Fourties Summer Beach Outfit

1940s Simplicity 2208

1940s Simplicity 2208

So this was meant for the beach.  And for summer.  So why have I only made it now – at the very end of the summer?  Because the pattern only arrived in my sticky paws recently and only more recently did I snap up the perfect fabric!  It was one of the patterns I took with me on holiday to cut out.  I decided against trying to persuade the other half to take the sewing machine so took a pile of fabrics & patterns instead.  I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one!

Simplicity 2208 in rose print linen

Simplicity 2208 in rose print linen

This is Simplicity 2205, dated somewhere in the 1940s, I wish I could be more precise, but the date is on the instructions, which did not come with my pattern.  Never mind, thankfully it wasn’t too difficult to figure out how to put it all together.  The fabric I chose is a pretty red rose print linen.  Of course I bought the fabric without the pattern and only just had enough to fit everything on.  I am really happy with how it worked out.

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Handstitched lapped side zip

Handstitched lapped side zip

The top is really simple, the back has shoulder darts, the sleeves that typical fullness that 40s tops have.  I used French seams for the side & shoulders and bound the entire edge with self-bias.  The sleeves are finished with self bias too.

The shorts have mock Fench seams and a hand stitched lapped zip on the left.  The two pleats in the front as well as one pleat in the back ensure a good fit at the waist and a looser fit over the hips.  The hems of the shorts are finished with bias tape.  Even without the instructions this was not a difficult make.

The details

The details

This is the last of the very summery makes for a while, I do have the most wonderful peacock feather print cotton that I cut out during the holidays.  It’s going to make a fabulous early 60s Vogue pattern, so maybe that’ll be the next item you see here – or maybe I’ll get distracted with something else!  I do desperately need to get my new pattern purchases sorted in proper storage.  The longer they hang about, the more I cannot decide what to make next!

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Flirty Fourties Seaside Shorts

 

1949 Simplicity

1949 Simplicity 2836

How cute are these??  Another pattern sourced on Etsy last month!   The pattern is a very tattered Simplicity 2836 dated inside to 1949.

Perfect turn-up shorts.

Perfect turn-up shorts.

I knew I wanted to make a pair of these cute shorts for Belle & was hoping her sister would love them too.  They’re nicely fitted on the natural waist and despite being lose at the hem, they’re not baggy.  They’re perfect!

Vintage Simplicity 2853 in striped linen

Vintage Simplicity 2836 in striped linen

I made a toile using the plain pattern (no turn-up).  It was so quick to make, the curved seams on the pockets look great and I’m tempted to highlight those in some way on the next make.  The pattern allows for a placket and poppers on the left side seam, but does have the “insert slide fastener according to manufacturer’s instructions” note as well.  This is good, because I think a row of poppers could be slightly dodgy on these shorts!  For Belle the waist was quite tight, this is unusual  because her waist measurement is exactly 25″, the right size for these shorts.  Anyhow, I graded the side seams only from the hip line up to the waist, going out 5mm at  the top on each side seam.  This meant lengthening the waistband too, but it did the job.  Belle’s hip measurement is usually a size up from her waist so I had wondered about needing to enlarge the whole thing, but the ease was enough to accomodate the larger measurement & I’m confident she can get away with them like they are.

DSC09530-1With no other adjustments needed, I was ready to cut!  I’d been given a linen tablecloth a couple of weeks ago to make the most fabulous 1930s sundress (which had a tablecloth on the envelope as suitable fabric!!).  Unfortunately there were a couple of markings that just wouldn’t come off which meant the dress wasn’t going to be made from that.  But I had a brainwave and tested out the pattern pieces for the shorts instead.  Bingo!!  The tablecloth is white with classic blue stripes along all four sides.  I positioned the pattern to take full advantage not only of the stripes but also the stable selvage edge to use as the hem.  I pinned all the stripes together so they had no chance of movement while I was cutting, placed the pocket pieces on the remaining non-marked white parts and cut the waistband on the paler blue stripe on the other side of the cloth.

seaside shortsAgain, the construction was pretty straight forward.  Pinning every stripe on the side seams to match made 100% sure those little blighters weren’t going anywhere (to be honest, the fabric helped – no slipping with linen!).  The pocket edges were topstitched in matching white – fancy stuff next time, to keep the look classic and crisp.  For the seam finishes I opted for the humble zig-zag.  This linen is tightly woven and gets bulky when doubled up.  I felt this was the best finish – apart from overlocking, & I was too hot & lazy to drag the overlocker outdoors!  I used an invisible zip in the left side seam, not worrying too much about keeping proper period details here as they are for Belle to keep.  She chose the sparkly blue button from my stash, not a vintage one!  The belt carriers were cut on the pale blue too and make good vertical breaks in the horizontal waistband.

Construction details

Construction details

Who knew an old tablecloth could look so good?

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She loves these new shorts & I can’t wait to see them on the beach in Cornwall in a couple of weeks!  Of course, once she saw how fabulous they looked on Belle, her sister was convinced to try the toile too.  Again, the waist needs to be a little wider, only about 1cm this time, but the length in the crotch is too much, so I’ll shorten the shorts in the body and get started on another pair!  :)  I’m glad they both like these shorts – now to convince them to have the clam digger length!

Beach ready!

Beach ready!

And just a few more photos, because I have them!  :)

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The “looking seriously into the distance” pose. Although I think she was watching the birds on the bird feeder.

And the "Does my bum look big in these?" pose.  :)

And the “Does my bum look big in these?” pose. :)

Now to find a suitable piece of fabric in the stash to make another pair for Belle’s sister.  Enjoy your weekend, hope the sun is shining as nicely as it is here.  :)

An Elegant Blouse

1950s Advance 9815

1950s Advance 9815

I bought this great pattern from Eleanor Merriwether on Etsy last month, and once it arrived, I knew I had to make it up.  It has jumped the long queue of dresses and other blouses in my “make me now” pile, mostly because it came with a parcel from a friend who supplied the fabric!  She sent me this white cotton with blue pinspots, & I really wanted to use it for this pattern.

1950s Advance 9815 in white cotton pinspot

1950s Advance 9815 in white cotton pinspot

The pattern was in great condition, used but whole.  I decided to make the 3/4 sleeve version, because I had enough fabric!  So often my choices are made for me because of lack of fabric.  Or pattern pieces.  It was a quick pattern to make.  There are no darts, tucks at the waist create the shape.  It looks fabulous tucked into a high waisted wiggle skirt!

I chose pale blue buttons to compliment the spots instead of white ones.  I had hoped to find enough suitable buttons in my stash, but the only ones that there were enough of came from Husband’s John Rocha shirts.  In the local haberdashery we started a bit of a debate about the colours for the buttons.  While I was picking the right size & shade, another customer suggested I stick to white.  She felt the blue stood out too much.  I really didn’t feel that way & eventually went with my gut, but what do you think? Do the blue stand out too much or do they give this blouse that little extra “oompfh”?

The details

The details

I love the shaped cuff, I have to confess that this was the main reason why I wanted to make the longer sleeved version of the blouse!  I interfaced the cuffs with a crisp cotton fusible, while keeping a softer interfacing on the collar and fronts.  This means the front of the blouse is maleable, while the cuffs stay nice and sharp.

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I used flat fell seams throughout, they give a great finish and the topstitching helps the blouse to feel less formal.  I can see it looking just as fabulous with a pair of jeans or cropped trousers as it does with this wiggle skirt.  The blouse will be in my Etsy shop tomorrow.  It is made for a bust 34″ or 83cm and has a decent amount of ease.  The blouse is roomy enough for Belle to feel that it may be a little too big for her, so someone with measurements a little larger than the envelope sizes should still be able to fit into it.

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I am working on another vintage pattern that jumped the “make me now” queue!  A Simplicity shorts pattern from 1949 caught my eye, also on Etsy - SloCrafty (don’t let the other half know how much I spend there!!!) and Belle was very keen to have a pair for the summer.  As she is now on her summer holidays, I recon it’s about time to make them quickly!  I toiled the pattern today and only have a minor adjustment at the waist to make, so tomorrow they get made!  Photos soon, promise!

vintage pattern goodies for sale

I have a confession.  I have more vintage patterns than I can currently store safely and properly!  I snapped up a large, and I mean LARGE box of vintage patterns from the fourties to the nineties a couple of weeks ago and have been slowly sifting though them all, trying to decide which are definitely to keep and which I can bear to part with.  This has been a hard job!  They are all gorgeous and special in their own way, but there is really a limit to what I can keep right now and how many coat patterns of a similar style do I realistically need to keep??

So, with that thought firmly in mind, I have identified 35 patterns, so far, that I can sell.  Here are 8.  They are in my Etsy shop with full details and costs.  If you’d prefer not to buy via Etsy, let me know by email or tweet and we can make an arrangement.

Vintage patterns for sale

Vintage patterns for sale

  1.  1949 Simplicity 2949 Topper/Coat, Bust 34, used & complete.  £7
  2. 1951 McCall’s 8604 Dress, Bust 42, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £8
  3. 1950s Style 1001 Coat, Bust 36, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £20
  4. 1950s Style Print 629 Blouses, Bust 36, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £20.
  5. 1956 McCall’s 3902 Nightgown, Bust 36, Used & complete.  £5.
  6. 1950s Simplicity 2312 Robe, size Large, used & complete.  £5
  7. late 1950s early 1960s Simplicity 3908 Sundress & jacket, Bust 36, used & complete.  £5
  8. 1960s Vogue 6345 Skirt suit, Bust 34, used, blouse front missing.  £5

Also added are these two

patterns for sale

patterns for sale

9.  1960s Vogue 4286 Coat, Bust 36, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £20

10.  1960s McCall’s 6785 Skirt suit, Bust 35, Used & complete.  £5

I’ve added these three now too!

3 Vogues from the 1960s

3 Vogues from the 1960s

11.  1960s Vogue 6052 Chesterfield Coat, Bust 36, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £20

12.  1960s Vogue Special Design 6667 Dress and Cape, Bust 36, dress used & complete, cape unused.  £7

13.  1960s Vogue Special Design 4300 Skirt, Jacket & Blouse, Bust 36, used & complete.  £7.

 

For postage costs the following applies.  Each pattern will be individually  packaged in a plastic envelope, surrounded by card and placed into a padded envelope.

To the UK, 1st class post costs £2.00

To Australia & New Zealand airmail costs £5.00

To Europe airmail costs £4.00

To the rest of the world the cost is £5.00.

If you want more than one pattern, the postage will go up, but I’ll have to check with the Post Office before confirming the cost, it all depends on weight and envelope size.

I hope you can help me out making more room for the patterns that will be left.  There are more to list, it takes a while to get them all checked and photographed!

A Little Birdie Told Me

1950s LeRoy

1950s LeRoy

Well, what do you know, I have finally made this gorgeous bell skirted dress from a 1950s LeRoy pattern.  I’ve wanted to make the pattern up since I got it in Tewksbury at the beginning of the year, and once I’d found the cute grey bird print cotton I knew it was meant for this dress!  But it’s taken a long while to get it made up as other things kept jumping the queue.

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I love how it looks, the simple front totally belies the pleats and the open back.  It has an interesting closure – no zip!  There is a deep pleat in the centre back & two hooks & eyes and a sewn on snap to hold it all together.  At first Belle thought this was a reather dodgy idea, but after twirling about for a bit realised it wasn’t going to open & she wouldn’t be showing off her knickers to all and sundry!

The back is cool with the open top & big pleats in the centre.

The back is cool with the open top & big pleats in the centre.

I stitched & pinked the bodice seams, turning under the raw edges on all the facings to keep it neat and used a mock French finish on the skirt side seams.  The centre back seam has a clean finish because it has to open at the top.  The raw edge at the hem is bound with white cotton bias binding and hand stitched with herringbone stitch.  I had wanted to bind all the seams with the white bias, but the seam allowance is only 1.25cm which is just too narrow to apply the bias sucessfully.

The details

The details

The popper and hooks were sewn on with buttonhole stitch and the loop for the outer hook was made with buttonhole stitch too.  There is an underskirt (which I have forgotten to photograph!) which helps the skirt to keep its bell shape.  It’s a simple a-line skirt with darts at the waist and topped with bias binding which forms a tie to close with at the side.  It’s amazing that such a simple underskirt makes quite a difference to how the skirt of the dress sits.

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Belle loves this dress, mostly because of the bird print.  She is hooked on watching the little birds in our garden at the moment, the sparrows, tits,little robin & blackbirds.  Luckily I have enough of this fabric to make another dress, so I may use it for a modern pattern for her.

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I have also finished the brown satin wiggle dress, but I need a model for it!  If anyone in the South Warwickshire area would be interested in modeling it for me, give me a shout!  This pretty little number will be in my Etsy shop soon, if you’re interested…  And now I need to decide which lovely piece of fabric to make up next.  That “make me now!” pile isn’t getting any smaller.  ;)

 

 

vintage pattern scoop

You never know where you’re going to spot vintage patterns.  They may be in a charity shop, an antiques barn or your local fabric shop.  I dropped into Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon this afternoon to grab a couple of zips & some thread for a new project and on heading to the till noticed a box on the table where they display their cotton batiks.

There was a sign on the side of the box that read “Donations to charity” and peeking out the top were some patterns.  Interest piqued, I headed over to see what was on offer.  I spotted the first vintage pattern very quickly, then flipped through the rest of the box, hauling out pattern after pattern!  I left the 70s, 80s & 90s for someone else – I’m not completely selfish!  At the counter paying for the legitimate purchases, the shop assistant pointed to the Shakespeare Hospice charity box and said:  “Just put some money in there for them.”  So I popped a fiver into the box (the only cash  I had on me at the time) and left very happy!!  Do you want to see what I got?

1960s Butterick 2452 & McCalls 6785

1960s Butterick 2452 & McCalls 6785

1960s Vogue 6892 & Simplicity 7319

1960s Vogue 6892 & Simplicity 7319

1957 Vogue 9239 & 1960s Vogue 6385

1957 Vogue 9239 & 1960s Vogue 6385

1960s Vogue 3021 & Vogue 5455

1960s Vogue 3021 & Vogue 5455

None of them are completely unused, but Mrs Addis, their previous owner, hadn’t used all the pieces.  There are jackets unused in some envelopes, dresses or skirts in others.  She sketched some ideas for dresses & left them in a couple of the envelopes.  She could draw!

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I love finding these little treats in vintage patterns, whether they be receipts, sketches or sometimes even scraps of fabric.  They make the patterns that bit extra special.  Thank you Mrs Addis, your patterns have a safe new home with me, where they’ll be loved & made up in beautiful fabrics – eventually!  :)

 

A quick make to get me started

The answer to the previous post’s question, “Where do I start?”is – with something that isn’t even on the list!  I just felt the need to make a vintage pattern again, and all of those pretty dress patterns were shouting equally loudly to be considered first.  There was a piece of blue & white poly satin on top of the “make me now” pile on my sewing table that I’d bought a week ago.  It was waiting for a space in the stash-box.  Now it doesn’t need that space!

1970s Maudella

1970s Maudella 5743

This was one of the patterns I’d bought from Replay Vintage in Tewksbury back in March.  I thought the blouse was cool, and easily wearable today.  That piece of blue & white satin was destined for this pattern.  I had just enough, perfect.

1970s Maudella in blue satin

1970s Maudella in blue satin

I used French seams throughout & double turned the hem to hide all raw edges.  Then I did something I usually don’t see the point in doing.  I hand stitched the zip in the back seam.  I know, many people do it – but I feel if you don’t want to see stitching, use an invisible zip.  However – they didn’t have invisible zips in the seventies.  The fabric is too delicate for machine stitching, so it really was the only option.  I found it a surprisingly relaxing experience.  The armholes are finished with bias strips of the same fabric, hand stitched in place.

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It was a quick pattern to make up, even with the French seams & hand stitched zip.  I cut it in the morning & photographed it that afternoon.  I really like the ties on this blouse, I’m gong to keep it in mind for the next time I draft something with ties!  The only thing that didn’t work was the height – the pattern envelope illustration shows the ties forming a high collar – this doesn’t happen & I’m not sure it’s just because of the fabric choice.  Regardless, I like the way it’s worked out.

Hand stitched zip in the centre back seam

Hand stitched zip in the centre back seam

I love how this looks with Belle’s pistachio 50s wiggle skirt, it just goes to show you really can mix your fashion decades!  :)

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While Belle does like this top very much, it’s just a little on the small side for her wide shoulders, so it will be available in my Etsy shop shortly.

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As far as the choice of all those lovely dresses goes, I took the plunge this morning and cut out the LeRoy dress in the bronze (not brown after all) floral satin.  I had really wanted to make the full skirted version with cummerband, but the person who owned that pattern before me hadn’t put those pattern pieces back in the envelope after last using them.  it was so disappointing!  I could have drafted a new skirt, but after checking the fabric requirements of the straight skirt version I had the choice taken out of my hands.  I had mere centimetres left over but I’m excited to get started on it tomorrow.  Once it’s made, I’ll just need someone as awesome as the dress will be to model it for me!  :)

 

With so many pretty things to make, how do I choose where to start??

Ok, lets face it, it’s not exactly an earth shattering problem, but it’s a problem for me, nontheless.  I love looking through my pretty vintage patterns, and I love adding to the collection even more!  This week I managed to get my sticky paws on 25 new patterns, I must photograph them and show them off!  :)  But that means more to make up!  I have identified these cuties, and actually managed to get fabric that I think will make up really well too, but I simply cannot decide where to start.  Unfortunately vintage patterns are not the only items in my “MAKE ME NOW!!” queue.  So these are my ideas…

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Late 1950s Simplicity dress

I love the Irish linen I’ve chosen for this dress, I hope there’ll be enough for the full skirt version of this fabulous dress.

Simplicity blouse from the 1940s

Simplicity blouse from the 1940s

I’d bought this pretty rose print cotton ages ago, thinking it would be perfect for a vintage blouse, so I’m paring it with View 1 of this 1940s pattern.

LeRoy pattern from the 1950s

LeRoy pattern from the 1950s

This LeRoy pattern is definitely one of my favourites, and I know the pleated skirt will look fantastic in this brown embroidered satin – again, I just hope there’s enough fabric!  Then again, the sheath would look just as fine.

Two for one!

Two for one!

I’ve loved these patterns for ages, and when I bought this vintage cotton floral print, I immediately thought of the dress on the right, Simplicity 4284, maybe with contrast cuffs & collar.  There is a lot of this fabric, so hopefully with the leftovers I will manage either the skirt or top of Simplicity 4340.  The piece I cannot make in the floral can be made in a solid colour.

1950s Simplicity Blouse

1950s Simplicity Blouse

I loved this cotton print when I bought it, and had in mind a sleeveless blouse.  So I may make version 2, but if there’s enough for sleeves, I see version 3 calling my name!

1940s glamour

1940s glamour

Isn’t this pattern just gorgeous??  I’ve been wanting a suitable fabric to use for the bow neck versions for ages, so when I found this olive floral silk in a charity shop – 5m for £3!!! – I had to have it.  I know it will make this an even more glamourous blouse, if I can get round to making it up!

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1950s LeRoy Dress

I know, you’ve seen this before…  And despite how much I love the pattern and the birdie fabric, I still haven’t got round to cutting and making!!  I hope that shows I am busy with other makes, not that I am beset with indecision!  :)

I must make something, I must make something..  I must START something.

Please say I’m not alone in this.

 

 

Leafy Summer Coat

1968 McCalls 9608 in John Kaldor twill

1968 McCalls 9608 in John Kaldor twill

The summer coat is done!  To be honest, I finished it 2 weeks ago – but had to wait until a certain birthday before I could show it to you all.  The coat was made for one of my best friends for her birthday.  It was a big suprise, she had no idea she’d be getting a handmade coat!  I must apologise for the lack of photos, this friend is not terribly keen on the camera, so I had to be sneaky.  :)

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The length is perfect, my friend is as tall as Belle, so I knew if I tested the length on her that it would be right.  I love the overall look, and may very well be trying to make this again.  The stretch twill is great for extra movement, & the Hong Kong finish on the inside looks fabulous!  I love the buttons & bound buttonholes too, it’s all worked out really well.

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The back looks like it was made from 4 panels, but is really only 2.  the central back seam & the long darts give great shaping.  The sleeves could probably have been a teeny bit longer, & I have offered to let them down if she finds them annoyingly short.  The shape is perfect, slightly trumpet-shaped.

We celebrated her birthday with a visit to the American Museum in Bath to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition.  While is is only a small exhibition, it certainly packs a punch with colour & pattern!  If you’re in the area, it really is worth popping in.

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The weather was not in a happy birthday mood, rain, fog & general miserable stuff, but the exhibition definitely made up for the lack of a nice day.  I love the decorations in that big tree, it was such fun!

Ooi, no more photos!  ;)

Ooi, no more photos! ;)

Now I need to get started on the Birdie dress!

 

Picking pansies in the Spring

1956 Simplicity 1727

1956 Simplicity 1727

This is the second outing for this pattern, this time in a Liberty pansy print tana lawn.  The blouse is destined for  one of the florists in town, so the print is very appropriate!  She asked me to make her one like the polka dot blouse I made earlier, but without the stand-up collar.  So here it is.

Simplicity 1727 in Liberty print lawn.

Simplicity 1727 in Liberty print lawn.

I love the fabric, it’s so cute & summery!  I used French seams throughout (there are only 4) a finish I almost always use on Liberty cotton.  It makes for such a pretty, neat inside.  This is a really quck & easy pattern to make.  There are no sleeves to set in and no buttons or buttonholes to make.  It just pulls over the head.  I suppose if you were worried you could use the back seam to make a keyhole opening & fasten with a button & loop, but with the width of the neckline, this really isn’t necessary.

DSC08337-1The only thing that’s a pain with this top is the darts.  Why?  Because there are 16 of them!  Yup, you read that correctly, sixteen.  They do turn this top from what could be a bit of a sack into a beautifully shaped garment, and then there are 3 on each of the sleeves creating a shaped sleeve which is so typical of the period.  So if you hate sewing darts, this might not be the pattern for you!

DSC08333-1Now I’m just waiting for Belle to ask whether there is more of this fabric to make something for her..  I think the florist will be happy though!

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DSC08329-1I have finished the 60s coat dress too, I just need to get some photographs for you, it looks fabulous!  :)