December 23, 2014


Well, thanks to the vagaries of Dutch winter weather (not cold at the moment but windy rainy and generally rather glum) it took me a while to get pictures of this outfit. On the other hand, I was lucky that E has taken this week off work and didn't mind being forced into the role of photographer on Tuesday morning. 

This is my 1957 outfit, made using a tutorial for the skirt and belt from the issue nr. 4 of Libelle magazine from 1957.

The whole look is based on this picture, from the mailorder pattern section from nr. 5 from the same year. I tried to get a picture in a similar pose but that proved really difficult. I didn't have anything with the right height to lean on so it felt really awkward. Looking at the my attempts when sorting the pictures for this post just made me feel scruffy and waistless... 

To complete the look, I obviously needed a blouse pattern. One from the same year would have been ideal but my collection didn't provide one. 

This little number (on the right), however, is from sewing magazine Marion from 1955. From the March issue. It shares a lot of the characteristics of the blouse in the picture: kimono sleeves (at least at the front. The Marion blouse has set-in back sleeves), no button band and less-than-full-length sleeves with turn-back cuffs. I chose not to mind about the fact that it has tucks at the waist instead of darts but of course, I did feel the need to alter the collar. I kept the original neckline and button positions (those three are the only buttons at the front of this blouse. Obviously it was meant to be only ever worn tucked into a high waistband) and drafted a very simple convertible collar to use instead of the stander and mini-size rounded collar the pattern came with. 

Skirt and belt were made following the tutorial but adapted to my waist size and didn't really cause any surprises (and I've made my own, more detailed, tutorial for this belt in the previous post). It was a bit of a shame the instructions didn't bother with enforcing a particular skirt length. That would have been interesting. On the other hand, I've read enough 1950's (and 1940's and probably from earlier times as well) fashion news to know that a truly stylish lady defines her skirt length by the distance from the hem to the ground. Measured while wearing the appropriate shoes for that outfit, of course. 

I was pleasantly surprised with the blouse. I've tried Marion patterns twice before and both of those times, I was rather underwhelmed with the result (a dress and a coat which didn't get beyond the muslin stage). I guess this teaches me not to go for the size 36. That may be very close to my bust measurement, it's considered to be a 'transitional' size, a point between the sizes for girls and women and apparently, that means a seriously shorter back waist length. Part of the difference will also be down to rather simple matters: for a blouse like this, the fit has to be right through the shoulders and bust, the rest doesn't matter as much. For the coat, it was mostly the lack of shaping at the waist and flare of the skirt that disappointed me. Oh, and in this case, the picture from the magazine was definitely not what drew me to this pattern.   

For the purpose of the Vintage Pattern Pledge, I'm counting this outfit as two patterns, because it is. 


  1. Both shirt and the skirt are fabulous , you have pared them very well.

  2. my comment was eaten! it probably had too many capital letters... in love with this ensemble.

  3. Gorgeous. The sillouhette is beautiful and it really suits your figure. Happy Christmas.

  4. fabulous, those colours are really gorgeous (and very festive)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. This whole outfit is gorgeous!! What are the instructions for the skirt?