Thursday, October 30, 2014


Leopard Quartet - 

Pillbox Hat, Hobo Bag,
Scarf, and Mittens

Courtesy of RetroMonkeys

A great collection of accessories for the fashionable woman. Make these great pieces in several different fabrics to complement your wardrobe. 

Click HERE for Pattern and instructions. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

1950's Sewing Giveaway Winner!

And the Winner is.....


Congratulations to Marie for winning this awesome sewing package! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014



Courtesy of RetroMonkeys

This is a great gift idea for mom, grandma, or for the teacher. Everyone loves to receive a handmade gift. Here’s a quick one that kids can make too!

The Comb holder and cosmetic case are made from felt in the June 1954 Workbasket Magazine but can also be made from laminated cotton, or your favorite fabric. Decorate solid color fabrics with embroidery, appliques, or fabric paints.

 To Download the pattern including the instructions, Click HERE


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sewing Through the Cinema-Paris When it Sizzles

 by Amy~ViennasGrace

        Get your tissues ready, no not that kind of tissue silly, this isn't a tear jerker.  I'm searching sewing patterns modern and vintage to find the looks featured in classic films. Although it might not be possible to duplicate the exact look, I'll show you how to easily mimic the feeling of the style. Soon you'll see that a silver screen wardrobe is only a pattern away.

Paris When it Sizzles, 1964 Romance Comedy~

Gabrielle Simpson is hired as a young assistant for Richard Benson, a Hollywood screenwriter.  The young and carefree assistant helps Richard get over his writer's block by acting out the possible plots for his upcoming 

film. The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower

Audrey Hepburn as Gabrielle Simpson/Gabby 
William Holden as Richard Benson/Rick
Let me just say for the record, this movie is not a favorite of mine. The story line is not that appealing to me, so it's a good thing I'm not a 1960s movie critic. On the other hand Audrey, Audrey, Audrey...need I say more?  There isn't a thing this gal ever wore that wasn't timeless fashion. There are 5 main dresses worn by Audrey in this film.  The gorgeous candy color tutti-frutti-sherbert colors are the perfect canvas for the high fashion simplistic designs from an obviously inspired Hubert de Givenchy.
FEATURING each and every dress by GIVENCHY

The first time we see Audrey in Paris When it Sizzles, she is wearing this pistachio collarless 3/4 length sleeve jacket, with a subtle waist shape lending to a more feminine silhouette, than just a typical boxy jacket.  Hitting perfectly above large flap pockets on her front pleat skirt. The front pleat gives a hint of the bell shaped skirt that is about to become quite s design feature of this film. (behind Audrey of course)
To recreate this look, focus on the jacket following the contour of the waist and hitting slightly at high hip line. The 3/4 lenth also is a plus and keeping it collarless is the big key. The skirt with a curve shape, but not too pencil skirt, pleats will help with this shaping. The more modern pattern here has a boxier style jacket but the symmetrical pleats give a similar shape. 
          patternshop McCall's 5734                                                              RetroFlos Butterick 2435

Two 1960 Vogue patterns one designed by Jacques Heim ( from 1967) and the other by Christian Dior (from 1965) are a slightly off track.  But I just couldn't pass up sharing, they both have such a great 1960s Paris feel.  Either one of these suits would be a fabulous suit substitute for Audrey's pistachio suit, and let us just agree, they have both have Paris written all over them, literally. We should all have one or two suits like this in our closet. go sew it girl! 

DecadesofCharm Vogue 1711                                                retromonkeys Vogue 1484

Here is Audrey in her Ooh-la-la Nightie, It's sweet and it is cute and the most perfect shade of sweet dream blue.  Lace to say it again ooh-la-la, so Paris!
Need I say more, this one is almost a perfect match, I would live in this glamorous night gown as my new around the house fashion.  Hi UPS driver,  Hello PTO parents, well maybe not PTO parents....I'm wearing it! 

Audrey wears this fabulous tangerine dress throughout a large portion of the film.  Now I have to admit this was a hard style to find a sewing pattern to match all the design elements.  It has a slit neckline, full wing collar, and the back...well it's a quite unexpected contrast, with a soft back drape, the perfect "watch me walk away" statement.  The bodice is fitted and the skirt is a soft version of a bell shape, gathered yet not exaggerated.  
 Being that finding a dress pattern to match both the style features of the front and style features of the back, I focused on the draped back and finding a dress pattern that is sleeveless or cap sleeves. Wow the glamorous patterns I found, take a look! 

Allthepreciousthings Vogue 1045                                                     RomasMaison Vogue 4112

Fragolina Butterick 7653                                                       SoVintageOnEtsy Simplicity 6218                                                 

Here she is in the perfect sleeveless coconut white dress, it must be a slightly stiffer fabric than the tangerine dress, the bell shape is perfectly executed and is simple design at its finest. She has a lavender to give a little color accent to this beautiful crisp white dress.  I think this dress sets a new standard,  we should all be on the hunt for the perfect LWD (little white dress).  go sew it girl!
Pretty perfect fit with this Givenchy pattern from 4 years after the film.  He and Audrey were very close friends and I think he had her in mind with almost every one of his designs.
This pink cotton candy dress makes a quick show to finish off the film.  Again the high fashion bell shaped skirt on this cocktail ensemble, accented by a side waist bow. 
It is a rare thing to see bell shaped skirts anywhere outside of high end designer fashion. This look is easy to obtain though vintage sewing patterns. You will be the talk and envy of all your fashion guru friends. Here's your chance, I love the look and even if you are not ready to express your style with a bell shaped skirt, here are many options with a more fitted skirt and the lovely overblouse like Audrey Hepburn in Paris When it Sizzles.

 allthepreciousthings Simplicity 3662                                     FriskyScissors Advance 9714

PatternsFromThePast Simplicity 5020                                retromonkeys Simplicity 6174

                                    Sydcam123 Vogue 4213              DejaVuPatterns Advance 9583

How can you get all this style into your closet? I told you, pull out your tissues! Pattern tissue that is, go sew it girl!

Here is just a few of the Vintage Sewing Patterns designed by Givenchy, all available from the Fabulous Pattern Pattern Team on Etsy

Here's another treasury inspired by Paris When it Sizzles, featuring some Pattern Patter Team Vintage Sewing Patterns, along with other fun Etsy finds.

The relationship between Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy lasted through decades.  The fashion will last a lifetime.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

1950's Vintage Sewing Giveaway!

1950's Vintage Sewing Giveaway!

We're Doing it again! We have several packages to still giveaway! 

This giveaway is 1950's Sewing Patterns, Fabrics, Notions, and a Great Book! 

What an amazing collection of sewing goodies! I am bowled over by how many amazing items were donated by the members of the Pattern Patter Team on Etsy! 

Here are some close-ups and details! 

4 Gorgeous 1950's Sewing Patterns! 

Advance 6191 Size 18, Bust 38
McCall's 9619 Size 14 Bust 32
Simplicity 1246 Size 14 Bust 32
Simplicity 1713 Size 12 Bust 32

3 Yards of Blue, Grey, and White Abstract Vintage Cotton, Black Wrist length Gloves, Metal Zipper, Buttons, Buttons, and Buttons! 

2 Yards of Gorgeous Navy Blue floral silky fabric with great drape. With vintage notions and - yes! More Buttons!

3 Yards of vintage multi color cotton. French Bistro theme. Red glass buttons, bias and hem tape, thread fabric cover button blanks. A great bright print for a Spring dress!

4 Yards - Yes 4! of a vintage muted large pane Madras style plaid with seersucker stripes. Pineapple Frogs, little yellow buttons, coordinating rick rack trim and cream ribbon with gold floral design.

How to Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway Who Can Enter? U.S. residents over 18 except for current and past members of the Pattern Patter Team on Etsy and their families, as well as any previous winners. 
To Read all of the Giveaway Terms & Conditions, Click on The "Blog Policies" tab.  All entries must be completed by Midnight on October 26th, 2014. The winner will be notified by email on October 28th, 2014 and be announced here as well!

List of Shops who graciously donated items to this giveaway as well as upcoming giveaways!

Deborah VintageNeedlefinds
Susan AdeleBeeAnnPatterns
Rebecca RebeccasVintageSalon
Denise VioletCrownEmporium
Mary Beth MonkeyandFriends
Karen OmasBricaBrac
Anne-Marie Neverwares
Kelly GreyDogVintage
Robin PrettyPatternShop
Charlotte PatternsFromThePast
Catherine - Frisky Scissors
Deb - MantuaMakers
Mary Beth RetroMonkeys
Cloe CloesCloset
Sherri SewBettyandDot
Janie  Redcurlz
Barbara  FloraDoraPresents
Amy ViennasGrace
Kinsey Sue  KinseySue
Madge MadgesMightyCloset

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Focus On: Jumpsuits

by Sherri, sewbettyanddot

The jumpsuit: every few years, the Paris runways are full of them; it's a style that has never really gone out of style since its appearance in the early twentieth century. Technically, a jumpsuit is:

  1. a garment incorporating trousers and a sleeved top in one piece, worn as a fashion item, protective garment, or uniform.

But we all know differently! A jumpsuit can be an easy-breezy, cool, and fashionable garment (as a slew of entertainers--Elvis, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury--and fashionistas have known for decades!). 

The word itself explains this garment's origins: they were developed to keep aviators warm in freezing open-air cockpits during the early days of flight (Amelia Earhart can be seen wearing them)--and paratroopers wore them to "jump" out of planes. A similar garment, coveralls, well, they covered all (of the clothing worn beneath them). They are also called "boilersuits," and they were originally worn by workers maintaining steam-powered engines--as this work required one to sometimes climb into the boiler (or firebox on a locomotive), the one-piece suit prevented soot (or embers) from getting into, for example, the waistband of trousers; the sleek lines also helped to prevent the garment from snagging on something when one needed to enter tight spaces. And as skiing became more popular as a leisure-time activity in the 1920s, specially designed ski suits (often one piece for aerodynamics and to keep the snow out) were available, including chic suits by couturiers such as Lucien Lelong and Elsa Schiaparelli).

Women began to fill factories during World War II--Rosie the Riveter, we're looking at you!--and coveralls (and overalls, too) were worn, again, as a protective garment, both in terms of nothing getting caught in machinery (their hair was worn back or wrapped with the famous Rosie bandanna/scarf) AND as a way to keep clothing clean (fabric became more scarce during the war so new clothes became a luxury for most people). Reportedly the workers hated them as they had to practically undress just to use the bathroom--but the coverall has become an iconic image representing the "Yes We Can" spirit of women moving into the workplace and helping in the war effort.

Top left: Clad in a fur lined leather flying suit with oxygen facepiece, NACA test pilot Paul King prepares to take to the air in a Vought VE-7, 1925. Courtesy NASA Langley Center, courtesy Wikipedia.
Top right: Boiler suit [at right], from a 1920s Brown Bros. leaflet, courtesy
Bottom left: Lucien Lelong ski outfit, photo by Egidio Scaioni, 1927.
Bottom right: Factory workers in coveralls/boiler suits in England during World War II. Photo courtesy

In terms of a non-work-related jumpsuit, in 1919 Italian designer Ernesto Michahelles--who was part of the Futurist art movement--designed the "TuTa," a T-shaped garment for men cut from one piece of cotton and constructed with one straight cut, several seams, seven buttons and a belt (pictured below, top row left). (He renamed himself Thayaht, a bifrontal palindrome, reflecting the symmetry of his design.) The pattern for the TuTa was published in an Italian newspaper to make it accessible to the greater public. There was also a version for women. Alexandr Rodchenko also designed a uniform-like jumpsuit in 1922 (interesting that artists first jumped on the bandwagon--pun intended!). And from that point forward, as some women (those in the upper economic classes, at least) had more time for sports and leisure, easy-to-wear jumpsuits (except for that pesky visit to the bathroom) became a popular garment. (There were also "beach pyjamas," sometimes one piece, sometimes two--but that's for another post. And rompers and playsuits: often simply an abbreviated jumpsuit!).

Top row: “TuTa,” designed by Thayaht (Ernesto Michahelles), 1919
Joan Crawford, looking amazing (and slightly spooky!) in a jumpsuit, ca. 1920s. Image from, via Pinterest
Jean Harlow in a velvet jumpsuit designed by Vera West; photographed by Ray Jones. Courtesy
Middle row: Elsa Schiaparelli “shelter suit,” 1940s. Courtesy
A pre-blonde Ginger Rogers in a wide-legged jumpsuit, 1940s. Courtesy
Jumpsuit from Vogue, 1950s. Courtesy
Bottom row: Mid-1960s jumpsuit. Courtesy
 Veruschka in a Norma Tullo jumpsuit, 1970s. Courtesy
Thierry Mugler jumpsuit, 1980. Courtesy

The jumpsuit evolved from slinky (1930s) to more functional (1940s) to wide-legged palazzos for entertaining (also 1940s and then 1960s) to more streamlined (1950s) to anything goes (1970s) to avant-garde (1980s) to today: halter, wrap, sleeveless, wide legged or slim, there is a jumpsuit for everybody (and every body!). Remember, fit is important--no saggy bums, please (unless you're going for that M.C. Hammer effect). 

Now let's look at some lovely jumpsuit patterns from members of the Pattern Patter team on Etsy!

Top row, left to right: McCall 7277: retromonkeys

Top row, left to right: Simplicity 9370: RebeccasVintageSalon

For more on jumpsuits, refer to this informative post written by Amy from ViennasGrace, which was published on our blog last year.

Which jumpsuit would YOU like to jump into? Tell us in the comments!

Text sources: Wikipedia, Italian Vogue ( 

Friday, October 10, 2014


Terrycloth Bib Apron for Bathing Baby

Courtesy of Mary Beth, RetroMonkeys


Handmade gifts for the expectant parents are always welcomed. This bib apron made from terrycloth is perfect for baby's bath-time. 
No more trying to grab a towel and a baby at the same time! Use vintage towels or vintage fabric for the trim. Make one for her and one for him!

Get the instructions for this great bath time apron HERE
Adapted from:
The New Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing
Copyright 1943

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

To Pad or Not to Pad, an Exposé on Shoulders

Style - Shoulder Pads Part I 

By Karen Van Velzer (Oma) 

Vogue 8817

  Shoulder pads have come in and out of fashion for women more times than most of us realize.  This, the first installment, takes a look at this new style sensation as it emerged in Europe during the 1930's resulting in a new era for fashion. This excitement served to lift women from their previous years of desperation caused by the economic woes of the Great Depression. Immediate success also attached to the fashion designer,  who promoted the use of this new fashion accessory. The impact in Hollywood was equally profound, as the shoulder pad came to define the on-screen presence of one actress in particular, while catapulting the career of her costume designer. None of this was lost on the fashion industry as a whole of course, as the acceptance of this new fad served to “pad” (pun intended) the bottom line of virtually all apparel manufacturers.

The fashions of the 1920's was unlike any other era in modern history. It focused on the young 
and was particularly influenced by the “flapper.” Young women freed themselves from the 
previously restricting codes of dress and moral conduct that forbade them to drink, smoke, and 
freely fraternize with young men. Shorter skirts revealed woman’s legs for the first time in the 
history of dress. Women sported short hair for the first time in history, save the brief period 
following the French Revolution. Women wore trousers as an outer garment, and nice girls wore 
makeup. Undergarments generally suppressed the curves of women who did not naturally have a 
fashionably flat figure. Clothing was decidedly masculine; frocks were straight with no bosom, 
waist or hips, and belts were worn on the hips.


Virtual Vintage                  AllthePreciousThings            RetroMonkeys                            KinseySue

Styles of the 1920’s reflect the introduction of a new silhouette: narrow with a dropped waistline.

Nineteen thirties fashion returned to a noticeably feminine look following the economic
collapse of the Great Depression. The silhouette of the 1930’s emphasized the natural form of
the woman’s body. Bosom, waistline, and hips were clearly defined by the shape of clothing.
Undergarments emphasized women’s curves.


Dress styles of the 1930’s show the fitted line, bias cut, and interesting sleeve variations.

French couture maintained its exalted position as the leading authority on style in women’s
clothing until Nazi Germany cut Paris off from the rest of the fashion world during WWII.
History generally credits Italian-born French Couturier Elsa Schiaparelli with introducing
shoulder pads to the fashion world in the early 1930s. Schiaparelli wrote in her autobiography
that she started them “to give women a waist.” She first showed them in August, 1931. American buyers went nuts with an excitement. British Vogue editors exclaimed that the “wooden soldier silhouette transforms you completely – wide, padded epaulette shoulders, high double-breasted closing, and very chesty chest, lines carved sharply under the arms to the waist, and a straight column from there down.”

Elsa Shiaparelli

        Schiaparelli’s overnight sensation captured the attention of actress, Joan Crawford. By this time it had become common practice for actresses to approach studio heads in order to have a say in 
their costumes. The following year Crawford appeared in the film, “Letty Lynton” where she 
donned the pads for the first time. Schiaparelli later remarked that Joan Crawford “adopted [the 
pads] and molded her silhouette on them for years to come”. She also conveyed to readers that 
“the pads became emphasized and monstrous”. She apparently expressed this sentiment to Joan 
Crawford years later, when she told her, “To cut them down, and stop wearing sequins”. Ouch!  Still, shoulder pads defined 1940’s fashion.

Letty Lynton

Joan Crawford


PinkPolkaDotButton                AllthePreciousThings       VirtualVintage                PatternShop

 Dress styles of the 1940’s emphasized shoulder pads.

Adrian, chief costume designer for MGM, is credited with designing costumes for over 250 films. His responsibilities included dressing many of the most iconic female film stars of the day. He designed costumes for 28 of Joan Crawford’s films, developing her signature outfits with large shoulder pads that quickly started a popular fashion trend. The movement incorporated his designs into American ready-to-wear outfits, and they were seen everywhere. The era of the pads eventually came to a close. At war’s end, French couture regained its
position as leader of the fashion world. In the spring of 1947 Christian Dior introduced his new line that became known as the New Look. His line introduced rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and voluminous skirts. A new outlook on women’s fashion was born.

The next installment of this expose on shoulder pads will be coming soon! 


Schiaparelli, Elsa, Shocking Life, V&A Publications, London 2007

Tortora, Phyllis; Eubank, Keith, Survey of Historical Costume, third edition, Fairchild, NY 2004

Tomerlin, Sarah, American Fashion, the Life and lines of Adrian, Mainbocher, McCardell,

Norell, Trigére, Quadrangle, NY 1975

Vogue Magazine, November 1, 1931.