Category Archives: Sewing Through The Decades

The anniversary outfit: Pattern Review for Simplicity 1782 and Burda 02-2011-107

Eight years ago, my darling and I met at a Halloween party. I can´t believe how time flies! So, to celebrate, we went out on a dinner date on Monday (yummy Italian food), and I got a chance to wear two of my newest creations, a 40´s top I´ve been dying to make since I got the pattern, and a pencil skirt in my new favorite color!

I got the pattern for this top at midvalecottage, and I was initially drawn towards view no. 2 with the balloon style sleeves, but I chose to make view no. 3 first, mostly because that was what I had enough fabric for! I used a gorgeous drapey black fabric and black and silver beads for the embellishment. You can´t see the embellishment as well as I´d wish, but I made a little flower using small Czech beads. So fun to do!

40´s blouse and velvet pencil skirt

Pattern review for Simplicity 1792 (1940´s pattern) Misses blouse

Pattern size: Size 14 (bust 32)

Avaliability: Vintage Simplicity pattern

Pattern type: Misses blouse

Rating: Highly recommend

Pattern Description: The blouse has shirring at sides, dart-fitted back bodice, snug dart-fitted peplum or peplum with bias flare, side zipper closing, and your choice of collarless V-neckline or collarless jewel neckline with diamond keyhole and string tie closing. Add tapered cap sleeves, below-elbow balloon sleeves dart-fitted to bias-bound edges, or tapered long sleeves with snapped vents at wrists. Your choice to accent blouse with embroidery and sequins.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I was very satisfied with the finished look in comparison to the pattern drawing!

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were quite easy to follow with illustrations and written descriptions that was easily understandable.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There are so many details on this pattern I love! The idea for embellishments, the peplum, the side shirring and the sleeve options were all details I love! The pattern came with instructions (that I followed) about how to make a closing with snaps and hook & eye. Because my fabric is black it doesn´t show much, but I think an invisible zip will add less bulk in the side seam for the next version of this.

Fabric Used: I used a drapey cotton, perhaps cotton/rayon blend, fabric bought at Les Coupons de St. Pierre in Paris. I think this blouse would look equally good in other types of fabric as well, taffeta or silk dupioni would be fantastic!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn´t make any alterations.

Bead embellishment
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would love to make another version of this, perhaps try view no.2 with the balloon sleeves in a emerald green dupioni I´ve got lying around!

Conclusion: A gorgeous vintage pattern that really pays attention to detail without being overly complicated. I love it!

40´s blouse and velvet pencil skirt

Pattern review for BurdaStyle Magazine 02-2011-107

I´ve been wanting to try this pattern for a while, so when I found this fabric I knew exactly what I could use it for!

Pattern size: 34-42

Avaliability: BurdaStyle Magazine 02-2011 and

Pattern type: skirt

Rating: Highly recommend – and great for beginners!

Pattern Description: high waisted pencil skirt with gores in the back.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn´t follow the instructions as this is a fairly uncomplicated type of skirt.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the gores in the back, it makes it very adjustable, and I also like that it is high waisted.

Sorbetto and pencil skirt

 The skirt teamed with my newest version of Sorbetto. 

Fabric Used: I used an upholstery cotton velvet fabric that I couldn´t resist when I visited IKEA (stash busted!).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This will be my go-to pattern for high waisted pencil skirts, no doubt about it, and I can absolutely recommend it to others!

Conclusion: Classic pencil skirt with some cute details, it took me two hours and forty minutes to make this (hemming by hand included), a definite winner!

Including the Sorbetto pictured above, I´ve got three new garment to incorporate into my wardrobe as we are heading towards the festive season. I might be wrong, but I think that the black top is the first garment I´ve made using a 1940´s pattern, and so it fits into Sewing through the decades! And yes, I´ve got a new haircut…

Enjoy your week!

18 Responses to The anniversary outfit: Pattern Review for Simplicity 1782 and Burda 02-2011-107

  1. Solvi, what beautiful outfits! I am swooning over them all- how to Single anything out for praise when the three are so fabulous. You look super elegant, great style and very flattering. I adore the 40s top – love the sleeves and peplum and the red high waisted pencil skirt is such a winner. Cute sorbetto too. Happy anniversary!!

  2. Those tights are super cool! I’ve never seen any with vertical stripes. I love the flirty little peplum on the 40’s top. It’s perfect with the pencil skirt!

  3. Thanks everyone, you are so nice!
    @catherine: I am sure you would ROCK the balloon sleeves, BTW I just ordered that Perry Ellis pattern you made. It was too gorgeous to let go! 🙂

  4. Wow, what an amazing outfit! Love the skirt colour and the blouse looks very sophisticated! I’m also in love with your striped tights, they give your outfit a great extra oomph! 🙂
    Also, congrats on you anniversary! 😉

  5. I love your sophisticated and chic outfit! I am starting a sewing linky party today called Sew & Tell Saturday at my website and I am hoping to get some vintage sewists aboard to post their projects because there aren’t any sewing linky parties to show off vintage creations. I hope you can come over and post a link to your blog today! Thanks so much!
    Justine @ Sew Country Chick

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A FESA update, a refashion and the pants that almost didn´t come to be.

First of all, thank you all so much for the lovely comments on my last post, it prompted me to make another refashion of a shirt! This time a less radical change, I just wanted one of my darlings old crisp white shirts to fit me instead of him. The shirt tucked into the wool… Continue Reading…

9 Responses to A FESA update, a refashion and the pants that almost didn´t come to be.

  1. Solvi, you look stunning as always! What a classy white shirt (and you’re making me yearn to finally try V8604) and all of these fabulous pants!! Love that mustard, so classy, so Marilyn! 😉

  2. First of all, I love your new white blouse refashion [Note to self: Must snatch one of Mr. Stitch’s shirts for myself]. Second, I really like both your pants, especially the wool ones. I’m in awe of accomplished sewists like you who can so competently fit pants. They look great on you.

  3. Love, love, love the new white shirt! I need to go hunting in Mr. Friday’s closet to find one for me! The shorts are terrific and so are the pants!! They look great on you and at first I thought they were Colette Patterns’ Clover! Well done!

  4. The white shirt looks very good with the black trousers. So glam! I admired your shorts in September. And the mustard ones are fabulous – what a great photo of you.

  5. Wow a trouser-a-thon!! The vogues are so classy, and look great with the White shirt. All the reiterations through muslin and shorts to get to your nubby wool mustard trousers show amazing skill to get such a range of wearable beauties. The mustards are very nice- great that you were able to save them.

  6. Oooh, those tweed trousers that nearly weren’t are stunning! What pattern did you use to make them in the end? xxx

  7. Thanks all for the lovely comments!

    @Zoe: I used a pattern from Burda.It´s pattern 117-2009-03.:-)

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Autumnal sewing plans

When Sarah, Alessa and Ali announced a Fall Essential Sew Along, and doing so by using alliterations like Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather  and Chic Chemises for Cool Climates, I knew I had to join. Now, I am trying to keep the selfish sewing limited, so I get more time to sew for others, but some things… Continue Reading…

11 Responses to Autumnal sewing plans

  1. I still haven’t planned my fall sewing! Which is kinda funny, since I’m co-hosting FESA, isn’t it? 😉 Ah, I have some time tomorrow, maybe I’ll manage then… I know I want to make a knit dress or two, and maybe a shirt dress…

  2. What a terrific plan and palette!! I have houndstooth in my stash that I really want to use, too. 🙂 I’m happy you’ve joined FESA 🙂

  3. What a fun palette with a gorgeous mix- I think the yellow silk is the business. I like that you’ve chosen a hat- reminding me to dig out my winter accessory making patterns. Looking forward to following your progress. And I think I might be attempting to knit the same cardi but being such a novice I expect it’ll not be ready this year!!!

  4. Great autumn plan. I like the colour palette. The dresses look great, simple shapes. I am impressed you are going to make a hat. I am making autumn plans but haven’t blogged them yet.

  5. I like your pattern and fabric choices very much, especially the hat. I look forward to seeing how everyone in the FESA group does over the next few weeks.


  6. Love your plans! I hope to keep up with the sewalong, I need some fall staples! I’m glad you like my shorts, I plan to use the pattern for some trousers next!

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Sewing through the decades: Contemporary edition

Lately, contemporary fashion has been on my mind. Not any contemporary fashion, or the “vintage inspired” look that is seen everywhere. No, I am talking about Spanish contemporary fashion. Ever since my darling and I visited the beautiful town of Tarragona back in the beginning of the month, I have been having a crush on Spanish fashion.… Continue Reading…

0 Responses to Sewing through the decades: Contemporary edition

  1. Nice skirt! I love Patrones but is not available in Toronto, where I live, so I always try and pick it up a few back issues when I visit South America where my family lives. And yes, I agree that those Spanish ladies have great style – simple and elegant all at the same time.

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0 Responses to Sewing Through the Decades

  1. A great post. I love those patterns you have. Atlantic City looks interesting! When I was a skinny student I had a twenties lace flapper dress! I wish I had kept it, even though it would no longer fit me.

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Some summer sewing in March

This video is from Astrid Lindgren´s book/tv-series about Emil. This song is about how summer sometimes needs a little help, it really is a spring/summer anthem here:-). So, over at the MMMar´11 Flickr pool, there have been some lovely spring creations, and I got inspired, and wanted to make something appropriate for warmer weather too. As I… Continue Reading…

10 Responses to Some summer sewing in March

  1. Great shorts. They will be a fab summer staple in your wardrobe. I do like Pippi Longstocking, such a great book heroine.

  2. Thank you, ladies!
    @Debbie: I agree about Pippi, and I am so happy to see my nieces are reading Pippi too. She never go out of style!

  3. Those shorts are extremely cute! I love the jogging shot!
    I read all of Pippi Longstocking when I was a child, and read them to my daughter too. She loved them as much as I did!

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The Carl von Linné skirt

The sun is setting, and the snow is melting outside the tropical greenhouse in Uppsala Botanical Garden. This weeks challenge over at The Sew Weekly was to make something inspired by the town you live in. Now, I live in Uppsala, and apart from having a really old university, a really big (and old) church,… Continue Reading…

9 Responses to The Carl von Linné skirt

  1. You live in a beautiful city, Solvi! I love your skirt; there’s something so feminine and pretty about a rose print skirt. Your red boots are awesome!!

  2. The skirt is lovely,I really like it. I thnk it will be a good one for summer too. How nice to see the whole of you in the photo too! BTW, I am jealous of your red boots.

  3. Well, thank you ladies! I love my boots, but they are getting old, and one of them has got a whole in it – so I´m looking for some new one. 🙂

  4. I really like your skirt! (So weird, my husband is looking to do further studying in Uppsala university…I didn’t realize you lived there!)

    • Wow, that´s cool, Steph. you must let me know if you´re coming with him! What department is he at? (My man is at the university too)

  5. I love how with your skirt and overall ensemble, you are basically yelling at winter to go away and for spring to come! I highly agree, maybe if we all start dressing for spring, it will have no other choice but to come…

    • Hehe, Kristin, that was the general idea of this outfit, yes. It was so strange, when I took a walk to the garden, everyone I met were dressed in black, grey, brown and neutrals. It´s funny how winter do that to people. 🙂

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0 Responses to On freedom.

  1. When I was creating textile art, limiting myself only to what I had in the studio pushed my creative boundaries. It forced me to think in new ways. For example, what if I painted this fabric because it was not quite the right color? I’ve transferred some of that way of being to fashion sewing especially with refashioning. You’ll find it helps you grow tremendously. My only caution is to be careful to listen to that voice within. If you truly do not have the correct choice in your studio and your intuition is telling you so, then finding it elsewhere may be your best option. If most everything else has come from the studio, then – in my opinion – you are still within the spirit of your goal while still learning and especially learning to trust your intuition.

    I agree with you about too many choices. Boundaries are not the prisons they are often made out to be. They can actually be quite stabilizing and freeing and I have found in terms of creativity that they can provide tremendous push. Best of luck.

  2. Wow, what a topic. You make some really interesting points. I agree, I get overwhelmed with too many choices and am quite happy to make do with what is immediately available. Sometimes the challenge of working within strict parameters results in something even more creative and unique than without.

    There is an interesting radiolab podcast on choice too:

  3. I agree complete re: having too much choice. I saw this very interesting ted talk a while ago, that discusses exactly this topic:

    As Kristen said, I often find that restricting my choices explicitly, will foster more creativity, because you have to find a solution within the parameters you are given. When doing brainstorming sessions for instance, it is often easier to come up with more ideas if there are limits or restrictions on what kind of ideas are relevant.

    In addition; using what you have instead of always buying new stuff is good for our keeping stashes small and saving the environment from our consumption. 🙂

  4. Hah, and now I see that my link to ted talk is by the same Barry Schwartz who’s interviewed in the radiolab podcast. Interesting, non the less.

  5. @Myrna: That is a good point you make about listening to your intuition, and I love your formulation about “boundaries are not the prisons they are often made out to be”. I might quote you on that one some time!

    @Kristen: Good to hear that it isn´t just me who get overwhelmed. Thanks for the link – I´ll definitely listen to that one!

    @Kjersti: Thanks for the link- Ted talks are the best.:-) And I completely agree with you on the point about keeping stashes small and saving the environment! 🙂

  6. Great post, Solvi. I’m with you on too many choices. I’m constantly seeking structure, constantly trying to deliberately limit my options so I don’t constantly feel dissatisfied with the choices I’ve made (in comparison with the endless possibilities out there). And I believe, in the end, it’s strangely liberating. I’m going to largely sew from my stash this year as well and when I made a list of everything I could possibly make (to prove to myself that I didn’t “need” more to put away for “someday”) I was surprised how long this list actually was.

    Right now we subscribe to a farm, which delivers fresh, local, organic produce to our door every few weeks. Most folks I know would prefer the farmer’s market, all the choice. Always veering toward what they like and away from what they know they don’t like. But I love the challenge of my produce box, knowing that the harvest will choose for me. And now I’m charged with making something delicious out of it. Our palate has expanded, not contracted. Perhaps that was too tangential, but it seems to me the folks that work within a framework spend much less time wringing their hands about what’s “out there.” I like to think of this way: I’m putting myself in a place to be creative and industrious. 🙂

  7. My favorite post of yours (and probably my first comment on your blog!), so far. My year begun with the will to sew and learn more about sewing, and I realized a few days later that this implied a certain rigour, or borders, as you call them. This is why I enoy spring palette challenge so much : it makes it very easy to see these borders (not to mention the fun and the community behind it).

    I love your jazz metaphor : I just began to learn how to play an instrument, and this certainly makes one listen to music differently…

  8. PS: Ali’s comment reminds me of this : there’s a french poetic group (mostly composed of scientists) who took, in a word, the decision to write only with restraint, which is actually the trigger of their creastive process. They’re called the Oulipo and they’re pretty inspirational, too!

  9. Hello Solvi
    What a great post – I agree with you about finding too much choice overwhelming and I think it can sometimes lead to stagnation. I like to set myself constraints and boundaries in my sewing as I find I can work better this way and it often leads to more creativity in the long run! I also used to set boundaries when I was a fineart student too. Interesting about choosing your doctor, here in the Uk youchoose your doctor but then changing can be tricky and also, how do you choose? I chose mine based on geography and the fact they were my boyfriend’s family doctors but in the past I had just stuck a pin in alist!
    Thank you for the comment you left on my post, I also agree that if the charity benefits from increased prices this can only be a good thing but I do know people who are being priced out of the more expensive chairty shops. Ilike your blog

  10. @Ali: Thanks! What a coincidence that you mention it, but we are also subscribing to a box of fresh produce once a week. Sometimes we fail in making something of everything that is in it, but most of the time we can plan our meals according to what´s in there. I love the challenge of it!

    @Carlotta Stermaria: Thanks for the recommendation on Oulipo, I´ll certainly look in to that, and thank you for the kind words, it´s such a great feeling to work with some limitations.

    @Debbie: Thank you! About the doctors; that is exactly what I mean – how can we make choices if we don´t know what to base them on? Great point. And I see your point about the expensiveness of charity shops. It´s a tricky issue, for certain.

  11. Interesting post!
    I agree with you that too many choices can make life more difficult, and that being limited in your choice can make you be more creative. (As a doctor-to-be, I don’t think that applies to health care, though. You might not especially care who you go to, because you’re not frequently sick or don’t suffer from a severe illness, but I do think that it’s important to be able to trust your doctor, be able to talk to them even about feelings or embarrassing problems, and that this isn’t possible with everybody…)

  12. That’s a very interesting and thought provoking post… with a lot of topics brought up, but sticking with just one (sewing) I will say that I am going with the same challenge as you, of working through my stash before allowing myself to buy any more fabric, too!

  13. […] New sewing plans and an award or two. April 11th, 2011 My blue fabric is still uncut, and I am being very indecisive about it all. The thing is, it has such a wonderful sheen, and a plain pencil skirt wouldn´t do that much justice. I´m thinking that some pleats or tucks would help to enhance that quality. Ahhh! The choices! […]

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9 Responses to So, what´s next?

  1. Yippeeee…so glad you are going to join the Sewing through the Decades Challenge! It’s a great way to use the vintage patterns (and I’m with you about not having deadlines!) Can’t wait to see more from your 1939 books!

  2. Wow, Solvi! What a great post – a feast for the eyes! Your elastic trims are so pretty!

    I think it’s important to acknowledge that when travelling, as a seamstress, you are inevitably going to buy fabric. I know when I go to San Francisco this year, I’ll come home with fabric. It’s our version of the travel souvenier, don’t you think? Plus, ours can be made into something beautiful.

    Your colour palette for the spring challenge looks great. I’m on board, too, and I’m really inspired. I’m so glad you are continuing with the Hepburn Hepburn Project – I love what you’ve created. I’m also really glad you’re on board for the Sewing Through the Decades Challenge – awesome!! I can’t wait to see what you draft.

    Sarah 🙂

  3. Great post! I love how last year’s challenge is bringing you into a new way of approaching your sewing, which is thoughtful and still fun. I’m so looking forward to what you come up with this year (both in sewing and in pattern-drafting!)

    Like you, I think I’m going to slow down on my sew-alongs. I enjoy the community aspect but have been so slammed that I can’t manage to make a deadline. So after I wrap up the Crepe and the Pendrell, two garments I’d really love to have, I’m on board with you for loosely organized sew-alongs.

    And you’re completely justified in buying fabric in your travels. Think of it as fine dining. A treat, a special occasion 🙂

  4. Thanks for your thoughts on this topic, ladies, I hadn´t even considered that way of approaching fabric shopping as you mention, fine dining or souvenirs. Good points!

    It´ll be fun to see what everyone creates through the 2011 challenges! 🙂

  5. Loved this post – you have an excellent plan for 2011! I agree with you about detailing, it really does make such a difference to a finished garment, and takes it to the next level. Also loving your Moroccan palette, it’s the shots of vivid blue that really make it stand out – can’t wait to see what you make!!!
    And I totally agree with the other commenters about fabric shopping when on holida, 100% justifiable! lol. I’m heading to Zagreb next week and I’m trying to source some fabric shops (no luck yet tho!)!!!

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