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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Vintage Maternity Suit


Just thought I would show you this adorable 50’s maternity suit I borrowed from my lovely friend Shona. We now seem to be utterly comfortable with our baby bumps and many of us are not afraid to show them off to their best advantage with form fitting tops etc. It seemed to be a totally different story until very recently. The idea was to completely conceal what was going on until the baby popped out into the world. Smocks and very loose fitting dresses were the order of the day!

I wanted to make a couple of 1940’s things to wear at some point, so purchased a couple of patterns from Etsy. The covers made me laugh as every single one out there has illustrations of the designs on ladies who are clearly not pregnant. Although stating ‘Maternity’ across the envelope, you wouldn’t know it from what is on the front at all!

1940's matenrity patterns

Image from Coconutheadpatterns on Etsy

So here is the 1950’s suit I wore to Lyme Regis this weekend. It was very comfortable, the skirt very much so, with a flap at the front concealing a hole so that your baby bump can expand. There are 3 buttons either side that allows the waist to expand also. The jacket is obviously a loose fitting thing that skims over and smooths everything. I would say that a belt under the bust line would improve it immensely!

I will be writing an article for Military World about what to wear at events when you are expecting, so will post on here also. It is a struggle to find vintage styles out there when your bump reaches a certain size! I have some larger fitting repro items, but after a while, you do seem to need maternity wear or something with a higher waistline. I shall attempt to help those who still want to look the part, even if they still feel like a baby bungalow…

1950s Houndstooth Maternity Outfit

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WW2 Doll Pattern




I found this fantastic doll pattern on Etsy, which is a copy of an original American WW2 doll pattern. It is very basic and that suits me down to the ground! I wanted something I could alter without too much hassle!

I decided to change the WAC uniform to British ATS and a red head (of course!). This was the first time I have tried embroidering a doll face, so was a new challenge for me! The eyebrows are Marino wool to match the hair but the eyes and lips are just formal sewing thread that I tripled in the needle before using.

The pattern includes 3 types of uniform (skirt, jacket, hat and blouse), but because I didn’t want the jacket to open, I just made the front of the blouse, collar and tie out if a scrap of one of Richard’s old USO shirts! I had used the other half of it for an act, so glad I kept the scraps!

The wool fabric was bought at a local haberdashers and although expensive by the metre, I only bought a 30cm width so wasn’t too bad and I have enough left for a matching boy doll and more. I also bought a sample swatch of leather as the pattern used more embroidering to depict shoes (literally just shoe laces). After some playing around I came up wit a basic pixie design and matching belt.

Here is my first attempt…

So, I was quite pleased apart from the head. The doll ends up with no neck, so I tried creating one which wrinkled the face and my stupid permanent pen guides I had drawn for the facial embroidery ended up spreading, making her look like an old lady!

I ended up doing a Marie Antoinette job on her head, which I had made all the more complicated as I had inconveniently sewn the blouse collar and jacket to the body. I drew around the head template again onto the plain cotton, but this time I added a neck! I sewed the new head on as best I could and tidied the wound with a strip of leather. Lucky it just neatens the area and doesn’t make her look like a 40’s themed dominatrix. 

So here you go! The finished doll and, for my first attempt, I think she is pretty good! I want to add some buttons on her jacket using thread, but just have to figure out a way to do this.

I am planning to use the pattern for different themes, not just military, but will re-draw the body so that she has more of a neck before trying another one.