Vintage Sewing

Embroidery for Christmas

By on December 26, 2015

I embroidered on the gingham apron to make a Christmas present – unfortunately I didn’t realise you were supposed to embroider on the dark patches not the light ones, and there was a fifty/fifty chance of getting it right at random… I got it wrong!
So the pattern doesn’t show up quite as well as it might have done.

Embroidered design
Embroidered design

It’s pretty, though. I adapted the design from one for a ‘corner’ and had to do several sets of frantic last-minute alterations when I realised that the outside didn’t line up with the inside if you just did a straight motif – unfortunately I’d already put in all the central flowers by that point.
I don’t think anyone will notice that it’s off-centre on the apron by a couple of checks as a result…

Front view of apron being worn

I used some gold metallic embroidery floss for the yellow centres of the flowers, which I found quite hard to work with. (I thought the outside ‘lace’ might show up better if I went round the edge with gold, but swiftly abandoned that idea!)

Close-up of flowers
Close-up of flowers

Hmm, it hasn’t come out very well in the photo. The centres as beautifully shiny in real life.

The gold floss is safe to wash at 60 degrees C, according to the label, and as this is an apron it will probably need to get washed. So I decided it would be safer to cover the loose ends of all the threads on the back with a lightweight patch, even though I did fasten them in well. (Well enough that I had considerable difficulty in ripping them out again when I decided to change the design!)

I used a square of old cotton sheet, which was suitably thin and off-white, and hemmed it down all round for strength rather than beauty using off-white thread. Luckily the little hem-stitches don’t really show up amid the busy gingham pattern on the right side. The apron fabric is quite coarse, so very well suited to this type of work.

Patch on wrong side of work to cover the loose ends
Patch on wrong side of work to cover the loose ends
Click for close-ups.
Close-up of hemming
Close-up of hemming

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1950s | Dresses | Embroidery | Vintage Sewing

A 1950’s Embroidered Peasant Dress

By on December 10, 2014

Wow! It sure has been a long time since I’ve posted over here!  I sure am glad to be back in this space. 🙂

I’m so happy to share my embroidered 1950’s peasant dress with you.

50s peasant dress 1

This dress is made out of a turquoise cotton broadcloth and I used Simplicity 3893, a vintage pattern from the 1950’s.

I’ve loved peasant dresses for a long time and have always wanted one.  My inspiration came from many photos I’ve seen over the years of peasant (or patio) dresses from the 50’s.

[sources: via Pinterest]
I freehand embroidered the neckline with pansies, which took me a couple of months to finish.  This was the first embroidery project that I’ve had for a very long time and made me happy to get back into it.  I considered doing some more embroidery on the skirt, but went with ribbon instead.

As this dress is basically a tent, I always intended to wear it with this silver and leather concho belt that I also made.

This dress was truly a labor of love for me from grading it up substantially to spending many nights on the couch embroidering it.  It’s something that I’ve always wanted and a dress that I love to wear, so it was definitely worth it.

Happy Sewing!

For more photos/info, please check out my blog:  Mrs. Hughes

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1950s | Blouses | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Vintage 50s Blouse with Monogram

By on November 27, 2013
pinstripe pencil skirt

simplicity 2195

I don’t often get chance to partake in sewing challenges. My own personal sewing list is long enough and even that is jeopardised by work and small people! But this blouse had a decent deadline and an exciting date to wear the finished shirt to. A bowling date with some really cool bloggers at London’s Bloomsbury Lanes!

simplicity 2195

It’s not strictly a bowling shirt, as you can no doubt see, but with a bit of black piping on the yoke and a hand embroidered monogram, it was the best I could find. And I wasn’t unhappy with it! It works as a day shirt too and sits great with a half circle skirt and my favourite boots, for a lunch date with the Mister!

simplicity 2195 vintage blouse

I did an FBA but other than that it was a very simple make and I am so going to make a gingham one to match the pic on the cover of the pattern.

simplicity 2195

More details over at ooobop!

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1950s | Buttons | Dresses | Embroidery | Vintage Sewing

Thanksgiving 50s Style

By on November 26, 2012

I hope all of you in the States had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend! I did! Now, I’m not too excited about Christmas stuff out and about around Halloween, but I do start to get in the mood around Thanksgiving and I did rock a Christmas vibe this year for turkey day!

I used Butterick 8078 to make up this pattern. I found this great 50s looking Christmas quilting fabric at JoAnn Fabrics last year so I snapped some up. (And I think I may have spied it there this year too!)

The pattern.


The white top felt a bit blah so I added a bit of red embroidery to spice it up. And I used a thrifted vintage belt kit to make the matching belt.

And what full skirted 50s dress would be complete without a crinoline? (Which is also me-made!) Want to see more of this dress? It’s on my blog too!

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1950s | Blouses | Shirts

Sometimes I knit retro too!

By on September 28, 2012

Sewing is fun but sometimes knitting vintage patterns is fun too! I knit this sweater from a pattern from A Stitch in Time Vol. 2 which is a book full of vintage knitting patterns from the 30s, 40s and 50s that have been rewritten using modern needle sizes, thread sizes and knitting terms. I paired it with a circle skirt I made using a vintage 50s pattern from a magazine and I embroidered it.

I adore the ribbon bow detail!

Yay knitting! My Ravelry page for this project is here. More details can be found on my blog.

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1950s | Embroidery | Pants / Trousers | Vintage Sewing

McCalls 5263 (1959) “Short Shorts”

By on June 20, 2012
I chose the "short shorts"

I decided to give these shorts a go, since I’ve always loved the look of high waisted shorts but don’t actually own any! Im usually NOT a shorts person, but these have converted me! They were easy to sew up & came together quite quickly (which i know we all love!).

I chose the "short shorts"

I chose a light weight wool in dark brown that i had laying around & even added a personal touch by hand embroidering a little bow design on the waistband!

Here are some photos of the finished product! Im quite happy with how they came out & it just so happened to be a nice warm day here in Berkeley…perfect for my new shorts’ debut!!

My Finished Shorts!

close up photo of the color & embroidery

my little hand embroidered bow!

I highly recommend these shorts to all of you gals who are looking for nice summer patterns…they’re great!


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