1970s | Vintage Sewing

My Barbie Doll Maxi Dress

By on August 9, 2013

I couldn’t wait to get home and get to work sewing this Barbie fabric I bought at the car boot sale.

There wasn’t quite enough fabric to lay the pattern pieces out properly so I had to improvise and the print doesn’t match as well as I’d like it to it have done.

The 1970 Woman “Easy Make” pattern was anything but.  The instructions weren’t particularly clear to follow and I broke my last needle before I could attach the trim so I’ll have to do that at a later date.  The 32″ bust should have been perfect size-wise but it turned out to be very loose hence the belt. Hopefully the crazy fabric distracts from the imperfections.

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1940s | Dresses

Lobster Dress

By on June 12, 2013

I fell in love with this Michael Miller lobster print the moment I set eyes on it. I don’t even know why, since I don’t really care for seafood, but it was so obnoxious I had to have it. For the dress I used Vogue 8811 – this was my first Vintage Vogue, in fact it was my first Vogue pattern period!

The pattern came together fairly quickly and easily, even though I decided to make it harder on myself and line the bodice. I did an invisible zipper by hand and made a belt to match, both of which used to scare me silly! I also hand-stitched the hem – and that is a LOT of hem – while I was sitting by the pool for my kids’ swim lessons today. It was fun because people kept asking me what I was making.

I’m so jealous of those of you who show lovely photos of your creations! I don’t have anyone that can photograph me well, don’t have a decent backdrop, and don’t look good in most photos anyway. However, I think you can see what a fun dress this will be. I can’t wait to wear it on our vacation to Florida next month! And now the wheels are turning, I want to make six or seven more of this pattern in more obnoxious novelty prints.

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

BBQ Season

By on May 10, 2013

I just adore the summer! And when I saw this cute retro 50s inspired BBQ print fabric, I just had to have it!

Fabric: quilting cotton ($5/yd)
Pattern: Vintage Vogue 2960
Year: 1954
Notions: black piping, covered buttons
Hours to complete: 12
First worn: May 2012
Total cost: $30

I’ve seen quite a few versions of this dress around but most are on less chesty gals. If you need an FBA, you’ll definitely want to do a muslin since the underbust seam makes the fitting a bit more difficult. This was my first time sewing with a vintage Vogue reprint and it was much less intimidating than I thought it would be.

Loads more photos, and detailed construction notes over on the blog.

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1950s

Tattoo-print Sundress, Gertie-style

By on March 27, 2013

Hi again guys! I feel a bit spammy for the two posts within two days – sorry!

Here’s my version of Gertie’s 1950’s-inspired Sundress, in an Alexander Henry quilter’s cotton (I think its called ‘Tattoo’). I know her pattern’s arn’t strictly vintage, but the styling is pretty close. I’ve made four of her design so far and feel like i’m sewing my way through her book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I love this pattern! Its super easy to sew once you’ve gotten the fit right (like all of her patterns). It also only took 3m of fabric!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made a couple of changes – tweaking the fit of the bodice  and adding in-seam pockets (complete details on the blog). If you’ve been contemplating making this one go for it, it looks much better in real life than in her book!

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1950s

Two Christmas Dresses

By on January 6, 2013

Hi Everyone, Here are two dresses I made for Christmas, which I know is a little excessive but you can’t help what fabric you fall in love with.  Please forgive the dodgy victory rolls, it was a first attempt.

I found this fabric way back in July or some such inappropriate season and thought it was soo cool.  I had been wanting to make a 50’s style shirtwaist in a kitschy print, having see a couple such fabulous items on this very site.  I made the pattern myself, but I did use vintage buttons that I got from a friend who was closing her vintage store.  She sold me this giant jar of gorgeous buttons for a very reasonable price which I carried home on the bus like a baby and proudly presented to my boyfriend who, in a Herculean effort, pretended to be interested.

This dress was my Christmas party dress this year so I actually got quite a bit of use out of it.  The print is of little birds and berries which I love.  This one is self-drafted as well and was inspired by a dress I saw in a vintage store which cost far too much.  As I was looking at the picture I thought ‘aww the buttons didn’t show up’ which turned out to not be surprising since I never sewed them on.  Oops.  There were supposed to be covered buttons in the purple abouve the flappy wing parts.  Oh well, maybe next year.

Also behind my right knee are some Christmas stockings I made out of the leftover fabric from the first dress.

More on my blog, A Sewing Machine and an Umbrella. Cheers

 

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1960s | Dresses | Kids

One for you and one for me!

By on December 31, 2012

Hello all! I’ve got two projects to share with you. One was a last minute Christmas gift for my 4 year old cutie. I made both dresses – girl and doll – in a single day, it was right before the kids got out for Christmas break so I had to hustle! The girl dress is a vintage Simplicity, probably from the early 1960s, and I used a modern reprint for Bitty Baby’s matching frock. Fabric is Lecien ‘Flower Sugar,’ one of my all time favorites.

Both dresses came together really fast, and for once, my evil buttonholer made 4 good buttonholes in a row without skipping or jamming! It’s a Christmas miracle!

It’s hard to get a 4-year-old to hold still to get a decent picture, but here she is on Christmas morning!

Once I was done with all my Sewing For Others, I decided to make something for myself. (Gasp!) One of the best ways to ease the post-Christmas letdown is with a novelty print shirtwaist.

I was trying out a new pattern – Simplicity 5745 from 1964 – and while it came together nicely, it was huge in the bodice. Maybe I really am a B36 and not a B38… that would be nice. Still, it’s a fun dress and pairs nicely with a crinoline and pearls.

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