Thursday, May 21, 2015

Free Pattern: A Men's Pullover in Diamond Pattern, c. 1935

Jakk has such great taste when it comes to clothes - I just wish I was a faster knitter so I could make her everything she wants.

Case in point - we were watching Miss Marple: The Blue Geranium the other night and Jakk mentioned how much she loved the vest George Pritchard was wearing.


I had a flick through some old Stitchcraft Magazines, and viola, The Diamond Pullover. 
(The Blue Geranium was written in 1932-1933, and this pattern is from Stitchcraft November 1935 - pretty close).

The pattern also recommends a colourway of bottle green and beige! The instructions come in both written and charted, and I hope you enjoy it.

To fit: 36-38 inch chest
Needles: 2.75mm and 3.75mm
Yarn: Fingering

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Finished: Welcome to Jeansville

Did I mention the jeans of my dreams earlier?
1940s 1950s jeans vintage denim womans mexican tourist coat jacket

Well, they've finally happened.

1940s 1950s jeans vintage denim womans mexican tourist coat jacket

I've been dreaming of 1940's wide leg jeans for a VERY long time, but honestly, I've been too scared to try and make them.

1940s 1950s jeans vintage denim womans mexican tourist coat jacket

I mean, the fitting, the top stitching - it all seemed like so much effort to get wrong! And denim isn't the cheapest fabric to mess up with either. What if I made a mistake?

But here I am over the moon in Jeansville, and they worked out.

I relied heavily on Simplicity 4990 for inspiration (boy's jeans from 1954), and modified the EvaDress Wide Leg Trousers 3322.
Pattern photo credit: DaisyandErma on Etsy

To figure out how wide I wanted the legs, I compared them to some Freddies of Pinewood jeans in my closet - then pinched out the excess width from the EvaDress trouser pattern down the centre. I believe I took a total of 6 inches excess width out of each leg to narrow the fit.

The denim is just a basic navy from Lincraft, but it has an ever so slight stretch. A back zipper instead of a front zipper of course!


  • Pinched out 3 inches width from the centre of trousers, front and back, to reduce the excess width
  • Folded pants pocket
  • 1950s pattern said to use snaps on the pockets - I used buttons and button holes

If I can pass on one piece of advice I've learnt about perfecting pants this year, it's don't put them off. Making 4-5 muslins in the past month has been painful (and not cheap) but the end product has been totally worth it.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Free Knitting Pattern: A 1930's Bertha Blouse from Vogue Knitting

A Bertha Blouse doesn't sound very attractive - but it looks so easy to knit and wear!

free vintage knitting patterns 1930s vogue knitting magazine art deco

This simple pattern comes from Vogue's 4th Book of Knitting and Crochet (1936), and is suggested to be knit in white, with two green stripes.

If you were looking for a good place to start with using a vintage knitting pattern, this might be just the ticket!

To fit: 36 inch bust
Needles: 2.75mm
Yarn: Fingering weight. A light fingering weight chenille was used in the original, but a cotton or linen yarn would be a good substitute.

Friday, May 08, 2015

FO: 1940s Wide Leg Trousers (EvaDress/Simplicity 3322)

This year seems to be the Year of the Pants, which can't be a bad thing.

I feel like I'm taking baby steps towards tackling my dream project - perfect vintage jeans - and these wide leg trousers are just one step down that road.

The pattern is EvaDress 3322, which is a reproduction of Simplicity 3322 circa 1940, and I used navy gaberdine fabric from Spotlight.

Overall, I'm really happy with how these came out BUT be warned, I made four muslins before I got the fit right.

I'm about a 35 inch waist and 48 inch hips, and the pattern had so much ease in the trousers that I used a size 40 (to fit 34 waist and 43 hip).

I was also expecting them to be rather long in the crotch but they were actually quite short and needed adjusting.


  • used a back-zipper instead of side buttons
  • lengthened the total crotch depth by 3/4 inch front and back
  • added extra seam allowance to back seam for zip
  • took in at the waist by half an inch
  • removed excess width on the back of the legs, about an inch
  • shortened legs by an inch
You can see a close up of the back zipper here - oh dear, I didnt realise I was covered in cat hair, sorry!

These are supremely comfortable pants, and I can't wait to make the full overalls version from the packet as well.

evadress 3322 simplicity 3322 wide leg trousers swing pants 1940s plus size large

Well, now I have the basis for my jeans sorted - time to get started, right?

  • Blouse - made by me, Smooth Sailing in Denyse Schmidt Florence
  • Saddle Shoes - Bass Enfield
  • Bakelite earrings and bracelets - Etsy
  • Bakelite airplane brooch - made by me
  • Lipstick - Nars Velvet Matte in Red Square

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Love at first sight, free vintage knitting pattern c. 1940s

Winter's nearly here in Australia, so it's time to start looking for toasty jumpers and sweaters! I loved the adorable neck and waist ribbon on this jumper and wanted to share the pattern with you.

The stretchy rib and cables mean that it will fit a variety of sizes, and the sleeves have a nice puffed forties look which is really flattering.
1940s free vintage knitting pattern jumper

I hope you like it too!

To fit 32-36 inch bust (stretchy)
Yarn: fingering weight
Needles: 3.25mm and 2.75mm

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cute as a Wink (hat and gloves), c. 1940s

Its getting so lovely and fresh here in the mornings, so close to Winter that I'm getting excited about wearing knits again.

Looking through my knitting books for inspiration, I came across this sweet little hat and gloves combo - I hope you like it! It's from Woman's World Knitting, circa 1940s.

free vintage knitting patterns 1940s hat gloves

It's knit using fingering weight yarn and  3.75mm DPNs for the hat, and 2.75mm DPNs for the gloves. Enjoy!

Monday, April 06, 2015

My vintage brooch collection

I have a secret to share - besides collecting vintage knitting and sewing patterns, I also collect brooches!

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry

They're mainly from the 1930s-1950s, but there's a few modern ones in there as well.

1940s lucite novelty bakelite cherry brooch celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry

I have a couple of passions, one for 1940s carved lucite brooches - case in point: lobsters and crabs oh my!

1940s lucite novelty brooch crab lobster celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry


My latest prize is a carved lucite safety pin brooch, with diamante detail:

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry
Monogram brooches - Bs and Rs:

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid monogram sweetheart jewellery jewelry

Scottie dogs and sweetheart brooches:

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid lobster plastic sweetheart jewellery jewelry

The 1940's beaded dangle brooch below was a present from Jakk and my first real novelty brooch. I blame her for my collecting bug.

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid plastic sweetheart jewellery jewelry

Cowboy brooches,  Niello (Siam) silver and celluloid:

1940s lucite novelty brooch celluloid cowboy sweetheart jewellery jewelry

I store all my brooches (80+) on some white picture frames from IKEA - cover the backing board in wadding and fabric, and they're a cheap and easy storage solution.

It's hard to pick a favourite, but if I could only take one brooch with me I think it would be the lucite crab (another present from Jakk). It's just so silly, and it makes me smile when I catch a glimpse of it in a reflection.

haskell 1940s lucite novelty brooch crab

Novelty brooches are pretty hard to come by in Australia (about 90% of these came from the USA) but you can find them if you look hard.

Do you collect anything a bit different? I'd love to see photos!

Edited to add - OK, I also collect Australian Lustrewear! Maybe I have a problem...

1940s 1950s lustreware fish vases kitsch australiana pates mingay

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