1940s | 1950s | Applique | Blouses | Embroidery | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Gingham blouse with western appliqué!

By on January 19, 2013

Hello fellow sewers!

I just finished sewing up a fun little project that I want to share!

I used Simplicity 1093 to make a simple cotton blouse. I chose “style 3” because I wanted the most basic shape as I planned on adding an appliqué.

simplicity 1093simplicity 1093 style 3

The blouse was a fairly quick project to sew up, mostly because there were only five pieces to work with! The front and back bodice pieces are both cut on fold and the sleeves are part of the bodice, so there are only the two big pieces to worry about. The remaining three are a neck facing and two sleeve facings.

The blouse opens by a tiny side zipper that runs from about the bust down to the hem. I inserted the zipper by hand with a pick stitch, which is a technique I’d been itching to try for a while. There are also two buttons at the neckline which aid in slipping the blouse over your head.

hand sewn zippergingham buttons (close-up)

As you can see, I liked the hand picked look so much that I did all of the topstitching by hand as well!

gingham 3

I paired my new blouse with a red button-front skirt and tooled leather belt.

gingham 1

gingham 5

Now for the appliqué…my favorite part!!

gingham 4

I cut this little design out of felt and attached it to the blouse with a blanket stitch. Next, I embroidered the details (horse’s bridle, mane, etc.) with a variety of  embroidery stitches.

horse appliquéhorse appliqué (close-up)

I’m really happy with this project, it was such a fun one!

Now I leave you with an “out take” in which my dog Herby decided to make an appearance….

that's my "excuse me....tryin' to take photos here" face.
that’s my “excuse me….tryin’ to take photos here” face.



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1940s | Skirts

Simplicity 4727 (1943): Black denim skirt

By on July 19, 2012

I’m still working on the crazy bodice from 4727, but I really, really, needed a successful sewing project, for the sake of my mental health.  Since I already knew that the skirt from 4727 fit, I went ahead and hauled out the black denim remnant and made the skirt-only version seen at left:

Skirt only, seen on the left.

This isn’t at all period-correct.  I can’t find much (ok, any) evidence that denim skirts were around much in the 1940’s, and certainly not that they were around in the Western-wear sense that we often find them today, and I changed a bunch of stuff about the pattern, anyway, but . . . well, here it is.

I added pockets.  Great, big, pockets lined in Alexander Henry skulls-and-roses print leftover from another project:

Pocket lining.


I also used it to line the waistband.

And, of course, no self-respecting denim skirt would be complete without gold topstitching and a pattern of some sort on the pockets.  Mine is pretty crudely done but it’s the best I can manage with so little practice.

Backside pockets


I didn’t think about this ahead of time, though, and now I’m afraid people will see the bit of fabric peeking out around the edge and forever be pinching my backside in an effort to see what print I used for pocket lining.  Doh!  The small pocket in front, though, is lined with Day of the Dead fabric because I ran out of skulls-and-roses scrap.

But it fits.  And it’s awesome.  I haven’t had occasion to wear it with the tall red boots yet, but I will.  Oh, yes–I will.

Go Texan!

Somebody’s going to ask, so I’ll just tell you: The necklace is an anatomically-correct heart.

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