Archives for category: 1940s

…the last few weeks. I’ve been completely MIA at my own blog because I was sewing like a mad fiend for the Pattern Review “Sewing For Children” contest. I’ve got three pieces left to make before the end of the month and then I’ll heave a sigh of relief. In the mean time, I’ll share with you what I’ve made thus far. Some of it is good. I can’t seem to find any bad, but there is ONE fugly. But more on that later.
Let’s begin!

Advance 8932
a jumper and blouse pattern.

This is a size 8 or 10, if I recall correctly and hails from the late 50s. I only made the jumper since my childrens’ school requires *polo* shirts. Even for girls. Which is better than the button down oxfords *I* had to wear. But I digress. The fabric is a polyester spandexy suiting from Joann’s. It was red tag fabric that I picked up for ~$2/yard. WINNING!!!

You can see the pattern envelope here, if you like.

Simplicity 8769
1970
PantDress without skirt

From there, I branched out into some super 70s awesomeness, also known as the “pantdress”. Simplicity 8769 from 1970 was the pattern du jour. I used quilting cotton for the outer, juvenile apparel for the skirt and a vintage bedsheet purloined from my nana’s closet (with her permission, I promise!) for the lining. I wanted to fully line it because who wants raw edges in their hoo-ha?

I used the owl fabric for the reverse of the reversible skirt. Buttons were from my stash as was the zipper. W00T! for using up stuff in my stash!

Moving right along… We’ve hit the 60s and the 70s, lets aim for another decade…

Simplicity 4870

Helloooooo 1940s. Now there are some little girls who can’t carry off all these frills and ruffles. And to be honest, they CAN look a little dated. Luckily for my little peanut, that’s not the case.

For this seafoam green number, I used another one of nana’s purloined vintage sheets for the dress and lining. The trim is vintage deadstock lace! How awesome is that? Vintage pattern? Check! Vintage fabric? Check! Vintage trim? Check! Vintage button for the neck closing? Check!

This dress also came with the matching doll dress pattern as well. I took some liberties with the doll dress because I’d pretty much run out of ruffled part (the top of the sheet) and I’m a lazy cuss. I’m NOT going to put as much effort into a doll dress as I am a dress for an actual child. So I cheated a bit.

Simplicity 9529

Since we’re like, totally sewing our way through the decades, like fer sure, let’s swing by the 80s. They called and they want Simplicity 9529 back. This was a fun pattern to sew. It was all like, totally, a flashback for me. I think I owned an outfit very similar to this as a kid.

The skirt portion and jacket are fully lined with the raspberry fabric to keep the totally rad purple Star Trek TNG fabric from scratching the skin. And yes, I DID have to refrain from singing Raspberry Beret whilst I was working on this one. The skirt and bodice are all sewn together to give the impression of a skirt/blouse. The belt is detachable (and currently lost!?!). This beauty is dry clean only. Someone smack me back into sanity so I don’t ever do that again for a 9 year old. But really the fabric was JUST too awesome AND I bought it specifically for my purple lover AND it was all red tag fabric, so what’s a girl to do? I just wanted to have fun with it…

Simplicity 2007

I feel like I’m missing a decade in here or something. Let’s see, 80s…. Check. 70s…. Check. 60s…. Check. 40s…. Check. That’s IT! I’m missing the 50s. Okay. Here we go kiddies, let’s take a trip back to the Nifty Fifties!

This here is probably my second favoritest kids’ outfit I’ve ever made in the history of ever. Check OUT the mad plaid matching skillz! Now I know that some people think matching plaid is of the debbil, but for me, it’s like…. I don’t know how to describe it. It just is one of the most soothing things to do. Which means I’m officially nuts. Or something.

This is my daughter’s favoritest – even more than the purple – outfit I’ve made for her. What I love is that when sewing vintage patterns for her, she’s a straight 7/8 and not a 10/12 like the RTW stuff you find in stores. She’s freakishly short for her age (just like her mama!) so I’ve pretty much given up on RTW for this kid anyhow.

I especially love the side invisible zip and the back bow detail on this one. You just don’t see stuff like this at the local Big Box Mart.

And now, for the pe-ayce de ray-zis-tahnce…

McCall’s 4672
1942

McCall’s 4672, overalls and jacket. I’m giving you the big version of the picture so you can really take in the details:

Self-covered “stealth” buttons that are matched to the pattern of the fabric so you just don’t see them.
“Stealth” pocket on the jacket.
Chinese dragon that goes across the front from one leg to the other.
Fu Dogs that face each other on the jacket front.

Longevity symbol
overalls without jacket

How cool is THAT? Now that you’ve seen the good… Brace yourself for the fugly. Because, friends, it just ain’t a pretty sight.

1962
Toddler Maternity Pattern?

Yeah. Not quite the result I was looking for. This one did not pass go, did not get entered into the contest. Why? Well, despite the awesome fabric, it just wasn’t *right*. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And this was a BIG lose. Laura Petrie might have been able to carry this one off. Or even Lucy Ricardo as maternity wear. But even with dupioni silk(!) and awesome stretch check fabric that feels like taffeta, this outfit wouldn’t make the grade. And the shame of it all is that THIS pattern is one that I really, really, really wanted to make up. I’m not even sure I’d resell it, it’s so bad. Plus it’s missing a couple of pieces.

***And might I say I REALLY hate Blogger’s method for inserting photos into posts.

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My scanner broke 😦 so whatever is leftover on my hard drive is what I have for catalog Sunday. I hate not having a theme, but catalog sunday must go on!

This Sunday are scans from Du Barry fashion forecast, May 1941.
This was my pattern, which is dated 1946. When I opened it to press the pattern pieces, I discovered that the instructions were missing as well as all the pants pieces. This was of course after I bought the fabric for both. So the top is genuinely vintage and the pants are close-ish based on the line drawings. 

 I made them out of flannel, so they are comfortable. The top went together very easily. I essentially made view A with short sleeves. My only change was to omit the collar button, since I never wear things buttoned to the neck anyways.

 The pants are slightly giant, but I bet they would look more retro if I ironed them with a crease down the front.

More pictures of the pants on my blog, if you’re interested!



I recently finished one of the hats from Vintage Vogue V7464. Hat B to be precise. That pattern is pretty infamous for having poor instructions and I must say that I agree. It took me some time to figure the pattern out, though now when it is done, it really wasn’t that hard to make. I used green wool felt that is a bit on the thin side, but I starched the pattern pieces quite a lot after I cut them out and the hat holds up quite well. I’m not going to wear it when it rains, though.

In the hope that someone else may have an easier time with this pattern, I have made an illustrated guide on how I put it together. It’s in two parts and can be read here and here.


This summer I renovated a skirt that was once part of a dress my grandmother made in 1949, a dress that she was painted in. She had ripped it apart when the bodice got worn out, but never made anything out of the skirt. I can’t take credit for anything but making a drawstring waist (I didn’t want to fuss too much with the old fabric), but I think it’s a pretty and inspirational skirt, clearly inspired by the New Look. The fabric is printed cotton, yellow and white checkers on the diagonal. It’s rather faded, the yellow is much stronger in the seam allowances.

Detail picture on one of the two pockets.

Detail of the ruffle.

I found this pattern, Advance 4463, on eBay earlier this year and was so taken by the design features I just had to have it. The only drawback was there were no instructions. Being the sort of person who doesn’t tend to follow instructions anyway, I wasn’t deterred.



Construction of this dress was surprisingly easy. I used the image on the front and line drawings on the back of the pattern envelope as a reference and just went for it. I did, however, encounter a couple of problems; the main one being an error in line drawings on the back of the envelope.

Despite the ‘sewing blocks’, I really like how this dress turned out and it’s so comfortable I’ll likely get a lot of wear out of it when the warmer weather finally gets here. Not to mention I’ve managed to get all the lines to match up this time. Woohoo!!



More pics and details on construction problems on my blog: A New Ball of String

– Tamara