortened the hem (from the pattern length) by about 5 or 6 inches, so it hits me just at the bottom of my knee like the illustration. I’m not all that short, and even with a three inch hem allowance you’d have to be 5’10” for this to hit you where it does in the illustration. I intended on getting pictures of this one on myself so you could see how it looks on a legitimately pregnant human, but my husband is never up during daylight hours and the tripod is broken, so Tabitha will have to suffice yet again.

The bow is actually a pin that goes on the playsuit from which I scavenged the red fabric (it was from the skirt portion of the playsuit, which I think I maybe wore once and decided needed to be put to better use), so I can move it around, which is fun. It looks pretty cute at the neck, too. The back sash pieces don’t perfectly line up with the front since I was working with the width of the previous skirt’s ties, but my usually super anal retentive self was ok with it because I was doing some awesome stash busting/recycling.

You can see where I had to piece the ties to get the length I needed for this, since the skirt ties were much shorter. I hand-picked the zip like I normally do, since it’s actually one of my favorite bits of hand finishing. I think they just look so much nicer, too. The zipper and waist elastic were also things I had in my stash already, which is why I went with a bright red zipper instead of a matching one, but I think bright zippers can be fun sometimes anyway.

Just so you can get an idea of what these dresses look like on a real person, here is a picture of version 1 from Derby two years ago. I was about 36 or 37 weeks.

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1940s | Dresses

My First Maternity Dress

By on June 30, 2012

Yesterday I began work on my maternity dress!

The pattern is Hollywood 1366, from 1944.

As you all know, after cutting and marking your pattern, the first order of business is to take care of all darts.

I like to tie off my threads at the tip, clipping the excess threads to a little less that 1/4″.

For darts that are going to get a lot of lovin’, such as the bust darts, I stitch a line of reinforcement stitches about 1/16″ away from the dart line and tie off the same.  The reinforcement does not need to stretch the length of the dart–only the last inch or so.

Ta-daa!

This dress has side front panels that are rather triangle-shaped (they look like a vest here) and a front  panel that is straight and attached to the inner seams of the side fronts.  That sounds confusing, but it will make sense in a minute. 😀

I made darts in the bodice side fronts and back.  The bodice front didn’t need any work done to it prior to joining.

Next I had to put together the waistline belt ties!  I decided to cut these on the bias to contrast with the rest of the dress, which is cut on the grain.  I personally like the belt/tie to stick out a little. 🙂

BTW, isn’t this great fabric?  I love it!  Bought it at a thrift store the other day.  Six yards for $3!  Oh yeah.

Once I turned the ties, I topstitched 1/8″ around the outer edges to lend some solidarity, especially since they are cut on the bias and will be prone to stretch a bit.

Next I basted the ties onto the bodice front (forgot to take a picture of that one, sorry!) and then joined the bodice front to the bodice sides.  This is how the belt will be tied–it wraps around the back and then comes around to tie in the front.  Well, until you get more pregnant, that is!  As your belly grows larger, you will simply tie the belt in the back.

Here is a side view.  See how the front panel goes straight down and the sides are tucked underneath?  Snaps will hold this in place.  There will be several snaps on the bodice side panel for adjustments as your belly grows.

Here’s what it looks like all the way out!

So I did make one foolish blunder.  Well, two.  First of all, I got overzealous and forgot to plan out what sort of seam finishing I was going to do.  I joined the front to the sides and was about to stitch the back to the front at the shoulder seams when it occurred to me that I was going to have to finish the front seams first (duh!).  This fabric is loosely woven, so it definitely needed some good finishing.

 I decided to turn under my seam edges and hand stitch, like so.  I have completely forgotten what this particular finish is called (forgive me), but I love the way it looks.

Which brings me to my second blunder.  I made inverted notches when cutting out the pattern.  Not a good idea on loosely woven fabrics!  I had to do some major stitching-down at every spot where there was a notch.  Just hoping that it holds up.  Oh Bessie.

 Here is the end result!

Looks pretty nice!  Today, if I have time, I am going to finish finishing front seams and hopefully attach the bodice back to the bodice front.  I may do french seams in the skirt, just to save time.  Plus, french seams are pretty darn sturdy. 🙂

So what kinds of techniques do you like to use when making darts?  How about seam finishes?  Do you have a go-to favorite?

 Have a great weekend!

 ~Bessie

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1970s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Memorial Day Dress

By on June 9, 2012

Just recently finished this dress (getting the bulk of it done over Memorial Day weekend), based on the 1970s Simplicity 7011 pattern.

heron border print dress

The construction was pretty simple, except for the portions where I altered the border print placement. A great summer dress, I think, and I got compliments on it all day!

pattern picture

The pattern works out quite well for maternity wear, but I am also glad that I’ll enjoy wearing it after the bump is replaced by a baby. 🙂

Pictures and more details on the construction and alterations I made (minimal) can be found at my blog.

And just to make sure I’m giving enough information on these blogposts at We Sew Retro, please let me know if you want more information included here before I direct you to my blog. I want to make sure you enjoy the read here, but also don’t feel I’m waxing overly detailed either.

Thanks!

-Seeks

 

 

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