1970s

Simplicity 6161: A Swinging Seventies Polka Dot Blouse

By on September 7, 2015
S6161 envelope
Simplicity 6161 circa 1970

I love the 1970s.  I was a teenager then, and a pretty happy one, so these styles make me grin.  This pattern reminds me of junior high.

I bought this polka dot fabric to match my eyes and hair, besides, polka dots are cheerful, just right for a wide-collared shirt with turn-back cuffs.

Yup, should’ve made a swayback correction.

This pattern is a size 16; I normally start with 14.  I compared the pattern with a RTW shirt that fits and is comfy.  This size 16 pattern wouldn’t need added width in the torso, it was right on!

That doesn’t mean zero changes.  I shortened 1″ at the waist, did a 3/8″ high back adjustment.  Why didn’t I do my usual swayback correction?  Uh, dunno.  Should have.

Didn’t think  about the shoulder seams, which are about one inch off my shoulder.  The stand-up gathered sleeves balance everything out.

I'm in my happy shirt.
I’m in my happy shirt.

The buttonholes are too far from the edge.  I’m learning to pay attention to that dimension.  The pattern calls for 1″ buttons and the buttonhole markings on the blouse front are 1″ from the fold.  Is that a rule?  Place your buttonholes the same distance from the edge as the diameter of your buttons?  I’ll make a note to practice it on my next projects.  But today I used three 5/8″ buttons from my stash, and they would look better closer to the blouse edge.

Doesn’t any of it matter, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE this shirt!  It makes me happy.

Pattern: Simplicity 6161 circa 1973, eBay
Cloth:  Michael Miller Ta Dot, from M&L Fabrics
Buttons: Stash

Continue Reading

Buttons | Modern Patterns | Rompers / Playsuits | Vintage Sewing

Finished Playsuit

By on September 6, 2013

I finally finished my playsuit, just in time for the end of summer! I used McCall’s 6331
I actually wanted to make a matching skirt to make it a vintage inspired playsuit ensemble.
I switched out the zipper closure in the pattern for bound buttonholes.

The blue and white polka dot fabric was super shear so I underlined the whole thing with lightweight white cotton. the bodice is additionally lined with a solid blue cotton that matches the polka dots, causing the overturned pieces on the bodice to contrast.

I think I can still wear my playsuit as long as it is still warm out (which it is).

Way more info about the making of this and this on my blog, Belle Clara

Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

The dress that nearly wasn’t

By on July 27, 2013

spotty rose dressI’m on a roll with summer sewing, spurred on by the amazing heatwave we are experiencing in the UK. These style dresses are so easy to whip up, especially now that I’ve mastered the fitting on a princess seam bodice. This is the 4th dress I’ve made using this bodice pattern but the only one that I would say fits properly.

spotty rose dress

I’ve only just got used to wearing full skirts but I love the 1950s vibe this style has. And its great for accessorising with a pair of crazy, pink, furry, leopard-print shoes!

spotty rose dress on the step

It nearly wasn’t a real dress as I didn’t like the fabric. I only intended it to be a toile before I cut my special fabric. But when I saw how it looked I decided it was for keeps after all!

More details and photos over at ooobop!

 

 

 

Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

A Passion For Polka Dots

By on July 7, 2013

I have developed a passion for polka dots and it is all down to this dress:

Do you ever have times where things just come together perfectly when sewing? When you haven’t done anything differently, but things just seem to… well…work!

Well I appear to be having one of those times in life where exactly this happens. All of my sewing projects lately have been turning out great and have proven extremely enjoyable! I am on a bit of a roll, which is a welcome change 😀

This wasn’t the case a couple of months back though. Back in March, for my birthday, I was treated to a bunch of amazing patterns, and yes I will hold up my hands and admit I haven’t got around to using even half of these yet 🙁

Anyway, one of these was the Butterick Patterns by Gertie 5882 vintage style dress.

It is a very beautiful dress, and I was so excited to give it a try. The only problem was, it didn’t quite work out. I wish I had a photograph to show you but I think it would have been classed as indecent exposure. I don’t know how it happened but the bodice just wasn’t happening for me. I completely blame myself and will be giving the pattern another chance in the future, but as for my first attempt, well it was more kind both to myself and the dress to just call it a day!

However, have you seen how many panels make up that skirt section of the dress?!? It is stunning and I was desperate not to let it go to waste. I had no idea what I would do with it exactly, but kept it to one side for a rainy day when inspiration would hopefully hit.

Well, as it turns out inspiration came in the form of a sewing swap all the way from Australia when I was sent this amazing pattern, New Look 6143:

and straight away the polka dot dress on the front cover illustrations screamed out at me!

So this is what I re-created!

I used the bodice from the New look pattern, and the skirt from Gertie 5882 . Team this with my big net underskirt, and what do you get?

I will tell you what you get… you get the perfect vintage dress that is going to kick start an obsession with polka dots!!!!

Check out my self covered, matching buttons too, I am rather proud 😀

Turns out, it is also the perfect dress to attend a vintage fair in too… I even had a woman ask  to take a photo of me because she liked it so much 😀

What a  compliment.

Please do feel free to check out the Made With Hugs and Kisses blog for more pictures and lots more creations 😀

I anticipate many polka dot related creations in the near future, and luckily, from the sewing meet up in Birmingham a few weekends ago, I will not be stuck for fabric to fuel this new obsession, as within the ginormous stash I came home with, two of these were dotty.

I am now on the look out for more vintage or vintage themed patterns that I can team with these fabrics, after all, if you are going to sew with polka dots, you have to sew vintage!

Happy sewing everyone

signature made with hugs and kisses

 

Continue Reading

1950s | Skirts

Polka Dot Circle Skirt

By on September 4, 2012

After sewing Butterick 4790 a few times, I was really wanting a circle skirt that wasn’t attached to a dress. I’m trying to give myself some separates this time in my sewing, and create some eye-catching yet still versatile pieces to mix and match. I also love red, and polka dots.

A week ago I wash all of my cotton fabrics, measured them, refolded them, and labeled them so I can see what I have at a glance. I hadn’t realized how much of this fabric I actually had until then, and I saw it would be perfect for my next project.

I used just the overskirt piece from the B4790 pattern, and cut my skirt. I made it about 3″ or 4″ shorter than the pattern calls for, and made the waist opening a bit bigger to allow it to sit a little lower- more towards my hips then at my natural waist. I then cut a strip of the same fabric that was about 6 inches longer then around my waist where I wanted it to sit, cut matching interfacing, and made the waistband. There was a lot of picking out stitches, tweaking, and testing before I got everything just right, but I am absolutely thrilled with how this turned out. I kind of want to wear it every day now!

You can see more photos (including the button tab detail at the waistband) on my blog. Just click here!

Continue Reading

1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Mccall 6006 – 1945

By on April 30, 2012

Hiii!

This dress, made from Mccall’s 6006 (1945) has to be my favourite make so far! I am so so in love with 1940’s Mccall’s patterns – they’re just the best. What I love about this one is – the cool cap sleeves…If you could call them that. Maybe flutter sleeves? The tucks at the shoulder and back waist. The gathering on the front waist….The awesome gored skirt.

green-polka_0051

More pics and things over at my BLOG

Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Happy Halloween!

By on October 30, 2011
The huge pile of bias tape I made

I had decided a few months ago that I would like to be a 1950’s housewife for Halloween. My reasons were simple- I could use up some of my fabric stash, I’d have a minimum of cost, and I could make a new dress that I could wear any time I wanted, not just for Halloween. I wanted to do something simple and that I had made before so nothing unexpected would come up, as I know I am one of the worst procrastinators I know.I ended up choosing Butterick 4790, a 1952 Vintage Reproduction pattern. B4790 is basically an apron dress. Its got a narrow front skirt, which fastens behind you, and a full circle skirt that wrap around and fastens at the natural waist in front of you. The entire dress is basically three pieces- skirt, top back, and the front.

Of course due to the large and simple sizes of the pieces, and my large size, I end up cutting the pieces into a few more than that. The circle skirt I cut into 4 sections, the front was cut into two, and the top back was cut as a single piece as directed by the pattern.

Sewing this dress is really simple. From the start of cutting to finishing it, it generally takes about two hours. All the raw edges on this are hidden by bias tape. Stitching that on takes longer then anything else. But because I can never leave anything as it, and because I wanted my bias tape to have a little extra zing, I decided to make my own instead. I armed myself with this bias tape maker from Fabric.com, and my Black & Decker F67E Classic Iron. I had no idea that making my own bias tape would be as time consuming as it was! Between cutting the strips of fabric, stitching them together, and feeding them through the gadget and ironing the folds in, it took me about 2 hours to make enough tape to do the dress.

My finished dress, right before we left for the party

If I had realized ahead of time how much time it would take to do this, I may have just bought plain red, ready-made tape from Joann’s instead. But after seeing how it turned out, I’m really glad I didn’t.

The pattern was graded up about a size and a half from its largest printed size to somewhere between a 24 and a 26 I believe to it my generous proportions. Overall I was really happy with how it turned out, and would definitely make it again if I had the need or a third dress of this style. Of course my hair was completely uncooperative and I couldn’t get anything approximating the correct era to turn out, so finally settled for twisting, turning and pinning a few sections to give it the illusion of extra body and calling it good.

I did forget to do one thing on the dress, but amazingly its not that noticeable of a difference. I completely spaced and forgot to put in the bust darts, so there is some slight gaping at the arm holes, but its not as much as I was afraid there would be when I realized I’d forgotten.

I don’t have an expanded post or this on either of my main blogs, so I can’t redirect you there for more details.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my finished dress as much as I have!

Continue Reading