Carry On Seamstress

When sewing becomes so consuming that your inner stitching voice tells you are not an extreme sewist but a sewing glutton it’s time to take stock. My recent gluttony has resulted in chaotic buying & sewing. My stitching wizardry lacked purpose and the naughty step was getting crowed. An end to this harum-scarum purposeless activity was urgently required.  Vintage Pledge 2016 hosted by Marie at A a Stitching Odyssey & Kerry at Kestrel Makes is just the ticket!



It’s perfect for converting feverish to focused without stifling structure, there is only one rule: vintage or reproduction patterns must be used.

I have been stalking the Simplicity 1950’s reprint 1258 blouse pattern for sometime, I even tried to draft a pattern myself, (miserable  fail).

During my last ‘short cut’ through the Northern Quarter I ended up in Abakhans & left with the pattern and two fabric candidates. (& a few other bits n bobs).

Making a 1950’s outfit was my initial pledge, the green & pink cabbage roses fabric was deemed perfect for version B.


The usually laborious task of cutting out was significantly improved by my new shears, I read about them on the Colette blog and as my others had were not cutting the mustard anymore I indulged myself. I love them they cut effortlessly and can be used in either hand with no pesky knuckle rubbing.

The most difficult part of the construction was the neck, I pinned and tacked it several times onto Matilda but it wouldn’t come together. I decided to apply a few ‘amendments’. Just as I was about to snip a tidgey bit off the neck pleats I realised I had applied the neckband upside down! If you make it ensure you don’t confuse the neck facings with the neck band. My trusty Prym seam ripper removed the renegade stitching without damaging the fabric.  Any tiny holes were smoothed out with the magic red ball, if you’re are in the market for a new quick unpicker I find the larger size easy to grip & it multi tasks as a turning tool! At £2.19  from fabric world it’s  a real investment in saving time, money well spent indeed.

Simplicity 1278

The Hattie

If  I make another I wouldn’t bother with the side zip as it doesn’t really need one & I can slip it on without undoing it. I may make a knit version in a snugger fit but I’m not sure how the neck would drape?

I made a high waisted grey denim pencil skirt to wear with it, not a vintage pattern as such: a copy of my fave but worn out Gap denim skirt. I wore them both later when I went out for tea and a few beers with the Wolf. Of course I ran out of time so hastily tucked the un-hemmed top into the unfinished waistband of the skirt!

Our afternoon started with some lovely beer and we somehow ended up in Abakhans on route to the next pub. I knew I was pushing my luck so quickly decided  upon some pink wool and tried to engage the Wolf by involving him in the quest for suitable lining fabric.  Although I love the fabulous floral design chiffon it is not sewing friendly & maybe a little too transparent for coat lining.  During the next beer a design was sketched out by the Wolf, quote of the day ” a military style to balance the feminine floral’!

Sadly my stitching gluttony reared its greedy head again the next day, instead of waiting until I purchased the right pattern I decided to draft a topper coat. I read a fantastic blog about topper coats (also known as car coats) I thought it would be perfect for my next vintage pledged item. The examples included in the post conjured of images of me dashing around supping cocktails & kimono sleeved style looked simple pimple.

The lining fabric is almost vulgar in a charming nylon sofa cover kind of way and the type of thing Barbra Windsor would have worn so I will call it the Babs.

The Babs

The Babs

In my wanton haste I didn’t pay enough respect to glorious but sly slippery fabric when cutting it out. The, (almost  needs a hem and fasteners), finished result has a Starlet vibe going on. This has inspired me to adjust my original vintage pledge to create Carry On Film wardrobe. This gives me more scope and justifies watching all my faves again in the name of research!


I added welt pockets and faux cuffs to add a little oomph, I am still considering the best type of hem to use.

This weekend I will be making Butterick 5813 version A or B in  green linen with Hong Kong seams: Inspired by Joyce Sims in Carry On Teacher.

The Joyce

The Joyce

Hopefully I won’t fall off the wagon again and my pledge will give my stitching and purchasing some direction.



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