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Posts Tagged ‘Simplicity’

Even though I’m not a ‘shorts’ girl, with the onset of summer I figured it would be a good time to try making a pair (coz lets face it – going camping in a 1950’s style dress just isn’t nearly as practical as I’d like it to be).

These were made using Simplicity 6946 from 1975. The pattern promised to be able to make a pair of shorts using only 1 metre or less of fabric, and I had a bit of scrap red cotton drill that was the perfect amount. Clearly, the fabric and the pattern were destined to be together.

I made up version 1, the “hip hugger” version, designed to sit 1.5″ below the natural waistline.

The pattern was very quick and easy to put together, and I’m contemplating trying it again sometime very soon….

There are some more details over on my blog.

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simplicity 1259

Hello, fellow We Sew Vintage members! I feel a bit sheepish about this post… I’ve been a member since this blog began, but managed to be a complete flake and forget about posting! Yikes! So anyway, I hope to begin to remedy this from here forward. My name is Casey and I blog at Elegant Musings about sewing, knitting, vintage fashion and whatever creative things are striking my fancy at the moment! I’ve been sewing in earnest with vintage patterns since I was about 18 (um… 7 years ago! lol.), although I’ve been interested in past fashions for most of my life. Although I adore fashion from many eras, my favored ones tend to be the late 1930s-50s, with the 1940s being my area of primary interest (and sewing/pattern collecting).

08.03.10 {late summer dress fix }

08.03.10 {late summer dress fix }

This dress I made last week using Simplicity 1259, a mid 40s sundress and bolero jacket. What drew me to the pattern was the darling bow detail–not only is it a fun decoration, but they also are used to keep the bolero in place! There are slits at the base of the front shoulder darts on the bolero that the bows are draw through from the sundress straps. Works better than buttons! lol. I found this pattern pretty straight forward, and only had to grade it up a size and do my usual alterations (adjusting the bust to be smaller and shortening the skirt to a flattering length). I did, however, decide to flatline (or underline) the entire bodice, as the material I used was slightly sheer. I just basted the edges of the pieces together (after stitching the darts) and treated the two layers as one. I also interfaced a few pieces: the neckline facing, shoulder straps, and bows (again, because my material was sheer/lightweight). The side seam features a placket zipper. The belt was a lot of fun to create: I recently bought some buckram belting at a local fabric store (not one of the chain places) that is 1″ wide and perfect for creating those matching belts for vintage dresses (and it means I don’t have to wing it with cutting strips of buckram myself!). I also used one of the few covered buckle kits in my stash for this. How I wish they’d start making those again!!!

08.03.10 {late summer dress fix }
As for the material… it’s a 100% rayon print I picked up at JoAnn’s on clearance in June. I wasn’t sure about the colors at first, but I rather like the rich tones against the black background. It’s a nice transition for later summer/early fall. The outer portion of the bolero (I lined the inside with the dress material) is a linen-look fabric.

08.03.10 {late summer dress fix }
Overall, it was a super easy pattern to make–I didn’t have any problems or major hiccups along the way. Definitely will be going into my stash as a “make again” in the future… (I have a post on my blog about this as well…)

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com

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Another Simplicity 3513

I really love this pattern.  Princess seamed dresses may be harder to fit (be careful about your curve when doing a FBA) but once your muslin is done, they sew up very quickly.  This dress went from cutting to done except for hemming in 2 days.  I put off hemming for a few days because the skirt is HUGE!  I was considering entering this for the patternreview.com’s vintage pattern challenge, but competion is fierce over there and this one won’t do.  It’s cute and I love it, but over there, they like sleek, modern, “wearable”.  I have another pattern in mind that will be just the thing.  I have less than a week to do it, so I need to sew like mad!

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Simplicity 4887

I really love this little vintage dress!  It’s adorable, I think, and was so easy to fit and make! Here’s the pattern envelope:


I used a quilting/apparel cotton by Amy Butler called “Lotus” in the blue/cream/grey colorway.  I just love this fabric!  I bought it from my local quilt shop a long time ago and have been hoarding it for the perfect project.

Here’s a couple of pictures of the dress on me, while the sun was setting this afternoon.

This is a “half size” dress pattern, in size 20-1/2 or bust 41.  I did make a muslin of the bodice to check fit, and found that it was wonderful through the bust right out of the envelope!  I just had to lower the “point” about 1/2 inch.  The waist hits just above my natural waist and because of the style I left it as drafted. The neckline was just a bit too wide, which leads me to believe a vintage 18-1/2 would probably be perfect.

A couple more changes…the neck was choking me on my first fitting, so I dropped it by about 1/2″ in CF, tapering to nothing at shoulder seams. But I’m particularly sensitive to things tight at the base of my neck.  It really doesn’t “look” that different after the change, but it feels different!  I also lined the bodice with batiste rather than use the facing pieces in the pattern.

The skirt was drafted for 6 pleats in front and 6 in back.  I just barely had enough fabric to cut this dress out (I even had to seam the CF!) and I ended up a bit short when I went to pin in the pleated skirt to the bodice.   The math to reduce the pleats equally all around hurt my head, so I went with a gathered skirt instead! I love the “just to the knee” length.  I took a 3″ hem, stitched by machine.

I really wish I had a nice yellow ribbon to use for a belt, a’la the pattern illustration, but I just don’t have any the right color on hand.

I love this dress for its simplicity, and for the classic boat neckline and fitted bodice, even if that closed up neck/chest and sleeveless armholes aren’t the most flattering look for a busty girl with rather full upper arms.  I don’t mind though, it’s a pretty style and easy enough to add some things to accentuate the good parts yet still keep me cool in the hot summer months!

I also have a vintage set of large yellow faux-pearls (I’m wearing the earrings in these photos!) and they look grand on the high neckline.

One interesting thing about the pattern that I just haven’t seen before (but I haven’t made many 60s era patterns either) was a “dart” line on the back neck.   It’s just a printed line, not an full “dart”.  The directions instruct you to sew up approximately 1/8″ on either side of the line to fit the back neck.  I always have trouble with the back neckline gaping, so this little dart was a lifesaver!  The back neck fits perfectly!

Tonight, I added a J Crew mustard yellow “Jackie” cardigan (from ebay! Love ebay!).  This is probably how I’ll wear this dress most of the time.


My cardigan is held with a pair of 1950s gold & pearl sweater clips.  So sweet!  (Also from Ebay, although I have a pair or two in my jewelry box from Etsy too.)

I can easily see a couple more of these sleeveless cotton dresses in my near future!

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Simplicity 3515

This is my first foray into the 1930’s.  No, this is not the same dress as the muslin I posted earlier.  I’m still trying to find the motivation to do over a dozen buttons and buttonholes to finish that one.

For more info, see my blog at http://newvintage.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/simplicity-3515/

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Simplicity 1093

Today I found a few spare hours to work on a vintage Simplicity pattern from the 1940s, 1093:

I made the rickrack bow view in white linen.  My fabric may be just a tad too heavy for this pattern (especially this view).   Here is the finished top, rather quickly modeled by me:

As far as fit goes, the sleeves fit great, and I’m happy with the waist to hem area.  But the bust/midriff area is still a little too big.  I think I just overzealously graded this one up.  The original pattern is a Bust 31″, and I like to start with a Bust 38″ or 40″ in vintage patterns (I normally have very little to alter with that size.)

I tried grading up by using incremental measurements to add on the necessary sizes, rather than slash and spread my tracing.  Maybe next time I’ll try slashing and spreading and see if that works out better.  This is pretty good though, and definitely wearable.  I do think it would be cuter if it were a bit closer fit through the bust area.

Construction was very simple.  There are 2 bust darts and 8 waist darts (4 in front, 4 in back).  This view closes with snaps in the lower side seam of one side.  I left this off, because I could pull the top on over my head with minimal tugging.  The cap sleeves are faced.  Since I was adding rickrack trim, I stitched the facing down by machine (it was going to be covered by the rickrack).  The directions call for blind-stitching the facing down by hand.

The neckline is finished with a bias binding.  Instead of turning the binding to the inside and handstitching it down, I stitched it on in reverse so that I could topstitch from the right side.  I think a binding looks neater this way (and I can control the topstitching better from the right side).

I trimmed the sleeve facing and the neckline with kelly green baby rickrack.  I machine stitched the single lines of rickrack down, but hand sewed the bow on after.

All in all, this was an easy to sew, fairly easy to fit pattern, and I can see a few more of this in my future.  I would love to try the pink puff sleeve version!  I would also like another stab at this rickrack trimmed, cap sleeve version.  Maybe with red baby rickrack on a baby blue Imperial batiste I just bought?

Things I especially love…the waist darts are pretty flattering untucked!  Especially if I can get a better fit through the chest.  I think this will be an adorable top with a wide variety of bottoms too, especially for summer!

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