1940s | Dresses

1946 “Owl Eyes” Challis Dress

By on April 15, 2013

Hello fellow vintage sewists!

This dress is probably one of my favorites that I’ve made for myself.

Butterick 5281

This dress is a 1946 reproduction Retro Butterick 5281.  The fabric I used is Anna Sui “Owl Eyes” Rayon/Cotton Challis.  I’ve never sewn with challis before and found it to be a pretty easy sew fabric.  After prewashing it got pretty soft and goes perfect with the light tan cotton batiste that I used for the lining.  I used a cotton twill for the belt and added some fuschia buttons for a faux closure on the bodice.  I made this dress to enter in Fabric Mart’s Julie’s Picks contest (which starts this week for voting!) and also for Lucky Lucille’s Sew for Victory.  I wore this to a meeting last week and it got some rave reviews!  There is nothing that I don’t like about this dress and as it’s a very wearable vintage inspired garment, I definitely plan to be sporting it for years to come. 🙂

Butterick 5281

 

Happy Sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

Further info/photos on my blog

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1940s | Blouses | Vintage Sewing

1940’s Sew For Victory blouse… From a Bed Sheet!

By on April 4, 2013

Recently I joined in the Sew For Victory Sew Along, and although I was a few days late I DID finish! Whew!

My pattern was a 1940’s blouse pattern I bought off Etsy. It came to me all the way from the UK, but I had to have it… I fell in love with the sleeves! Initially I was going to make the long sleeved collar one with the great cuffs, but the more I looked, the more I wanted to do View 3. And so I did!

I had a lot of trouble getting started. Mainly because I could not find a fabric I wanted. So in true #SewForVictory spirit I spotted an unused purple sheet in my garage and BINGO! It became my blouse!

See? Aren’t those sleeves great? Although, oops, they seem to require a bit more pressing! I am wondering if I should add the shoulder pads. I KNOW they were the thing in the 40’s… and 80’s… Hmmm- do you think they will be back any time soon? I think the shoulder seam would be in the perfect spot WITH the shoulder pads. I may try it out!

The pattern was pretty easy! I was surprised, because I admit I was very hesitant to begin. I looked at those completely blank pattern pieces with punched holes scattered throughout, and ONE page of directions for several days before I even got the courage to start… and finally I just dived in! And it wasn’t bad at all. As a matter of fact the manner in which they did the collars was very simple! And despite there being quite a few darts, once I had marked and pinned them all they went in easily! And I really like all the darts and tucks. They add a nice fit! So feminine!

On a side note- No pattern pieces were harmed in the making of this blouse. 😀

Inside I used all french seams. Oh how I LOVE the look of the inside of a garment with french seams. I put up the hem by hand using hem tape (lace)… I think the inside looks almost as nice as the outside!

I was also worried about the button holes. It has been years since I have done any, and frankly using my daughters $80 sewing machine (mine is still broken) made me wonder if my whole blouse would become a wadder once I tried fighting with it. BUT they went in without a hitch! Easy as pie… I covered buttons because I wanted a nice clean look.

When I was finished I got out the dye. The color of the sheet was a wishy washy kind of purple and I wanted to deepen it so I bought purple dye, and added in a bit of blue. I think the color turned out perfect! BTW- Purple is HARD to photograph! It is a deeper purple than the one above- It is more like the first pic of me…

I wanted to look like the girl on the pattern but my hair is too long so I pulled it back… BUT I did add a black ribbon as a tie. 😀 I am very happy with my blouse and absolutely WILL wear it! Probably sans the ribbon tie!

I think this is a blouse I will make again. I would change the length of the blouse- I would add on a few inches I think. I would LOVE to have a dressy long sleeved one made from silk charmeuse… and I am still pining after a pretty aqua cotton poplin blouse- maybe the short sleeve one for a springy/ summery top.

I definitely have a greater appreciation for my grandma! My grandpa was a soldier in the Marines for many years! I definitely enjoyed this foray into that period of time and plan on participating again next year!

That is my grandad! He was a career Marine and joined up in the early 1940’s… Later on he became a recruiter and recruited my mom and several of his sons! 🙂

~Laurie

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Sew For Victory

By on April 2, 2013

Hello Everyone! Here is the Sew For Victory suit I made from Simplicity 1447. This project seemed like the perfect opportunity to try some techniques I’ve read about and never used, such as pattern grading, color blocking, underlining and bound button holes. I thought it’d be fun to jam them all into one project.


I used two colors of linen-silk blend for the suit and underlined it with silk organza. I’m now an underlining convert. I graded the pattern up one size using the cut and spread method and it worked perfectly. I did have to buy industrial strength shoulder pads from Britex, though, to make the jacket hang correctly.

I’m quite happy with the suit, but I did have my share of challenges.  If you’d like to read more about my…er…adventures?… with bound buttonholes and color blocking, please visit my blog.

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Sew for Victory: Hollywood Patterns 1942 Shirtwaist Dress

By on April 1, 2013

I now present to you my 1940′s dress for Sew for Victory. It’s from Hollywood Patterns (No. 855), from May 1942, endorsed by Betty Grable of 20th Century Fox.  It was my first time using an original 1940’s pattern, which was a fun experience. I’m actually a bit disappointed by the dress, mostly because I was talked into fabric with which I’m just not in love. Oh well. Not every project can be a winner. And I’ve certainly been inspired by all the lovely creations others have made for this sewalong! See my full blog post for more details.

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