Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Vintage Playsuit Sew Along - Pattern Inspration from my Collection

As I pointed out in my last post about my first attempts to get some ideas about the planned VPSA, it will take some time to prepare this project, as it consists of several garments that should not only suit my measurements and meet my needs, but should also make a matching set in the end.

So I had a look at my collection of patterns. I have this one-piece playsuit or swimsuit, but the longer I'm thinking about it, the more I'm convinced that a two-piece suit would be better for me.

This pattern, Advance 6742 (circa 1954) makes a gorgeous set, however, the bloomers will definitely not come into consideration. The top is fantastic, summery, but still decent enough to be wearable in town or for lunch. I think I would make the front buttons as a fake closure and insert a zipper, as button closures on fitted garments tend to look always a little bit, well, not fitted...
Also the skirt in its shorter version is fine, however, I would prefer a buttoned skirt for the longer version, or a wrap skirt.

This Butterick 6535 would be a nice pattern for the pants, they come along in two lengths. The bustier as an addition to a top that shows less skin... I could wear it on the beach. (If we manage to go to a holiday to Italy, for example...) If I have time and enough material (which is still not chosen), I will definitely make this cute bustier, would look certainly great on the beach.

This gorgeous Simplicity 3160 from 1950 offers another pattern for short pants and a full long skirt. Also the sleeveless blouse would be an option... Both patterns are size 14, so I would have to upsize them anyway for the pants.

I think I bought this 1950s Simplicity 1125 mainly because of the skirt and the top - not even realising that it's actually a playsuit set. It was also rather cheap, and looking at the prices asked for playsuit patterns - an excellent buy! I still think the top is great, as well as the wonderful wrap skirt, but also the pants would be worth thinking about. (Ah, yes, and again upsizing is necessary...)

The view 2 top of this pattern (it's a Simplicity 3891 from the 1950s) would look great, depending from the material I will use, and it's also simple to make!

This 1957 Simplicity 2072 dress pattern is not a typical playsuit set, but I will have to check the pants. And of course, a bolero would be a nice option!

Late 1950s Simplicity 3427 has a nice pattern for short pants and a lovely top. I certainly would not make the coat, but I love the striped and plain fabric combination!

I guess I have enough patterns to make short pants. And some nice options for halter tops and blouses. (I have not checked my separate blouse patterns so far...)
Anyway, I will certainly have to decide weather I would like to make a full skirt or a wide and long wrap skirt, so the playsuit set would look definitely more 50s. Or if I should, for a more 1940s style, make this wrapped front skirt from my 1944 Hollywood 1356 pattern with cascade at the left side front and the tied belt that looks very much like a sarong skirt. Just chose the right fabric, such as a tiki or Hawaiian fabric. More questions...

Here are two more options for wide skirts. View 2 from Advance 6327 would be great for a very summery look, choosing two contrasting colours...

Then I remembered my vintage sewing magazines from the very early 1950s. And I had a slight idea that there could be a playsuit pattern as well. But there's not only one, but several of them and so many ideas!

The top left design is fabulous! I love the skirt, the slightly longer pants, the blouse... Would definitely call for one of my tropical fabrics or something with a large floral print, combined with summery solid colours. Could be accomplished by the striped bustier and short pants on the right.

Dealing with the multiple pattern sheet is not such an issue - that's how I made my very first clothes back in the late 1980s when I was a teenage girl, so I guess I can handle it still.

There's plenty of inspiration from my own patterns. I must admit, I was a little bit tempted to have a quick look around Etsy or so, just in case there was THE pattern I was looking for. But then, as my collection has been growing over the past few years and still does, I think I will limit myself to what I already have. I'm pretty sure it will take a long time to chose all the patterns for my playsuit set even that way.


  1. No doubt because I won't wear garments (in public at least) that don't hit below my knees, what jumps out at me, and what I love most, about the fabulous selection of images you've shared with us here today is how many of features skirt of cropped pants that do just that. A lot of the modern (repro) playsuits on the market today are of the shorter variety, so I pass them over, but I'd happily sort the longer styles here in a heartbeat.

    Big hugs & many thanks for each and every one of your fantastic recent blog comments,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Dear Jessica, thanks for visiting once again my blog. I am the very same opinion, that many playsuits are far too short for my taste. If I was younger and had slimmer legs, I would consider wearing them, but I prefer more decent garments, at least regarding the length of them. I don't mind a bare shoulder or a slightly more plunging neckline, but that's it. I'm happy I can sew, more or less, so I can create just what I need and what I want, in the fabric I love.

      I always love reading your posts, they're well written and enjoyable, and visiting other people's blogs is currently kind of a window to the world. Living on the countryside, busy with the family and the house is sometimes a little bit constrictive, especially as I'm probably the only vintage sewer within 100 miles. Thanks for your kind words!



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