Megan’s Wedding

Here it is well over a yr since my last post and at least that since I’ve sewn any patterns!  I am so flattered my cousin asked my girls to be flower girls in her wedding and even more excited that she asked me to sew/design their dresses. The colors are navy blue and silver and I plan on tucking in a peek of pink underneath.

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The pattern is McCalls 2210- girls party dress from 1953. I sewed this pattern before with 3-d rose chiffon but I did not do the under pettiskirt and I shortened the under slip to enhance the 3-d rose material.

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For this one, I plan on doing a very full pettiskirt as pictured in view A. The material is navy satin, silver sparkle satin, and crenoline in pink and sparkle silver (layered). Lots of fabric bling.

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The pattern calls for a full slip with attached pettiskirt that is sewn into the dress. I’m changing my design to a detached pettiskirt so the girls can play dress up. I layered 4 pinks and 4 silver crenoline cuts and gathered each individually. I then layered them on the dress form and stitched them all together with the serger.

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I attached elastic at the waist and then finished the raw edge with bias tape (thanks Grandmom Otto for all that tape)! Now we have the poof.

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For the bodice, I dart and sew the pieces which are far too many. Yes, I needed the seam ripper. The pattern instructions pretty much just said to “make the pieces” and give a drawing. Then turn and press.
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Make skirt, gather and attach to bodice. I serged it for a clean finish.
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Determine length then attach scalloped part at bottom that will fold up onto the dress. Fold under edge of scallops iron and baste.
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Fold it up and sew around. Iron a lot.
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Hem pettiskirt (cut and left a raw edge).

The Perfect Panties

Victoria’s Secret has the perfect bra- this is the perfect pantie. Every little girl should own a pair of silk batiste panties. The fabric speaks for its self.


Simplicity Sewing Pattern...Girl's Slip Petticoat and Panties...from the 1950s...Age 3

I started another slip pattern that is a decade later than my other slip pattern. This one is Simplicity p  pattern 3296 from 1950’s. In addition to the benefit of working with a printed pattern and using elastic, you get a lot of ruffles in the 50’s.

I am working on the pettiskirt slip and the panties both of which are covered in long strips of ruffles trimmed in beading. I am using silk batiste and a champagne colored satin trim. The waist and leg openings are bunched with elastic. I’m going to get a twin shot of the girls in the slips.

The Perfect Pinafore

McCall 1605 Girls 1950s Ruffled Shoulder Pinafore Dress Detachable Petticoat Childrens Vintage Sewing Pattern Breast 24 UNCUT

I decided to make another pinafore because this is the item that I am contacted about most. I’ve made these dresses several times from a variety of materials and I am happy with the look each time.

This is McCall’s pattern #1605 from 1951.  It makes a pinafore dress (outer) with an attached pettiskirt (interior) that buttons into the pinafore creating one dress. Several different pinafores can be used over a single pettiskirt. The pettiskirt ensures fullness to the pinafore giving it that classic full skirt. The pattern enlarges and reduces size easily and is very simple to read despite the double layer and exact button matching. This dress has a total of 8 buttons connecting the dresses.

I used red linen and white cotton with a strip of vintage red and blue floral strip in the bib with a red scallop trim.

Slip Happy

Vintage McCall Child's Set of  Underwear Pattern 5443--Slip and Onesie-Size 3--from 1943--Rare

I began McCall’s vintage child’s slip and underwear pattern #5543 from year 1943.
This is an oldie but goodie. I just love that these are called underwear. I’m working on the onesie slip (shorts).

I have cut this onesie slip pattern and plan on trying it on one of the girls – mostly out of curiosity. The garment has a very interesting double continuous lap on the sides of the shorts. It also has an interesting “French door” style of opening at the two back panels. These pieces open and close and button onto the waistband. I’m using silk Batiste but any light/thin fabric such as polished cotton or lawn will prove the same result. I’m using double thickness on the fabric so you can’t see through.

It’s hard to believe this pattern is 80 years old and really in such great condition. I’ve actually worked with patterns that have crumbled. I’m working with a non-printed pattern with holes for direction. Wish me luck on getting this double lap and back door opening. If I can figure it out, this surely will be an interesting garment.

Pretty in Pink

Adorable vintage 50's 60's Simplicity Pattern 2892 Infant Toddler Child Playsuit Bonnet Shorts Size 1

I was eager to start a new sunsuit since the last one I made turned out so cute. This one is Simplicity’s pattern 2892 infant toddler playsuit, bolero, and bonnet. I find this pattern so attractive because it is one piece that folds like an old-fashioned diaper and buttons to a bib.

I decided to use soft pink featherwhale corduroy. I love featherwhale or sometimes called fine whale because the ribbing is smaller and thus the nap of the material is thinner, lightweight, and more appropriate for small children. I used a white crochet trim around the whole piece finished with pearl bear buttons. Hidden seams throughout. I’m finishing up the matching bonnet.

Since this was a 1950 pattern, it was simple to work. All pieces marked and printed instructions that take you through step by step. What I love about post 1950 patterns is that they use ELASTIC! Anything pre this date will call for a continuous lap that is fitted so exact that there is no room for error.

Duck, Duck, Goose

6/12-The sunsuit is done- just need to fit buttons. I added an extra row of ruffles which really fills out the rear- you can never have enough bottom ruffles! This is one of my favorite patterns.


I decided to redo the ruffle sunsuit in yellow. I want Jane to wear this sunsuit and she looks so beautiful in yellow with all that blond hair. It is the same concept as the previous but with yellow crochet trim, yellow duck embroidered and I decided to trim the ruffles in a yellow rolled edge. A rolled edge on my serger is one of my favorite stitches in conjunction with the ruffler foot on my sewing machine. It certainly can create a nice ruffle effect without having to finish the edges.

I use a 4 thread serger by brother. You will find that if you are really into sewing- a serger really is a nice tool to have. Just be prepared to take a half hour to thread the darn thing!

Georgous Goddess

6/12-Complete with sash. This is one beautifully romantic gown.

6/8- The dress fitting is complete and worked out very well. I’m happy with the dress and how beautiful the little girl is in this dress. This is one romantic gown and will sell as a flower girl or wedding/party dress. I will have a bouquet of flowers for the little girl in the photo shoot. The buttons on the back are a lovely pearl color. Finishing the waist sash and this dress is done.


6/7-When in doubt- change it. I was not happy with the cream muslin bodice. It just looked dingy to me. I changed it to white cotton and added crochet trim around the neck. I also kept the tank top straps. I’m going to do a big long sash that ties to a big bow in the back and hangs to the length of the dress. I’m taking it to the little girl tomorrow for a fitting- let’s hope it fits!

6/5- I still need to hem and add buttons. I’m not sure about the sash. I need for the little girl to try it on. I initially wanted a sash around the waist that was very long and hung to the floor. I still feel like there is something missing here. I’m unsure about this dress.

Progress thusfar. Much gathering to do….

McCall's 2210 Vintage 50s Lovely Flower Girl or Confirmation DRESS Sewing Pattern Size 6 B24

I began McCall’s 2210 party dress pattern from 1953. Pattern making in the 50’s certainly has improved – they have started printing on the pattern pieces as opposed to the earlier 40’s patterns riddled with puncture holes. No more deciphering different hole sizes or second guessing is this hole bigger than this one? These patterns are very similar to the patterns we know today. I will mention that there is still a section designated to “fitting chubby girls”. It begins the paragraph “For these children” like they are so different. We would never see this wording today.

I am making this dress for the young girl who will be modeling for me. It is a ballerina length (hits mid-shin) party dress. It has a full underskirt with an overlay and a bodice with a scalloped overlay as well. It is pictured in organdy and satin this is fancy stuff.

So I’m going to change it up a bit. First, I’m going to use cream-colored muslin for the bodice and under dress. Then for the overdress I will use this wonderful 3-D rose material in cream. The whole dress will flutter in the breeze as each petal is attached separately to hidden netting.

I laugh at my progress to this point because this looks like a toga! Much more to be done so no need to fret.

Quite Contrary

Mail Order 2520 Toddler 1940s Sunsuit Pattern Ruffled Panties Criss Cross Straps Childrens Vintage Mail Order Sewing Pattern Breast 21 UNCUTMail Order 2520 Toddler 1940s Sunsuit Pattern Ruffled Panties Criss Cross Straps Childrens Vintage Mail Order Sewing Pattern Breast 21 UNCUT

bib and panties attached

The sunsuit is done. I’m very happy with the result. Just need to hem. I love t!

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I was thrilled to start this new pattern from the Chicago Tribune c. 1940. I have never worked a mail order pattern before and was eager to see what this was like. The envelope was mailed to Lois Rissman in Somonzuk, IL. She paid 25¢ for the pattern and 15¢ for postage. I mention it of course because that is what makes this pattern so unique.

So perhaps the Tribune stopped publishing patterns because they were just no good at it. The instructions completely missed 2 pattern pieces on the fabric cut layout picture and never mentioned them in the instructions. Now I know they were important! They were ruffle pieces. I just had to figure where they worked in.

Secondly, reading this stuff is like reading an old English text. I am instructed to “lap the belt” when it wants me to fold over the waistband or “fell the fabric” instead of fold.

The next issue was the opening at sides. The instructions gave direction for making side openings for this garment but the images show absolutely no opening not to mention there is no way the sides could open given the fact that the ruffles go all the way around the panties.

Despite setbacks and misdirection, I managed and am very happy with the progress thus far. I opted for white fabric with red loop trim and embroidered a sweet redwork sunbonnet pattern on bib.

It sure is ruffley – and just when I thought I was done with that ruffler!

Ruffler Hell

6/10-Final product. I had to add another ruffle row for length. This fabric is so light and soft; perfect for warm days.

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6/1-Finally I have finished this dress. I’m very happy with the contrast black ribbon. I was really iffy about the black because I have always been against black for little girls but it really compliments the tea color nicely. I did a single silver and black floral button at back.

Ill be taking it to the little girl for a fitting now to complete hem and length of black ribbon tie.

5/31-OK now we are getting somewhere! I’m happy with the reduction of the sleeves and added layer in the bodice. The neckline looks more finished and there is no need for a neck edge trim. Now working on raising the waistline.

image5/29-Today I began a new dress that is going to be worn by a 5 yr old in a photo shoot of my items. The pattern is by Butterick pattern no. 7094 from 1932. The ripped and tattered pieces are not easy to work with. Secondly, these vintage patterns are NOT printed on. They are blank with a variety of hole sizes punctured in the pattern tissue. The different size holes act as a map legend with the instruction page which I may say is uninformative. The instructions will say fold on-line where three medium size holes are in a row. You look at the pattern tissue and it looks bullet hole ridden. I will also mention that there is a whole page devoted to how to alter the pattern for “the chubby girl”. Those were Simplicity’s words.

The dress its self was simple enough a tank top bodice with 3 tiers of ruffles as the dress. Single button in the back with lap. Well, here we are on the 21st c. and I have a ruffler for my brother se400 sewing machine. It’s a large and unusual foot but of takes all the work out of gathering fabric with the basting stitch. So I thought how bad can this be?

So, I begin on the first tier and it ruffled so much that I couldn’t evenly join of to the second tier. Ugh, had to rip that all out. Then I loosen the ruffle…much better. I continue with the remaining tiers and price them together and ready to use my serger to attach each tier to the next.

Oh no! My serger gobbled up some of the dress I had to rip that all out and do that whole tier all over again with the ruffler. Let me say this happened twice! Finally I have the tier’s together with the bodice.

The material is just beautiful. I am using Swiss dot batiste (very vintage) that I stained with tea bags. 30 tea bags in a soup pot for half hour will do the job. Make sure to set the stain with a bit of vinegar water.

17 days until shoot