Fall For Cotton – my project preview

September 28, 2013


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!