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1940s Sailor Style Denim Skirt

These pictures saved this skirt’s life. I made it up at the same time as my sailor girl shorts (much earlier this summer) from the same Wearing History pattern. And I put it on and looked at myself in the mirror and hated it. I liked the idea, I just thought that it was too big and stiff and that it made me look gigantic. So I put it into the WIP pile to turn it into a pencil skirt. At some point I grabbed it in a stack of stuff for a photoshoot, thinking it would be good to have the failed “before” pictures of the refashion. Except for looking at these pictures, I really like the skirt! Maybe it’s just the pretty photos and artsy sun flare that have me fooled, but all the issues that I had with this skirt in the mirror seem to have disappeared in …

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1940’s Bow Neck Blouses

We continue our search for bow necked inspiration as we peek through the decades for the Bow Neck Blouse Sewalong with a selection of drawings of fashions from the 1940′s. Thanks to Rochelle of Lucky Lucille for the above collage taken from early 1940’s Sears catalogs. All of the proceeding images are from Everyday Fashions of the Forties as pictured in Sears Catalogs. These Charmode dresses for a gracious lady are from 1941/1942. They are “specially designed…painstakingly styled…carefully proportioned for the poised matron.” While “gracious lady” still seems to be a classy way to say older woman, “matron” sure isn’t a description that one wants to hear these days. Interestingly, other than the old-fashioned lace collars, the dresses aren’t aesthetically that different from many of the other offerings from the same time period. The only real difference seems to be in the age of the model’s face! This lovely dress …

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Pink Linen Trousers with Pintuck

I made these trousers using Simplicity 3688, the 1940’s reproduction pattern, out of pink 100% linen. I’ve previously made them in khaki. The pattern is so simple and easy, there’s really not much to say. I made these for the sole purpose of coordinating with my pink brocade peplum top so I could have a new outfit for a weekend in Vegas. However, for anyone that’s been following my Me Made May progress on Flickr (or read my summary post from the first half of the month), you’ll notice that I’ve worn these several times already this month. And I’m likely to continue wearing them as they are comfortable, easy to coordinate, a good weight for this time of year, and pink.

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1942 Hollywood Patterns Shirtwaist Dress

I now present to you my 1940’s dress for Sew for Victory. It’s from Hollywood Patterns (No. 855), from May 1942, endorsed by Betty Grable of 20th Century Fox. Honestly, I’m not that enamored with this dress. I was talked into the fabric, a quilting cotton, by a woman at the fabric store but I really should have stuck to my guns and gone to another store to find a nice rayon. When I first envisioned this dress, I wanted it to be something I could wear to seduce Sam Spade. I feel like it ends up making me look like I should be out back mucking out a chicken coop. I settled on working for the war effort as a compromise. This was the first time that I have used an original 1940’s pattern (not a reproduction). I thought it was so fun to pull it out of the envelope …

1

1940’s Blouse

This blouse is the 1940’s reproduction from Simplicity 3688 that goes with my khaki trousers. I was reasonably satisfied with the blouse and thought that it made a nice professional looking top. My biggest complaint is that it is very loose in the waist, and must be so to fit without a closure. I’ll probably make it again, but I’ll cut the waist in and add larger darts and a hidden side zipper so I don’t have to wear a belt. I closed the neck with a creme satin covered button. And I did a lovely job of hand sewing the neckband, if I do say so myself. My problem with this blouse was the fabric I chose. I bought some cheap fabric from Joann because I had a coupon and it seemed like a good idea at the time. The first time that I wore the blouse was to …

1940’s Khaki Trousers

Here’s another derp story about a sewing project. I put these on to wear to work last week and laughed at myself, thinking “Man, I must be tired this morning because I just put my pants on backward.” Then I shook my head, pondered a little bit, and laughed out loud. Because I discovered that I didn’t put my pants on backward that morning. In fact, I had been wearing my pants backward for two weeks! These are Simplicity 3688, the 1940’s reproduction pattern that’s swept the sewing blogosphere. I’ve been planning on sewing these for quite a while, but the fact that they are Debi’s tried and true pattern and Lladybird looks so cute in hers too encouraged me to get them done.  I sewed these pretty much as-is, but added an inch and a half to the rise. I probably didn’t need to add quite that much, but …