1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Leopard Swing Dress (Simplicity 6820, 1966)

By on January 24, 2017

A few months ago I decided I really wanted an easy, floaty dress that would be less structured than the shift or full-skirted dresses that I normally like, and picked up Simplicity 6820 on etsy. It’s a “Jiffy” tent or trapeze dress from 1966 and it is basically a raglan sleeve mumu! It’s the perfect easy pattern for a bold print since it has few seam lines. This is the first of three versions I’ve made since purchasing the pattern, so I think it was a good buy!

Read more on my blog (and see another leopard print garment too!) here.

xo allie

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1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1930s Dress Made Using Original Vintage Fabric

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1930s ruffles dress front

Every now and again you come across a truly beautiful piece of original vintage fabric. You carefully unfold it, hoping and praying that it’s in good condition. You check it over thoroughly, measure it and finally take the very brave step of washing it. At this point you’re on tenterhooks, will it fall apart the second the water hits it? It survives the wash, it dries well and then you press it, checking thoroughly once again for any holes, tears or marks. And finally, you realise you have one incredible pristine piece of 1930s/1940s fabric that’s long enough to make an entire dress. You, or indeed me at this point, then do one hell of a happy dance!

1930s ruffles dress

As you can imagine, I was terrified to cut into the fabric, but I truly believed that this fabric had found its way to me for a reason. I’m very much someone who believes in buying vintage and using it. Every piece of vintage clothing I buy gets worn, I don’t store things away in a dark cupboard but, rather, enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed. That was how I felt about this fabric. It needed to be made into something and not waste away unloved and unappreciated. And it deserved to be made into something authentic.

1930s dress back

I used an original 1930s sewing pattern and original 1930s sewing techniques from both the pattern and a 1930s dressmaking book. The trimmings, such as the rayon hemming tape, were also vintage. The only modern parts of the dress are the white crepe I used for the yoke section and the metal button blanks for the self-cover buttons. That’s why I call this my brand new almost-vintage dress!

You can see more detail photos and find out more about the fabric, pattern and techniques I used on my blog here.

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1950s

WDW Dapper Day Dress

By on November 19, 2016

We decided to brave the crowds on Veteran’s Day weekend and headed to Walt Disney World for our first ever Dapper Day! I spent several weeks procrastinating/agonizing over which pattern from my stash to sew and ended up choosing Butterick 6820. Vintage Pattern Wikia dated it as 1954img_2002This pattern ended up being one of those small miracles where something fits with almost zero alterations. It didn’t call for it, but I chose to line the bodice and used the lining as my fit muslin. The only things I had to change were to let the side seams out just a hair and to adjust the hem length. I also put in a longer zipper than called for. It was a side zip and I could barely get it over my head at first. The bodice fabric is vintage cotton that I found on Etsy and the skirt is just Kona cotton from Joann’s. I wore two lightweight crinolines, one vintage and one that I made previously. The skirt was pretty heavy and probably needed a stiffer crinoline, but I just didn’t have time to make one. I also made a little bolero using non-vintage Simplicity 3921 and cotton flannel. I used some of the bodice scraps to give it cuffs. All in all I’m really happy with how it turned out and it was a pretty comfortable dress to wear. And those giant pockets were great for stashing candy and lipstick! Dapper Day was a blast! So much fun seeing all the unique, handmade dresses and chatting with other sewists!

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1940s

Retro Butterick ’47 – B5209 – 1940s Tea Dress

By on June 20, 2016

Hi everyone!

I made the Butterick B5209 dress as part of the Big Vintage Sew Along. Overall, this dress gave me a headache but it was all my own fault. The fabric is beautiful and suits the style perfectly. Even though I know the dress has mistakes, to the untrained eye I think it looks very nice indeed and I’ll still be very proud to wear it! I find the style flattering, it fits me nicely and will be great for dressing up and dressing down.

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For my full pattern review & images, check out my blog The Crafty Pinup.

Thank you!
xo

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1950s | 1960s | Blouses | Dresses | Pants / Trousers | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

2 New Vintage Pattern Makes: Simplicity 3257 and Advance 8288

By on April 4, 2016

Hi y’all!

I’ve recently sewn/photographed/blogged about two new vintage makes. Simplicity 3257 is a c. late 1950s combo skirt/trouser pattern and went together really beautifully. I highly recommend it for the skirt, though I haven’t yet tried to sew up the trousers. The skirt only used three pieces and was very true to size. I enjoyed the instructions for certain vintage craftsmanship that we don’t often use today, like the lapped zipper. I’ve been doing it the “hard” way all this time!

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My other creation was inspired by c. 1957 Advance 8288. It’s a “sub-teen” pattern for coordinating separates. I LOVE having options and variety, and even though it looks like a dress I can wear each piece on its own! So wonderful. I didn’t actually sew with the pattern, but rather I used the art as inspiration and Frankenstein-ed two patterns from my collection to make the blouse. The skirt is a simple dirndl style with two side pockets. Both are made with vintage metal zippers from my stash, though the rayon fabric is new (from Gertie’s collection at Joann). My friend, who sewed up this project with me, did have the pattern and noted that it was simple to make but included a lot of wearing ease.

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Links to the blog posts for more pics + sewing/pattern details:

Simplicity 3257

Advance 8288

 

Thanks for looking!

xx Lauren

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1950s | 1960s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A skirt turned dress

By on April 13, 2015

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I was hesitant to show you this skirt although I have already finished it about a month ago. I didn’t have the right photos to tell the full story. I’m glad I didn’t make haste because now you can see how important this skirt it. Now that I’ve found the right photo, you can sit back and enjoy!

 

Fast backward to a few months ago. I’m at my beloved Granny’s and we’re digging through her closet. We’re finding a lot of long forgotten treasures like old handbags and purses and vintage clothes and pre-cut sewing patterns. My Granny is a very crafty woman, has been so all her life, and that’s something I’m proud to have inherited from her. So we’re digging through all the stuff… and then there are some fabrics. Dusty, hidden away for decades and gorgeous. My Grandma looks at the blue and red striped cotton and says “This used to be a dress, you know, one of my favorites. After I’d ripped the bodice by accident, I decided to leave the rest of the fabric and sew something from it but I never got to it. You should sew yourself a skirt. Here, take it.”

 

And so I did. I sewed myself a skirt from a cotton that is over 50 years old, was loved and worn to bits, and then stashed away –because it was a favorite. This is so touching to me. The life of things in our hands is so precious and so complicated, and so full. We give them meaning and keep their stories in our minds. They live as long as we lend them some space in our memories. You can see my Granny wearing her dress in 1965 below.

dok015The sewing process was easy enough and there isn’t much to describe. I was aided in making box pleats by small cuts along the edge of the fabric that have already been there, certainly from the time it was a pleated dress. I cut away a small portion of the fabric to use for the waistband –I made it from the fabric put vertical instead of horizontal, as you can see. The fabric was already hemmed so I didn’t need to do anything else there. I might shorten it a bit since I’m not sure this particular length is the most flattering to my otherwise perfect legs. If I do, I’ll shorten it just by folding the fabric and hemming with a blind stitch (as it was originally done to the dress, I think, judging from some loose threads hanging from the hem). In the photo of my Granny you can see that the skirt was shorter by one white stripe.

You can see more photos on my blog.

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