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Category Archives: Charm Patterns

“Glow Up” Photoshoot

Today, I did a little “Glow Up” photoshoot. I took hundreds of photographs of myself and narrowed them down to these two shots of before and after. 

Both outfits were made in April 2020 during the Coronavirus self-quarantine. I used Advance Sew-Easy 9616 in size 14 for the coral shortie pajamas and Charm Patterns Jane Set in size 6C for the playsuit. I’ve made 2 playsuits from the Jane Set pattern so far and I think I need to lengthen the crotch rise a bit in the future because both turned out snugger than I prefer.

I’m also super proud for doing a wet set and brush out into a decent style for the first time.

Have you been on a sewing kick in quarantine? I’ve been blazing through projects faster than I can document them!

’40s-Style Wide-Leg Pant

So I posted a bit about these pants, but here’s the details of the construction. I started with the cigarette pants pattern from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book, then followed the directions for the ’40s-style wide-leg pant variation. I traced the pattern onto clear vinyl, then traced that pattern onto the pre-washed fabric.

GSVC Cigarette Pants Pattern

I followed the variation directions to widen the pants and construct the cuffs and waistband. I quickly realized that I failed to compensate for the cigarette pants’ pockets when I decided not to have pockets on my wide-legged pants. I made faux-pockets by attaching the pant side in the correct place, then turning under the edge of the pocket opening and topstitching it down.

Faux-pocket right side

Faux-pocket wrong side

After I extended the front panels, the assembly went smoothly, even the zipper! I’ve only inserted a few zippers to date, so I followed the book’s instructions for a centered zipper. It came out much neater than my previous attempts, though it’s still not perfect. I roughly followed the instructions for the waistband because I was already improvising when I cut the waistband so wide, so I couldn’t follow the instructions to the T.

Waistband & centered zipper

Waistband closure

With the waistband finished, I could check the length of the pants and shorten them (by 3 inches because I’m a midget). Then I started on the cuffs, where I improvised heavily after following the patternmaking instructions. This was again my own fault because I hadn’t read the instructions fully and thus got confused. What I ended up doing was sewing the outside of the pant fully, then sewing only half of the inside seam so I had room to insert the cuff into the seam.

Again, these steps were totally made up… I pressed down the top edge of the cuff and used iron on interfacing over the raw edge. I suppose I could have just stitched it in place, but I was improvising pretty hard core at this point.

Cuff interfacing

The cuff was laid right side to the wrong side of the pant and the bottom edge sewn.

Attached cuff

Then I pressed the seam allowances to the right side of the pant to understitch the seam. Lastly, I zigzagged the seam allowances together to reduce fraying.


I turned and pressed the cuff and sewed the sides of the cuff to the pant and looked proudly at my pant leg….

Uneven hem

Well, yay. I unpicked all that stitching and leveled the hem, then redid all those steps successfully. Then I finished the inner leg seam, integrating the cuffs into the seam.

Even hem!

Since pants have two legs, I did the sewing, understitching, zigzagging and finishing the leg seam all over again.

Finished cuffs

At this point, I finished up a self-covered belt, did my hair and makeup and posed for the camera.

Trying to be sassy










There are some things I would like to change for my next pair of pants with this pattern. I would shorten the pattern before widening the pants for a better fit, and add a touch of ease in the hips. I’d also redistribute the 4″ of added width to add more width to the outside of the leg (3″) and less to the inside (1″) to help it hang nicer.

What do you think? Have you tried this pattern variation?

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual Review

Today, I finished my first item from Gretchen Hirsch’s book, “Gertie Sews Vintage Casual” (GSVC for short). I’ve never seen a book of patterns like this, but I don’t have a whole lot of experience, so I don’t know if this book concept is groundbreaking or not, but I think I like it!

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

Part one of the book teaches you skills to construct the garments within, and is pretty handy for learning sewing in general.


Part two features 10 basic garment patterns and variations to produce other garments, totalling 35 possible garments.

List of Patterns

In the back of the book is an envelope holding the basic patterns, multi-sized from sizes 2 – 16.

Pattern Envelope

The measurements are tucked away inside the book, but they seem accurate so far. I sewed a size 6 pant for my 28″ waist and it’s spot on.

Size Chart

For my first project, I decided to sew the ’40s-style wide-leg pant, a variation of the cigarette pants pattern. It would probably have been easier to start with the basic pattern, but I never said I made things easy.

40s-Style Wide-Leg Pants

The patterns are printed on heavy paper on both sides, sometimes overlapping, so the patterns must be traced for use. I used clear vinyl sheeting (often used to protect delicate tablecloths) and a sharpie to trace the size 6 pattern for the cigarette pants.

Cigarette Pants Pattern

I then traced the pattern onto my pre-washed fabric and followed the variation directions to widen the legs for the ’40s-style wide leg pant. The instructions then refer you to previous sections of the book to draft the waistband and cuffs to your desired width.

Pants in progress

From there, I followed the detailed directions for the cigarette pants to assemble the pants, jumping back to the variation instructions only when it was time for the cuffs and waistband, which were not part of the cigarette pants.

Although I did a fair amount of improvising on the waistband and cuffs, the instructions were clear and I sewed my best centered zipper to date following the book’s instructions!

Waistband & centered zipper

The pants came out pretty nice, and I’m looking forward to my next project from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual!

Wide-legged maroon pant

Getting Caught Up

Hello my friends! I’m so sorry to have abandoned you for three weeks, but I’ve been very busy with non-vintage things. I spent two rough weeks embroidering a Renaissance project which I then entered into a competition last Saturday. Then, I spent the past week recovering from my frenzied embroidery!

I did do some vintage sewing shopping, and I started a pair of slacks which will have their own post soon. I also went to a cute vintage looking salon and bought a stand and remote for my cell phone camera so I can take better pictures for this blog. Wow, I guess I did a lot more stuff than I realized. Perhaps the problem was just finding the time to write it all down! Here goes:

I bought a tripod for my camera and snapped a couple pictures to test it out. This is the diamond chiffon blouse, as I have dubbed Sassy Librarian Blouse #3.

Diamond chiffon blouse

I got my hair cut at this really cute vintage styled salon in a modern cut that would make vintage styles easier. She strongly discouraged doing an actual vintage cut because if I ever don’t wear it in a vintage style it will look really odd. Maybe next time I’ll go for it anyway.


Frenchie’s Hair Salon

Wearing vintage

I also started a pair of pants from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book (GSVC for short), but had to set them aside for my embroidery frenzy. Here’s a sneak preview, but I will post in depth about them, as well as the book, another day.

GSVC Pants

I bought some vintage style Vogue and McCalls patterns recently at a nice discount, and then today, I hit up the pattern sale at Joann Fabrics & Crafts for $0.99 Simplicity patterns and $1.99 Butterick patterns. I have been waiting impatiently for this sale so I could stock up on the Patterns by Gertie line by Butterick. I think I now have every vintage style pattern currently available by the major manufacturers. Yay!

Pattern Sale!

More patterns!

And finally, I bought some fun vintage looking fabric to use all these patterns with.

Fun fabrics!

Wow, was that a lot more than I thought!

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