Friday, September 3, 2010

Did I mention the patterns?

We have several of the items made from these patterns however, only a few fit my 2010 figure.  Women in the 50's were expected to have freakishly small waists evidently!  My mother and I have decided to alter some of these and remake some of her favorites - for me!  I'm so lucky to have an early '50's trained home economics teacher for a mother.  The woman has some mad sewing skills, only partially handed down to me.  I found several things I made in my youth and I was a much better seamstress as a tween than I am now.  I'm looking forward to brushing up!

This is one of my favorites!  My mother made the far left version in a similar blue as her wedding going away suit.  I then wore it for my first wedding in 1988.  I weighed around 110 then and had to loose weight to fit into it, but it was totally worth it!   We have the suit and stored with the wedding gown.  There's a hat as well and I'm hoping its in one of the many hat boxes.  We did those a couple of months ago and I can't recall if we found it or not.

We have this in a dark grey wool.  The sleeves are 3/4 and it's the no-collar version.  Unfortunately, it has some pretty serious moth damage.  I think it might work for a great Joan costume for Halloween though!

A favorite!

We have this one in a fun fall print that I'll pair with a little black cardigan.

I'm pretty sure I'm far too short to pull off one of these but oh, what fun they are!


  1. Okay, maybe you are the one to ask for advice on this: I have a mass produced dress in crappy synthetic fabric that is insanely versatile and flattering on me. I would like to somehow re-create it, only made of cotton jersey, or light wool, possible several identical dresses in different colours. How would I even go about doing something like this? Should I take it apart and try to re-create the pattern? I am afraid I will ruin it. It seems like a very easy dress, but I don't know any local seamstresses whom to approach!

  2. It's hard to say without seeing the dress. If it's very simple in construction, it should be easy to take apart and make a pattern from it. The construction can differ depending on the fabrics used though. It might be worthwhile to find a local tailor and just take the dress in to ask them about your options. Check out sewing blogs of folks in your area maybe. That might be a good way to find some leads on a place to take it.

    Denver has a little fabric/crafty store called Fancy Tiger where they do all kinds of classes (not Christmas tree's on sweatshirts kind of crafts - cool stuff.) I'll bet you have something similar in your area. That could be a place to start as well.

  3. I'm not sure that it's so much that women had smaller waists, as that they were willing to endure more in the way of undergarments (corsets anyone?) than modern women are.

    @ Velouria, I have a similar problem, except with a favorite knit top.
    I haven't figured out what to do, partly because I'm looking for the right material, although I did get a couple of leads on tailors from Charlotte @ Chic Cyclists. I have duplicated simple skirts by using tracing paper to copy the actual panels of a skirt without taking it apart, and then adding seam allowances, darts, etc.

  4. Cycler, Right you are! My mother says it was all about the girdle for day to day and corsets only for formal wear in her world. I do have a corset I had custom made for me several years ago but I rarely use it. I never did get the hang of lacing it up on my own although I know some gals who can do it. I have a fake-spanx that helps a lot but I really should invest in the real deal one of these days. I hear Spanx are the bomb!