Category Archives: pattern reviews

1940s Bra Sample Photos!

It’s about time!  This was one of the first patterns I did as a “Resto-Vival”, back in 2010, and it’s finally time I actually sewed one up and took some photos!

At work recently, I had been given the task to create 1940s undergarments for stock (I’m currently working at a theatre), so I brought a printout of my handy dandy Wearing History digital bra pattern with me and set to work.


Although the original vintage pattern was stated a 32 (no up size), reviewers had said that this bra ran large.  I found this to be the case as well.  The dress form is 35″ around the bust and about a B cup, and it fit very well.  I have edited the item description to note this.

A few little things I did for decoration that weren’t called for in the original pattern were the topstitching details.  I found it easiest to finish the seams with a bias binding on the inside, so decided to go with contrast thread and use it as accents, and then continue the motif on the bottom piece of the cups.  I also added real bra straps (not of ribbon or fabric as called for in the original  and added a little bow at center front.  The original pattern called for bias binding around the edges but I went with a bias facing instead, making it 1/2″ shorter at top and bottom than it would have been with facing.

All in all, I don’t know why I procrastinated on making vintage bras for so long!  It went together super easy and very quickly.  I’ve actually got a pale pink one partially constructed already, and can see making more.  It’s funny leaving a pattern review of my own pattern, but there you have it!

If you want to try out your own version, you can purchase the digital download on my website for this 1940’s Brassiere Pattern.


Finished Project: Simplicity 1872 by Cynthia Rowley

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!

Recently I took advantage of a good pattern sale and picked up several modern dress patterns from Simplicity that I had my eye on. I just finished up this one from Simplicity 1872, from their Cynthia Rowley collection, and wore it yesterday.

The pattern itself if quite easy to sew- I would guess a beginner could sew this with little difficulty, especially since it is a slip on dress with no closures.  The most challenging part of the dress for me was the sizing.  I always have trouble picking a size for modern patterns by the large companies because so much ease is included.  I usually go by finished measurements on the back of the envelope when selecting size, being sure to factor in ease, but this pattern had the finished bust measurement for the size I usually am about six inches larger than my actual measure.  I then did the flat measurements of the waistline of the pattern pieces themselves (subtracting the seam allowances, of course), and since this was a dress to go on over the head I made sure the size I cut would have enough ease to go on over my shoulders and bust.  In the end I cut one size smaller than the size indicated on the envelope, but I most likely could have cut two sizes smaller with no problem, as I did have to take it in a little more when I did my muslin.  So, that being said, the  most challenging part was figuring out what size would work for me- the rest of the sewing on this was a breeze.

The only changes I had to make were what probably are to become standard alterations for me when using modern patterns.  This is the second modern pattern from a large company I have sewn in the last six months or so, and I found with both patterns (one McCall, one Simplicity), that I had gaping at the back armscye, which doesn’t happen for me with vintage patterns for the most part.  I also had to shorten the bodice length since I am short waisted.  The other change I made was based on preference- instead of doing a little hem at the bottom by machine I did a three thread rolled hem on my serger.  This dress is already much shorter than what I usually wear, so that extra little 1/4″ length was something- plus I was lazy and didn’t want to do a curved hem ;)

In the end I can say I do really think the dress is cute and fun to wear.  If I make it again I will probably lengthen the skirt a bit on each ruffle as it is quite shorter than I usually feel comfortable wearing.  There is a bit of gap-o-sis at the front, so I will add a little tack there (I used a safety pin), and I did wear a cami underneath since it was lower cut than I usually wear.  I would also probably add some elastic at the waist, as the original design calls for the dress to be belted in, which makes the gathering somewhat uneven, especially when you’re moving about- I had to keep repositioning my gathers.

The fabric I used for the dress was a vintage 60s/70s synthetic I thrifted, and the belt I’m wearing it with is vintage.  I have the tie belt all cut out, but I liked the green buckle so much with the dress that I decided to wear it this way instead!  The cost of the dress was quite low since the pattern was on sale for 99 cents and the fabric was only $6!

I know I’m being a total nerd in the photos, but it was such a nice sunny day and the field was so full of flowers- it made me happy :)

>Announcing the New Online Pattern Shop!


I am so very excited to announce the unveiling of our all new web store!

Here you’ll be able to purchase my popular patterns but there are also so many new features you can choose from.  You can make wish lists, review products, share on social networking sites and email to friends, compare products, and subscribe to an RSS feed for new products that you can track through Google Reader- a great way to get a jump on what vintage patterns are being posted.  On the product pages you can see more pictures, view slide shows, and mouse over photos to zoom in and see detailing or read yardage charts!   And you can buy downloadable PDF only patterns- no waiting for me to email you!  In the future I’m hoping to offer some other digital patterns on this site only!
As opposed to my other selling sites previously, you can create an account or check out as a guest- no registration is necessary! And of course I still accept credit card payments through Paypal which makes all trasactions safe and secure.

I would highly encourage you to become involved in the site. Please leave reviews for the patterns you have sewn.  Not only does it help other sewers, but it helps folks who might be interested in the patterns and I love hearing what you think!

I ALWAYS love seeing what you have made. Please message me links to blogs, pictures, and reviews- seeing your creativity brightens my day and I know it helps other sewers to see reviews and get inspired.

As a special introduction to the site all orders will receive 20% off by entering the code “newsite” when checking out.

I’ll be transitioning more products over to the site and adding authentic vintage patterns soon!

Best wishes and happy sewing!

>Wearing History Flickr Sewing Group!

>Hi all!
I was talking to my good friend today who’s in the midst of sewing the Smooth Sailing pattern and she gave me the most wonderful idea!  I have started a Flickr group for Wearing History patterns!  I would *love* to see what everyone has been making from the patterns in my pattern line, and I’d love to see fellow sewing enthusiasts pitch in and encourage and help others with the patterns as well.  Kind of a show and tell of what we have made!
So please hop on over there, join the group, and start sharing photos and discussions!  It should be fun :)

>A new haircut, and playing dress up with a floaty frock

>I was so long overdue for a haircut, and finally yesterday I went in to chop of the extra length!  I hadn’t had my hair cut in over a year- isn’t that shameful?  I’m feeling much more free with my short little cut- it’s a bit longer than the bob I got last year, and I really love it.

I put on one of my vintage frocks and played dress up with the new hairstyle! I love this little dress- it’s so floaty and made of a sheer cotton with lace accents on the little puffed undersleeves and the bow at front.  It even still has the matching sash!  I bought this for our trip last summer but didn’t get any good shots of it, so it was fun to have my husband take some of it now :)

The hat in the last photo was one I picked up last summer on our trip at a Paris flea market.  There were stacks of old store stock hats that were the same.  I wish I could have gotten more to share! But I picked out two for myself, and a year later find myself constantly daydreaming about the hats and buttons I left behind in Paris, as well as the yummy Laduree macarons. *sigh*
Haircut: Gerardo Acostameza, Head Strong Salon, Poway, CA
Dress: Childhood Memories on Etsy
Shoes: Vintage Martini
Hat: Paris Flea Market Find
Sunglasses and Vogue Magazine: Ebay

In pattern news, I’m excited to see two versions of the Smooth Sailing pattern made up by clever seamstresses!  Andi B. Goode made an absolutely darling version of it in a cheerful checker print.  Makes me want to make another for myself!  Steph from Three Miles Past made up a pair of shorts from the Smooth Sailing pattern and has adorable pics of her and her daughter on her blog.  She also did a write up for Pattern Review!  Thanks so much gals, your projects came out great!