Photos of Vintage Simplicity 1173

I finished hemming my new grownup onesie yesterday while watching “The IT Crowd” before heading to work. Yay! I was determined to wear it, despite the fact that it was 62 degrees (which, if you’re me, is too cold for such a small amount of clothing). As promised, here are some better photos of my playsuit:


Front view, now with 100% more dog!


A better view of the back; also, dog.


This is about as “cheesecake” as I get….


This outfit was meant for lazing around, right? You can see the pile of sweaters I had been wearing but had to remove for the photos–classy.

I feel compelled to note that no, I totally didn’t need those sunglasses–it was overcast as hell yesterday by the time we got around to taking photos! But I don’t like doing “final” outfit photos without makeup, and since I was wearing something that’s super appropriate for summer lounging, I opted to use my sunglasses to cover up my lack of cosmetics. I did throw on some lipstick for all y’all though, because it seemed necessary.

I really enjoyed wearing this outfit all day, with one exception: I cannot close the hook and eye by myself!! I can undo it just fine (which is great, because if I have to pee, I’m not about to wait around until someone shows up to unhook me) but have not yet been able to close it afterwards. Other than that, it’s a joy to wear!

I haven’t decided what my next project is, though I would love to whip up some shorts using the pattern from this playsuit–I’ve got leftovers from my gray skirt, along with a cut of vintage fabric that HAS to be made into shorts. I’ve also got a summer halter dress (1930s) and a crop top and skirt set (1950s) that I’d love to start on as well. Looks like I’ve got some decisions to make! 🙂

Thanks for reading–while wearing what I make is a thrill, it’s so much better knowing that I can share with all of you. ❤

Vintage Simplicity 1173 – The Playsuit Has (Basically) Landed!

You guys.

You guys!


My playsuit from vintage Simplicity 1173 is basically finished. I need to hem the leg holes, but that’s it! Also, one of my buttons got sewn on off-kilter, so I also need to fix that, but that’s so easy to do that it barely counts. I got a few photos of the playsuit last night, but the pulling on the right side of the bodice due to the button issue is really obvious (and it was like 9 at night and the lighting was awful), so I won’t post many pictures yet. But here is a preview:


Side view! Note the stripe matching FAIL.


Back view. That’s the one place I managed to match my bodice stripes…


Close-up of the strap attachment at the back; do you like my chalk? =)

This pattern is really easy to put together (which I think I mentioned before), which was nice. Unfortunately for me, I hit a lot more snags with the real version than I had with the muslin. For instance:

  • Underlining made everything more difficult; in retrospect, I wish that Past Mads had instead invested in additional pairs of skin-colored underpants and not bothered. Past Mads is an asshole.
  • Stripe matching was attempted, but apparently not successful. The shorts portion isn’t even close, especially in the crotch region, and the bodice only matches up at the back. I didn’t even manage to get the straps to have identical striping patterns. WTF, Mads?!?
  • The shorts and bodice were even further away from fitting together on this version than on the muslin, which made no sense to me. I ended up letting the bodice side seams out about 1/4″ out of desperation, which did help a bit.
  • Bodice fitting was a real bastard this time around. I adjusted to add some width at the very top, and ended up with too much room. So between that and the bodice vs shorts size differential stupidity mentioned previously, I ended up with more room in the bodice than I wanted; I think it fits well, but I wish the fit at the waist was more akin to the muslin version. In addition, I’m beginning to think that cutting two bodice fronts and putting them together–as opposed to the single continuous piece you’re supposed to cut–may be given me a bit of shaping on the muslin that I lost when I did it the right way. Maybe on my next (non-striped, for sure) version I can try that!

I wish I had taken a photo of the fabric I have left after finishing this. I miscut the front bodice (cut two separate pieces, AGAIN) and one of the back bodice pieces, which wasted fabric, but even without those mistakes, I’d still have basically nothing usable left over! I may be able to squeeze out a bra top–and that’s a BIG maybe.

Real talk: for all of the complaining I just did, I LOVE this playsuit. I love that it looks like the picture on the envelope, I love that it seems like something I would wear or buy, I love the comfort, and I love how I feel in it. I need to press the short seams and zipper (and still need to trim back the short seams) to help them lay better, too. Re: the straps, I decided to attach them that way at the back on a whim. My hand sewing is awful, and I just didn’t want to trust the integrity of these straps to that technique. I opted to sew around the bottom of the straps–from the outside–to securely attach them at the base. I went as high as the top of the bodice and as low as about 1/4″ from the bottom of the strap, and I went around the squares twice to make things extra-secure. For machine stitching, I think I did a really good job of keeping my lines straight and getting the second line of stitching right on top of the first; the squares aren’t perfectly centered, but I’m still really happy with how they turned out. And let me tell you, those straps? They aren’t going anywhere.

I’m hoping to be back after the weekend with more photos for you guys, but with better lighting and a finished-for-real playsuit. Is anyone else getting a jump on summery sewing projects?

Vintage Simplicity 1173 – Playsuit Ahoy!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone out there had a nice weekend. I certainly did: we had great weather here in Ohio, and I got an unexpected day off yesterday. I’m pleased to say that I used my time wisely. 🙂

After getting frustrated/intimidated by my blouse pattern of choice, I have mostly shelved that project without making any additional progress. I feel confident that I’ll go back to it eventually, since it’s one of my favorite patterns and because all of my notions are ready, waiting, and look great together. I just didn’t want to spend my first healthy day off in over 6 months working on something that was frustrating me! I cleaned up my sewing area a little bit, and decided that I was ready to tackle vintage Simplicity 1173: the playsuit to end all playsuits (for me, at least).

The pattern, fabric, buttons, and belt buckle I had picked out for Simplicity 1173 months ago have continued to haunt my dreams, and I felt like this was my best chance to get to work on it. I got started on Saturday night while Tom was out at a concert; I took everything out of the pattern envelope (what’s left of it, anyway!) and traced the necessary pieces directly onto my muslin fabric. With an ink pen. Because I can. I knew right away that I had to make some changes: this pattern is a size or two bigger than what I need in certain areas, mostly the waist. I measured in about 1 5/8″ from each side seam on the bodice, and the same amount from the side and center seams of the top portion of the shorts; my waist:hip ratio is about 0.7, so I knew I couldn’t afford to remove much or any from the rear region, so I left that area alone! 🙂 I also avoided any changes to the dreaded crotch curve area–I figured if that became an issue, I would deal with it after I got all the easy stuff fixed. After my inappropriate tracing was complete, I cut everything out and went to bed, prepared to sew it all together on Sunday.

Sunday ended up being more active than I had hoped: we had an errand to run (UGH lawn maintenance) and a lost neighbor cat to look for, but I did get lots of sewing time. Before I started putting stuff together, Sane Mads convinced Rash Mads to trace the muslin pieces onto my tracing material, just in case my gonzo drafting resulted in a good fit. Out came the ink pen (WHATEVER, I DO WHAT I WANT) and all pieces were traced. Then I sewed. All the sewing I did took about 2-3 hours, or thereabouts (between snack breaks, checking in on my movie, and chatting to Tom, I lost track!). Here’s what I ended up with:




We’re gonna need a bigger zipper. (Also, less-visible underpants.)


My hands are trying to flatten out the back closure AND cover my goodies. =/


Flat front view

It’s damn-near perfect!!! I was so excited when I got it on and it fit this well. I had tried on the shorts before the zipper went in, so I knew those would be a good fit, but the bodice was a lot of guesswork and couldn’t really be tried on separately. Please excuse my hands in every photo: since my zipper isn’t the right size, I had to pull up on the bodice to keep the back closure from sagging where the gap was between the zipper and the hook and eye; doing that also helped me get a better idea of how good (or bad) the fit was.

I need to add a little bit back in at the very top of the bodice, since it is too tight there but big enough for my bra cups in the actual cup area. So, all things considered, I have very little to change. I made a stupid mistake when joining the bodice to the shorts: I folded over my seam allowance in the shorts to create the zipper opening, but forgot to do the same on the bodice. Since the instructions said to ease the shorts into the bodice, I figured it was normal that things weren’t lining up exactly. This big “DUH” moment hit me after I’d sewn them together, so I just inserted the zipper anyway and made a mental note for the real thing.

The zipper is sloppily handpicked for fitting purposes only; I ripped it out of a UFO, but if it were a little longer, I’d use it for this playsuit–the color is great for the purple stripe in my fabric! I also had to sew in the hook and eye at the top of the opening, since my zipper came up several inches short and I needed to know how this was going to fit. How the hell do people attach those cleanly?!? I struggled with a capital “S,” folks. I got stabbed, and the sewing looks like shit. But they’re on there, and they did their jobs. (Let’s have a moment of silence for Victorian women, who had dozens of these damn things all over their clothes.) I omitted the pockets, but might try adding one to the muslin before I put my shorts together in the real fabric, just to see how much I struggle with it. I also have to stick the straps on this thing and see if they’re the right size. I made one but was too excited to attach it (and a button–after that hook and eye nonsense, I was tired of getting stabbed), but I can sew it down quickly and see if/how it changes anything. I’ve decided on a narrow machine hem for the shorts. Honestly, I can’t afford to make them much shorter than they already are!

I haven’t decided yet (I need to test the fabric), but I may underline the actual playsuit. I don’t want to have to bust out flesh-colored undergarments just to swan around in an outfit that’s supposed to be easy and casual, you know? I also need to figure out how I want to “face” the bodice. I think the pattern calls for using a full-sized piece as a facing that ends up functioning like an underlining, so maybe I will add an extra 1/2″ or so of height to the top edge of the bodice and just attach my underlining inside that seamline, turn it, press the top edge, and then it can function as an underlining AND a facing to finish the top edge. Any thoughts on that? I don’t think I will like the look of an invisible bias facing, since that will leave visible stitching along the top edge, but I will test it on the muslin before totally writing it off. And then there’s the small matter of making a belt, which I’ll sort out once the more important stuff gets done.

This project has really given my sewing mojo a boost–I’m so excited and motivated to get it finished! I think it helped that I had the entire thing together in only a few hours; with a schedule like mine, that’s a big help!

What do you guys have in your queues at the moment? Any must-have summer items that you’d like to get started on?

Snow Day Show-Off: New Stuff and Plans Galore!

I don’t know about all y’all, but we’re having a snow day here in Ohio! (My office is open, but I took some vacation time today; no sense in driving in a Level 2 emergency when I’ve got time left.) One thing I plan to do today is clean up and organize my sewing area, which at present looks like a pair of toddlers tossed stuff all over the table and didn’t put it away. (Nope, no toddlers here…can I blame my cats somehow? :P) I’ve got lots of pattern envelopes that I photocopied, so I’d like to be able to tape those to the mailers I bought and put the pattern inside and then file them in a (cute) box.

I’ve also got big plans for myself with respect to actually sitting down and sewing, though I don’t expect to get far with that stuff today. I’ve gotten lots of new patterns lately (I know, I know: I need to stop already!) and when I came across a particular pattern and fabric on Etsy last week, I got super-inspired. Behold:


My future playsuit!

I’m really excited about this one, you guys. I’ve wanted a playsuit pattern for a LONG time (we call them rompers now, right?), and this 1950’s iteration is almost exactly what I had envisioned. (I got it here, but there are other copies of it at other shops, too.) When I saw the vintage 1950’s fabric in another Etsy shop, I just knew it was meant to be! And our store just happened to get a small jewelry consignment last week, and it contained two mother-of-pearl vintage buckles; this one was calling my name, and I’m so excited to have found the perfect use for it already! You may be thinking, “Mads, what kind of crazy bastard makes a 1950’s playsuit in the dead of winter in Ohio??” If you’re thinking that, you totally have a point. But for me, striking while my inspiration is actually functioning is a necessity; besides, what better way to give winter the big middle finger than to sew a summer piece to lift my spirits? (Especially since this winter has destroyed the drain pipes to our upstairs bathroom with its freakishly freezing temperatures, but I suppose that’s another post for another day!) I’d like to get this pattern muslin’d by the end of the week, so we’ll see how I do!

Also in the works is the bra pattern I bought a few weeks ago. I’ve got my mesh and ribbon and cotton, and I’m ready to try out lingerie for the first time:


All this stuff may eventually turn into a bra–not magic, but close!

The cotton I’m using for the bra was bought on sale at the sewing shop down the street as part of a remnants sale they were having last year. I’ll have plenty left to make a blouse out of it, too, which was my original plan for the yardage.

My last photo dump features notions that I’ve racked up recently: more buckles (art deco this time!) and some antique buttons!! I also got some vintage lavender-colored buttons that I seem to have lost somewhere in the house, which is a bummer, since I’ll need them for that blouse I mentioned in the last paragraph. I hope I find them! =(


Almost too pretty to use…almost. =)


Hand-painted, even. Whoa.


Some didn’t photograph well, but I promise that they’re awesome!


Wow. Many deco. Such buckle.

FTR, my reaction to those buckles was not unlike Homer Simpsons’s gurgling noise when he’s thinking about delicious donuts…Seriously, I can’t believe how awesome they are! And they’re mine. (But the Etsy shop where I got them has more!)

That’ll do it for this entry–gotta get to work in that sewing room so that this day off isn’t a total waste! Hope you guys are warm and safe today, wherever you are!