1940s | Bags / Purses | Dresses

Some local Sew Retro Inspiration

October 12, 2011

I was so inspired by Handmade Jane‘s super awesome pants that I wanted to make something in a blue knit and sailor-y. So, I brought out good old Simplicity 1924 from 1947.

I have never made this one before and was worried it would look like a paper bag on me. There were only 4 main pieces and I made it out of thrifted grey and navy striped cotton t-shirt knit (top) and navy blue poly-something knit (bottom). I have never sewn knits before but always wanted to and thought this was the perfect time.

The only downfall with using the knit was that the gathers are not very apparent. I did find it difficult to match the stripes too. Somehow the stripes were off on the fabric itself  b/c they just wouldn’t even line up before I cut the top. I really need more practice sewing knits (I didn’t have the right needle and I have no idea how to finish the seams), but for a first attempt this turned out wearable and cute. I did French seams on part of the dress and they really didn’t work. It is almost like they are too heavy or something, they didn’t lay like I wanted them to. The front just sags inward at the seam. Next time I’ll eliminate the seam and cut both the back and from on the fold. Any advice? I also could not figure out the back neck facing. I initially thought the facing was not needed, I did the top and realized it wasn’t really a facing but a piece that oddly finishes the back neck (these old patterns…. sigh). Then I proceeded to sew it in wrong no less than four (!!!) times. The ‘instructional’ picture was horrible and I swear that it just can’t be done the way they want.


I couldn’t get a good picture… I just wasn’t feeling it and I couldn’t keep the Little Lady out of it, it was a very loooong day. I may try again later after some makeup and a hairbrush…

The very best part about this dress what that once I had everything assembled I took a good long look at it and thought, “I don’t need a zipper!”. It’s totally pullover!. I sewed up the side, added a belt and loved it! It’s my new go to pattern for a completely comfy yet vintage classic outfit. It took me approximately 5ish hours to complete; it’s hard to say b/c I stop and start so much with the kids.. I will most assuredly make it again in a knit (try try again). The bottom blue knit was a bit too thin, and very hard to hem. Advice please! I used a rolled hem foot and it was okay. It only got chewed up once and I fixed it pretty well. I’ll probably use a bottom weight knit or another t-shirt knit next time.

On a side note, check my blog for my deconstruction and current reconstruction of a vintage crochet bag!!

  1. The little snacking monkey wandering into the shot makes me smile. You should see me sewing: “Sweetie, don’t mess with that…..no, that’s not yours….just give me one second to finish thi……PUT THAT DOWN! BUTTONS ARE NOT FOOD!”

    I’m pretty sure I have that pattern; I’ll dig it out and see if I can make sense of the back neck facing.

  2. I’m super flattered you were inspired by my trousers and I think your dress has turned out wonderfully well. I love the striped top with the plain skirt and of course the buttons looks great! x

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