1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

• 1940s Tropical Print Rayon Dress •

By on April 20, 2016

Today I’m posting about a dress I made for a vacation to the Gulf Coast a couple of months ago. I had some very tropical, vacation-appropriate rayon fabric that I thought would make a perfect 1940s dress!

I used Simplicity 1692 for the basic bodice shape, but altered it by adding darts, and changing the neckline and sleeves. The skirt is from Butterick 6266.

Hop over to my blog to read all about it! Have a lovely day, ladies! 🙂

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1940s | 1950s | Blouses | Skirts

Black and White

By on August 14, 2014

I thought I’d post pictures of some of my favorite handmade retro clothes.  I never posted these in the first place, probably because they were in the laundry or being worn!  It just so happens that they’re all black and white!

This skirt is one of my favorites!  It’s a full circle skirt made from some lovely wool houndstooth.  I used a super wide black ribbon for the waistband and along the edge of the lining.  I love love love it!  Unfortunately, it’s a bit too hot right now in Texas for me to wear it.

Another circle skirt!  I’m a little obsessed with them.  This is made out of some sort of linen blend that DOESN’T wrinkle every time you sit down!  I recently finished it (after wearing and washing it several times) by hemming the lining, replacing a lost button, and a little added detail to the waistband.  (I couldn’t resist…my new machine is awesome!)

Finally, not a circle skirt!  This is my second attempt at Simplicity 1590, and definitely more of a success.  The fabric is a weird polyester that is stiff enough to hold the peplum out.  I used tiny black buttons down the front, and added a tie in the back.  It looks great with a black skirt, or with jeans.  A great addition to the wardrobe!

And for those of you who helped me out with my recent sewing machine crisis, thank you!  So many of you told me how wonderful your Janome machines were that I decided to get one of my own!  It is the Magnolia 7330, and I LOVE it!  So, thanks!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Happy sewing, everyone!

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1940s | Blouses | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

1940s Peplum blouse

By on August 5, 2013

Hello!  I have been following this blog for a while, but haven’t had the nerve to post until now!  I typically sew 1950s dresses and circle skirts, but when I saw Simplicity 1590, I knew I had to give the ’40s a try.  After nearly an hour of searching JoAnn’s sales racks, I found a lovely peach and white flowered fabric that draped beautifully, and some pretty pearl buttons.

The pattern was fairly easy, and I was able to finish it in two nights.  My fabric turned out to be a little see-through, so I’ll have to wear a camisole under it.  It’s also a little loose, which I attribute to both the fit of ’40s blouses, and probably my choice in sizes to make!

The back picture really doesn’t do the shirt justice.  The fabric drapes beautifully, but wrinkles terribly.

Overall, I’m fairly happy with the outcome of my blouse.  It fits a lot looser than the blouses I typically wear, but I can get used to that.  I’m not sure what I’ll wear with it…pants or a pencil skirt?  I guess it’s time to start looking for a new pattern!

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1940s | Blouses | Vintage Sewing

Advance 4858 (1947-1948): Peplum blouse alteration

By on May 30, 2013

I have three cousins getting married in the next few months.  Luckily, I am running out of cousins to marry off because I can barely keep up with the sewing.

I had to be realistic and accept that I had procrastinated too long and frittered away too much time on non-necessary projects, and I wouldn’t be able to complete a full dress for the first wedding.  I’m old-fashioned enough that I feel a bit weird wearing black to weddings, especially summer weddings, but . . . oh, well.  It was time to trot out the black skirts and settle for making a new blouse.

I picked one that looked comfortable but also looked like it couldn’t have too many fitting issues.  Advance 4858 is from 1947 or 1948:


Classic postwar design: Extended shoulder line, long waist, big skirt.

The red flags were length (easily remedied; I always have to add length) and neckline (thin shoulders; boat necks and I do not get along.  But necklines are also easily altered).  I decided I’d switch to a back-button closure because I seem to be going through that kind of a phase (see the Simplicity 4727: Black sundress post below) and make the whole thing into a peplum blouse.

It didn’t need a lot of help–I lengthened it a little, closed up the neckline some, and changed the button opening, but the bodice itself was basically fine.

I completely winged it on the peplum: I drew a rectangle (two, actually, front and back) that matched the waist circumference, then slashed and fanned it out until it looked the way I wanted.  And that was it.

In fact, it was so OK that I put the entire thing together without a hitch despite the fact that my copy of the pattern has no instruction sheet.

And here it is.  Sorry, my hair won’t do anything.  I live in braids.

The fit is a little blousy but I think that’s intentional.  It also has massive shoulder pads.  They look less ridiculous here than I thought they did, actually.

The necklace is a double-strand of faceted crystals that belonged to my grandmother.

Close-up of the back with the awesome huge iridescent plastic buttons:

The fabric is, as usual, cotton.  I had originally chosen a purple stylized floral but then decided it was too funereal.  It was also an out-of-print remnant and I didn’t think I had enough, and couldn’t get any more.  I’m not wild about splattery magenta prints but at least it was happier.  (Don’t get me wrong: I love me some funereal fabric, but it wasn’t my wedding, right?)

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1940s | Blouses | Buttons | Vintage Sewing

The PEPLUM plague

By on June 14, 2012

⁃ Fabric: some cheap cotton blend thing that should have been better used just as a toile, as i know the weight of the fabric is not really conducive to wearable garments-as i have made a top out of this stuff before. Dont worry i wont do it again. As you will notice from my  pics, there is a red and orange in my blouse, i didnt have enough red and i figured the orange will contrast-but it really looks to washed out. (shrug)

⁃ Pattern: free burda peplum blouse in wrong size so i had to grade up (i dont know how to grade?)

⁃ Year: modern 1940’s style blouse

⁃ Notions: 2 yellow buttons (i only have an assortment of yellow buttons so i am kind of limited. Although after showing my bf my finished blouse he so sensitively told me that the yellow buttons were different shades -dammmm you.

⁃ Time to complete: 8 months or some horrible timeframe like that, it has literally plagued my thoughts, like well the plague. I stopped. started.stopped.moved house.started. The areas of most annoyance were the sizing, creating a button opening and the gathered sleeves-it literally took me 4 hours to do the 1 sleeve so it didnt look cack.

⁃ First worn: after making it, after all that grading up its still too big in the waist and the back is shorter, so not great without a cinch belt

⁃ Wear again? hmm, i dont know.

⁃ Total price: bought some new red thread, everything else already had or was given – like a chisel set that im using for buttonhole slicing.

 

Well it took me awhile, but i did survive and finish it. Yes it has alot of mistakes but im just taking this as just one big learning curve.

– What I learnt:

Dont be over-ambitious, messing about with tricky details

Your size-This pattern was from the burda magazine, not my size! but you know how it is you fall in ove with a pattern arghhh. so grading up i thought would be as simple as adding some inches, WRONG! I had to add a front portion to the top as it was initially a blouse-buttons up front-so it really looks nothing like the original pattern/style picture. So please dont run before you can walk – buy for your measurements. it will only lead to massive frustration.

I did pick up the iron alot more,i love this quote ”if you dont have time to iron, you dont have time to sew”

Im not cutting corners as much anymore, using more interfacing web and ive used bias tape for the first time.

Im getting over my miser tendancies, yay. So im going to buy some proper toile-scouts honour.

A big thank you to all the peeps who post on wesewretro, you motivate and inspire me.xx

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1940s | Skirts

Time to Re-Think that Stash of Dress Patterns!

By on March 25, 2012

In keeping with my resolution to make more separates for myself this year, here is one of my recent projects.

The pattern is a 1945 reproduction from Eva Dress.  The original pattern is for a fantastic dress, which I have made twice!   It turns out, this dress makes a lovely little skirt (at least I think so).

Time to re-think all of those dress patterns – they really make excellent skirts!  Just add a waistband and you are ready to go!

More pictures and information about the altered construction of my new skirt may be found over at Lilacs & Lace.

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