Madras Plaid Unusual-Front Shirt

By on June 15, 2016

This shirt was made for my hubby out of a vintage year 1956 pattern, Butterick #7673. It has a neat and very different “two button horizontal closing” which opens up the collar at the neck to allow it over the head.


Surprisingly, for my part in making it, hubby’s shirt was so easy to make and required very little fabric (less than two yards) – on his end he loves the soft madras cotton, the subtle details, and comfy fit. To see and read more, please visit my blog page for my project here.

combo detail pic-comp

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1950s | Dresses

Belle of the Ball

By on September 16, 2012

This weekend, my dance club had their annual ball, and the theme was animated characters. Of course, I had to go as a Disney princess, and decided on Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” since her colouring is most similar to mine! However, I’ve never been a fan of her iconic yellow ballgown, so I decided to recreate her everyday outfit:

Screenshot from YouTube, click for clip

I made the dress and apron, but the blouse was just something I already had. Unfortunately I was running late so didn’t get too many pictures!!

Here are the facts:

Fabric: 2 second hand bed sheets (~$1)
Pattern: Dress pattern 8736 from March 1956 Australian Home Journal. No pattern for apron.
Features: The dress has back, waist and bust darts, a round neckline, a gathered skirt and a side zip. The apron is simply a gathered piece on a waistband.
Alterations: The dress pattern was for a 36″ bust. I cut it out without adding seam allowances, but added around an inch to the bodice, and cut the straps super long, so I could adjust them before sewing to the right length. I sewed the straps together instead of making the button closure. I ended up taking in the side seams about 2 inches at the bust, tapering to an inch at the waist.
Notions: 1 zipper (~10c)
Total price: ~$1.10

Yes, I am wearing slippers……

More on my blog!

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1950s | Children | Dresses

Salvaged dress completed!

By on September 13, 2012

The mouse disease dress is completed! I suppose I should have shown you the pattern on my previous post, so you’d know why it was so important to me to salvage it.

Cute, isn’t it? The material is actually a vintage bed sheet from a thrift store – I love sewing with bed sheets, especially poly-cotton percale because it makes a dress you rarely have to iron! This one had a muslin-type weave, which makes for an interesting texture. I actually salvaged all of the bits I used for this dress – lining material cut from a length of muslin I used to use as photo backdrops, and vintage buttons from another dress of mine that sadly got irreversibly stained.

I let Betsy choose the style she wanted – she chose no collar, no waist sash, and a bow at the neckline. Since I dispensed with the collar I decided to line the bodice instead of facing – I’d have sleeve facings to contend with as well as the neckline, and kimono sleeve facings never lay right in my experience (unless you tack them down by hand – who wants to do that?) Lining it was incredibly quick and easy – I’ll always do it that way in the future.

I think B. was right on with her embellishment choices. It looks similar to the one on the pattern envelope, but it’s a bit less twee and a bit more sophisticated – not that there’s anything wrong with dainty little collars, but she’s nine-and-a-half and wants to look mature! As it is, this looks like something I’d make for myself, if maybe in a different print.

She’s even got the ‘vintage-pattern-haughty-lady pose’ down pat – the girl just needs an invisible chair or something to lean on. 😉 I am so proud!

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Vintage Sewing

1956 Timeline…Simplicity 1688

By on January 24, 2012

Following on from Time and Again’s bathing suit pattern from 1947 and her timeline suggestion here is a skirt from the 1956 timeline slot aka Simplicity 1688.

I made this about two or three years ago and was my first venture into vintage patterns.I haven’t really worn it this winter as I seem to have evolved into wearing maxi skirts which I find more comfortable…and as you can see from the picture this skirt makes me look very dumpy and middle aged! It is a pity I don’t wear it more as the fabric used is a nice handwoven wool and the weaver does not supply the shop that I buy most of my new fabric from.I don’t know if that is just down to cost or whether he has gone out of business.I did think I might cut it up and make a bag out of it.The blouse is also from the 50’s and is Simplicty 4530.

The picture was taken last June as part of  Me Made June 11 and was taken in a hurry… so forgive the washing hanging out on the line!

Both can be seen here and here.



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