The Facts:

Fabric: silk/rayon/wool whatever from…paron’s? cool stretch knit from paron’s.
Pattern: Simplicity 1927 (skirt); Alabama Studio Sewing + Design T-shirt/Bolero; The Consulting Dressmaker (Steph C) BCT 40’s Hack (Inspiration)
Year: 1940s (skirt); contemporary (t-shirt)
Notions: lace, grosgrain ribbon, zipper, elastic trim
Time to Complete: 5 hours
First Worn: july 25, 2012
Wear Again: yes, separately and together
Total Price: ~$30
Challenge Theme: “reality check”

i knew that for my “reality check” i wanted to riff on two excellent inspiration images i’d been saving for the right challenge. casey, in one of her wonderful posts, highlighted this image for us to drool over. it’s so forties, so fabulous, and so…tweeny. i’d admired the skirt for a while but remained on the fence about my ability to pull it off.



also causing palpitations of envy was steph c’s april BCT “hack,” where she re-drafted her classic “blank canvas t” based on several classic 40s details, including a keyhole neckline and a bolero.

ultimately, steph’s method and drafting instructions (while great, don’t get me wrong) didn’t suit exactly my end, so i ended up cutting and re-utilizing the pieces of my alabama studio sewing + design T, along with their bolero pattern, to create a “fauxlero” built into the top. i used one of my stash 40s patterns to trace off a keyhole neckline and create a facing, and utilized the excellent fashion sewing supply knit interfacing to keep that neckline…well, in line.

i trimmed the “fauxlero”, neckline and sleeves with some great stretch lace from daytona trimming and finished the shirt hem with the selvedge from the shirt. this had interesting results to say the least–i had forgotten to account for the fact that the stretch on the selvedge would be considerably less than the stretch on the cross-grain.


i ended up with some fascinating construction order on the skirt, let me say. the original pattern calls for a faux overskirt, made by strategic placement of a ruffle above the hemline of the skirt. it’s actually a very cool bit of pattern drafting, and i should have realized that in the 40s they wouldn’t be wasting fabric on an overskirt layer. still, after some consideration, i decided that i wanted an overskirt on mine instead of a giant ruffle, so that’s the way i went. i trimmed the overskirt with a cool lace, also from daytona, and both fabrics were stiff enough that i got some great volume from the intense fabric gathering called for in that waistline.

THEN i attemped to clean up the waistline seam with some grosgrain. i’m not really sure where i went wrong, but to call that waistline seam (and subsequent belt) a hot mess is an insult to hot messes everywhere.

so the end result is a great skirt, goofy, but just on the cute and cool side of goofy, and a really, really cool 40s-inspired t-shirt. i saw my grandmother yesterday and she said, wow, i had a skirt like that in the 40s…only mine was longer!



Devra is a New York-based photographer and sewer who tries to find time to do her day job in between bouts of crazed sewing.


Comments are closed.

  1. This is a stunning ensemble. The 40’s brought bang up to date.

  2. Despite your difficulties, the end result is very cute! Well done!

  3. Swoon! Wow, Devra – the inspiration image is stunning and so is your updated version – I loved this post, such great info and your best photos ever – great job!

  4. Love the details in the blouse.

  5. I also love your 40’s inspired teeshirt. The keyhole and the lace make it so unique. It’s a little hard to see the detail of the black skirt, but if it’s like the pattern with that cute ruffle, no doubt it’s just adorable.

  6. Love the fauxlero, that keyhole shape is really unique. And pretty skirt, easily worthy of the inspiration.