Revisiting my very first vintage pattern

The first dress I ever sewed from an old pattern, five years ago, was a disaster. There are pictures of it in the WeSewRetro archives and now, of course, I see why it sucked so much (grey? Really? For me? GREY?)

The dress is long gone to some op shop pile somewhere, but I still have the pattern – a mail-order job from the early 50s, I think. I’m trying to sew more separates so I whipped up this top from a scrap of pale blue op shop fabric. I think it’s linen but it’s also got a bit of a scratchy raw silk quality to it.




You’ll just have to believe me that I fill it out a little better than Headless Esme. It’s a bit short to wear with anything but high-wasted pants but it fits well enough to have a bash at making a whole dress again. NOT in grey. In something more to my tastes – loud, lurid and wildly patterned.

Grey. What was I thinking?

Tale of two blouses

So I made a quick ‘n’ dirty version of the Joan blouse from the previous post, hoping it would be wearable, but I’d be able to tweak it before cutting into silk. The fabric is an electric blue cotton voile.

I was sooooo excited about this one. But I’m completely underwhelmed. Neither I or Headless Esme are as bodacious as Joan, which might be a contributing factor. The blue, too, looks a bit hospital scrubs or trainee ninja or something. I think it would be better in a print or less gaudy shade. Finally, the facings are insane – you’re instructed to face the peplum. It would be sooooo much easier and neater to just line it.

In contrast, I’ve had this Advance pattern for years. I bought it for the dress (still unmade) and turned my nose up at the jacket and blouse. But I’ve been seeing so many nice 1940s style blouses online that suddenly the blouse looked less unappealing. And, a good match for my newly-made high waisted BRIGHT RED wide-leg trousers. So I whipped one up quickly and a wee bit shoddily from a rayon remnant I’ve had for about as long as the pattern. And, surprise surprise, me likey! It’s got a bit of a 30s vibe to it.

This one I’m definitely re-making. I have a vintage silk twill that will be perfect. I did widen the neck and shorten the sleeves a little, and will do so again.

Tulip blouse

Tops. Don’t have enough tops. So I took a flipping awful Burda dress pattern and used the top half only. I’d chuck some more darts in it but I don’t want to hide the beautiful, beautiful 50s chintz tulips. Aren’t they amazing? I’ve had two squares of this fabric for years with no idea what to do with it. It was just enough for a top with only a couple of bits of fabric spaghetti to spare. Snout to tail eating.