1930s | Dating Patterns | Mail Order Patterns

1930s Mail Order Pattern

By on January 4, 2013

Hi all! I just got back from my favorite fabric and pattern dive. I almost squeeled when I saw this pattern. It was marked as a 1940s vintage pattern but I shake my fist at that. It’s 30s if its a day. Anyway, it’s for a 30 inch bust which usually fits me so I bought it anyway for a whopping $0.95. I got it home to measure it and found it to be completely pullover. Even the shirt! No zips, snaps, and the buttons on the blouse are cosmetic. The pattern was also in undisturbed factory folds and in pristine condition. Once everything was all measured the jumper has a completed 37.5″ bust and a 30.75″ waist. The blouse has a completed 36.5″ bust. That’s quite a bit of ease for a 30″ bust pattern. I cannot wait to make it, I may have to lengthen the jumper top a bit but I think everything will fit swimmingly.

Also, I was hoping someone had some insight into which company manufactured this pattern. There is no date, no names etc. and it appears to have two pattern numbers. Maybe one is a coordinating adult pattern? I did find this picture to validate my tentative date right here on the site. Any help would be great! Thanks!

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1930s | 1940s | Children | Dresses

Mystery dress

By on November 28, 2012

Hi all! I haven’t posted anything in a long time but I hope to catch up soon. We are in the midst of moving so most of the sewing stuff is either packed or in boxes and there seems like no end in sight. So, to keep myself somewhat occupied I have started to “organize” all of my piles of mystery pattern pieces I got from a barn sale this past summer (I have tons of pics on my blog). When sorting through them initially I found several chunks, for lack of a better word, of pieces pinned together. They have no envelope, no picture, no labels, and all are unprinted pieces. The first pile I was able to easily discern is a little girls princess seam dress. I’m guessing late 30s or early 40s based on most of the other small sized patterns in the stash. The only part I cant figure out is the shoulder. I think the funny sticking out piece is a pleat. But what in the heck is the inserted piece (#5) that goes with it? I haven’t made anything that resembles this and I don’t have any other patterns that have a piece like this (I don’t think, it’s so hard to keep track).

I have traced the pieces so they are easier to see and marked everything too. I know everything fits together and I’m not missing anything. There are two sleeve variations, a waist tie, and a collar. I also have no idea how to close the dress. There are no dot or notches indicating a closure area and I don’t think it can slip over the head. The neckline seems too high for that. I was thinking of just doing a back button and loop since its a little girls dress. My best guess is that is around a size 3 or 4. My daughter is almost 3 and she is very tall. This looks like it would fit loosely. The SA also appear to be a 1/2 inch. Any help is most welcome!

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1940s | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns

Milwaukee Sentinel #9329

By on August 24, 2012

I finally finished up this great little dress. It’s a mail order pattern from the mid to late 40s. The fabric is a soft and silky cotton from my newly inherited monster stash. I had just enough to eek out this dress. The only thing I ended up changing was to shorten the hem by a few inches and to eliminate the sleeve facings. I just did a narrow hem instead. The pattern wanted me to face the split sleeve (so four facings!) then invisibly tack them down then top stitch the side. Um, nope.

I love the dress. If I make it again I would take the bodice sides in just a bit. I find it to be a tad blousey for my taste. The pleat in the skirt front is almost invisible but if I had used a thicker cotton it would be seen. I love the belt too, the buttons function and tie in well with the bodice. The buttons are vintage and I’m pretty sure bakelite from my stash. The best part about the dress is clearly the pockets! I had piped them in white but it looked funny. How can piping look weird? I ripped it out and it looks so much better. This dress is a great casual addition to my wardrobe and I think very typical of the type of dress that would have been popular at time it was published. More on my blog of course….

On a total side note, I have started getting grumpy with the way cotton dresses stick to cotton undies. Now I know why silky undies are so popular.

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1950s | Dresses | Modern Patterns

Ditto! Butterick 5605

By on July 7, 2012

I too just finished the repro Butterick Pattern 5605. I love it! It’s so amizingly comfortable too! I did end up changing around a few things too. I moved the back pleats to the front and made them box pleats and two knife pleats (more on that debacle on my blog). Then I pieced the neck ties like apron ties (they look crooked in the pics but I swear they are even. Maybe I have a tall shoulder?). I cut the front on the fold, why not? I hate a front seam. And finally cut 6″ off the hem.

Those gussets worked my last nerve. I can’t ever seem to pivot and get it to work perfectly every time. They did turn out stellar in the end though. The fabric is from an estate sale and I think I paid less than a dollar for it. I had it in a big bag of fabric I got for $10. I love the neckline too, it’s just the right shape and size. My only gripe is the modern sizing. I cut an 8 on top and a 12 at the waist. When I make it again I’ll cut a 10 because even though they give a small ease at the waist I still think they were off. I would also shave some of the roundness off the bust contour. It’s still a little boobalicious for me and I’m wearing a Wonder Bra. Sigh….. I would also add a waist stay, the lining may be making it sag a bit. The belt is vintage and off an estate sale dress.

I’ll even be brave and show the inside of the dress.

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1950s | Aprons | Children | Jumpers / Pinafores

McCalls 1712

By on June 22, 2012

I made this a couple days ago as a birthday present for a little girl in my son’s class and it’s from fabulous 1952. the only things I changed was to bag line the apron instead of using like 7 yards of bias binding and I added a button tab instead of neck ties. The bag lining is much faster to sew and adds that little bit more protection in case she dumps a ton of paint on herself.

I loaded the pockets with art supplies and I think she is just going to love it.

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Vintage Sewing

The curse of the smelly fabric

By on June 19, 2012

Hi all! I’m hoping someone has a miracle cure today. I found some amazing wool pieces at an estate sale. Each piece is big enough for a coat or jacket. That blue one will be a 1941 Vogue swing coat with big round shawl collar. All the fabric in the pictures was $2. I was a machine, I didn’t stop till I stuffed that $2 box with every piece of wool I could find. Anyway, it smells, badly. Like a garage smell mixed with musty house and Goodwill. I aired them out yesterday with no luck.

While it was airing on the deck a gigantic storm popped up (like they do in western NY) and they got a tad wet before I could run them inside. Not soggy, just like sprinkled on. Wow, the smell only intensified and it made the garage reek.

Soooooo, what’s the best way to get the stink out of these large pieces of wool? I was thinking of using woollike in my washer on the wool cycle and then fluffing them in the dryer with zero heat or hanging them back out on the deck. I’m terrified of felting them on accident.

As an experiment I sprayed pet odor neutralizer on the small green scraps. So far it still smells like feet and sweaty kid.

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1950s | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Why won’t you just fit?!! And other tales of pattern grading woes

By on June 14, 2012

I don’t grade patterns as a general rule. If I can just add a bit to the side or take in a bit at a center I won’t mess with it much. That being said I really love this pattern. Love. Unfortunately it’s a size small and it’s yoked so I have no idea how to do it. I only need 3 measly extra inches to make it fit. I measured all the pieces and there is only 1/2 ease at the waist and 3 at the bust. That puts the pattern at a 33 bust and 26 waist. I want it to be around a 29 waist total with ease and 34/35 inch bust total with ease. So, here we go…. I need some ideas as to which option seems best:

Plan A-

Bodice front: slash at yellow line, insert 3/4 inch. Slash at green line running into yellow line, insert 1 inch lengthwise.

Bodice back: slash at each red line inserting 1 inch for length and 3/4 inch for width.

Plan B- all pink lines

Bodice front: and 3/4 inch to the center fronts including the back neck collar seam.

Bodice back: add 3/4 inch to CB

Inherently I like option B because it’s simple and fast. Will it work? Maybe. Option A sounds more technical and makes me think it would work too, maybe. The tricky part is that the yoke is top stitched so I don’t want to mess with taking anything off the seam allowances for the turned under bits bc then it will effect the arm hole. So there it is, in all it’s confusing glory. Either way I’ll make a muslin; drudgingly.

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