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Fabric Wins and Bra Woes


There is a Joann Fabrics near me that is in the process of relocating to a bigger space and they’re having a CRAZY sale in order to downsize all their stock before moving. They’re selling left over fabrics by the bolt at discounted prices with an extra 50-75% off of that! AHH!


I walked out of there with nearly 16 yards of fabric and pretty much saved a million dollars in the process. I picked these prints since they’re very WWII appropriate (though they’d be more appropriate in rayon, not cotton) and I’m still on a 40’s sewing spree for my reenactment that is quickly approaching.


I made this little inspiration board to show fabrics and dress styles. The rose polka dots and brown gingham are pretty much spot on with what I bought! I’m attempting to make a long sleeve shirtwaist by mixing three patterns that I own already. I’d love to buy an actual vintage pattern but I’m running out of time so I’m making do with what I have. Photo A. and C. were taken from an actual 1943 mail order catalog that’s available as a PDF download here (best $4 I ever spent!!) and photo B. is a beautiful shirtwaist pattern found on Etsy. We’ll see if my Frankenstein pattern yields similar results.

In other news: THIS HOT MESS

No, I did not sew this. I bought it in attempt to recreate more of a 1940’s silhouette for myself and, eh-hem, I am SO NOT SHAPED LIKE THAT. It looks horrible enough on my dress form, and it looks twice as bad on me!!  I even tried a smaller size and everything and I just can’t fill out that shape to save my life. Under any other circumstances I wouldn’t be complaining, but what’s a girl gotta do to have a 1940’s bosom?!? This bra is a bust!! (Har har)


I get it Lucille, the bra is horrid. You don’t have to wince at me and rub it in. Sheesh.

Luckily for Lucille, and the rest of humanity, I have a Plan B! It’s called operation ‘Mrs. Depew’s 1940’s French Bra Pattern’.


The pattern (found here) seems pretty straight forward and easy to follow so hopefully I can make it work! I’ll definitely keep everyone posted on the process. Since, as I found out from Instagram, I’m not the only girl interested in vintage unmentionables who’s having this problem.


Also, I’m really blown away by everyone’s comments on my 1940’s New England Day Dress! I’m so thrilled that other people are interested in 1940’s sewing. Which got me to thinking… would anyone be interested in a 40’s themed sew-along/sewing challenge?? I’m thinking of putting one together for early spring and I’m just curious how many people would be into it. Even if no-one’s interested, I’ll still set up a little challenge for myself and document the process, but everyone knows it’s more fun to sew with friends 🙂

Let me know!

  • I’m up for a 40’s sewalong, although it may be more 40’s inspired than actual.

  • Erin Gerofsky

    I’d be super interested! I’ve got a couple vintage patterns sitting around that I just… haven’t started (and I really should), one of which is 40’s, and gorgeous.

    I also found you through reddit!! I’m also a blogger, from Ontario Canada. I don’t blog about sewing much, because I thought there wasn’t much of a market for intermediate/advanced sewing techniques, so I am madly in love with Lucky Lucille. Thanks for inspiring me to get my act together and rethread my serger this weekend, and knock some more items off my to-sew list!


    • Hi Erin! Thanks for saying hello 🙂 I’d love to have you sewalong!! I also had no idea sewing blogs existed until about a year ago when I joined my first sewalong. I’d love to see some of your sewn creations! What’s your blog URL?

      Thanks for the love <3

      • Erin Gerofsky

        I’m afraid I really don’t blog sewing stuff much, but I am looking to change that. I finally got my serger up and running again (they’re so wonderful when they work, and such a headache when they don’t!!), and I’m hoping to use blogging as a good motivator to deplete my gigantic to-sew stack!
        If you’d like to check it out in the mean time, my blog is

  • Amanda

    I would also be interested in a 40’s sew along!

    Also, give you’re boyfriend a hug. He was bragging about you on Reddit, which is how I found your wonderful blog.

    • I’d love to have you sew along! I’ll be “officially” announcing the sewalong in February. And honestly I had no idea he posted that to reddit!! Reddit scares me because trollers can be so rude… but I’m happy that you found me and you’re not rude 🙂 <3 I will hug him for you lol

  • I haven’t read through all the comments, so perhaps someone has already suggested this… 🙂 But two words for filling out a 40s/50s bra shape properly: bra pads! Yes, basically stuffing your bra to “fill” everything out. 😉 I bought a bullet-shaped bra a couple years ago, and did not come anywhere near to filling it out properly. So I took some cotton batting, and stitched several circular layers (graded a bit at the edges) together into soft cone shapes. Eventually I need to cover them with something, but for now, they’ve worked great. 😉 It’s not a perfect solution, but works in a pinch!

  • Jessica Cangiano

    I don’t have a small bust, but it’s not exactly huge either and it’s certainly not very full. I too found that many 40s (and some 50s) style bras didn’t work for me either, until I switched to longline bras. They (or some of them at least) must be cut differently in the cup area than regular bras are, because they work amazingly on me. It wasn’t until I bought my first longline bra a few years ago that I owned a bra that I truly felt fit me properly. Be they vintage or modern, I’d say I now wear longline bras at least 90% of the time.

    Love the fabrics that you picked up – and the savings, oh my goodness, I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw a receipt from anywhere say that you saved more than $100. That’s so awesome!

    ♥ Jessica

  • Thanks so much for the tip, Jennifer! I’ll definitely check out brastop 🙂

  • Sarah

    YES I would be interested in a 1940’s sew along! I only have repro patterns, though. Is that OK? OMGah! Your fabric is awesome and I cannot wait to see it all sewn up. If you are looking for 1940’s patterns, how about trading? I have Folkwear’s 1940’s Glamour Girl dress up for grabs. I would happily trade it for a bit of that polka dot fabric 🙂

    • Yes! Repro patterns would be totally fine! I’ll explain more of the details later, but I’m so stoked there are so many people on board!! I saw your pinterest board and I might very well be interested in a trade. That’s a great idea! How much of the polka dot fabric are you thinkin’ you need?

  • Amazing fabric score! So jealous… Hope the bra fitting woes work themselves out. Also, I would totally be up for a 40’s themed sew-along!

  • Great score on the fabric! I’d be up for a 1940’s sew along 🙂

  • Miss Crayola Creepy

    You scored with that fabric! And yes, I want to do the 1940s sew along!!!

  • the Garment Farmer

    I just got an original 1940’s dress pattern that I have yet to use. I’m hoping to have it made up this spring, so if I can get in on a sew along too, that would be awesome 🙂 Love the pic of Lucille! How cute is she?!

  • Rachel Proffitt

    Ouch, I sympathise on the bra. I found one in Sears that worked- with the full cup thing… but it still fit me 😉
    And lucky you on the fabrics- our Joann Fabrics did the same thing recently- and I really love the new location a lot. Hopefully you’ll love yours!
    I’d certainly be up for a 1940s sew along…

  • Jennifer

    I’m watching from the sidelines!

    A little bra-shopping tip, though it may not lead to an ultra-authentic silhouette but more of a vintage-inspired one: I have had great luck with the UK site (they deliver to North America). The prices are *amazing* and they carry my new favourite brand, the Polish-made (!) Krisline. Krisline bras are very structured in an updated-retro kind of way and look a zillion times better in person (and much less sleazy) than they do in the pic’s. I wish I could do a blog post about them, I love them so much and think they look sooooo vintage sexy, but some of my students read my blog and I don’t want to traumatize them!

  • Well you certainly know I’d be up for a 40s themed sew-along!! Yes indeed!

    Those fabrics are great, what a steal! And there was plenty of cotton dresses around in the 40s. Just think to the gorgeous feedsack ones that rural women made, for example! But I’m also a huge cotton fan since you can sometimes find vintage cottons still, or modern cottons with good prints, but vintage rayon is usually $$$ and I’ve yet to see a modern rayon print that I think is vintage-ish. Sigh. :/

    Good luck with the bra! I must have the opposite rack as you as the shape you showed usually works pretty well for me, but the Mrs. Depew style might not– I have a What Katie Did bra that’s gorgeous and a similar shape (with that vertical line coming up from the center of the cup), and believe it or not it somehow manages to make my girls point south. Ugh!

    • That’s very true about about feedsack cottons! And it’s also very true that modern rayons are pretty lame lol. I’m feeling a little envious lately of women with ultra-womanly figures. I don’t know what America’s complex is with being stick thin because it’s stupid! lol I suppose I’ll thank my mother for my metabolism when I’m older, but right now I’m cursing my “modest” shape haha! We’ll see what this bra pattern can do for me.

  • Colleen

    I have two patterns — no, three from Decades of Style and just haven’t gotten around to it yet. One of those is the 1940’s housedress. I’d love to do a sew along if it starts later this year. I’m doing projects for a trip in a month or so and a 1940’s housedress isn’t going to be in the suitcase! By the way, I love your new photo of you and Lucille on your blog. Lucille looks like she’s laughing; she’s positively mirthful!

    • I’m thinking about announcing the sew along next month so people can start prepping their project for the month of March. I’m sure I’ll end up doing more vintage sew alongs in the future, so if March is too early don’t fret! Lucille is rather comical isn’t she? I love her 🙂

  • Clare Sager

    Great fabric find – yay for sales!

    In terms of the bra, I’ve been reading about underwear as I’m doing a corsetry and bra-making course at the moment. I read somewhere that women used to wear padding in the tips of these kinds of bras to fill out that end part, so it’s not just you who can’t fill the whole thing, as it were! Perhaps this is worth a try with layers of padding cut into smaller shapes to create a little pyramid/dome?

    • Yeah I read about padding too, and I might attempt to take in the cup of the bra shown above, and then make some little fillers with quit batting. We’ll see how it turns out. Thanks for the tip!

  • Liz Alexandre

    I would love a 40s sewalong, if only just to get me to make the patterns I am collecting!! Can’t wait to hear more.

  • Laura

    A sewalong would be great. That shirt dress is so lovely – and good luck with the bra!

  • Sew Exhausted

    I think the 40’s dresses are so stylish… I’d love to sew along! ~L

  • I would love a 40’s sewalong!! I’ve got some vintage patterns I’ve been meaning to try out!

  • Emma Litton

    I would be so interested in a sew along or a seeing challenge! Also I can’t wait to see how your bra turns out because I’d love to make one myself.


  • melissa mix

    I live in VT and am curious what Joanns has this sale. Thanks.

    • It’s the one in Montpellier! Well, Barre more specifically. I think the new location opens at the end of January so I’m not sure how much longer the current location will be there, but I was just there this week and scored big 🙂

  • A 40s sewalong sounds fab! I may be doing costuming for a production of South Pacific in the near future, so more 40s sewing in my life would be great practice!

  • Sweet Lucille! What a girl! ’40’s clothes don’t really work on me, but I’m excited to see you (and others) stitching them up!

    • Don’t let the authentic 40s turn you off, I’m thinking of two main ideas for the challenge A.) Make a super authentic 40s outfit, or B.) Make a 40s pattern with a modern interpretation! Vintage and vintage repro patterns would be acceptable, or even a more modern pattern if it helps you recreate your inspired look. I’ll post more in depth details soon! Maybe you’ll decide it’s something you’d like to do after all 🙂

  • Cynthia Pyatt

    I’d love to do a 40’s sewalong. I have a swimsuit oattern I’ve been wanting to make

  • Would love to see more vintage dresses. Lucky girl on the savings…