Category Archives: 1950

Haslam Spring and summer 21 fig 13

How do you like my pattern envelope? I know lots of imagination there !!

I decided that it would be easier to keep these patterns in an envelope and if I had a picture on the front it would be easier for me to keep track of what is what.

Now I have tried this dress before and it was a slight disaster, partly fabric, mainly I think I got the sizing wrong, unless the fabric stretched very badly.

I redid the foundation drafting and made a mock-up of the bodice, I then took an inch out of the under arm length.

once I was happy with the fit, I had another go at drafting the pattern

   As you can see below there is  a funny curved dart in the shoulder seam
 I have never used so many pins for a dart before, usually I don’t bother.  an here is the beautiful dart….  photo of the back
  Photo of the front It is actually coming together really nicely, it has a skirt on but I don’t have a picture yet, there has been some complications with the sleeve and and collar but I’ll tell you about that another time….

Butterick 7240

This is the ‘companion’ dress to Vogue 8781, they are only companions as the fact I’m making them together.

I also have this pattern, bought while I was in the phase of (what difference is there between a kimono sleeve dress and a set in sleeve dress) I still haven’t laid them side by side, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it sooner or later.
As I stated in my previous post I love this dress, it is totally impractical for wearing to work, especially with the office chairs on wheels, but if it gets hot enough I might just throw caution to the wind and wear it anyway.

This pattern is advertised on the packet as a long bodied dress, it has a front and back panel which runs the entire length of the dress, and you add two side skirt panels at hip height to give the skirt a lot of fullness over the hip. The back panel has a center zip.
Front imageimage
I have machined the two front pieces together and the both the back pieces, I have even put in the zip, (unfortunately that will have to come out, as it isn’t sitting right)

Each side skirt consists of two pieces, they are also stitched together, all are waiting for the iron….

as you can see by this picture the hip inserts are long enough to wrap round my body as is.


it has one of those collars that is part of the front bodice then wraps around to the back, leaving a small stand at the back and a flappy collar at the front, more photos on that as I make it

Vogue 8781

Howdy, after realising that there is only two weeks left before our holiday and I haven’t managed to do nearly as much sewing as I expected, I’m panicking slightly, so I thought I would just make a couple of dresses that I knew fit, and worry about the new patterns after the holiday. so I picked Vogue 8781 and Butterick 7240, I love both of these dresses, the Butterick one so much that I also bought the version with the proper sleeves (set in rather than kimono) the version I am making is the kimono sleeved one.
First mistake, the vogue one is 32 bust and as it is a little bit tight I thought I would extend it a bit, it is now too big. The bodice detailing a beautiful on this dress so I thought I would share some photos before I take it apart and try again.

the bodice instructions

the bodice instructions

If you look closely you can see the pattern markings

If you look closely you can see the pattern markings


if you look closely in the circle you can see the small triangle stitched in

small  triangle cut out

small triangle cut out


Here it is turned the right way out the next thing to do is to stitch it over, then you have a lovely detail/bust shaping.

Hopefully more later…..

Princess dresses, never too old?

As I was travelling to work this morning I saw a family walking into town, the two girls were wearing princess dresses, I’m assuming Frozen as that was the colour, the older (8ish) one had leggings on the younger (5ish) one had a longer coat on.

It lead me to thinking, at what age do we decide that it is too impractical to wear princess dresses all day long and is it this wish to look pretty and wear swishy skirts what lead most of us to the 1950s with the Dior New Look patterns?

Out of the dresses that I have made, I love the ones with the big skirts and the little details on the bodices but they are the ones that are worn less and when I do wear them it isn’t with net underskirts partly because I don’t own one, and every time I try to make one the cats appear to like eating and clawing at them, but mainly because although I spend most of my time sitting at a desk it isn’t the done thing to wear pretty, swishy dresses to work.

Of course growing up in the 70s Disney hadn’t worked out a way of marketing princess dresses en mass to the UK, if they had my sister and I would have had them, not real ones of course but my Mum and Aunts were all experienced dress makers (I had a fake EMU to prove it)and my Mother made a lot of our clothes. So maybe I’m making up for a lack of princess dresses in my formative years, I do know that I’m drawn to the patterns with the bigger skirts, but still feel slightly uncomfortable wearing for everyday.

Butterick 7203


This is a story about a pattern, it is a poor pattern and it had two missing pieces the back and the front 😦 however it did have all its facings and kimono sleeves 🙂 It was also a butterick pattern, of which you might have noticed I have rather a lot of and “some of them” have kimono sleeves.

I have recreated my front and pack pieces using one of the other patterns and the facing bits, I not quite sure how the bodice facings go together but I’m sure I’ll work it out.

I am using a cotton fabric, it might be Lawn as it is thinner than the poplin I usually buy, I really will have to start marking the fabric up as I buy it. It is white with green flowers on it.
The skirt pieces are self-faced while the top has a separate facing piece. I didn’t cut out the interface at the same time as the rest of the dress as the kittens were being a bit of a nuisance, I’ve now cleared my craft room door so that I can shut them out, they aren’t particularly happy about it, but tough. It is very hard to cut out a pattern when three of them are sitting on it.

much like this but with differerent fabric

much like this but with differerent fabric

I’ve so far done the skirt seams the underarm seam and attached 90% of the top to the skirt, (why 90% I hear you say) because I’m a very disorganised when I stitch, and the other pieces need interfacing which as I pointed out earlier I haven’t cut out yet. I have tried to iron on the interfacing after stitching an item together, it is not something I recommend, even if it is a simple piece, like a front facing for one thing the stitches are now under the interfacing and it didn’t iron on quite as smoothly as I would like.

this is what we have so far

this is what we have so far

future projects

To get me in the mood for winter I have decided to make some skirts, but of course to go with the skirts I need to make some more blouses, so I have cut some out.


I thought I would use this fabric



I just couldn’t resist this pattern with this fabric 🙂


there was just enough fabric to do this top, the only problem was that I have do the collar pieces in two bits.

I have two skirts cut out:-

_1030733this fabric is going to be nice and warm.

I love this skirt pattern it is easy to make and versatile, this will be the third one of these skirts I made.
this fabric has a slight stretch to it so I’m not sure how it will sit.

New Blouse Patterns

Recently I decided I need some more blouses to go with my skirts, so I have bought a couple more new patterns

Butterick 6045
I’ve already tried this one out and I’m not impressed

Butterick 6223

Style 349
I do like Pintucks but I’m not sure about the tiny pointy collar on A, but the ‘Rosebud Transfer’ is still in the packet

and Vogue 8329

so watch this space for more sewing

on a roll

I’m on a roll this weekend, after having the surgery on my shoulder and sorting the house out to be painted, I’ve been finding it difficult to get back into my dress making, but this weekend:-

I have finished a 70s dress apart from the hem, and managed to do some more on two other dresses.

here is the 70s dress




here is a close up of the collar, I bought the fabric at Kayes Textiles during the week, it is a £2.50 poly/cotton, it is a bit stiff but it gives the dress some body, hopefully if it is sunny during the week I’ll take some photos of me wearing it.

I also finished the bound button holes on this dress and restitched the bodice to the skirt


This dress I put the collar on the dress ironed on the interfacing and attached the cuffs to the sleeves


Bound Button holes: friend or foe?

Bound Button Holes: Friend or Foe ?

I have rather a Love hate relationship with Bound Button Holes, I love the look of them but I hate the execution of them.

Lets face it they are pretty, but does the amount of aggravation and extra time spent on them really justify putting them in over normal button holes, in the main they are going to be hidden by the button anyway.

I can understand putting them in when you are going to have to spend hours putting other types of button hole by hand but in the age of the machine button hole which takes seconds, meh.

I’m going to use a particular dress as an example, it has been sitting on my Dress Making Dummy for about two months (bad me) the skirt is together and the top is together the only thing standing between me and New Dress Heaven is bound button holes (that and the fact I’ve lost the two small facings for the skirt piece). On the dress top I have carefully stitched on both pieces of right hand facing the squares of fabric to create my button hole I’ve even cut the slot to push the pieces through to the back, but have I hand stitched them in place have I heck as like.


Saturday evening Simon was Gigging in Colchester, I thought lets sort these button holes out sitting in front of the TV watching Haven. It took me four hours to create five button holes, I did try and cut a couple of corners and do the first one in one go instead of making the ‘lips’ on the front first and then slip stitching the back facing piece to it. That didn’t go down too well so I abandoned this and did the last four properly. But Four Hours and I still have another three to do which are on the skirt piece, may be another two hours button hole work. Seven hours to make nine button holes when I could have them all done in less than twenty minutes.

I’m sure there are the purists out there who would say ‘hell yes, you must put in those Bound Button Holes and while you are about it make your other button holes by hand as well, that is why they give us the instructions for how to do it.’

At the end of the day a button hole is just something to stuff a button through to stop your clothes falling off.

The other thing you could say is that the more you do the quicker you become and next time it won’t take seven hours to create nine button holes. But do the button holes on this dress


look fours hours worth better than the button holes on this dress?


I don’t think so.

vogue 8782


this is a vogue dress, I made it in a size smaller than usual, partly because the pattern I bought was a size smaller, but mostly because I have been finding that a lot of these dresses have been large around the bust area and it is easy enough to add two inches at the waist rather than do a small bust adjustment.


the sizing has come out quite well, apart from being a bit tight around the front of the arms, on the bright side it might just make me stand up straight and stop slouching.

IMG_3137 as you can see it has a pleat at the back and three at the front.

as you can see in the top photo it has some fancy detail instead of the normal darts, you stitch in the diamond shape first the fold it over to create the cut out.