Sewing Vintage for a Little Belle


1972 McCalls 3121

Remember this cute kid’s pattern I used to make a lovely wool coat for a friend’s baby daughter?  I couldn’t resist using it again when I’d got back from holiday, but this time to make the dress.  Carrying on with the theme from making the coat where I used scrap fabric, more scrapbusting was on the cards.

Collage fuchsia dress

McCalls Dress 3121 in Liberty cotton corduroy

First up was a skirt I’d made for myself from a self drafted pattern in a Liberty cotton corduroy.  I loved the fabric so much, at the time my favourite plant was the fuchsia, I had loads in the garden so this fabric purchase made perfect sense!  But this particular skirt was akward to co-ordinate.  The colours made it difficult for me to wear anything other than black with, and so it eventually got shoved to the back of the wardrobe.  It was, however, enough fabric to use to make this cute dress.


I think this fabric has worked so much better as a little dress than the skirt it originally was!

The front of the skirt was used for the front of the dress, it was the biggest piece to cut.  The back panels of the skirt were enough to fit the dress back and remaining pieces.  Pattern-matching wasn’t high on my list of priorities given the minimal amount of fabric to hand.  The pieces consist of a front on the fold, two back pieces, sleeves & front and back facings.  The front has three dart tucks from the shoulder to control fulness, the back has a centred zip – I used an invisible zip.


Details – front dart tucks

It was really quick to make, the seams are simply zig-zagged, the facings interfaced with Gill Arnold’s fine sheer interfacing and the raw edges turned under.  There was supposed to be a 7.5cm hem, but fabric constraints meant keeping it shorter.  It’s so cute, I thought another was required!


The next version uses up fabric left over from a pair of cropped trousers I made Belle a few years ago.  It’s a dusky pink cotton twill with cream spots that I think I bought from Ditto Fabrics, a long time ago.  The pattern has lace decorating the neckline, which gave me an idea.  In my stash of ribbons and trimmings I had a cute trim with cream coloured pompoms that looks just like the spots on the fabric.  So that’s what I chose to decorate the neck with.


I love this version, the spots are so cute!  This time I had a little more fabric, but still made a short hem.  What I have done is lengthen the dress, this is 3cm longer than the pattern with a 2cm hem.


I’m calling this version the Pearl Necklace dress.

I’d made a few little garments by now and the idea of sewing slowly was completely out of the window.  I had 3 piles of fabric to use up on little people’s clothes and not much time to make as many as possible!  So the overlocker came out, things went much faster after that!  An invisible zip in the centre back was also much faster to insert than a centered or lapped zip.  Much neater too, in my humble opinion.


Nice neat tucks


Invisible zip in the centre back

Both versions have been packed up ready for the post, I am looking forward to seeing photos of the recipient in them in two years time!  I have a few more vintage kiddie’s clothes to blog about, so that’s still to come.  Hopefully there will be a fair few more vintage kid’s makes on the cards for a couple of years.  Have any of you used vintage patterns for “modern” children?






7 responses to “Sewing Vintage for a Little Belle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s