Monday, March 25, 2013

Before and After Hit Parade: Girl's 1940s Wartime Frock - Reliving History!

Seamstress: Jan
Pattern: Butterick 3488

This adorable frock from 1945 for a girl is totally adorable and the story of Jan's sewing project is simply brilliant! Jan sewed the frock in view B for her 11 year old daughter to wear to school for WWII day as part of their history/English curriculum. Check out the results!

 The result:

Look closely at these two photographs of her daughter, Georgia, in the frock - complete with other wartime accessories (gas mask box and small suitcase).

Jan wrote "An elderly gentleman who was a guest speaker at the WWII school event (he had lived through the war) approached my daughter and I to express his admiration for her outfit and I quote "if there was a prize for the most authentic look this little girl will get it. The other children have made a half way attempt but this little girl is in a league of her own". I then went on to explain I had made the dress from an original 1940s pattern which I'd purchased from the US.

My daughter's form teacher has taken a photocopy of the pattern together with a photo of Georgia in the dress and these will be exhibited along with other WWII items in their end of year celebration."

Isn't that awesome?!! Jan's beautiful daughter looks fantastic, like she just stepped out of a World War II movie. I love the fabric, the contrast collar and contrast wing cuffs (so authentic!). The accessories of beret, knee-high socks, the name tag, vintage suitcase, and gas mask box (omg!) all add up to a totally authentic look. Kudos to Jan for a fabulous and inspired job!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Scraps from the Past: 1980s full flirty shorts in nylon

This "scraps from the past" features the pattern Simplicity 6249 from 1983 - for pants, culottes, and short shorts. You may not care for the "Hammer" pants, but the culottes and shorts have a fun, very skirt-like fullness. The pattern has a very nifty design for the waistband, which is really two waistbands, with the front yoke-style band overlapping and fastening to the waistband beneath it.

The fabric our mystery seamstress tucked in the pattern is soft and sheer - plenty of movement for those full gathered skirt-like shorts. Swish, twirl! Can you visualize it? Or do you think she tucked in blouse material to go with the shorts?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 1968 Fashion News - London Swingers!

It's March, and what's the fashion news from March 1968? Well, 35 years ago, it was all about sun-bright dresses, pretty ensembles, and London swingers! ;) I love the colors and crisp style of these dresses and ensembles - such flirty attitude!

Simplicity 7524 

This Chelsea favorite has sassy mini-length and breaks into pleats. Bag and detachable collar and cuffs are included.


That pink on the model sure pops!

 Simplicity 7527

This London style has an on-the-go attitude in design and color - its mini-skirt length has flared flip!

I love the model's dress (crazy daisies :) and that super cute hair-do!

Simplicity 7535

 Go bold and striking with the architectural contrast of this classic A-line dress!


How bold dare you go?

Simplicity 7543

 This wardrobe pattern greets the new season with flair!

Envisioned in budding green flannel  and clear blue tweed by Simplicity - such eye-popping and soft colors.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Scraps from the Past - 1950s Casual Ensemble in Soft Summer Green

Sometimes a pattern illustration inspires us to sew the pattern just the same (as in my previous Scraps from the Past post). And sometimes we have a favorite fabric and look for a pattern that meets our need.

McCall's 4822 from 1958 is a great mix-n-match pattern for blouse with varying sleeve lengths, shorts in two lengths (short and Bermuda), and tapered ankle-length pants.

The original seamstress tucked this durable, yet soft, cotton fabric inside this pattern. It is a lovely shade of green. It has an almost-like-linen type of weave, but is much more pliable and softer than linen. Based on the pattern pieces that were cut, it looks like she sewed the Bermuda shorts in this fabric.

It makes me think of the pattern differently - in greens and blues and other colors, instead of the earthy browns and reds used on the pattern drawing. Lovely. I'm ready for green!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Scraps from the Past: 1950s Little Black Dress

Yes, she sewed it in black! She bought this textured, crisp cotton in black:

Not sure if it shows, but the fabric has a texture with tiny diamonds, and has a crisp, slightly shiny quality. And then our mystery seamstress took this beautiful dress pattern from 1958, McCall's 4561, to sew up view B to create a beautiful little black dress!

It's such inspiring style!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Before and After Hit Parade: 1960s Winter Hats - Cool Fashion!

Seamstress: Michelle
Pattern: Simplicity 7326

This pattern for hats from 1967 provides both a very Mod turban-style pill box hat and beret with some saucy variations. How can you beat that combination? Seamstress Michelle chose to sew view 1.

The Results:

Don't you just love it?! What a totally charming result. Bright braid trim on a thick white wool adds up to a cute and winter wonderful look. Michelle says that she chose a "white wool that had a lot of tooth and was also pre-washed for more felting.  I also did a polartec hood from that pattern which I've worn quite a bit too."

Michelle loves to sew, although she states that she does not sew professionally, just for family and friends. She especially loves sewing vintage 40s and 50s fashion, and thinks it's too bad more women don't sew. She is becoming quite a collector of vintage patterns, so expect more of her work to appear here.