Vintage Hat & Modeling Brunch 2.0

As promised, here’s a gorgeous sampling of my fabulous models in these dresses I made! These are some super great lookin’ ladies, and I’ve tried to match up the original pattern pictures to give y’all an idea of how amazing these dresses look IRL!

Vogue 8489 - So low cut you'll be embarrased all day at the office!

Vogue 8489 – So low-cut you’ll be self concious all day!

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Laura looked so super hot in this dress I made her take it home!

McCall's 6462 - This is SUCH a fun pattern! It's super fun, flattering and crazy simple to make!

McCall’s 6462 – This is SUCH a fun pattern! It’s super fun, flattering and crazy simple to make!

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I love this dress, and I totally added pockets! Not that anyone could look at the dress when Catherine’s making the best face ever.

Butterick 5748 - I LOVE this dress so much I made it twice! Once in lovely black linen (with bow, and pockets, obvs!) and once with a white eyelet!

Butterick 5748 – I LOVE this dress so much because it’s simple, doesn’t take a huge amount of fabric, and is super flattering. I made it twice!

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This is the first version, made of black linen, with bow and added pockets!

Version #2 - Fabulous white eyelet! It's fully lined, and so easy to accessorize!

Version #2 – Fabulous white eyelet! It’s fully lined, and so easy to accessorize!

Butterick 5603 - Fabulous retro reprint pattern that's got several choices for different bodice styles!

Butterick 5603 – Fabulous retro reprint pattern that’s got several choices for different bodice styles!

This is such a great pattern, and I adore the fabric! It looks like a 1960s wallpaper: buckin' broncos and all! It's also perfect with my red petticoat!

This is such a great pattern, and I adore the fabric! It looks like a 1960s wallpaper: buckin’ broncos and all! It’s also perfect with my red petticoat!

Vintage Vogue 2960 - Requires lots of fabric, like all Vogue patterns, but it's a lovely dress, and totally worth it!

Vintage Vogue 2960 – Requires lots of fabric, like all Vogue patterns, but it’s a lovely dress and totally worth it!

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I made this dress out of a pretty pink linen, added pockets, and closed the front opening, despite the button-closure, upon the advice of another seamstress who made the pattern first. Pro tip – if you can make a pattern after someone else, and they can help you at all, take any notes they have to offer.

Butterick 5247 - A really simple pattern that I made when I was still in my early learning stage!

Butterick 5247 – A really simple pattern that I made when I was still in my early learning stage!

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I chose the “tunic” option, and it was really simple, as well as flattering! I made it out of a silky fabric with a super bold pattern. Next time, there will be pockets!

Vogue 8409 - With some prompting by the fabulous Gertie, I made this dress as a simple sheath to accessorize and wear to work!

Vogue 8409 – With some prompting by the fabulous Gertie, I made this dress as a simple sheath to accessorize and wear to work!

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The final product is stunning! I chose a pink jersey that is heavy enough to go un-lined, and light enough to be worn in any season!

Vintage Vogue 8812 - An early 1940s pattern, this is a great simple summer dress!

Vintage Vogue 8812 – An early 1940s pattern, this is a great simple summer dress!

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I chose a fun green print, with dark green accent for this dress! The bodice is flattering, and the length could be reduced depending on how much summer fun you plan to have! Or, it could be made into a cocktail dress with a slinky fabric!

Vintage Vogue 1171 - A lovely early 1950s reprint pattern, it's simple, but can be made with so many different fabrics!

Vintage Vogue 1171 – A lovely early 1950s reprint pattern, it’s simple, but can be made with so many different fabrics!

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I made this dress specifically for the 4th of July! It’s got red buttons with little anchors on them! It’s also perfect for picnics!

Vintage Vogue 2787 - A Lovely pattern, easy to work with, but it still includes some unique details!

Vintage Vogue 2787 – A Lovely pattern, easy to work with, but it still includes some unique details!

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If you recall, I made this particular dress not too long ago! I had to make a couple of simple adjustments, but it was a great way to jump back into garment sewing after a post-holiday break.

Simplicity 5403 - Despite, or perhaps because this is a costume pattern, I love it dearly! It's a handy circular skirt pattern, and I've made it twice - so far!

Simplicity 5403 – Despite, or perhaps because this is a costume pattern, I love it dearly! It’s a handy circular skirt pattern, and I’ve made it twice – so far!

This, the first version, was made out of black and white Elvis fabric! It's glorious, and somehow subtle. The second version is less so, and made out of giraffe print! To be worn exclusively with wooden and ivory jewelry.

This, the first version, was made out of black and white Elvis fabric! It’s glorious, and somehow subtle. The second version is less so, and made out of giraffe print! To be worn exclusively with wooden and ivory jewelry.

McCall's 6083 - So, I tried the pink version of this pattern and it was not awesome, but clearly the "blue" version is WAY better!

McCall’s 6083 – So, I tried the pink version of this pattern and it was not awesome, but clearly the “blue” version is WAY better!

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Obvs Lora knows how to rock the hell out of a jumpsuit! I made this out of a silky fabric so it would drape more ’70s-like, and because I have like 20 yards of that fabric. (Always use what you’ve got!)

I am completely in love with every single lady in these photos!!! Thanks for making my dresses look so fantastic, and thanks again for coming out and modeling! And another big thank you to our photographer, Walter! We’ll do it again soon, I promise, and hopefully even more fab ladies will be able to make it. It’s a wonderful incentive to sew more, and I cannot wait!

Do you have a favorite pattern? What made you pick it? Is there one you’d like to make? One you’ve already made?

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Vintage Vogue 1940s Scissors Dress!

It has been too long since I sewed a dress! My patchwork Sally dress for Halloween took an enormous amount of effort, and then the holidays happened, so recently I decided to remedy this by making a simple pattern with a fun print!

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Vintage Vogue Pattern #2787! I found this great red/black scissor fabric on sale at Hancock’s and couldn’t pass it up!

So dramatic, Vogue! Obvs, I double checked on Pattern Review to make sure this fancy promo photo wasn't an impossible dream.

So dramatic, Vogue! Obvs, I double checked on Pattern Review to make sure this fancy promo photo wasn’t an impossible dream.

I have an armoire full of fabrics, but most of them are either insanely fancy (dupioni silks, and the like), or inappropriate for the season. So, in an effort to ease back into sewing clothing, I knew I would need a straightforward pattern, but not one I’d sewn before (there’s no adventure in that!), and fabric that’s not difficult to work with. This, to me, usually means cotton, because it tends to be inexpensive and/or on sale, plus the prints are fun and the fabric is super cooperative/non-stretchy.

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This is my final product! Although you can’t see it, there’s a closure in the black I framed with eight black jet buttons! It’s pretty darn cute!

As a general petite-person rule, I shortened the hemline by (an insane) 8 inches! Since this is a 1940s pattern, fashions dictated longer hemlines, however, as you can tell, it still comes to my knees. If you are on any kind of budget, make sure you have a working idea of where you prefer your hemline. (You’ll save enormous amounts of time, money and fabric this way!) If I hadn’t removed the extra length before cutting out my pattern pieces, I would have needed an additional yard of fabric! As it was, I managed to make this dress using only three yards (sans the suggested shoulder pads), and it is completely appropriate for work, or as a vintage-style cocktail dress!

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I opted for knee-high, black suede boots, and victory rolls to really punch up the 40s glam!

This pattern was definitely simple to sew, and although I did need to make some adjustments, they were all completely doable with a minimal amount of seam ripping! For my figure, that included taking larger darts (front and back), amending the curved front seam, as well as taking in the side seams between the sleeves and hips. All of these changes were made due to my “hourglass” shape, which requires making a larger size to accommodate my bust/hips and then making the necessary changes through the waist and shoulders.

So many curves!

So many curves!

Not only did I manage to create this dress with slightly less than the suggested yardage, but I have enough left over to make a matching hat! (When I do, no worries, I will absolutely post the final results/fab ensemble!) During one of my estate sale excursions I found, and immediately purchased, an un-covered hat form. It just so happens to be a lovely 40s-style, wide brim just aching to be covered in scissor fabric, with a contrasting black under-brim and ribbon! Also, I’m officially on the lookout for antique and/or vintage tiny scissors to help create the feathered accent piece! (It will double as a brooch for those rare occasions that aren’t hat-propriate.) If you see some, let me know!

Brimming with possibilities, isn't it??

Just brimming with possibilities, isn’t it?? (Ha!)

The brim is so perfect! It's off-center, so it is supposed to be worn atop an elaborate hairdo!

It is so perfect! It’s set off-center so it can be worn atop an elaborate hairdo!

For those rare occasions not requiring a hat, a fabulous 1940s inspired hairdo will definitely be an acceptable substitute! I know there are lots of tutorials, inspiration, and celebrity throwback styles to choose from! Some of these styles are easy to reproduce at home with some hot rollers and bobby pins, but obviously there are others that require finesse, four arms and extra eyes, so maybe go to a stylist. Here’s some vintage hair inspiration to help you decide!

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Betty Grable looking stunning in victory rolls that are glossy perfection! Don’t be fooled, during the process there’s a lot of teasing. It’s only smooth on the top!

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Rita Hayworth has iconic hair, and you can absolutely recreate that gorgeous wave! Even with shorter hair, just use smaller curlers!

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Veronica Lake created a sly, sexy persona with her deep part and lovely wave curls! Again, grab those curlers and this one’s an instant success!

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Diane Kruger’s modern interpretation, complete with beautiful flower fascinator, proves that a vintage style can be done with fine hair and still look stunning!

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Last, but never least, the fabulously coiffed Dita von Teese in all her 1940s glory! Everything about her is flawless.

See?? You could absolutely do that! If I can pull together a couple of victory rolls before 9:00AM with my unwashed, super fine hair, you too can recreate a glamorous vintage-inspired look! Besides, once you invest in a set of hot rollers (I bought these several years ago for $15 at Walgreens!), you can create almost any 40s-60s hairstyles. It all comes down to effort, brushing, and maybe some teasing. It’ll all be worth it when you look amazing and feel super confident! So, if you’ve got fun plans this weekend, try out a retro outfit and/or hairstyle and enjoy the compliments!

Do you wear vintage and/or vintage-style clothes from the 40s? What about hairstyles? Would you pair a vintage hairstyle with a modern/trendy look? Why or why not?

Vintage Sewing Pattern Extravaganza!

So, I was casually scrolling on the Facebook yesterday, and saw a post by We Sew Retro about a version of Simplicity 1795 done by Miss Allie Mass. Well, her version looked so nice, and the pattern seemed pretty simple/straightforward, so I immediately sought out a copy via Etsy.

Gorgeous! I want one, too!

Gorgeous! I want one, too!

As some of you may know, vintage patterns on Etsy are in pretty high demand, or at least the people selling them think they are, so the least expensive copy (which was a size 12) was about $20 including shipping! (I still have to buy the fabric and make the dress, geez.) Instead of paying monies, I thought to myself, I’ll look through Mom’s stash of older patterns and just see!

These patterns are mostly from the 40s and 50s, and belonged to either my Aunt Donna or Great-grandmother Wade.

These patterns are mostly from the 40s and 50s, and belonged to either my Aunt Donna or Great-grandmother Wade.

Quelle suprise! Turns out, we totally DO own it!

AND it's a 14! Success!

AND it’s a 14! Minimal re-sizing = Success!

While I was at it, I gently dug through the rest of the box to see what other delightful patterns I could find, and treasure resulted! There were lots of fun, simple patterns with unique neck lines:

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Love the subtle triangles!

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Such a pretty, feminine scalloped edge!

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A contrasting interwoven ribbon?! Yes, please!

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This one is a particular favorite of mine! The sleeves and the collar are so pointy!

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Some subtle tucks at the neckline make this simple dress more fabulous!

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This is an earlier, 1940s pattern, and is clearly a day dress, however, the triangular accent on the neckline adds pizzazz and uniqueness!

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This dress has an angled, button front! SO COOL!

Fun and interesting necklines aside, there were also some neat skirts:

I will have a dress like this!

I will have a dress like this, since essentially having two skirts is even better than a peplum!

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Suspender-skirt is ADORBS! Plus, a classic circular skirt, with some super cute (and slimming) bow accents!

Delightful 1940s nighties and day dresses:

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Cannot wait to elegantly lounge in this!

Plus, just in time, CAPES:

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YES!

Last, but not least, these fabulous hat and hood patterns:

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We’re having a hat making party, y’all!!!

To wrap it up, two of my favorites, the first because it’s hilarious, and the second because it couldn’t be more fabulous!

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We’re gonna need to schedule a tupperware party ASAP.

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The lauded “shelf bust” dress! When I make it, I’m going to look just like Liz Taylor! *Dreams coming true*

One of my favorite activities is going through vintage patterns for inspiration, and this Sunday was a complete success without even leaving my house! I am hoping to maintain this excitement into actually producing several of these dresses. Despite the insane amount of time and fabric some of these patterns require, I think the final products will be amazing! Plus, even when I work on a simple pattern, odds are that I’ll be learning at least one new technique. There may be time between now and New Year’s Eve to make one! Here’s hoping!

Any suggestions about which one I should start with?? Which is your favorite? Do you like vintage sewing patterns? From which decade/era? Do you have a collection? Where’s your favorite place to purchase?