Sears and Roebuck 1942 Reproduction Outfit


Here it is! My Fall For Cotton project inspired by a “Farmerette” outfit in the Fall/Winter Sears and Roebuck catalog from 1942. You can read more about my inspiration here, and see more garment construction photos here. I think that about sums it up as far as outfit explanation, so let’s just get to the photos!








Here are some more, in black and white, just for good measure ;)



Disclaimer: Even though I was in fact standing next to a real apple tree, I definitely brought my own apples to shoot on location bahaha! I’m so fancy like that.

Aww, you guys! I’m sad that Fall For Cotton is pretty much over! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated and submitted project photos to the Flickr pool. There were so many incredible garments made, and I’m sincerely proud of everyone’s effort and enthusiasm. A job well done all around!

I would like to have all photos in by the end of the day on Monday the 30th (tomorrow), but as long as you can get them in before the 4th, I will still include you in the wrap-up slide show next week.

Tasha and I will be hosting some giveaways as a special treat for those who completed a project on time, so check back on October 1st for your chance to win!

Thanks again for another fantastic sewalong.

p.s. A huge thank you to my darling, William, who follows me around endlessly with a camera, trying to make me look good on this blog. I don’t give him near enough recognition <3 xoxo

Fall For Cotton – my project preview


My Fall For Cotton projects are finished!! If you saw my inspiration post, you’d know I’ve been trying to recreate a women’s farm/factory outfit from the Fall/Winter Sears and Roebuck catalog of 1942. I put the buttons on my shirt this afternoon (nothing like procrastinating your own sewalong haha!) so I’m going to share some construction photos today, and some actual outfit photos tomorrow. I’m really happy with the way everything turned out, especially considering the time restraints I inflicted on myself.



I decided not to re-make my muslin trousers, and instead made a style that is more wearable for me. I used Simplicity 3688 which is a 1940’s reproduction. This pattern makes for more of a swing style trouser, which I happen to love for everyday wear! I exchanged the front darts for pleats, and used a 7/8th inch seam allowance at the side seams in order to insert a lapped zipper (and still have room to finish the seams). I also added one side pocket like the catalog describes.


I put off making the shirt until the absolute last minute (eh hem, yesterday) because I couldn’t decide which shirt I wanted to make, or how deep into pattern alteration I wanted to go. Ultimately I went with a blouse from a WWII era mail order pattern, even though I knew it wouldn’t be a perfect fit based on the listed measurements.


Ideally, I would have made a muslin before committing to this pattern but with the lack of time I decided to wing it and hope for the best. The bodice is awkwardly short and wide, but luckily you won’t be able to tell when I tuck it in.6

I know vintage cuts end up looking more like modern crop-tops because the rise of pants were so much higher back then, but I’m guessing this pattern was meant for petites because it’s extra short on me! I can barely tuck it in the pants.

I finished the hem, and all other seams, with vintage seam binding that Tasha sent to me. With the extra short hemline and 3/8th inch seam allowance, I couldn’t do much else to finish them or I’d have no seams left!


The mail order directions were less than helpful so I made up my own plan of attack for the collar. Many of the 1940’s blouses I’ve seen don’t have collar stands, which allows you to attach the collar really easily with a special trick.


I drafted a facing for the back neck and attached it to the front facings at the shoulder seams. This allowed me to sew the finished collar to the shirt first, and then sew the facing over top of it, leaving the unfinished edges of the collar on the inside of the shirt. This is my favorite way to attach a collar because it’s so easy!



I still need to give the outfit a good ironing before taking photos tomorrow, but I’m so excited to wear it!!


At first I was a little upset that my stripes don’t match up at the front (I shouldn’t be surprised because I didn’t even think about it when cutting) until I looked at the catalog photo again and realized the model’s don’t either! Haha! How’s that for accidental authenticity? Stay tuned for more photos tomorrow, and don’t forget to submit your own project photos before the end of the day on Monday!












Recreated 1943 Mail Order Dress


It’s finished! My shirt dress inspired by a 1943 design from a Bellas Hess mail order catalog. (Available as a PDF download here) There is SO much amazing inspiration in that catalog! Once I found this brown gingham fabric I knew I had to try and recreate a similar dress. I used no less than three separate patterns to do so, but I love the way it turned out!



The sleeves are from my by beloved 1940’s New England Day Dress pattern by Decades of Style, the bodice is actually a modern Project Runway pattern for Simplicity, and the skirt is another 40’s reproduction skirt pattern by Simplicity.


These are what the sleeves would have looked like on my blue floral New England Dress if I hadn’t run out of fabric. LOVE THEM!


I wanted to make a fabric belt to match the one in the catalog photo, but I couldn’t find a belt kit at Joann Fabrics. I also didn’t look very hard though… so I might still be able to find one on my next trip. In the mean time, this cute little bow belt will do just fine I think.



There are a few mistakes on this dress that I managed to work around. They probably could have been prevented had I made a muslin first, but the WWII woman doesn’t have the time or resources for muslins, am I right? ;) This fabric was dirt cheap so the gingham isn’t printed very straight, or on the grain. It’s not obvious from a far, but on some of the seams it’s really obvious to a trained eye. Also, the front buttons are totally not functional although they should be. The button hole guide that came with the bodice seriously lead me astray and therefore my button holes are too far away from the shirt edge to even work. Soooooo keeping my ‘make do and mend’ mentality alive, I just sewed the buttons to the very far right of the button holes and called it good. I really should have known when I marked them that they weren’t right, but I figured the official button hole guide wouldn’t lie to me! IT LIED TO ME! …or I didn’t read it correctly …but most likely it was the patterns fault! Amateurs. I also melted my brown invisible zipper and ended up having to use a black standard one from my stash. Yeah, I know, who melts a zipper?! Amateurs. I told you.

Oh! But on a lighter note, HIGHLAND CATTLE!!!!

Ahhhhh I just love their little wooly faces!! Vermont has the most beautiful variety of cows.



The weather has warmed up quite a bit from the trending negative degree temps, but was still pretty cold in a cotton dress so I’m glad a had a fancy new vintage coat to keep me warm! I’ll share more photos of the coat soon! It’s soooooo amazing!

I also have new glasses! I knew I’d need new WWII era appropriate glasses for my reenactment, and I was instructed by my troop to buy these ones:

Wait for it…


Owl face!!!!! Hahahahah! They’re SO ridiculous! But I kind of love them because of it. I haven’t been wearing them much for photos because the lenses are cheap and have the most terrible glare. I’m spoiled that my normal glasses have anti-glare coated lenses. But, for 20 dollars you can’t beat these! Seriously, Zenni Optical is awesome. They have some really cute, inexpensive frames and you can customize them to fit your prescription!


Luckily my prescription isn’t that bad so I can get away without wearing glasses for the most part. These ones really aren’t so bad as long as I tilt my head in the correct way to avoid the glare ;)


I hope everyone’s had an awesome weekend!



p.s. I’m SO excited with how many of you are interested in a 1940’s themed sew along! If you missed that subtle inquiry, I had asked in my last post if anyone would be interested and I was overwhelmed with yeses! I’m still working out some details and dates, but look forward to that in early spring! (Feb or March.) I’ll announce it officially soon!