Red & White & Retro Summer Outfit

vintage simplicity red and white outfit 1426 1166

We’ve had some sunshine and warm weather the last few days that make it feel like summer is definitely on it’s way, and I can think of no better way to celebrate the arrival of summer than with this sunny outfit!

simplicity vintage reproduction patterns

I sewed the outfit from vintage reproduction patterns from the 1950’s – Simplicity 1426 and Simplicity 1166. The fabric was provided by Minerva Crafts for being a part of their blogging network. I made the top from a lovely polka dot print cotton poplin. The poplin isn’t opaque, so I lined it with a white muslin since if I self-lined it, the polka dots would have showed through. I made the skirt from a solid cotton poplin. The color was called “claret” which I think is a good description of the true color, although I was hoping it would turn out a bit more true red like the polka-dots since that’s what it looks like on their website. Although I was admittedly a tiny bit disappointed by the fact that they didn’t match perfectly when they arrived, I think that when I wear the finished garments they coordinate nicely and don’t read as “un-matching” at all.

red white and retro outfit

Unfortunately, the buttons for the skirt came from my stash. I say unfortunately because Minerva sent me the most fabulous little skull buttons to use, but I discovered (after sewing most of them on) that the shank is vertical and doesn’t play nicely with the horizontal buttonholes. After finishing the skirt I decided to add a little piece of decorative white trim to the waistband so that it coordinated even more with the top.

simplicity vintage 1950s 1426 1166 back

I love the back of the top and how it perfectly frames my tattoo. I love the skirt and how it emphasizes my narrow waist. I love how the two pieces combine to be flirty and fun and show some skin while still remaining surprisingly modest. Seriously, I love everything about this outfit so much so that I started sewing it again in different fabric from my stash as soon as I sewed the last seam of this go round!

simplicity 1950s vintage halter 1426

The skirt fit nicely the first time around. The top is very wearable as it, although a close examination shows that the side seam is a bit far back and the center back overlaps quite a bit more than intended, so I’ll go down a size the next time around. I’m really quite a fan of how the front of the bodice is constructed – it clearly accommodates a wide range of bust sizes without requiring much fitting (compare me to the envelope model). Although I could grade out some of the fullness, I’m actually quite happy with how it looks. On my frame it’s modest (well, modest for a tiny halter top) and I like it that way.

simplicity 1426 1166

Comments 11

  1. oh! I love this outfit! This is the sort of thing I aspire to wear all summer while sunbathing and sailing and drinking lemonade by the pool and all those things I wish I did…

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      Thanks! I can’t sunbathe because my skin burns too easily and I don’t particularly like sailing or swimming pools, but I promise that I will be drinking lemonade in this outfit this summer!

  2. I’ve been looking for another vintage pattern to sew and I’m tempted to give this a go but I’ve not as slim as you…but thinking about it as it looks so fab on you. My last dress was a 50’s Vogue pattern and it sewed up quite well. And it fits (always a plus). So, do I stick with what I know or do I try something new? Oh decisions, decisions!Great photos by the way!

  3. You look gorgeous! It’s a great combination of colours, and beautifully sewn. (Although I’d never be game to bare my midriff.)

  4. Oooohhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! I love this outfit so much! It’s just perfect on you. I have the top pattern and have been dying to make it. This might push it up in my sewing queue.

  5. I’m almost a year late on this, but I just put these 2 pieces down for a sew along I’m doing. I’m very glad I paired them because yours is simply GORGEOUS! I’ll be using a Hawaiian print for mine, and I can only hope it turns out half as stunning as this.

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  6. I just picked up both of these for $.99, and I always like to search for other completed projects to see variations. :)

    Bear in mind, the envelope model may have had some digital help in the bust department–at the very least, there are probably some molded cups in her top ;) [which you could also add, if you felt like it]. Either way, it’s darling, and having very fair skin myself, I hope you wear it with a glamorous portrait hat!

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      Thanks so much! I did find that I wore the top a ton (and the repeat of the top and skirt that I made in yellow). I’m hoping I fit back into them by next summer (I had a baby at the beginning of this summer) because I really want to wear them again! Hope yours works well for you. And yes, there was definitely a hat involved (although not nearly glamorous enough of a hat. That’s something to find for next summer.)

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