Archives for category: Children

In spite of not starting these until the Tuesday before Easter, I finished these frocks with enough time to do a photoshoot and Easter isn’t until tomorrow! Of course getting a decent picture of two very active girls is a bit of a trick…

With Amy (little one’s) dress, I decided to leave the scalloped apron unadorned. What with the waist tie (I cheated and used a ribbon) and the little bow at the collar and the contrast and the topstitching on the pintucked yoke, I felt like there was enough happening on the front of her dress!

Oh, and a word to the wise – if you decide to make a dress like this, don’t use Kona cotton for the apron. Two layers of Kona, gathered, at the waist was right bulky! I was so afraid I was going to break a serger needle on it!

Betsy’s dress is a dropped waist style which works well if you have a girl like mine with a looong torso. She still fits into her thrift shop crinoline slip from last year – that was one less thing I had to do!

The ribbon trim was my favorite part. I sew ribbons on everything.

I am so pleased with how these turned out; I hope the girls don’t outgrow them anytime soon! Then again, the sky blue material was re-purposed from a bed sheet so they didn’t really cost us anything.

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Hello again! The one nice thing about making vintage children clothing is that several can be made in the time it would take me to make one dress for myself. That is, until she gets quite a bit bigger 😉

Back in December I posted a dropped-waist alteration I had made to this pattern:


Simplicity 8714, copyright 1970

I’ve been at it again – trying a few different things with my wide-shouldered very active toddler. The first version in blue is useful, but did not fit as well as I wanted it to.


baggy in some places, pulling too much in others.

So I made alterations detailed here and ended up with this:

I like the finished result! She looks quite a bit like the toddler in the bottom right corner of the envelope – but with straight sleeves added on (it is cold here!). One more picture of the remake here.


McCalls 8715
year was 1967

I fell in love with the illustrations on this envelope long ago – and my own daughter hasn’t even grown into this size yet! But – circumstances came up and I got to use it last night. I made it in the top view for my niece Elizabeth, who lives in Minnesota. It was extremely simple and easy to alter to what fabric was on hand. I used it as a ‘safety’ pattern because I can’t get there to try anything on her and the A-line shaping means it is very likely to fit her. Her mom measured her around the chest and it came out to match this pattern. The last dress I had made her she had outgrown and was pretty upset about it! Auntie sewer to the rescue.

Pictures of the finished (but unpressed) product at my blog.


Simplicity 5169 – 1972

Hi! Rhelynn again. I’ve had my eye out for this pattern in a size 4 for about three months. I decided it probably wasn’t going to happen anytime soon – so I bought it in a size 6, and then went looking for a ‘close enough’ pattern to alter it from. I took the girl in the center for a fabric suggestion, and used what I had in my stash trying to get the look. She has been needing a longer torso length in her dresses, as well.

This is what I ended up with:


My three year old daughter in her ‘dirndl’ style dress.
We have had numerous wonderful comments in public, and she likes it, too.


She is always in motion
this was one attempt at capturing a photo of the back
for being detailed, this dress performs ‘in action’ better than expected

Just before Christmas I found this pattern in the right size! I was on my way.


Simplicity 8714 – 1970
All of the main pieces came from this pattern.

I did skip the gathered stay sleeves, which were a large part of the ‘vintage’ in the pattern. I knew they would be extremely impractical on my three year old — so I used the same cap of the sleeve in the pattern but made it longer using a ‘standard’ pattern piece I keep for sleeves. I used the original pattern to discern how large and how to attach the waist panel all around. In retrospect I should have used a much longer zipper as it was a tad difficult to get on even with the longest one I had in my stash. I like everything I make for her to easy enough getting it on, decent to wash in a regular clothes washer and to not constrict her natural movement. Those are my goals learning how to make clothes 🙂

I’ve got more in mind for this pattern — see more on this project and new attempts at KnitOwl blog.

I made this charming little coat and hat for my son, Henry. The pattern is McCall’s 6255 from 1962. It was a stunt outfit for pictures, so I skipped all the interesting tailoring instructions included in the pattern. It still took me two years to finish it!


(Photo by Jennifer Morrison Photography)


Details on my blog, Chronically Uncool.

I sewed up a Christmas dress for my 8 month old daughter using vintage Simplicity 9128. It came out so pretty, and I am really excited to get photos of her in front of our tree for this year’s Christmas card. All of the trimmings were vintage goodies from my late Grandma’s stash, and the fabric was from a bag of scraps given to me by a neighbor. All I paid for was the pattern, and that was ten cents! Well, a little bit of work goes a long way sometimes:

See more photos and read a little about my girl’s dress at my blog Farmhouse Garden. I hope all of your projects are going well too!

Hi! My name is Rhelynn, and this the first time I’ve posted to Sew Retro! I have been sewing most of my life but only began making clothes once my daughter was born. I bought a Singer Advanced when she was five months old, and give it a workout several times a week. All of my daughter’s clothing is handmade, mostly from vintage patterns. It is hard to keep up with her rapid growth and a learning curve! She is a happy model and very opinionated about what ‘Mumum’ makes for her. I have made a few vintage things for myself, as well, and continue to improve. I’ve loved following along and have taken a lot of inspiration from all of your wonderful blogs and projects!


This is Butterick 2194, size 2, undated but circa 1960

I needed, and thought I was working with, a size 3! But, Butterick patterns allow a 5/8 seam allowance. I compared this size 2 to a similar modern size 3 and found that with a 1/4 inch seam allowance they were nearly the same size. I was going to make view ‘B’, the girl in the blue dress. Then my daughter steered me towards this cow print fabric instead of the blue fabric. She said ‘yuck’ to the blue and ‘kiss’ to the cows. So – cow dress it was. The cow print is definitely not ‘vintage’ – but I hope that’s ok with you!

The trickiest part was gathering the side skirt to a flat front bodice, and putting in the tie belts between the bodice parts before attaching the skirt.

Finished and on!

I might make it for her again, but cut the neckline deeper on the second try!

a few more pictures in the blog post on the project
Come visit us at KnitOwl blog 🙂