1940s | Dresses

My 1943 dress

By on May 31, 2016

Item number five for this year’s Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. It took me a couple of years, but I’m on a roll now!


plaatjeI made this dress using a pattern from the sewing magazine Beyer’s Mode from the summer of 1943. This pattern was in my size theory and when I made a muslin, it turned out to be pretty close to a good fit. I just had to add some length to the front bodice, which is a very unusual alteration for a small busted girl like me. I also left off the pockets. I thought double welt pockets in a slim fitting linen skirt were just asking for trouble and their position seemed really awkward.

achter1All in all, I’m happy with this dress. It looks better on me than I had expected (I don’t usually sew or wear 1940’s styles) and it also looks surprisingly much like its illustration.

More about it on my blog!

Continue Reading

1950s | Blouses

It really worked!

By on April 24, 2016

I made this little blouse using one of those “draft according to these instructions” patterns you find in vintage magazines. I never had a lot of confidence in those but this one was in my size and I had already decided to share it on my blog for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, so I kind of had to try…

voor2And it actually worked. I changed only one thing: The neckline, which was very tight and the style of the collar. And I explained how on my blog.

tekeningIf you are interested, the pattern is here, the alterations are in this post, and more about the blouse itself in this last one.

Continue Reading


a sporty suit

By on April 17, 2016

pakThe magazine Beyer’s Junge Mode featured this casual capri suit on a page dedicated to summer fun in and near the water… It does seem like the kind of thing to wear when you go sailing, don’t you think?

dichtI’m not much good around boats though and I didn’t have that much time for pictures so I modeled the suit on my tiny balcony.

uit2The pattern is from 1956. I made toiles for both pieces and ended up taking the trousers in by about a dress size. I didn’t change much about the jacket. It is supposed to be a loose-fitting design so I’m fine with how wide it is. I did add pockets though.

This is also my third project for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge.

As usual, you can read more about it, and see more pictures, on my blog.

Continue Reading

1920s | Dresses

From 1929

By on March 27, 2016

voor1Today, I finally finished this dress! Tracing out the pattern for it was the first sewing related thing I did this year but it took me three months to actually finish it. Normally, I sew pretty quickly but this time, I kept being held up by other things, other sewing and the need to find the right fabric.

And in the end, I think it is for the best that I had some time to let the toile “marinade” on the sewing room table. The dress was way too sack-shaped initially and I think the solution I came up with in the end is much better than anything I considered back in January.

2This was the pattern. A wedding dress from Gracieuse magazine nr. 16 from 1929 (this magazine was published twice a month). I shortened the skirt so it would not be a wedding dress.

1This was the toile. Very, very baggy.

In the end, I adjusted it by simply taking out 10 cm at center front. This meant sacrificing the cowl-neck (one of the features for which I chose the dress) but fixing all the other issues.




I am very pleased with the finished dress. 1920’s styles are always tricky. Their loose shapes are just so far removed from anything we are used to. I think this one is a happy medium though: I think it can still be recognized as a 1920’s look but it also looks sleek and elegant to my eyes which are attuned to more modern styles (usually starting in 1947…)

As usual, there is more about the dress, including more pictures, on my blog

Continue Reading

1970s | Pants / Trousers

Now with flare

By on January 18, 2016

Last week, I was looking at some pieces of corduroy in my stash and realized one, a very dark brown fine-wale version, had stretch. Immediately, I thought it could become one thing only: 1970’s style flared trousers.

3So, I made the trousers. I used a pattern I had drafted last year for a pair of jeans and just added a lot more flare to the the lower legs.

5Although I hardly ever try for a 1970’s look, I know it is one that suits me. I also seem to have a lot of things in my wardrobe which lend themselves to the look. The tweed jacket, for example, is one I made years ago (as in: pre-blog…) with the intention of making it look 1950’s (which it does, when worn with a skirt).

And I secretly quite like to finally be able to wear this big hat to good effect…

As usual, more about these trousers and more pictures on my blog!

Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses | Jackets | Pattern Drafting

As seen on Pinterest

By on December 5, 2015

I have made a few things based on vintage photographs (two dresses and a suit based on a drawing, in fact) but this is the first time the picture in question did not come from a magazine from my own collection. This one came from Pinterest.

ef8779d187cc39718fa4e063282b4434Such a lovely, unusual design. Clearly 1950’s but with a freeform, sculptural flair. Because I found the picture on Pinterest, I don’t know in which magazine it was printed and in what year. There is text printed next to the image, which is in English and mentions a price in dollars which makes me guess (combined with it being very much a winter style) that it comes from North America, either the USA or Canada.

voor2Although I love herringbone tweed, I know from experience that I don’t enjoy whole dresses made from the stuff. Those are just too warm for houses with central heating. And a dress like this would look best if it were very closely fitted, which is not that comfortable in a woven fabric.

zijSo, I used a thick-ish  knit fabric with a kind of tweed-like look. (I bought quite a bit of it on sale last year).

bandThe dress was simple: a six piece skirt with a bodice made from thinner viscose jersey. I make the most of the waist definition, I gave it an inner waistband from soft elastic which closes with lingerie hooks-and-eyes under the side zipper.

The jacket was more trouble. I made several muslins, exploring different pattern options. The original looks like the sort of thing which was draped directly on the model. Great, but not a realistic option for me.

lachenIn the end, I went with this pattern. It isn’t perfect, but I’m happy with it.

More about it on my blog (the link goes to the post about the finished article, there are several posts about the drafting of the jacket before that)

Continue Reading

1960s | Dresses

Back to the 60’s

By on August 14, 2015

I love the 1960’s dress I made last week, so I’ve made another one:

voorThis time, I used a pattern from 1968 which is a bit shorter and a bit more fitted.  This one is really very simple: A sleeveless shift with french darts at the front (which start on the high hip and are curved to do some waist shaping as well) and normal darts and a zipper at the back.

1960I used a fabric I got from my sister. It’s been in my stash for a while because it always seemed a bit too much for my usual dress styles. It works well for this dress but I have enough fabric for two more…

voor2As usual, there is more to read and see about this dress on my blog.

Continue Reading