Anna’s Notebook, 1925. Collars, Pt. 1

It’s been a bit since I’ve shared some of this 1920s pattern drafting notebook, so here’s the next bunch of images, the first of three posts of collar designs.  If you’ve missed the earlier posts of this notebook you can find them here and here.

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Up and Doing- Sportswear, 1937

Today we’ve got a beautiful page of images from the 1937 Montgomery Wards Spring and Summer catalog.  I bought this for my husband as an early birthday present, but could not help stealing it to put this image up on the blog!

I know I’m a total dork, but whenever I see pages in the old catalogs that remind me of the patterns I have put out it makes me happy.  Makes it worth all the work to know other folks can recreate the old styles, too!  A couple of the look on this page are perfect examples.  I got a happy thrill when I opened the catalog to this page, knowing I could recreate these and gave me more ideas of ways to use the patterns :).

The slacks above are made of linen and cut very similarly to the Smooth Sailing trousers.  I love it paired with the striped Jersey shirt!

The cute polka dot number in the middle reminds me of a 1930s bathing suit pattern by Eva Dress that’s been on my wish list for quite a while.  Just needs a little matching skirt and it would look the part!

And the last outfit reminds me so much of the Chic Ahoy pattern!  These ones have a pleat at center front, but still, the whole wide pants with bolero is a total win.  I wore my version that is the mustard color again the other day with a blue and white striped tank top and it was really fun!

Happy Wednesday!

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Colorful, Practical Playwear- 1946

How’s your summer sewing going?  Or summer shopping?  I still need a few pairs of shorts and I am in love with the cut of the yellow ones above, combined with the cute tropical tie top (kind of looks like the top from the Sunkissed Sweetheart pattern…. hmm… might have to make myself up another one!).  I also love the stripes!  The images above are from the same catalog I shared swimsuit scans of in an earlier post, from 1946.  Notice that one of the gals above is wearing a T shirt, as described in “M”!

I just listed a new E-Book on my website– a compilation of five different sewing leaflets given out during WWII to Make Do and Mend.  Good way to rescue some clothing that you otherwise might not be wearing, and some good practical advice on sewing and mending.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful day!

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Thrift Score!

As much fun as it is to sew, sometimes it’s really nice to have an already made outfit!  When I’ve got a bit of a shopping bug I usually go out and hit the thrift shops.

Thrifting has made a huge resurgence lately, and the second hand market has really taken off.  In the past buying second hand goods from thrift stores and charity shops was somewhat looked down upon by fashionistas, but with the growing popularity of vintage clothing you’ll find more and more style and budget conscious gals hitting these little treasure troves of second hand goods at low prices.

I personally love thrifting because I can buy good quality cute clothes within my budget, and with the vintage style clothing being so popular for the last few years in ready to wear, you can find some great deals on clothing that can fit into the vintage aesthetic.  Sometimes you strike out, and thrifting isn’t for everyone, but if you’re diligent and willing to have a bit of a hunt you can find some great clothes.

My recent find that I’m absolutely ecstatic about is the outfit above.  The shirt is a silk/cotton blend with a cute woven in polka dot and was made by Banana Republic.  I find a lot of the clothes I love and wear the most that I’ve thrifted were made by that company.  The skirt I nearly died when I found- it’s by the high-end designer Chloé, and was made in France from a pretty brown linen with fun topstitching details.  Each piece set me back a whopping $5 at the local Goodwill.  A $10 vintage inspired outfit, and one a designer piece!  Sweet!

I love that the skirt has serious “swish” factor!

Casey of Elegant Musings did a fun video a while back on thrifting tips and tricks. Check it out here if you’re interested in getting into thrifting!

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Finished Project- A Fair Dress for the Fair

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

We spent a lovely weekend together, starting with the County Fair on Saturday, followed by great times with family BBQing, watching neighborhood parades, swimming, and ending with fireworks (although very far on the horizon).  It was  a lovely weekend!

I had myself all planned to make a dress for the 4th of July but got sidetracked by making a dress to wear to the County Fair.  This dress was from Dubarry 2472B from 1940.

The fabric I used was a very nice looser weave rayon/linen blend.  I was very excited to find it in both the orange and the blue that resembled the ’39 World’s Fair colors.  The dress is of the blue and the pockets are lined in the orange, and I used purchased orange bias tape for trim on the pockets.  The buttons on the back are vintage orange with triangles inside circles- kind of reminiscent of the Trylon and Perisphere.  Although I’m not an adamant collector of fair merchandise I do really enjoy the color scheme and whimsy of design, especially of accessories and the like, of the ’39 fair, so it was great fun to incorporate that inspiration into a dress! I still want to make up a bolero to match, too!

Here’s an image of the pattern, Dubarry 2472B, from 1940.  It varies a bit in color scheme from the one listed on the Vintage Pattern Wiki.  I love how the fabric print is little koi fishes!

It did have it’s fair share of frustrations.  I’ve never had a lot of success with DuBarry patterns, but I haven’t sewn very many of them either.  It did, in the end, look like the illustration, but the sizing was very off and there was not as much fullness to the skirt as in the illustration.  The bust was supposed to be 34, but it ended up being something closer to 40″, which was obviously quite too big for a sleeveless dress.  While I do take into account that a lot of that could be my fabric, it did take quite a bit of fitting, as is common for me with sleeveless summer dresses.  I made up the shorter version then chickened out on the length and finished the edge with bias binding.  I’m not a big fan of showing my knees.  I did make the straps too long so fixed it by just doing double buttons at back.  No biggie!  I still really love the dress, and I probably will make another one in the future!

Posted in 1939, 1940, 1940s, sewing, vintage patterns | 24 Comments

Swimsuits, 1946

Ahh! Summer!

Here’s some divine swimsuits as pictured originally in the 1946 Montgomery Ward’s Spring and Summer catalog. It’s hard to choose a favorite!

Happy 4th!

Posted in 1940s, 1946, catalog scans, sportswear, swimwear | 11 Comments

Finished Project- Early 40s Playsuit, and Fashion Horizons

I have been so inspired for summer wear by the early 1940s, in especially the short called “Fashion Horizons” from 1941.  Here’s the videos from YouTube so you can enjoy these as well.

My playsuit is actually a crop top and skirt that I “finished” about two years ago.  One try-on revealed that the crop top was *way* too short, and whenever I would lift my arms my brassiere would be revealed.  In actuality I didn’t read the instructions and hemmed it one inch where 1/4″ was actually allowed as it was supposed to have a bias binding.  However, even after I took it out and fixed it it was still much too short, so this morning the eyelet ruffled trim was added to the bottom and luckily I had enough to go around the bottom of the skirt as well.  I added yellow rick rack for contrast and to tie it all in together.  I had actually clipped in my corners of the front, so in order to selvage that and still get the extra length I’ve got a bit of  a scallop at center front.

I was rather iffy about the whole thing, but now after trying it on and wearing it for the afternoon I can say I love it and I’m so glad it was selvaged!  The fabric is vintage rayon and the trims, with the exception of some of the rick rack, are new. The pattern I used was Simplicity 4321 (the picture of the outfit before I fixed it to be able to wear it is still up on Vintage Pattern Wiki). This is the second version of this pattern I have made- I previously made the dress. I do like this pattern quite a bit, however, both versions of this pattern have armscyes that are not very practical- lifting the arms causes the whole garment to raise up which can be a bit of a problem with the crop top (thus the ruffled eyelet trim was added). I did make changes because of my eyelet trim on my sleeves and neckline but I don’t remember now what they were. Despite these issues I do still like the pattern and will more than likely make another version of it in the future. Maybe the shorts are next! Too bad I don’t have any more of this fun rayon print!

Posted in 1940s, sewing, vintage patterns | 30 Comments

New Pattern! Palisades 1940s Wrap Dress

It’s new pattern time!  Introducing Palisades, a 1940s Wrap Dress Pattern.

Palisades is a mid 1940s wrap dress inspired by an original vintage pattern but with improved fit, illustrated step-by-step instructions, and cutting layouts for 45″ wide fabrics.

This dress has tucks at the center front bust, on the shoulder straps, and has a gathered skirt that wraps at the back. This pattern can be accented by rick rack trim and can be made with contrast fabric for the bretelles and belt pieces.  A great dress pattern to use with fun bold cotton prints!

This pattern is now available for pre-order on my website and is available in sizes 30 to 40 bust for a special introductory price of $18.

Many thanks to the lovely Beth from V is For Vintage Blog for modelling for these photos 🙂

Posted in 1940s, pattern line, repro patterns, samples, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

For Golden Days on the Beach, 1934

Mmm!  Summer swimwear! And 1930s swimwear at that! I thought you might enjoy welcoming Summer with these couple of pages from a 1934 catalog.  It’s almost impossible for me to choose a favorite from this page… A! No, G!, No, H!  Ok, I’ll take them all 😉

Check out these bathing caps!  Notice anything unusual?  Is that a marcel wave bathing cap I spy?  The “Bathing Beret” is also quite fun.  And check out the straps on the second pair of bathing sandals!

Not to neglect the kiddies- they’re looking pretty darn cute in their swimwear, and the adjustable straps on the “All-Wool Zephyr” is pretty cute!

Pretty please, won’t someone make a modern swimwear line and borrow these lines from the past to satisfy those of us who long for cute one pieces with an old timey twist?  And heck, sign me up for a marcel wave swim cap, while you’re at it, too.

Posted in 1930s, 1934, catalog scans, fashion history, forgotten fashion, swimwear | 16 Comments

Summer Wardrobe from Three Patterns

Welcome to Summer!  Do the warm weather months ahead have you scratching your head on what to wear?  I know I am looking at my closet and seeing more need of warm weather clothing.

A while ago Kathy of GoForKat Makeup Artistry, Nicole of Paper Moon Vintage, Allison of Allison Barcenas Photography, and I got together for a day of beach fun, and while we were at it thought it might be fun to show how three different patterns can make a summer wardrobe!

The three patterns we chose to mix and match were the 1940s Sailor Girl Playsuit (pattern #4001),  the Late 30s Halter Top and Beach Trousers (pattern #3011),  and the Smooth Sailing Sports Togs (pattern #1002).  Although these patterns range from the mid 1930s to the early 1940s, they are such classic styles that they easily interchange and can even be worn today for casual wear but still retain the vintage vibe.

As a spin off from how these appear on their pattern covers, we played mix and match and here’s what the gals came up with:

First up is Nicole, wearing the Late 30s Halter Top from #3011 with the Sailor Shorts from #4001.  I love the Ziegfeld Follies look she has with her oversized parasol!

Next up is Kathy wearing the Smooth Sailing blouse from #1002 with the high waist beach trousers from #3011.  She has the perfect late 30s casual beach look going on!

Lastly, I’m wearing the sailor top from #4001 with the Smooth Sailing trousers from #1002, and in the second photo I’m wearing the entire Smooth Sailing ensemble, both pieces from #1002.

Although not pictured here, if you add the sailor girl skirt to your sewing plans you’ll have even more options!  These would be great to pack for your vacation if made in coordinating tones- and if you don’t do white trousers or skirts make them up in navy blue and make your tops in red and white for a fun patriotic flair!

As a special early summer sale, if you purchase these three patterns together- the 1940s Sailor Girl Playsuit (pattern #4001), the Smooth Sailing Sports Togs (pattern #1002), and the Late 30s Halter Top and Beach Trousers (pattern #3011), you’ll get $12 off your total!  Just enter coupon code SUMMERSEWING at checkout.  This coupon is good through 6/20/11.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

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