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My most recent sewing project involves a $2.00 curtain panel from Goodwill and a vintage 1940s pattern that I found at an antique store for $5.00. I’m all about the thrifty sewing.

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I didn’t realize until I got home that the pattern was complete (there was one extra mystery piece actually) but there were no sewing instructions to be found. No big deal really. I’ve worked with both unprinted vintage patterns and shirt dress patterns before, so I figured I could work through it without any written help. After tracing the pattern and transferring all the markings, it was pretty simple to figure out what they all meant from the pattern description and diagram on the back of the envelope.

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I thought I’d have enough fabric to make the whole dress with just this one panel, but Lucille was skeptical. “No mom, there’s definitely not enough fabric here”, she says.

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Sure enough, she was right to second guess me. I knew the skirt piece needed to be cut twice, but I didn’t know that it needed to be cut twice on the fold. Apparently Dirndl skirts were pretty full in the 40’s. So needless to say, that used up most of my curtain panel.

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I’ve been practicing some different  knit stitches in preparation for a very 40’s themed knit-along hosted by myself, and a very talented friend, in the coming months. More on that soon!

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I ended up using regular Kona cotton for the top and paired it with some vintage buttons from my stash. Once I figured out what I was doing, the dress came together fairly quickly and I’m very happy with it. I especially love the sleeves. They’re built right into the bodice as one solid piece. Doesn’t get easier than that!

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We’re ready for summer! How about you?

xo
Rochelle

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24
  • Casey

    So cute!!! I love those simple, summery styles from the 40s. And how thrifty to use the curtain; I’ve been collecting vintage sheets for years to use in sewing, but rarely remember to check the curtain sections at thrift shops. Shall have to make a point of it now! :)

  • Kelly

    Lucille’s face just melts my heart. Your dress is lovely too :)

  • jessica

    Those buttons make that dress! It looks great!

  • gingermakes

    Ohh, Lucille, you’re always right! I love this with the solid top, actually– it’s so cute!

  • Becca

    Very cute! Your whole look is adorable. Great use of a thrifted curtain. I’m all about thrifty sewing, too. :-) Also, I LOVE those buttons. Looking forward to details about the knit-along. Maybe that will give me the will power to actually finish something.

  • Zoe

    Cute dress! I love it with the belt :)

  • Stephanie B. aka ddixieb

    It’s lovely! There’s nothing fresher than yellow seersucker topped with white for the summer. Lucille looks thrilled to be out in her own yard!

  • Tammy/Our Neck of the Woods

    Wow, I am so impressed! I wish I knew how to sew and create pretty dresses like that out of $2 curtains. Great job! :)

    PS – Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I appreciate the visit!

  • Tasha @ By gum, by golly!

    Ohhh that’s fabulous! I love the contrasting blouse part, too (and how amazing are those buttons?!). Those are kimono sleeves too, right? I’m obsessed with those. lol

    I really need to get to thrift stores more often to look for unsuspecting objects as fabric material!

  • Harlow

    That skirt turned out beautifully! The whole outfit is so lovely and perfectly 40s, your headscarf completes the whole look! Lucile is adorable, that last photo of you two is so cute :3

  • ShanniLoves...

    ooh a knit along!? I may try and pick it back up. I just had the hardest time catching on. I believe my needles got thrown in the trash in a fit of rage. Ack!! :)
    Lovely skirt and I just wanna snuggle with Lucille all day long!

  • stephanie@mabelmakes

    Cool idea! The cute vintage buttons tie the cream and white together nicely. Really cute :)

  • busylizzieinbrissie

    Gorgeous pattern and I love the styling too. Thrifty sewing is great isn’t it? Although I don’t often find much here in Oz :(

  • mariedoll

    Lucille is looking lovely as ever. Speaking of lovely, how about your dress?? I just love it. I love dresses with sleeves. This is so pretty with such cool and beautiful buttons.

  • Lorie ~ Ferndale Lane

    Looks great! I never thougt to use retired curtain panels. Very summery outfit! Lucille is such a cutie pie!

  • Lynne

    Your dress is gorgeous, I absolutely love the buttons!

  • Jessica Cangiano

    Awww, Lucille is a good judge of fabric allotments for sure (that’s so cute!). Stella loves to come help out in my craft room, too, and I’m sure that when she’s a bit older (and less likely to try to eat everything in sight!) Annie will as well.

    Your dress is so sweet and summery. I really like those amazing buttons – they’re like cheerful rays of sunshine wherever you go.

    ♥ Jessica

  • Amanda

    This is simply perfect for summer! I love the curtain fabric!
    And Lucille seems quite knowledgable about her fabric usage- I’d heed her advice ;)

  • Tina C.

    Lovely! And a knit along 0.0

  • Sarah

    You look so lovely, Rochelle! I love the dress and those vintage buttons are quite spectacular!

  • Kacie

    I love the complimentary fabrics! It turned out beautifully!!

  • Kate-Em

    Very excited about the knit along.

  • punkmik

    That’s so pretty. Love the buttons and the thrifty sewing. Lucille is a darling as ever. Looking forward to hearing about the knit along!

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A Blog By Rochelle New

I'm a fabric wizard and wielder of needles with a passion for quilt industry cottons, bygone eras, and natural things.

i.e. I mostly do nerd things like pretend I'm a wizard, collect moldy books, and spend too much time picking up acorns in the woods, all with my spirit animal (a dog named Lucille), my personal photographer (a man named William), and a few literal fat cats in tow.

Making magic and messes in the backwoods of New York.

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