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anchors aweigh

Added May 25, 2010

by elegantmusings

Virginia, Virgin...






project: 1940s sailor three-piece playsuit (blouse, shorts, skirt)
pattern used: Wearing History reprint
fabric & supplies: navy blue linen blend, white braid, white star appliques
notes: This project has been on the sewing table for a bit, and even longer in my “to photograph” pile! I spent most of one weekend back in March doing the majority of the construction, and finishing details over the next couple weeks (mostly because I was waiting for some buttons I ordered).

There were a few alterations to this pattern; all small fitting issues that I make to most 40s patterns. Most noticeably, I shortened the crotch seam on the shorts; I often find in 30s and 40s slacks the length is far too long (especially for modernized streetwear). Another area I tend to tweak is the sleeves. Most 1940s sleeves I find too long and/or too loose in the upper arm (I have “spaghetti noodle arms” as I call them. A real pain to fit!). On this particular project I just shortened the sleeves an addition 1 1/2″ to a more flattering point on my upper arms, but I left the original width in tact. The final skirt length will also be a tiny bit shorter; since I have proportionately short legs I find that a knee length (rather than just-below-knee length as indicated in many 40s patterns) is more suitable. The only thing I don’t like about this pattern is the closure on the shorts. With the buttons on either side of the waist, it just doesn’t give me the “nipped in” look I’m used to. A small, piddly detail, but one that will nag at me a bit until I just get over it. lol.

For the curious: yes, I am wearing shoulder pads with the blouse! I lately have been adding some moderate (I don’t go for the Linebacker Shoulders Look) pads to various dresses and tops I make from 40s patterns, and let me say, they do improve the overall silhouette! I know I promised a tutorial on how to make your own earlier this year, and I haven’t forgotten. I shall have to do that soon as a dress I made needs some padding.

As always, please visit my blog for more details!

Material Notes





Garment Type

25 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Img_6849_2800x2800_white_large

    Mar 14, 2011, 04.12 PMby adrie00

    You continue to impress me.

  • Me_steampunk_avvie_large

    Feb 19, 2011, 03.53 AMby lanternwaste33

    Ooh, jealous of your pattern! I’ve been dying to make a vintage romper for months. You did an awesome job! I would wear this any day! And you look great in it too!

  • Bassman_large

    Jun 7, 2010, 08.49 PMby rjhopkins12

    Love it!!!

  • New_glasses_large

    May 27, 2010, 03.39 PMby lepetithoot

    Ooooh! Just wonderful! I’ve been waiting to see something new from you for a while. ;) This is great! You really do know how to work those patterns to make them fit. :)

  • Avatar1_large

    May 26, 2010, 10.06 PMby missdandy

    Wow! I’ve always found sewing from pre-1960s patterns to be so difficult and you’ve sewn an entire 1940s era 3-piece playsuit! It’s wonderful!

  • Me_pecks_large

    May 26, 2010, 05.21 AMby nessys

    Yes, once again, you are an inspiration to us all in sewing ability, incredible style and grooming to die for! xx

  • Littlelady_large

    May 26, 2010, 01.06 AMby almalou

    Beautiful, as always! :-)

  • Merrilyn1_1_large

    May 26, 2010, 12.49 AMby misteebelle

    OMG this is adorable!! I’ve been eyeing off quite a few Wearing History patterns so it’s great to see one come to life. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the swimsuit (I’ve been reading your blog for a while). : D

  • 718839f1e666b60ba89825066c66b0e93b61e21c_large

    May 26, 2010, 12.28 AMby ink

    holy goshbungles this is just fabulous. I wish I had started sewing a long time ago. Just fabulous! So everything; pinup, sexy, wonderful. Living in a military town, you would have these boy’s heads spinning!

  • 5_large

    May 25, 2010, 11.47 PMby susanne2011

    I really admire your skills, this is so beautiful! I wish I was able to figure out how to make all these alterations… Very very nice!

  • Neues_005_large

    May 25, 2010, 10.25 PMby lilibellech

    O lala……. how sexy is that ;-)!!! Wonderful!!

  • Missing

    May 25, 2010, 09.36 PMby tapgirl

    Super Cute!! WOW!

  • Sitting_down_-_gloomy_large

    May 25, 2010, 09.31 PMby sarsaparilla

    It’s fantastic! I drafted a sailor top almost just like yours, so I’m really excited about making it now :)

  • Fly_small_large

    May 25, 2010, 08.05 PMby misssylver

    Hey Elegant, do you know if there is a UK version of this pattern? I love it but I just can’t justify thirty dollars for just one pattern xxx

  • D81076c8bbe18e38bf9819e431dd9e1881941fd2_large

    May 25, 2010, 07.48 PMby lolasangel

    Very nice! I love the look.

  • Orchid_large

    May 25, 2010, 05.44 PMby Sanne K. Astrid

    Marvelous indeed. :)

  • Avatarjaimesquare_large

    May 25, 2010, 05.25 PMby jaimesews

    So fun! I love the dress into shorts idea.

  • Sart_large

    May 25, 2010, 04.59 PMby tamezdc

    Great Job!! The wait was worth it. Your pictures are beautiful, and the outfit fits you perfectly. Those alteration to the pattern were right on.

  • 191f8419b65e6d80c3bc2282c10de19f9dacbfa2_large

    May 25, 2010, 04.56 PMby laurii


  • Badyan_large

    May 25, 2010, 04.24 PMby badyan

    Adorable! Well done!

  • Seamstress_large

    May 25, 2010, 04.20 PMby Geeky Seamstress

    oo thanks for the hint, I never thought of looking for vintage patterns on etsy :-) (No0b!) I’m crazy in love with this :-)

  • Small-profile_large

    May 25, 2010, 04.04 PMby emilie6709

    SO beautiful! Simply gorgeous.

  • Wool-knit-4_large

    May 25, 2010, 03.59 PMby sunnilj9

    I love it and the blue is so becoming on you! Beautiful rendering of this pattern! I love how all the peices come together and I love the shoulder pad too. It adds a small but noticeable difference I see. Lovely!

  • Pixie_redux2_large

    May 25, 2010, 03.31 PMby dilshadburman

    So so so so so AWESOME!! I love it all!! Such neat work and SO well executed!!

  • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

    May 25, 2010, 02.59 PMby Peter Lappin

    Marvelous! Just love this, Casey.

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