Hot! The “Something old, borrowed and blue” outfit | Sarah Gabbart

Bb full body

Fabric: Skirt – 1.5 yards of burgundy wool ($4 a yard); Top – 1.5 yards vintage fabric ($8 total) 
Pattern:   Skirt – Simplicity 2343 ($15.95); Top -Vintage Simplicity 4808 ($10)
Year: c. 2010 (skirt) and c.1960s (top)
Notions: Buttons for top (vintage – $1); zipper for skirt ($2.50)
Time to complete: Skirt – 4 hours and Top – 2 hours
First worn: January 2011
Wear again? Yes

Total Cost: $~40 for whole outfit!

Shirt Sewing Pattern 4808 - size 16 - bust 36 (92 cm)












This "Something borrowed, something blue" challenge was the perfect way to start experimenting with vintage patterns – I recently bought some beautiful blue floral vintage fabric and was ready to jump right in!

Things I have learned about vintage patterns: 1) people were weird shapes back them and be weird, I mean proportionate. 2) seamstresses from back in the day were total masters of their craft, as the directions  (which I swear I followed to the letter this time!) are vague. They must have known exactly what to do when they sat down at the machine!

After giving myself a "Go get 'em champ!" pep talk, I dove right in and was surprised at how intuitive the pattern actually was. After two hours, I was done with a perfect top to wear when the weather gets warm, which is all the time in Houston or even during "winter" (read – 60 or below!) with tights and a blazer.  

BB - detail
Since my quest for good separates is just starting, I figured that a burgundy skirt would be a good basic piece that could easily mix and match with my other clothes. Simplicity 2343 was perfect for this – it was easy, cute and had pockets. Pockets people! Thanks to the awesome Ruthie for giving me the pattern!

Do you sew with vintage patterns or materials? What tips do you have for us newbies out there – tell us in the comments!


Sarah Gabbart


Comments are closed.

  1. Sarah! This is fantastic!! YAY! I am super excited you are delving into vintage patterns (you know, I love them!) Vintage patterns are so variable…I’ve sewn with an early 30’s pattern where there were hardly any directions, the 1933 pattern that had fantastic directions, several early 40’s patterns that are mainly pictures and 50’s patterns that I found rather confusing. For me the biggest difference comes in fabric choice and really paying attention to the fabric suggestions (if they have them) and then just do like you did…sit down and give yourself a pep talk and just dive right in! YAY!

  2. I love your two pieces, especially the blue top! (And your shoes look like some Danskos I have and love …)
    I sew with lots of vintage patterns, and usually give the directions a casual glance at most. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but usually, if I’m screwing it up by not reading the instructions I am blissfully unaware. :) It does seem that each era has a slightly different idea of how things would fit: for 40s dresses I often have to lengthen the bodice; 50s styles are usually miles too big in the boob area, and the (later) 60s patterns were often designed for people with more of a straight up-and-down figure than me, so I have to add back some curves.

  3. I love the top. It is cute and comfy looking and great for a blazing summer day. In the picture the skirt looks red not burgundy so it looked like you were going for a Red/White/Blue assemble. Had that been I would have said you need another top for the skirt and jacket. Light blue just doesn’t seem to mix well that that but if the skirt is burgundy then I think it goes.
    The construction of the skirt looks great, very smart.

  4. Thanks guys! These tips will definitely come in handy with my next vintage experiment!
    @Andrea – they are Danskos! I love them – so vintage looking and so comfy!
    @Sue – I love mixing red, white and blue (not sure why – maybe I’m just patriotic!); I do like the burgundy better with this blue though, so much that I topstitched the neckline of the shirt in the same color :o)

  5. Lovely outfit Sarah, it’s very smart looking!

  6. You can definitely pull off that look! Love the shirt especially. I’m still in awe that you’re going to do this once a week! Can’t wait….

  7. Sweet! That shirt looks way comfy. :-) And, pockets!

  8. margueritedesigns

    Lovely! Like someething I would want to wear for work.

  9. I know what you mean about pockets! Great little top too by the way. I am hoping to build my wardrobe to include more than t-shirts. Cheers.