Tag Archives: Simplicity

It’s a wrap! (A retro wrap, even)

One thing I’ve been missing a lot this year is sewing from vintage patterns. I got a couple of vintage makes in before the baby bump got too big for those fitted-waist 1940’s and 1950’s styles, and I did have plans for a couple of vintage maternity patterns, but due to lack of energy and running out of time, I never quite got them made up. (Which I’m still a little sad about – now I’ll never know what it’s like to wear one of those 1950’s maternity skirts with the cut-out in front for the bump! Anyone ever tried wearing one and want to let me know if it’s as uncomfortable as it looks??)

Well, my body is still changing too much to bother making any fitted styles just yet, but I dug out a 1970’s wrap skirt pattern to get my vintage fix with (and make something that feels a bit more ‘me’ to wear than the transition-sized skirts I dug out at the local op shop).

Meet my newest creation – a floral wrap skirt!

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I got this pattern a couple of years back – the curved yoke and pockets really appealed to me, and I’ve been meaning to make it ever since. Now it’s finally had it’s day, yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ The pattern is Simplicity 7311 from 1975. It includes both the wrap skirt and a matching blouse, plus a transfer for the embroidery seen on view 2 (the cream one).

Simplicity 7311

The fabric came from Fabric-a-brac – it’s a vintage lightweight cotton, lovely to work with, and I thought the brown floral matched the era of the pattern quite nicely. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I used some pale peach toned narrow scalloped edge lace for trim around the yoke and pockets, sewing it so that just the scallops peek out (kinda like rounded ric-rac. My original idea was actually to use ric-rac, but, well, I couldn’t find my box of ric-rac. Clearly, I have too much stuff in my sewing space. #firstworldproblems) I think the colour of this lace works better than white ric-rac would have anyway, so it must have been meant to be. Hah!

(Hmm, guess I was standing crooked for this photo. The skirt does sit straight, I promise!)

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern came together nice and easily. (But then, it is just a wrap skirt, so I would have been somewhat horrified if there were any complexities involved!) The yoke, back waist band and ties are all sewn on, then a matching set made and attached as a facing, before being slip-stitched down on the inside. Which means you get a nice, clean finish on the curved front yoke.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Look! Wearing heels! (It’s been a while, haha!)

I was a good little stitcher for once and actually did slip-stitch the facing down. (Confession time – I’m pretty lazy with hand stitching and usually try to come up with a work around. Like top stitching. Yes, I know – horrible habit of mine, and one I’m consciously making the effort to kick!) It took me a good week to get that all stitched down (the little baby doesn’t tend to sleep during the day aside from cat naps most days, so finding moments can be somewhat tricky!), but I’m really happy with the end result so I’m glad I took the time.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Inside waistband facing

I did get a bit lazy with the pockets though. They’re made by sewing two pocket pieces together, right sides together, then turning through a gap and slip stitching the gap closed. Which makes for a wonderfully neat and tidy pocket piece. Except that you then need to attach it to the skirt. The pattern instructions call for the pockets to be slip-stitched on. Yeah. Well. I don’t trust the quality of my hand stitching enough for that. Plus, I’ll be using these pockets a lot, so they need to be attached pretty firmly. Plus, that’s one heck of a lot of slip-stitching. So, yeah. I got lazy and top stitched them on instead, which I’m refusing to feel guilty about. (I also put a line of top stitching along the pocket opening, so they matched all the way around.)

They’re fantastically deep and large pockets and have already been extremely useful! (Bet you can’t even tell I have my cell phone in one of them in these photos, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I love these pockets

The back of the skirt is super simple – just a straight waistband that extends into the ties, and straight seams. The instructions call for a simple fold-under-twice-and-stitch-down edge on both the back edges and the hem. There’s a gap in the waist band at one side seam, for one of the ties to pass through, and it’s designed so you wrap them around to the front and tie them over the yoke.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

One thing I’d do differently next time is extend the width of the back skirt pieces – the cross over portion isn’t quite big enough for the very windy city I live in, so I’ll be wearing a slip under this for those sure-to-happy wardrobe malfunctions due to errant gusts. (Admittedly, they would normally cross over a bit more – I made this up in my “normal” size, rather than my current size, since I still have a lot of baby bump weight to loose and I want to be able to wear this in the future, rather than just as a transition piece. But even taking that into consideration, they don’t cross over quite enough for my liking/feelings of wardrobe safety.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Aside from the wind risk factor, though, I’m loving this skirt! It’s comfy, has big pockets, and is gonna last in my wardrobe for quite a while. So an all-round win, really. ๐Ÿ™‚

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(The Little Man was running back and forth between my lovely photographer and I, hence the ‘hey there!’ arms)

It got it’s first outing on Christmas Day. We were at my partner’s parents house for lunch and the afternoon, and these photos were taken in their gorgeous garden. (Naturally, there was a photo bomber as well.) So any wrinkles (and chocolate finger marks left by the Little Man) can be excused from the car trip there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Little Man photo bomb (naturally)

It’s all about the practicality

Or at least, it’s all about practicality with this creation!

Not that you’d think so to start with – after all, why on earth would one need a bed jacket? I’ve never really understood the concept – is it some sort of 1950’s ladies-who-lunch variation, where instead you sit up in bed eating breakfast and lounging around glamourously? Heck knows, but there seem to be a lot of patterns out there for sewn and knitted bed jackets from the 1950’s!

And inevitably, one (or maybe two) of those patterns has made it’s way into my stash. In this case, Simplicity 2778, from 1958.

Simplicity 2778

I bought this pattern for the slippers though, not the bed jacket. (And I’ve even made the slippers!) I never expected to make the bed jacket – sure, it’s kinda cute, but really, why?? (Also, why do they all have their mouths open on this pattern cover? Plus, those are all pretty massive earrings for wearing to bed. Yep, clearly bed jackets are all about glamour!)

And then I had the Little Man, and spent a heck of a lot of time sitting up in bed in the middle of the night feeding him. And the idea of a bed jacket started to make a lot of sense. Shorter than a dressing gown, so you can easily throw it on while sitting in bed for an extra layer of warmth. Yep, not a bad idea at all, really!

(Except that I never quite got around to making one while still doing night feeds with the Little Man.)

But this time, I am prepared! Yes indeed! (Well, semi-prepared. Got a five-days-overdue baby bump going on and I’ve only just finishing this, but still – it’s done before it’s needed! Win!)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And here it is – my version of a 1958 bed jacket. In a dusky pink sweatshirting. Because you know what? This is only ever going to be worn in the dead of night, in bed, while feeding a baby. It’s not about glamour, it’s about warmth. And it will Never Leave The House. Nuh-uh.

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It will, instead, be cozy and warm. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Or that’s the theory, anyway.)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So saying though, I did do a bunch of topstitching on it, just because I could. It wasn’t thought-out topstitching, there was no plan, I just did what I felt like at the time until I ran out of the pink thread I was using. So I ended up with some topstitching on the pockets, on the facings, and on the collar. I was going to do some down the centre back as well but then I ran out of thread, so it got left as it was.

(‘Scuse the alignment of this – it does line up in real life, I promise! Just clearly not in this photo, at all. This is where I miss having photos taken by fellow bloggers – they spot this type of thing, haha!)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Pockets! Those are gonna be useful for a burp cloth on one side and snacks on the other side. Because let’s face it – there is a constant need for snacks when feeding a child in the middle of the night. Mmmm…. snacks….)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Speaking of the collar – rather than doing the collar facing in the same thick sweatshirting, I used some of the cotton left over from my Tania culottes. To stop it from peeking through at the edge, I trimmed a couple of mm off the collar facing’s outer edge and then aligned the inner seams when pressing so the collar rolled to the inside a little.

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

When I went to put the fastenings on, I had a moment of realising – this jacket’s never actually going to get done up, due to it’s purpose for existing. So, I flagged the fastenings and just did some top stitching instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

Not really a lot to say about the construction of this – it’s a basic kimono-sleeve style, with cut-on facings, so very few pattern pieces. Fairly usual late-1950’s Simplicity instructions. And an unmarked pattern, so holes punched in it to indicate darts, grainlines, etc. (Which, by the way, I prefer – far easier to transfer markings when you can just chalk through the punched holes!)

Here’s something I hadn’t seen before, though – this pattern comes with a ‘fold sheet’ – a plain sheet of tissue paper that’s there for the sole purpose of having the rest of the pattern folded up in it. Brilliant! It keeps it nice and smooth in the envelope, and helps keep all the little pieces together.

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So there we have it – one baby-night-feeding vintage bed-jacket pattern, made up and ready to go! (Whenever this little one decides to make an appearance, that is. Hmmm…. In the meantime though, it makes for a good book-resting-place.)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The “Powder Room” Slippers

After all of the pajama party fun last week, I felt like carrying on with making comfy lounging wear. (That, and the weather suddenly turned rather cold and I didn’t have any slippers. Not a good combination, with wooden floors.) So, I made slippers!

The Facts
Fabric: scraps from my stash – cotton, polar fleece, and vinyl-type-stuff
Pattern: Simplicity 2778
Year: 1958
Notions: about 30cm of elastic for the back, bits of interfacing all over, and a length of bias binding
Time to make: 2.5 hours
First worn: as soon as I finished making them
Wear again?: yep
Total cost: maybe around $2 for the bias binding?

I used a pattern from 1958 – Simplicity 2778. They were pretty easy to put together, although I must admit they took me a bit longer than I expected. (For some reason, I always think small things will be fast to make? Heck knows why – it’s not like size has anything to do with complexity when it comes to sewing. *shrug*) I do have a small gripes with the pattern though, which is a bit unusual. Firstly, it completely forgot to instruct to cut out facings for the slipper uppers. It mentions the interfacing and the upper, and that’s it. It’s only when you get to the “with wrong sides together, based facing to upper slipper” part that I went “huh? What facing?” and had to go cut some out. Grrr. Oh well, they came together quite well in the end, and I’m wearing them now and loving them, so it was just a small annoyance.

I used the scraps from making my Powder Room PJs, because it’s cute fabric, and also I like the idea of having slippers that match my PJs. It makes me giggle a little with joy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I lined them with red polar fleece for some winter snuggliness, and used some black vinyl-like stuff from my stash for semi-waterproof soles. Next time, I’ll make the soles thicker though – with this style of slipper, they need to be quite stiff so they don’t flop around. (Although I’m not sure how well that will work at the points where you have to stitch bias binding over 8 layers of fabric…. Hmmm…..)

They’ll keep my feet warm and cozy from our wooden floors, and I figure they’ll be especially useful in a few months when I end up having to get up several times a night to feed the little creature once it arrives. Therefore, I’m considering these a part of the Sew Baby challenge – in the categories of ‘separates’ and ‘vintage’.