Hot! The “40’s Tartan” Bolero

The Facts

Fabric: about 1 metre of wool (or acrylic?) blend woven stuff from my stash – I’m going with ‘free’ as it was a remnant from something else I made a few years ago. And about half a metre of red lining, also leftover from another project.
Pattern: McCall 804
Year: 1940
Notions: none
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: to visit the in-laws, then shopping for baby stuff
Bump: 25 weeks
Wear again? yep!
Total cost: free! Yay!

Ok, I admit it – I’m rather late with this 1940’s creation! I started in it time, but the preggy exhaustion kicked in again so delayed it’s completion by a week unfortunately. But hey, here it is, all ready to wear!

This is the second time I’ve made up this little pattern – the first time was pretty much exactly a year ago, where I made my Bookclub Bolero for the Sew Weekly ‘Embellish This’ challenge in 2011. I like this little pattern – it comes together nicely, and has some of those lovely 1940’s details such as the four darts in the sleeve head to make a nice fit with defined shoulders.

I lined this one fully with some red lining from my stash. I love how it gives it a ‘pop’ of colour when I take the bolero on or off. Gotta love those splashes of colour! I must admit to having ignored the ‘how to attach the lining’ instructions though – the pattern called for slip-stitching the entire lining to the facing. I say, screw that. And bagged it out instead, which meant I only had to slip-stitch the gap that I left to turn it all in the right way after sewing it together. Far easier, far faster, and far tidier than my (somewhat messy) hand sewing would ever be.

And the best part? This fits well over preggy clothes, as an alternative to cardigans. Yay! It’ll be getting a fair bit of wear over the next few months.



Kat stumbled upon The Sew Weekly at the end of 2010. Inspired by Mena's creations and dedication to sewing each week, Kat stitched along with all the weekly themes for 2011. Through The Sew Weekly and the girls who contribute to it, she deepened her passion for vintage styles and started amassing a large collection of vintage patterns. Now she needs an excuse to try using them all.


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  1. Very smart for a pregnant belly!

  2. Nice piece to add to the wardrobe, love the pop of color.

  3. What a great item! It’s so cute. I love the pop of color.

  4. Love the fabric and the lining does give it an interesting pop of color. I bet it’scnot so comfortable to sit up to the sewing machine these days. Soon, you’lll be sewing for two!

    • Thanks Barbara! :-) I must admit, I’m having to sit a bit further back from the sewing machine than usual! I may have to take up crochet for the last couple of months at this rate!

  5. Cute Kat! Wellington colours too! All preggos should be issued with these at their first appointment with the ob/gyn xx

    • Haha, I hadn’t even noticed the Wellington colours scheme! Guess that helps balance out having just painted my house in Otago colours. ;-)

  6. What a cute pattern! Love the shape of it.

  7. Wish I’d thought of boleros when I was pregnant. I like this and the unexpected pop of color. Like the baby bump too!

    • Thanks Gina! I wish I’d thought of them a bit sooner actually. I think boleros may come in handy for a few more challenges!

  8. I love this bolero, the happy yellow and black check is gorgeous in itself, but I too love the ‘secret’ pop of red inside. Have to agree with Gina, I wish I’d thought about boleros when pregnant, I’d have been soooo much more stylish. This is fun.

  9. It’s perfect!! I love the splash of color on the inside, and I definitely love that you can wear it throughout your pregnancy and beyond – totally versatile and fabulous!