my sew for victory plans

March 24, 2014

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!