sew for victory final projects and giveaway winners


Aww this part always makes me a little sad! Today marks the official close of the 2014 Sew For Victory sewing challenge. Thank you, to each and every one of you, who participated and made something special for the challenge. It’s such a beautiful thing to see so many different types of woman, of all skill levels, with both inspired and traditional 1940s style, coming together under a common love for vintage sewing. It makes my life better I’ll tell you that! I hope everyone enjoys the slideshow (it’s a long one so grab some popcorn!) and I hope to see you all next time!

(p.s. for my own sanity, most of the slides are in order as they appear on Flickr. Also, I decided to go the super low budget route for the giveaway announcement this year. Even though it was so fun to do a second video for that last year, William and I both have several deadlines this week and couldn’t make it happen. Maybe for the next one…)

If you’re having trouble with the video, you can also find it here on vimeo.

I have to give a special little shout-out to Sara and Loran who completely surprised me by using my Spoonflower prints! How awesome is that!?

And now for the giveaway winners! I said low budget lol. You’ve been warned ;)


Well that was definitely the less fanciful way to announce the winners, but you ladies won fair and square! Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you this week to collect mailing information and the such. (For the Chinese Auction style drawing, I drew 4 random names out of their accompanying prize bowls if you couldn’t tell that’s what’s going on in the above photos haha! …and yeah. Two of them are dog bowls. What can I say besides “low budget” as promised.)

Again, thank you everyone for making this Sew For Victory another wonderful sewing challenge! I hope you’re all proud of what you made because you definitely should be!

If you sat this sew-along out, Tasha and I are about 90% positive that we’re bringing back Fall For Cotton for a round two this year so stay tuned for more vintage sewing with a twist!

Did I mention you all are incredible? Because you are. …I’m going to watch the video again ;)


AND!!!!! Oh my gosh I almost forgot… A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING SEW FOR VICTORY SPONSORS THIS YEAR!! Judy at Vintage4me2, Lauren at Wearing History Patterns, and Lindsay and Charlie at Hawthorne Threads! Thank you for contributing to our giveaway prizes, and offering pattern discounts for our participants!



Hello, Amazing Sew For Victory Participants!

There’s really not a whole lot I can say except you all seriously knocked my socks off this year with your sewing. I’m not easily impressed, but you all well and fully impressed me! Thank you so much for joining my sew-along, sharing your progress, and challenging yourselves to make something awesome. You should be so proud! I know I am.

The final Flickr Group count for this year (as of this morning) is 404 members and 1,082 photos. That’s 232 new members and 592 new photos since last year! Amazing. Did I say you all were amazing yet? Because you are.

So as a reward for all your hard work, let the giveaways begin!

Like last year, these giveaways are for Sew For Victory participants only, but I’m trying something slightly different this year with how the prizes are drawn. This is a Chinese Auction style drawing, which means you can put your name in the hat for one specific prize that you hope to win (instead of being picked for a random prize like last year). One finished project equals one chance to win one prize (only one entry per person, even if you were extra amazing and finished more than one thing.) Make sense?

Okay so the prizes are:

Prize One: A $25.00 USD gift certificate to Hawthorne Threads.


Prize Two: Everything you need to make a cute vintage inspired summer bag! One yard of yellow polka dot cotton, one yard of cotton ticking, two bamboo bag handles, one spool of coordinating thread from my stash, and the bag pattern.


Prize Three: Summer Sewing Bundle! Three yards of light blue 100% Rayon floral fabric, some vintage notions, and two of Gertie’s new patterns (size pack A5).


Prize Four: A $25.00 USD store credit to Vintage4me2 patterns on eBay.


The Rules:
1.) You must have finished a Sew For Victory project to enter this giveaway (I will be checking the Flickr Group so make sure your photos are uploaded!)
2.) Please leave one comment with your first name, your Flickr user name, and which prize you hope to win.

3.) You must leave your comment before Sunday, May 18th at 10:00pm EST

(giveaway open to Sew For Victory members worldwide, though shipping charges may be different for gift card winners outside of the US.)

That’s it!

I’ll be back on Monday May 19th to announce the four winners with the final Sew For Victory 2.0 slideshow video! You can watch last year’s video again to tide you over in the mean time ;)

A special thank you to Judy at Vintage4me2, and Lindsay and Charlie at Hawthorne Threads for their generous prize contributions.

Good Luck!



Hello all, I’ve decided to extend the Sew For Victory deadline by one more weekend! You now have until Monday, May 5th by the end of the day (your time zone) to add your photos to the official Sew For Victory Flickr Group!


I am SO blown away by the submissions so far!! Every single project is absolutely gorgeous. You’re all making me so proud!!

So, don’t rush! You have a few more days to get your photos in before I’ll officially end the sew-along and start the giveaways. Remember, if you finish your project you’ll have a chance to win some awesome prizes!!

I might even try to squeeze in a pair of pants this weekend, myself!

New Deadline: Photos added to the Flickr group by Monday, May 5th (before the end of the day).
Tell your friends!



smooth sailing on a sea of victory


It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling with my sewing for quite some time now. Quite a long time actually. I never seem to sew things that fit me or suit my lifestyle or my fashion preferences. I love sewing 1940s garments with a passion, and although I do participate in a few period appropriate events a year, my life is not a WWII reenactment. In my daily life I like to mix a bit of my favorite bygone eras in with fun, modern prints to create a look that can only be described as “me”.


My plan for Sew For Victory this year was much different than the garment I made last year. Instead of recreating an exact copy of a 1940s dress (right down to reproducing the fabric myself) I decided to recreate an exact copy of what makes me happy. After all, shouldn’t sewing always make us happy? Is that not why we sew to begin with? The fabric I picked for this year’s SFV challenge is definitely not a 1940s print but it certainly boosts my morale, and I can’t think of a more WWII inspired plan of action!


You guys, I can’t even tell you what this project has done for my sewing spirits. It is hands down my most favorite thing I’ve ever sewn!! I mean it. We’re definitely running out of time here as Sew For Victory winds down, so I took a risk and skipped any kind of test muslin. I just took my measurements, traced out my size, cut into my fabric and went for it. Honestly I was fully expecting this shirt to be a dud because I always manage to sew things that don’t fit quite right. But long story short, the Sewing Gods were on my side!


The pattern is The Smooth Sailing Blouse by Wearing History Patterns and the fabric comes from Tula Pink’s new Fox Field collection that I bought at Hawthorne Threads. The shirt is a late 1930s/early 40s style with the iconic puff sleeves of the era which I love! I bought size pack A and cut a straight 14 although I probably could have sewn the size 12. The shirt is beautifully form fitting but perfectly comfortable, and looks really sharp when tucked into high-waisted pants. I was warned that the arm cuff runs rather snug, but since my gangly little arms aren’t much thicker than a broom stick, I had no issue there. In fact, I had no issue with anything on this pattern at all. I’m still rather amazed at that!


So why this fabric? Well because it’s amazing. Period. When you classify yourself as a garment sewer, people will try to make you feel inferior for wanting to sew with quilting cottons. They don’t always do this intentionally, but that vibe is surely out there. Well I say that’s all fine and dandy – More quilting cotton for me!! I love cotton and I love fun prints, sue me. I am thoroughly unimpressed with fancy charmeuse and other sophisticated substrates. Give me bunnies and gigantic flowers on fabric that’s meant to be slept on by generations of children. It’s what I love most of all.


To me this fabric holds a certain modern likeness to the feed sack prints of the past – Printing pretty pictures on a utility fabric for women who want practicality in what they wear. Obviously quilting cotton isn’t the ideal fabric for everything but it’s the perfect pair for this particular pattern. The puff sleeves need a bit of structure to hold their shape and they certainly get it from a nice quality quilting cotton.


I had thoroughly intended to make a matching pair of trousers to accompany this shirt, and I still will if I have time, but I just couldn’t wait to share this project with you! It makes me so, so happy. I really can’t stop smiling! It’s been such a long time since I made something that I utterly fell in love with so I kind of just want to bask in this sewing high for a while and not rush another sewing project. …but I reaaaalllly want a matching pair of pants so we’ll see.


I have to thank Lauren at Wearing History for making such a beautiful, well tailored pattern that pairs so well with my favorite fabric. My enthusiasm for sewing and blogging has been completely restored!! I’m just sorry I waited so long to find out this was the project to bring my sew-jo back.



Well there ya have it. My very victorious Sew For Victory project! Well hopefully this is one of two projects but, as I said, we’ll see. I’m so over the moon with this one that I don’t mind if it’s my only contribution. Sewing is a never ending quest for creating your ideal wardrobe and evolving your personal style, and my path suddenly got a lot more clear cut. Expect to see a lot more of this from me!


If you’re participating in Sew For Victory don’t forget to upload your finished garment photos to the official Sew For Victory Flickr Group! It’s not too late to join in and make something last minute either! Submissions are due Wednesday April 30th by the end of the day, but it will take me a few days to compile the photos for the slide show (like I made last  year) so I’ll allow some leniency for any hard working ladies who made it late to the party ;)

Anyone who finishes a garment for the challenge will have a chance to win some awesome prizes (also like last year but better) so don’t miss out!

Sewing For Victory feels good. You should really try it.


(photos by William Waldon)

dubarry sewing – best colors for your type


Today I have some images from a great sewing booklet by DuBarry Patterns, published in 1945. It includes tons of tips and techniques for sewing success as well as a really great color photo chart suggesting which colors suit you best! I’ve included both the full spread, and a much larger scan so you can actually read the text. I thought it would be a fun reference for Sew For Victory! I have not digitally enhanced the colors in order to keep them as true to the original printing as possible.




I’m actually a little disappointed by the suggested colors for auburn hair and brown eyes haha! They seem a bit dull in comparison to some of the other palettes. Though I am lucky to have the “most perfect type of face” lol.

What does your hair and eye color suggest for you?
If you’re participating in Sew For Victory, did you pick one of the colors from your palette? I did!


p.s. I’d really love to scan this entire booklet and make it available as a free download for you, but it’s around 60 pages I think so it will take me a while!



If you’re still undecided about what fabric to use for your Sew For Victory project, here’s a few photos to help inspire you. The clothing styles, as well as fiber contents, did change quite drastically throughout the 40s (especially when you look at pre and post WWII differences) but the fabric colors and prints stayed pretty constant throughout the decade. Some people are pleasantly surprised to see such bright colors and wild prints!


Rayon certainly dominated the fabric industry then, but natural fibers like cottons, linens, and wools were also popular despite rationing. If you enjoy sewing with knits, rayon jersey is definitely an appropriate option! One fabric you won’t find available for consumer use in the 40s is polyester. While the research and production of synthetic fibers was important for the war effort, I’ve yet to see polyester clothing or fabric advertised in any of my 1940s catalogs. The polyester as we know it today wasn’t truly popularized until the 1960s.


If you’re feeling more adventurous and want a customized fabric for your project, consider the natural options at Organic Cotton Plus! RIT dye was all the rage in the 40s, especially with the Make Do And Mend mentality alive and well. “Upcycling” your clothing wasn’t a trendy thing to do then, it was a necessity. Give an old bed sheet new life, or add a custom color to your project like I did with my 1940s inspired Archer shirt. It’s a lot of fun and solid colors make excellent wardrobe staples.




If you’re still on the hunt for that perfect print or textured fabric, checkout Hawthorne Threads. I love this beautiful Rayon print, as well as all the Chambray, Seersucker, and linen blends (this yellow floral one is SO pretty)! Oh, and I can’t forget my favorite quilting cotton designer, Denyse Schmidt, who has a 40s influence in almost every collection she’s ever created (especially Florence! She specifically mentions 1940s comedy heroines as her influence for this collection). Good stuff.


p.s. This is the last weekend to use your Sew For Victory coupon codes for 20-30% off your sewing patterns, so don’t miss out! Judy at Vintage4me2 is having a 40% off sale until the 29th so you can get up to 70% off your pattern through her right now! Now that’s a steal.

I love reading everyone’s introductions and seeing the inspiration photos in the Flickr group! Keep it up!

What fabric are you using for your project?


my sew for victory plans

Hello, all. I hope you’ve been thinking about your Sew For Victory projects! There are now over 100 NEW members in the official Sew For Victory Flickr Group which is very exciting! Please continue to introduce yourself in the welcoming thread and post photos of your progress and inspirations.


My inspirations this year are very different from what I made last year. While I’m very proud of my 1946 Hollywood Bird Dress with custom fabric, it’s not something I wear all the time. …or ever, sadly. Where’s the Sew For Victory spirit in that? I’m realizing more and more that I don’t enjoy wearing dresses very much, which can make it harder to define your style when you want to wear a vintage look everyday. When we think of looks that define a decade, we almost always think of that quintessential dress of the era. Of course we know the historical significance of women and pants vs society over the years, so there’s good reason to think of bygone eras and their signature silhouettes in dress form. …but that still doesn’t change the fact that I like a nice pair of mannish looking trousers.

This year I’m taking a different approach to what “authentic 1940s” means to me and my wardrobe. It’s pretty ambitious so I hope I’ll be forgiven if I can’t complete every part of my challenge, but I want to create two different outfits with the same patterns: an authentic 1940s reproduction, and a modern version inspired by the 40s.

The Pants Pattern: Vogue V8836 – The Shirt Pattern: Smooth Sailing by Wearing History


(photos sources one, two, three, four, and five)

I was searching high and low for a vintage pattern with pockets, a fly, and pleats in the front but had no luck tracking one down so I found a modern pattern that will work perfectly. (If you need to use a modern pattern to help you recreate your Sew For Victory look, that’s okay!) I bought some beautiful rayon/linen blend fabric from Denver Fabrics for the first version of my pants.

For my first version of the shirt I’m using a fabric that is very modern! I adore quilting cottons because they come in super fun prints and are really easy to sew with. I can’t remember the last time I used a novelty quilting cotton for a project and that makes me really sad. So that’s why I’m planning this:


Again, the idea behind this first outfit is to create a 1940s silhouette with a modern twist. The Smooth Sailing Blouse by Wearing History is a mid 30s to early 40s style (I love the puffy sleeves!) so the shape is definitely vintage. The fabric is from the Fox Field collection by Tula Pink and it just plain makes me happy. Simple as that! It boosts my wartime morale ;)

(^^I have a tutorial on how to make a mood board like this, here.)


(photo sources: Sears & Roebuck 1943 from my collection and

For the second version of my outfit I want to recreate a classic WWII farm girl look. I’ll be using the same two patterns, but picking fabric that’s much more authentic to the period. I found this 100% cotton denim at that I think I might get, and for the shirt I am undecided at this point. I have a few cotton prints by Denyse Schmidt (almost all of her fabrics are 1940s inspired), as well as some men’s shirts and a 100% rayon skirt that I may try to upcycle. I do want to try and use as many items from my stash as possible for this second challenge in the spirit of Make Do And Mend.

So there ya have it!

Don’t forget to take advantage of that coupon code for 20-30% off your Sew For Victory patterns, and check back through last year’s post archives if you need help picking appropriate 1940s fabrics and sewing patterns.

I’ll be posting more information on fabrics and patterns this week, as well as starting to work through my muslin process for both patterns. If you’re sewing the Smooth Sailing blouse or a similar pair of pants, we can work through it together.

Feel free to link to your Sew For Victory Plans below!



sew for victory pattern discounts!

I am honored to have two very awesome online shops offering discounts on their patterns especially for Sew For Victory: Vintage4me2 and Wearing History!

Vintage4me2 is run by mother/daughter team (Judy and Corey) and they specialize in all original vintage sewing patterns. Vintage sewing patterns are a real treat because they’re like literally holding a small piece of sewing history in your hands. They’re authentic, they’re the real deal. Take a look at any of Judy’s 1940s patterns and I bet you’ll have a hard time trying to pick just one for the challenge!


For those new to vintage sewing beware that vintage patterns usually only come in one size per envelope, and many are unprinted. If you’ve never seen an unprinted vintage pattern check out my tutorial on how to work with them. If you have experience with resizing patterns or find one that’s close to your size, sewing from true vintage patterns is incredibly rewarding so don’t be scared!


For those of you who like the convenience of modern patterns with updated, easy to read instructions, try a reproduction pattern company like Wearing History! Lauren offers a wide variety of beautiful vintage reproduction patterns that come in a vast range of modern sizes, and the option to print your patterns at home!


Check out any of the 194os patterns by Wearing History, as well as some of the 1930s patterns for your Sew For Victory project! Reproduction sewing patterns are truly the best of both worlds when it comes to vintage sewing, so I encourage you to check out Wearing History if you’re brand new to sewing vintage!



Okay now for the discount codes!

Lauren is offering 20% off patterns (including e-patterns) at with the coupon code sewforvictory14 at the checkout.

Judy is offering 30% off sewing patterns with the “make offer” code Victory2014 (please see this post for instructions on how to use the make offer code).

If you have any questions or concerns about the discount codes, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments and I’ll respond as promptly as I can.

Both codes are valid from now until April 1st 2014 so you have plenty of time to plan your project and gather supplies. Those vintage patterns tend to go fast though and once they’re gone, they’re gone!


A reminder to Sew For Victory participants: Make sure you’re joining us in the Sew For Victory Flickr group and introducing yourself! We like Flickr for our official meeting place because everyone can share their progress, inspirations, and post any questions you need help with in the group forum. Flickr is free and you get to control the privacy and rights to your own photos. Don’t be shy! Flickr is where new sewing friends are made :)

If you missed the official Sew For Victory announcement, get caught up here!

Stay tuned for a big post on other pattern sources, how to date your sewing patterns, and lots of fabric inspiration! In the mean time, check back through last year’s Sew For Victory posts for a refresher course.

Now, what pattern should I make?!


Thanks again to Wearing History and Vintage4me2 for your generous pattern discounts! Honored to have you as sponsors!



It’s back! Sew For Victory returns for another awesome sewing challenge inspired by the 1940s.

If you’re new around here, or missed out on last year’s challenge, be sure to watch the 2013 project parade video for a general idea of what to expect. There are also a slew of fantastic photos and group discussions in the Flickr group to get you inspired!

-Sew For Victory is a non-competitive sewing challenge for anyone who’s ever wanted to try sewing a 1940s style. It doesn’t matter what your sewing skill level is, or how familiar you are with the era, you’re encouraged to join in!

-You are allowed to pick your own pattern and work at your own pace, so long as your pattern is 1940s* and your project is made specifically during Sew For Victory.

-*You can use any vintage sewing pattern, reproduction sewing pattern, or modern sewing pattern that helps you recreate your 1940s look.

-*Any WWII style or post war “New Look” style is appropriate for this challenge (some late 30s or very early 50s patterns may be used so long as the overall “feel” of the project is 40s).

-I will be posting tons of photos of appropriate fabrics and patterns for you to use so if you don’t know what a 1940s style really looks like, that’s okay!

-The Flickr group serves as our official Sew For Victory meeting place where we can all get together, introduce ourselves, and share our progress. Flickr is free to join and easy to sign up for, plus you control the privacy and rights to any photos you post there. Most importantly it’s a place to make new friends!

-All finished projects shared in the Flickr group will be featured in a final project video to wrap up the sew-along!

-Sew For Victory 2.0 kicks off today and runs through April 30th 2014. That gives you a few weeks to gather supplies and the entire month of April to sew.


This is just the official announcement to start spreading the word. I’ll be back on Monday with the first round of fabric and pattern inspiration, as well as a generous coupon code to use on patterns at Vintage4me2! In the meantime, join us in the official Flickr group and grab a button to display on your blog!

Sew For Victory Button – 300 px wide SFVbutton300

<a href="" target="_blank" alt="Sew For Victory">
<img src="">

Sew For Victory – 200 px wide SFVbutton200

<a href="" target="_blank" alt="Sew For Victory">
<img src="">

Did I mention there will be some awesome prizes given away at the end of the sew-along for those who completed their project? Yep!

I hope you’ll sew along with us!

Get your SFV patterns 20-30% off! More details: here


Sew For Victory Final Project Parade

Well, this is the end. Sew For Victory has been a massive success with a final count of 172 members and 490 photos in the Flickr pool. I love that there was a great mix of authentic 40’s and 40’s inspired garments. You all did a fantastic job! Wil and I worked really hard (hours and hours) to make this video so we hope you enjoy it!


I am seriously and truly blown away by everyone’s finished projects! It’s been an absolute pleasure to sew along with everyone and get to discuss sewing in my favorite era. The internet is awesome in that way. I will definitely be making Sew For Victory an annual thing, and have already been scheming some other Sew For Victory offshoots/40’s themed sew-alongs with other bloggers. So if you missed out on this challenge, fear not, there will be others!

Again, thank you all SO MUCH for being such amazing and encouraging participants. It has made me so happy to watch everyone interact and ask questions and inspire each other. For me, there is no greater success than that. I hope everyone has had fun, learned a thing or two, and made some new friends. I know I have!


p.s. This was my first self hosted sew along so I’m open to friendly suggestions for next year :)



*I tried my best to make sure everyone was included in the slideshow, but a few members chose to not allow their photos to be downloaded so I couldn’t add them. All of the photos used for this slideshow were used specifically for this blog post, and will not be shared or re-posted anywhere else.