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!


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.





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

Welcome to my sewing blog!

Here we go- I’m a children’s clothing maker who specializes in recreating vintage fashions from 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. My focus is on clothing for newborns to five-year olds, with an emphasis on fine cottons, linens, silks and soft woolens. I have many vintage patterns from companies like Simplicity and even mail order patterns c. 1930 from the Chicago Tribune my most expensive ($45). In this blog, I will post the course of my clothing design and creations leading up to my big photo event mid June and hopeful success thereafter. I’ve hired a photographer (Heather Crowder http://www.heathercrowder.com/)  of Annapolis to shoot my twin 2-year-old girls and a 5-year-old  wearing my designs in hopes of boosting etsy sales and to produce catalogs. 2 dress changing in downtown Annapolis with 2 two-year olds will surely be a sight.

I also wanted to create this blog to share these long-lost but not forgotten styles and the techniques with you. So many times I googled a sewing technique and it was in fact a blog that gave me direction. If you are interested in my completed items, check them out on my etsy site: msbellesboutique.etsy.com