Ladies’ Blouse #0219

As this pattern did not have any instructions, I chose to do it in some ugly (free!) fabric.  I also opted to use dark thread so that I could see where to rip seams, which I knew I’d have to do frequently!  I had trouble with one of the pieces not printing correctly.  As this was one with a “slash on this line” designation on the largest piece (between 29 & 30), I made do.  Other than that, I had no trouble cutting the pattern pieces out of fabric.  It was obvious how each one fit together by using the numbers and common sense.  I sewed the small pleats with no problem.  However, the underarm seams and the two seams on the front and back refused to lay flat.  I also had trouble with figuring out the collar.  I “fudged” it and sewed it down, as I didn’t want to deal with buttonholes and making it detachable, as I was not making this to wear myself.


Overall, I think this blouse did turn out better than I’d expected and if the pattern wasn’t so small, I might make one in fashion fabric for myself.  I’m not good at altering patterns up and down.

Fit:  34″ bust with narrow shoulders; would probably be an XS/S in modern clothing

Alterations to fit me:  I did not do alterations

Changes I’d like in the pattern:   The pattern pieces themselves were fine, other than the problem described above.  Also, the bottom pieces of the blouse and the bottom of the sleeves did not quite match up.  I had to square them up in order to put in a hem.

Changes in instructions:   It would be nice to HAVE some instructions, especially dealing with the detachable collar and how to finish off the bottom of the shirt and how/where to do closures.  I did not do any closures.

Description of techniques used:  Pleating; sewing squared-off seams; calls for buttonholes, but I didn’t attempt them.

My sewing level:  Self-taught – intermediate on a good day!

Sewing level for this pattern:  Intermediate without instructions; advanced beginner with instructions.


Ladies’ Skirt #E0162

I found this pattern to be fairly straightforward, so I proceeded without making a mock-up first.  I used brown gabardine fabric, which was a bit ravelly.  It also appears to wrinkle easily, so I’m not sure how well this skirt will wear under actual use.  I bought plain brown buttons to decorate the front panel and to disguise my poor sewing at the base of the kickpleat!

Fit:  The waist was larger than the stated 25 inches.  I’d read that information on someone else’s post, so I figured I’d use a 3/8 ” seam allowance to get it to fit me.   As it turned out, this created a waist that’s larger than mine (30″).  The hips are roomy on me (40″), but that just leaves room for the appropriate slip!

Alterations to fit me:  As stated above, I used a 3/8 ” seam allowance to make sure the waist was large enough.

Changes I’d like in the pattern:  More information about how to create closures.  I left one flap of the front panel open and inserted snaps with a hook and eye closure at the top.  I’m not good at these kinds of details – it would be nice to have suggestions.

Changes in instructions:  The way in which the front panel is inserted took a bit of re-reading to figure it out.  I wanted to do it just like the pattern instructions, even though I had my own idea about how to go about this step.  I did end up doing it per the instructions and it worked fine, once I let go of my own original idea!  It ended up not being hard at all.  The only other slightly difficult part was trying to get the kick-pleat in the back of the skirt.  I fudged it as best I could – not sure if it ended up exactly as the original pattern intended!

Description of techniques used:  Just basic sewing skills.  I chose not to do the decorative ribbon down the front of the skirt.

My sewing level:  Self-taught – intermediate on a good day!

Sewing level for this pattern:  Beginners who have basic skills can easily follow this pattern.

1912 Ladies’ Skirt

I’ve just requested this pattern as my next project!


1910s Blouse Pattern

What a great new pattern for a 1910s blouse and guimpe!  Once all of my Titanic dress madness is over, I’d like to try this pattern for a nice summer blouse.


1910s Blouse Pattern

I found this really cool pattern:  I just wish I’d seen it before starting on my Titanic outfit.  Now I’ll have to come up with someplace else to go just to wear this blouse!

1912 Project – Ladies’ Spring Mantle

I was soooo excited to get the email containing this pattern – this was my first from the 1911 Sewing Project!








The pattern was pretty easy to print out. It was only one main piece and you cut one piece for the right side and one for the left side. The only other piece was a small square gusset piece for each underarm section.

Finally, I matched the pieces and sewed up the mantle! It’s not perfect, but it would be pretty awesome in some fancy fabric to wear with a dress from just about any era! The pattern calls for lining and batting for a “padded” look, so I may do that at some point in the future. I’d also get some interesting trim for the curved edges on the front and sleeves.

Fit:  True to size – I am a 36″ bust with average-width shoulders and it fit well, if a little snugger than I’m used to wearing in modern clothing.

Alterations you made to the pattern to fit you:  I might add a little extra fabric under the arm.

Changes you’d like in the pattern:  None.

Changes in instructions:  Maybe a little more detail on the construction of the garment and the types of embellishments that can be used.  Also, the insertion of the underarm gusset was a bit tricky.  I did it the easiest way possible, but I’m not sure it was completely correct!

Description of techniques:  Just basic sewing skills and an “eye” for putting pattern pieces together.

My sewing level:  Self-taught beginning/intermediate level

What sewing level this pattern would be appropriate for:  This is very much a beginner pattern.  Very easy!  The only thing that would make it more difficult is adding different trim and the padding that is called for in the pattern.

Mardi Gras

I had a great time creating an outfit to wear to the Mardi Gras party last weekend. I’m better when given a theme or a historical era from which to start and I had neither of these. I thought and thought about my costume until almost the last minute! I finally decided to redo a red prom dress that I got almost two years ago from the thrift store for about $5! It was too small in the top and had been sitting in my hall closet just waiting for me to do something with all that fabulous red satin! I first cut off the top of the dress and created a casing for a drawstring waist. Then I sewed a piece of elastic on the underside of the skirt from the back of the waistband down. I bustled the back by pinning the fabric to the elastic. Finally, I took the black tulle (ripped out of the original dress) and bunched it up and sewed it under the waistband in the back.

After trying the skirt on, I decided that the bustle was not as big as I’d liked. I still had the bodice from the original dress, so I sewed it together to make a bum roll. I stuffed it with tulle left over from cutting the bottom off the crinoline (also a thrift store purchase). I attached ribbons to it and tied it to my waist! I already had a black bustier (cheapie off Ebay), so I decided to use that as a top. Finally, I did some MAJOR backcombing of my hair (and used a rat made out of a $Tree kids’ dress-up wig!), added some $Tree silk roses, and I was ready to go!

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