Simplicity 4137, a 1950s Petticoat

October 27, 2011

Hello!  Wanted to pop in and share my latest project 🙂

Autumn has me dreaming of pretty 1950s frocks a la Funny Face, but first I thought I needed to address proper foundations to help the silhouette.  Since my last petticoat met an unfortunate demise at the paws of our two felines, it was time to re-address the petticoat question.  I had previously made over a 1980s prom dress from a thrift store find into a 1950s skirt, and I was never too happy with the shape.  I pulled it out of the closet as the perfect candidate for a make-over.  I cut it apart, and with the addition of some solid black taffeta, I had enough fabric to use the pattern I had in mind.

The pattern I used for this project was Simplicity 4137, a vintage pattern from 1953.  Mine is missing a front cover, but here’s the illustration image from the instructions:

I made view 1.  This pattern was EASY and was pretty fast to sew! It probably took me under 4 hours to sew, and I wasn’t moving fast.

I also have to add, in case any of you are thinking of making up this pattern, that the tulle underlay was NOT originally included in the pattern or instructions.  I just wanted extra fluff, so this is the piece that was cut straight out of that 80′s prom dress, just trimmed down at the top and added at the bottom of the petticoat yoke.  I think it does the job really well, and I’m also quite pleased at the extra body given by the taffeta! Below is an inside-out shot in case any of you are interested in attempting a similar project:

So that’s it! My latest little sewing project.  More on blog Wearing History.

  1. Excellent repurposing! I can rarely bring myself to simply hand clothes over the the thrift store anymore. After a piece is winnowed from the closet, I immediately rip out the zipper, remove the buttons and start cutting it into something else. It’s a disease, really. 🙂

  2. That’s a great repurpose job, love the alternate tiers and polka dots! I have a couple of 1950s patterns which do use tulle netting under (and over) the cotton layer, so its legit. One of the patterns has it forming rows and rows of layered painstaking tiers!

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