An American In Paris Combo

The Facts

Fabric: Found at the Alameda Antique Fair for about $5
Pattern: Simplicity 1554, Hollywood Patterns 685
First worn: January 2010
Wear again? Definitely. This is the first blouse I've made and can easily see me wearing this quite often until I've built up my shirt stash.

It seems like watching That's Entertainment the other night had a bit of an effect on me. This blouse and skirt combination was made to dance with Gene Kelly, even if I'm certainly no Leslie Caron.  

As much as I'd love to, I can't live in dresses. When I donated the bulk of my old clothes, I got rid of most of my shirts. Thankfully, I found a blouse that's easy to make and only requires about a yard and a quarter of fabric to make. The blouse is made from Simplicity 1554 from 1945. The fabric is a vintage find from the Alameda Antique Fair — I think I paid $5 for about 1 3/4 yards. The buttons are vintage as well — also from the Alameda Fair.

And because I was on a sewing tear, I just had to make an accompanying skirt. The skirt pattern is from a 1942 Hollwood Patterns (685). I find Hollywood Patterns to be more difficult than they should be, but this skirt was way easy to make. It's made from a piece of denim that has been in my stash since college! It's just regular old denim from Jo-Ann's, but I never used it.

Below is a detail of the fabric along with the Trifari brooch from 1945 I picked up at the Alameda Antique Fair this past Sunday.

 Dress-13-detail
 

Author

Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.

10 Comments

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  1. i LOVE this outfit!!! well done :-)

  2. this is just so cute! i can’t wait to see all your creations

  3. This is awfully cute! I love the top pattern, I’ll have to watch for a similar one.

  4. Oh I want this outfit!
    Did you say you got it in Alameda? At the big flea market up there or is there an antique fair that I’m missing out on? :)

  5. Wow! Just amazingly beautiful! Great work!

  6. I love it! The whole project is so inspiring that I’m heading out to the fabric store this weekend. One question about vintage patterns though… Do you try to find patterns that fit more modern proportions (who has a 32″ bust anymore??) or do you modify the old smaller pattern significantly as you go(and is that difficult to do?) Thanks!

  7. I love what you’re doing. Honestly, Americans need to become more self-sufficient. What do you think would happen if every woman in America decided to only wear handmade clothes? It’s a trend that I would certainly support. Keep up the good work.

  8. This one is great! This seems like such a good idea :)

  9. So cool :) This whole project is really inspiring!

  10. OMG! Before I even saw the title of this, I loved it. Seeing it was inspired by An American In Paris….LOVE IT EVEN MORE! <3 I’m also thrilled that there’s another Bay Area resident who’s as into this era as I am ^_^ I thought I was the only one!